Food & Cooking Blog

How to Make Homemade Sour Cream With 2 Ingredients

Out of sour cream? I use this homemade sour cream recipe at home whenever I need some sour cream and don’t have any in the fridge — it’s so easy! Learn how to make sour cream at home with this simple two-ingredient recipe.

Learn how to make sour cream at home with just two ingredients

Learn how to make sour cream at home with just two ingredients!

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About this recipe

It’s very easy to make sour cream at home. Add buttermilk to heavy cream or half-and-half. Let it rest for about 24 hours until it thickens to the consistency you like.

The mixing process takes about 30 seconds, while the resting process takes 24 hours. I typically mix up my homemade sour cream the night before I intend to use it. 

Ingredients for homemade sour cream

Heavy cream vs. half-and-half for sour cream

Heavy cream and half-and-half produce slightly different types of sour cream.

How to make sour cream with heavy cream

Heavy cream

The heavy cream variation (pictured above) is rich and buttery, but it still retains the tang that makes sour cream so delicious. It has the consistency of thick yogurt and makes a wonderful topping for everything from soups to nachos.

How to Make Sour Cream with half-and-half

Half-and-half

The flavor of the sour cream made with half-and-half (pictured above) is also excellent, but it tends to be slightly thinner than a batch made with heavy cream. Still, it can be used in dips and in baking exactly the same way as store-bought sour cream.

Which is better?

I prefer the heavy cream variation of this recipe. It feels rich and decadent on your tongue, almost like eating a good ice cream. It is so rich that I actually use less of it with my dishes (and feel much more satisfied) than I would with a store-bought “low-fat” sour cream product. It is worth the splurge!

It also happens to be quite convenient for me, as I tend to have heavy cream in my refrigerator on a regular basis, since I make homemade ice cream frequently. 

Recipe for homemade sour cream

Makes about 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup heavy cream or 1 cup half-and-half

Step 1:

In a sealable container, such as a mason jar, combine buttermilk and heavy cream or half-and-half. Seal the container and shake well to combine. Keep out at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, for 24 hours.

Homemade Sour Cream in Mason Jars

Step 2:

Open your container and scoop out the sour cream. If using heavy cream, a layer of clear whey may form at the bottom of the container and should be drained off. Transfer sour cream to a clean, sealable container and refrigerate until ready to use.

After the sour cream has thickened, transfer it to the refrigerator and keep it chilled until you are ready to use it. Both varieties of sour cream will thicken slightly as they chill. I typically use mine within 1-2 days of making it, but it will keep in an airtight container for at least 5 days.

Make More DIY Pantry Staples With This FREE Guide!

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Store-Bought: 6 DIY Pantry Staples

Trying to eat fewer processed foods? Stock your pantry with homemade essentials like butter, confectioners’ sugar and more, with this FREE printable guide. Get My FREE Guide »

12 Comments

mary m young

Sounds very interesting and yummy. Can you use powdered buttermilk instead of fresh?
Thanks.

Reply
Nana's Ranch

Hello Mary,
I’m no expert but powdered milk is non-fat and this recipe needs a lot of fat to work. Notice that the half and half will produce a more liquid result.
You would probably end up with sour milk if you used the powdered version. Not recommended.

Reply
Chey

I think the question was powdered buttermilk. While I am not sure if it would or would not work, the fat wouldnt be an issue because buttermilk is always low fat. Traditionally, it is what is left after churning butter but commercially available pasteurised cultured buttermilk will still only have between 1 – 2%.

Powdered Buttermilk has about that same fat content (apx 7gms per 120g serving).

The buttermilk is not there to add fat, it serves as an acidic component to create the reaction for the cream to “sour”.

I would assume that as it is used as a replacement for buttermilk (whose use is almost always to be an acidic element in baking) it would most likely work … but as far as the quality of the finished product I wouldnt know but would think that fresh might be better.

Reply
Susan Lucas

I’m sure you can use powdered buttermilk. However, I would first dilute the buttermilk to get it to the liquid form equivalent to dairy buttermilk.

Reply
Nana's Ranch

I would like to use fresh goats milk but will probably have to add heavy cream at around 50%. My goats only have 7 to 8% milk fat.

Reply
Natasha

This sounds great! Sour cream is hard to come by sometimes where i live so a homemade recipe is pretty handy. However i can’t get buttermilk where i am either, do you think using the milk and lime juice/vinegar replacement would work for this?? Thanks!

Reply
Judy Purvis

This is how I make crème fraîche. What’s the difference?

Also, this recipe works much better if you can find cream that hasn’t been “ultra pasteurized.” I found it at my local farmer’s market. Ultra pasteurization knocks the microbe count way down, and they’re what’s doing the souring/clabbering.

Reply
dawn hudnell

Can you use a start off this to make your next batch?

Reply
Mercy

Hi, can one use homemade buttermilk and homemade heavy cream to make sour cream? I’m from Kenya, Africa and some products are hard to find if not too pricey.

Reply
Kristina

I’ve used homemade buttermilk and it makes a lovely sour cream. =)

Reply
Brad

Buttermilk in this recipe is more than acid, it’s got live bacterial cultures. Those will be dead in powdered buttermilk.

Reply
Becky

I cook for someone who is lactose intolerant. Does anyone have any suggestions for a substitute?

Reply

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