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You can make creme fraiche at home with just 2 ingredients! This rich French version of sour cream is perfect for creamy sauces and dolloping soups.

Creme Fraiche

Got a recipe that calls for creme fraiche and can’t find it? Here’s the easiest way to get ahold of it: make it at home! All you need is 24 hours to make this French version of sour cream. It adds a richness that cannot be replicated by a substitute! (Though some may try.) It’s also a great way to use up leftover heavy cream in your refrigerator. Here’s how to make DIY creme fraiche.

How to make creme fraiche

It’s like magic to watch creme fraiche thicken right before your eyes! (That is, while you sleep.) All you need is 24 hours and a warm place, and you can make your own. It’s a nice way to use up leftover cream, or perfect if you can’t find creme fraiche at the store and have 1 day to wait. Here’s what you need to make creme fraiche:

  • 1 cup heavy cream (with 18-20% fat content)
  • 1 tablespoon plain yogurt (Greek or regular)
  • Clean container with a cover (preferably glass)

Stir the two ingredients together, then cover the container and place it in a warm place. After 24 hours, you’ll see the cream has thickened! It doesn’t have to be fully thick, because it will continue to thicken in the refrigerator. Voila: beautiful creme fraiche!

How to make creme fraiche

What makes the magic? Fermentation.

How does it all work? Here’s the basic scientific breakdown on what happens when you make creme fraiche:

  • Yogurt contains bacteria.
  • When you mix it with the heavy cream at room temperature, it ferments the cream! This causes it to thicken without spoiling it.

More fermented foods? Go to Top Fermented Foods to Try Now.

How to use creme fraiche in recipes

Creme fraiche is a French version of sour cream, but it’s even richer and thicker. Creme fraiche has a higher fat content and a less tangy flavor than sour cream. This velvety cultured cream is used in many ways: as a creamy dip for veggies, for dolloping soups, or even a spoonful over fruit or a dessert. It doesn’t separate or curdle when heated, ideal for making creamy sauces. Here are some of our favorite ways to use it:

Healthy Chili Recipe
Make chili even richer by adding a dollop of creme fraiche!

Use a similar process to make sour cream!

Want a similar experiment? Make sour cream! To make homemade sour cream, you’ll do almost the same thing: stir together heavy cream and a culture and wait 24 hours. But you won’t use yogurt…it’s something a little different! Head over to our Homemade Sour Cream to learn more.

This homemade creme fraiche recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Creme Fraiche

Homemade Creme Fraiche

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 24 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 24 hours
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x


You can make creme fraiche at home with just 2 ingredients! This rich French version of sour cream is perfect for creamy sauces and dolloping soups. 


  • 1 tablespoon plain yogurt
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream


  1. Place the ingredients in a clean glass container with a cover, and let them sit in a warm area for 24 hours, until it thickens (the bacteria in the yogurt ferments the cream and causes it to thicken).
  2. Uncover and stir. If it’s not thick, let stand for a few more hours. When it’s ready, place the mixture in the refrigerator, where it will continue to thicken. It stores for up to 2 weeks.
  • Category: Condiment
  • Method: Fermentation
  • Cuisine: French

Keywords: Creme Fraiche

More kitchen DIYs!

Love making things yourself in the kitchen? Here are some more fun kitchen experiments:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks for the recipe. I used, instead of a glass cover, cheesecloth. This let the mixture “breathe” while keeping out bugs or dust.