What Can You Substitute For Sour Cream? - 7 Best Non-Dairy & Dairy Sour Cream Alternatives List

What Can You Substitute For Sour Cream?: One of the high-fat ingredients found in dairy products is sour cream and it can be used in various dishes to give tangy and creamy outcomes.

If you want to replace sour cream with the best and most healthy ingredient in the same recipe with an exact taste and appearance, then you have to look at this guide.

On this page, we are going to discuss what you can use as a substitute for sour cream. The list includes both dairy and non-dairy sour cream alternatives that reach your preferences and comes with health benefits compared to sour cream. So let's dive in.

What Can You Substitute For Sour Cream

List of 7 Best Sour Cream Substitutes For Baking, Dipping & Any Recipes

  • Dairy-based Sour Cream Substitutes
    • Buttermilk or Kefir
    • Crème Fraîche
    • Yogurt (Plain & Greek)
    • Cottage cheese
  • Nondairy Sour Cream Alternatives
    • Coconut Milk
    • Mayonnaise
    • Cashews

The 7 Best substitutes for sour cream for cooking and baking are listed above. Pick any one ingredient that suits your recipe and substitute it for sour cream to deal with the situation and enjoy the dish.

Before knowing every sour cream substitution details and quantities, gain some knowledge regarding what is meant by sour cream.

What Is Sour Cream?

Sour cream is a dairy product that undergoes a fermentation process with lactic acid bacteria and cream. If these two combine then it forms a chemical reaction. You can make sour cream at home as well as it can be available in stores too.

But store-bought sour cream comes with so many preservatives, flavors, fillers, and gelatin well homemade sour cream will be authentic and original as it contains two ingredients heavy cream and added bacteria.

Sour cream is tangy, creamy mouthfeel, and has delightful acidity so it makes numerous baked goods yummy and delicious. You can skip milk in cakes, bread, and muffins and add sour cream for moister textured baked goods.

You can even enjoy this Mexican staple ingredient with nachos, tacos, enchiladas, and burritos.

Dairy-based Sour Cream Substitutes

As we know that sour cream is a dairy product and there can be plenty of substitutes that can work great instead of sour cream in some recipes. If you are wondering what are they, simply look at below:

Buttermilk or Kefir

Like sour cream, buttermilk and kefir are fermented dairy products that have a tangy flavor. But these substitutes are runny and liquid so you can substitute these with sour cream in a few recipes like pancakes, wet batters, dips, or salad dressings.

Overall it can be a good substitute in baking recipes and if you think the texture is acceptable for any recipe then make sure to use this alternative for sour cream. If the recipe calls for 1 cup of sour cream then replace it with 3/4 cup of buttermilk.

You can swap sour cream with kefir evenly and use the unflavored and unsweetened kefir to match with sour cream flavor in the recipes. Related Posts: 

Crème Fraîche

Crème Fraîche can be a great substitute for sour cream as it is a french sour cream. So if you can't find sour cream in stores or pantries then swap with creme fraiche.

Creme fraiche is less to curdle over high heat when you cook the recipes like soups and stews because it includes high-fat content and low proteins than sour cream.

Also, creme fraiche is precisely like sour cream but high in calories and fat also it tastes less tangy. To replace one cup of sour cream, use one cup of Crème Fraîche.

Yogurt (Plain & Greek)

Yogurt is one of the healthiest options to replace sour cream in recipes. There are various types of yogurt like greek yogurt, plain yogurt, etc. Greek yogurt is the best substitute for sour cream as it is thick and tangy.

Hence, it can easily be substituted in the recipe as a cup-to-cup replacement. If you need to explore more about it then check our guide called can you substitute greek yogurt for sour cream via the available link.

Plain or regular yogurt is a little thin to match the greek yogurt texture, use the strainer or cheesecloth, or coffee filter to drain the plain yogurt and collect the perfect texture yogurt to replace sour cream. Use that leftover liquid in a pot of beans, or soup broth, or smoothie.

Cottage Cheese

A cheese curd product is called cottage cheese and it has a great history. Cottage cheese can be offered in a variety of fat % and curd sizes that range from small to large. It is low in fat and calories and high in protein compared to sour cream.

The difference between sour cream and cottage cream calories, fat, and protein are as such: Includes 238 calories, 23 g of fat, and just 3 g of protein in 120 grams of sour cream.

However, 88 calories, 2.5 g of fat, and 11.5 g of protein are included in half a cup of cottage cheese means 105 grams. So, it is the best & healthy substitute for sour cream in any recipe.

If you want to replace sour cream with cottage cheese then add a mixture of one cup of cottage cheese with 4 tablespoons (tbsp.), or 60 milliliters (ml), of milk and 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of lemon juice.

Nondairy Sour Cream Alternatives

Those who avoid dairy products due to some health issues or looking for vegan-friendly options can replace sour cream with these non-dairy alternatives. Let's see the detailed explanation about them below:

Coconut Milk

Top-best non-dairy substitute for sour cream is coconut milk. Coconut milk substitute helps vegan and lactose intolerant people as a great option in recipes.

It is a popular ingredient in Southeast Asian, South American, and Caribbean cuisines. To mimic and substitute coconut milk for sour cream in recipes, take the cream on full-fat coconut milk and mix it with apple cider or lemon juice, or sea salt.

This mixture can be referred to as a plant-based sour cream alternative for your recipes. When baking with full-fat coconut milk as a substitute for sour cream, replace it with a cup of coconut milk by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.

This apple cider vinegar and lemon juice addon will give you a tangy flavor like sour cream.


Mayo can also be a non-dairy alternative for sour cream mainly for topping or dipping or as a thickening agent in savory dishes. It is a simple and quick replacement for sour cream that has a tangy and creamy texture.

Mayonnaise has a mild flavor unlike sour cream but works great as a substitute in baking and cooking. As per the online sources, mayo is a good and one-to-one substitute for sour cream in baked goods but never expect the same and accurate end result.

So, try it for once and check the final outcome of the dish, if it's pretty good taste-wise and texture-wise then you can swap sour cream with mayonnaise without any second thought.


Yes, cashews can also be a great substitute for sour cream in recipes as they are high-fat buttery, and sweet nuts. Due to the high-fat content, cashews became one of the non-dairy alternatives for sour cream.

Not only fat content it is also high in providing protein source (includes 5 g of protein in each oz). For making tangy flavored sour cream with cashews, you have to add cashews in water and soak them for some time and then blend those soaked cashews with lemon juice or vinegar, or sea salt.

Now, you got your dairy-free sour cream alternative in your hands to add to soups or other cooking recipes but not that recommendable for baking recipes.

Replacing Sour Cream in Baking

If you are going to replace sour cream with other sour cream substitutes for baking, make sure to match the consistency, ingredients, and nutrition facts.

When you're using the store-bought sour cream in the recipe then check the quantities of protein, sugar, fat, cream, bacterial cultures or enzymes, etc., and later adjust the same quantities in the selected substitute before swapping in the recipe.

This approach will make your baked good so moist and perfect like baked goods with sour cream. The ideal substitution ratio for replacing sour cream with other alternatives is a 1:1 ratio almost in all baking recipes.

Reasons To Replace Sour Cream with Other Substitutes

It can be anything but the substitutes for sour cream do the same job and make your recipe so yummy. Still, we have explained the reasons you may need a substitute for sour cream here:

  • Vegan diet
  • Low-fat diets
  • Milk allergy
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Health Issues and many more

There can be plenty of reasons to avoid sour cream in recipes. Don't worry about the end product because we have various dairy and non-dairy substitutes that make amazing swappings. Find Similar Articles:

FAQs on What Can You Substitute For Sour Cream In A Recipe?

1. How to Make a Sour Cream?

Want to make your own sour cream at home? Simply take one cup of cream and one tbsp of lemon juice or distilled white vinegar in a mason jar. After 10 minutes add 1/4 cup of whole milk. Now, mix all three ingredients well and cover the jar with the cheesecloth or lid and leave for 24-48 hours at room temperature. Finally, sour cream at home is ready, store it in the refrigerator until you use it in any of the recipes.

2. Can you use mayo instead of sour cream?

Yes, you can use mayonnaise by replacing sour cream in recipes like baked goods and savory dishes as it is made from oil and eggs.

3. Can I skip sour cream in a recipe?

Yes, you can skip sour cream in a recipe but swap it with any other sour cream substitute. According to your recipe, you can choose a suitable substitute for sour cream and prepare your dish.

4. What does sour cream do in baking?

By using sour cream in baking recipes, baked goods become moister than milk. Sponge cake and such drier baking recipes result in best-baked goods when it includes sour cream.

Key Takeaways

When people get confused to replace sour cream with other substitutes then refer to our guide ie., what can you substitute for sour cream for a better understanding of each and every sour cream alternative and its substitution ratio.

If you feel replacing sour cream with other alternatives is worth then make use of it after checking the details on our page. For more information related to food substitutes like what can you substitute for eggs & more, visit our website @canyousubstitute.com and gather whatever you require in no time.