What is sour cream soured with

Hi Bold Bakers!

One of my oldest and most used Bold Baking Basic recipes is Sour Cream! Knowing how to make sour cream is key for both your sweet and savory cooking and baking.

From topping tacos and chili to adding onto your scones and rich chocolate cakes, I use sour cream all the time. I always have some of my easy Homemade Sour Cream in the fridge, so using this simple method means that you too can have your own fresh sour cream on hand. Let me tell you, too: Bold Bakers have been asking me about Homemade Sour Cream for quite some time. Whether it’s because it’s unavailable in your region, or maybe you’re looking for an inexpensive way to get it, here it is! And it’s so simple. You will be happy to know you just need 3 ingredients and a jar, that’s it.

How to Make Sour Cream

Before I tried this recipe, I actually had no idea how sour cream was made. Well, it turns out the name say’s it all because it’s literally preserved soured cream. Unlike other homemade dairy products, this method for sour cream requires no cooking at all and very little effort. To make my homemade sour cream all you need is a nice clean jar, milk, cream, and fresh lemon juice. Oh, and a little bit of time, because you have to leave it covered on the counter top overnight. Make sure to use a breathable cloth (no lids or plastic wrap), as your sour cream will have a more fragrant flavor with exposure to the air. And that’s it!

After combining all of the ingredients they will do the work for you. The acid in the lemon reacts with the cream, similar to making my Homemade Buttermilk. After a night on the counter, I give the mix a good stir, and BAM, Homemade Sour Cream. The final sour cream is thick, rich, and tangy. There is no difference between this sour cream and the store bought stuff, making it an amazing recipe to have on hand!

Why is My Sour Cream Thin?

The consistency of your Homemade Sour Cream might be slightly looser than something store-bought, but it will provide all the same flavor and moisture to your baking. The reason for this is because there are no artificial thickeners that are always added commercial brands of sour cream.

How to Store Sour Cream

Because there is nothing in the sour cream to preserve it, you will want to store it in an airtight container in your fridge. That said, it will last for a good 2 weeks! This rarely lasts that long for me so sometimes I even double down and make a larger batch.

How to Use Sour Cream in Baking

Dairy is a really important ingredient when it comes to baking. It serves many purposes like replacing eggs, making richer cakes, and because it contains acid it tenderizes the gluten so it yields incredibly soft cakes too. This Sour Cream recipe can be used in the place of buttermilk, or even yogurt. One of my favorite ways to use it in my baking is in my Chocolate Bundt Cake. In this case, my sour cream makes all the difference, adding a very distinct richness and moist texture.

[ If you like making your own ingredients at home you’ll love my recipe for How to Make Yogurt! ]

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Learn How to Make Sour Cream at home and then use it to make your baking even better or enjoy it on its own.



  • 1cup(8oz / 240g) heavy cream
  • 2teaspoonlemon juice(or white vinegar)
  • ¼cup(2oz / 60g) milk
  • In a jar, mix the cream and lemon juice (or vinegar) together, then pour in the milk. Screw a lid on tightly and shake well.

  • Remove the lid and put a clean piece of kitchen paper over the jar and secure it with a rubber band.

  • Leave it on the counter overnight (up to 24 hours) for it to set up.

  • After 24 hours it should be quite firm. Give it a stir and cover it with a jar lid. It will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks or so if it lasts that long!

  • Note: Because there are no artificial thickeners, your homemade sour cream may be thinner than commercial brands you may be used to. Have no fear, it’s fine. I’ve gotten used to the consistency and like it better since it blends in recipes so well.


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