10 Simple Sour Cream Substitutes: What and How

Sour cream is among those ingredients that people use in a variety of recipes and always keep it in their homes. However, if you ever try to make sour cream coffee cake or something else that uses this ingredient and then realize that you do not have any of it in the refrigerator, what should you do then? Instead of running toward the supermarket, you can make use of a sour cream substitute. So many substitutes are available and some of them are even suitable for vegetarians.

Substitutes for Sour Cream

Sour cream works great to enhance the taste of any of your recipe, but certain substitutes will do the same. Here are some suggestions:

1.        Greek Yogurt

The most commonly used substitute for sour cream is none other than plain Greek yogurt. It resembles sour cream a lot in taste and texture, and is readily available in homes.

The good thing is that you just need to use it in the same amount as you would use sour cream in any recipe. Opt for whole milk Greek yogurt if you are looking for a perfect sour creamsubstitute.

2.        Cottage Cheese

In order to replace sour cream in a recipe, you need to take a cup of drained cottage cheese, and put it in a blender with 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and 4 tablespoons of buttermilk. You can use both large curd and small curd cottage cheese. Simply blend the mixture and keep it in your refrigerator. Use it as a substitute to source cream, cup for cup, whenever needed.

3.        Soy

To avoid animal-based ingredients, you can opt for soy-based yogurt, which works great in place of sour cream. Alternatively, mix 4 teaspoons of lemon juice, half teaspoon of salt, 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, and one 10.5oz package of crumbled tofu in a blender. Use it in recipes that require sour cream, cup for cup, whenever required.

4.        Buttermilk

You can use buttermilk as a sour cream substitute in your recipes. The simplest way is to use store-bought buttermilk. Replace it with equal amounts of sour cream that you would otherwise be using in your recipes.

5.        Plain Yogurt

You can also use low-fat yogurt as a substitute to sour cream because it has a similar consistency. It is a healthier choice as well because a half cup serving has about 1.75g of fat only. It also provides you with phosphorous and calcium, which help with stronger bones. You can mix yogurt and ground cinnamon, and use it with herbs and spices or as topping for fresh fruit.

6.        Avocados

They are loaded with antioxidants, vitamin E and monounsaturated fats, so are a healthier alternative to sour cream. You get about 3g of fat and 29 calories from a couple of tablespoons of avocados. You can puree it with other ingredients and use in place of sour cream in salads, nachos, and baked potatoes.

7.        Crème Fraiche

It may not be that easy to find crème fraiche, but it can be a perfect sour cream substitute. The only difference between both is their fat content. Sour cream has 20% fat, whereas crème fraiche has 30% fat. Moreover, you may find sour cream to have a tangy taste but crème fraiche is quite creamy in texture with fewer tangs. The good thing is that crème fraiche holds up better in recipes that require heating. Replace the same amount of sour cream with the same amount of crème fraiche in recipes.

8.        Coconut Milk

You can use coconut milk to replace sour cream in baked goods such as quick breads and cakes. To replace a cup of sour cream, you need to use ¾ cup of coconut milk mixed with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar.

Homemade Substitute for Sour Cream

It is possible to prepare a substitute for sour cream in your home. Here are some suggestions:

1.        Raw Vegan Sour Cream

You can prepare this great substitute with the help of a few basic ingredients. It works great for vegan tacos and latkes as well. Here are the instructions to make 5 servings:


  • A cup of raw cashews
  • ¼ cup of water
  • 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • Juice of one lemon


Start by draining the cashews – be sure to rinse them well. Take a blender and place all your ingredients in it. Blend until the ingredients turn into a smooth cream. Add more water or lemon juice to get desired consistency.

2.        Dairy Free Sour Cream

It is another great recipe to prepare a perfect sour cream substitute without having to go out of your home. Here is what you need to do.


  • A cup of water
  • Half cups each of sunflower seeds and pine nuts
  • A teaspoon of sea salt
  • A teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice
  • A teaspoon of onion powder


Take a blender and add all the ingredients in it. Blend it well and be sure to scrap the sides to have a fine blend. Do not use onion powder or garlic if you are making sour cream for your sweet dishes.