7 Sour Cream Substitutes Everyone Can Use at Any Time

Sour cream is a great condiment that gets used very frequently for certain dishes. It’s especially delicious on baked potatoes.

However, some people are always looking for sour cream substitutes.

They don’t want actual sour cream for one reason or another. They either don’t like store bought sour cream or they just don’t like sour cream at all.

Sour cream is made when you take the fat from whole milk and combine it with lactic acid bacteria.

The bacteria release lactic acid after consuming the lactose causing the cream to become much more acidic. This results in a cream that has a sour taste, thus giving you sour cream.

Why Use Sour Cream Substitutes

sour cream substitute6

There are a number of reasons why people may want to use sour cream substitutes.

If you have a milk allergy, you are probably looking for a substitute.

People that are lactose intolerant are going to need a substitute. Sour cream contains lactose which can’t be broken down in the body by people that are lactose intolerant.

Vegans cannot have sour cream because it’s something that isn’t plant-based. If the product comes from an animal in any way, then vegans will not have it.

For those that are on a low-fat diet, you may need to find a sour cream substitute. Sour cream is very high in fat, about 91% of the calories from sour cream come from fat.

Some people may look for sour cream substitutes because they just don’t like the taste of regular sour cream. It’s not a taste that people are going to love if they eat it by itself.

7 Sour Cream Substitutes

As you can see, there are several reasons why somebody may look for an alternative to sour cream. They need a sour cream substitute.

But what are the substitutes?

Below you’ll see 7 sour cream substitutes that are going to be able to take the place of any regular sour cream.

Some of the substitutes are dairy-free so those that are lactose intolerant can enjoy something that is at least similar to sour cream.

Cottage Cheese

substitute for sour cream in baking

These type of cheese is a perfect substitute for sour cream. A regular cup of cottage cheese can give you the sour cream substitute you’re looking for.

Yes, if you do a straight swap for the two, you’re not going to have an exact taste comparison. Cottage cheese has a much different taste than sour cream itself.

Not to mention that sour cream has curds in it so the texture is going to be much different too.

To get something that is closer to sour cream, you can blend 4 tablespoons of milk and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice with cottage cheese to get a sour cream substitute that will be good for any recipe.

It’s going to be the perfect topping for other recipes as well.

With this cottage cheese substitute, you’re going to have lower fat, higher protein substitute that is going to give you the exact taste you’re looking for.

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is much thicker than regular yogurt. This is going to give it a much more desired texture when you’re looking for a sour cream substitute. The taste of Greek yogurt is much different than that of regular yogurt as well.

You can probably say that Greek yogurt tastes more like sour cream than it does actual yogurt.

This is a lower calorie, lower fat, higher protein substitute that can fill in for sour cream in almost any recipes. It can even be used in recipes such as baked goods if you are looking for a sour cream alternative.


Buttermilk is the liquid that’s usually leftover after the butter making process.

In the process of making buttermilk, lactic acid bacteria, like in sour cream production, eat the milk sugars and causes a sour taste. This makes the buttermilk.

Buttermilk and sour cream have a lot of similarities, but buttermilk is solely a liquid. Sour cream is somewhat between a solid and a liquid.

Because of that, buttermilk can only be used as a sour cream substitute when you are looking to replace it in some baked goods.

If you try to use it as a topping for your potato, you’re going to have a potato cereal.

Creme Fraiche

The French translation for this is fresh cream.

It’s very similar to sour cream, but creme fraiche is slightly thicker and has more of a cheesy consistency.

This substitute, unlike the other substitutes, has a higher fat content. So, it could be a perfect substitute if you’re on a ketogenic diet.

The ketogenic diet is high fat, low carb diet. You eat fat to lose fat. It’s better explained on Keto Bootstrap, but this is an instance where creme fraiche would be a perfect sour cream substitute.

The taste of creme fraiche isn’t as sour as that of sour cream, but if you want to make a direct swap, you can do this. Other than a slight difference in taste, you aren’t going to notice much of a difference.


vegan sour cream substitute

Yes, you can use cashews to make a great, dairy free, sour cream substitute.

You obviously can’t use whole cashews as a sour cream substitute. Cashews are a good substitute for sour cream because they are high in fat which makes them a great dairy substitute. They are also high in protein which is an added bonus.

To get your desired sour cream substitute, all you have to do is blend soaked cashews with vinegar, lemon juice, and sea salt. It’s that easy.

You’re going to be surprised with how this turns out. It’s not going to be something that you were expecting. Make sure to blend the cashews well enough so you don’t have any chunks of cashews in your recipes.

Coconut Milk

It’s important to note that coconut water and coconut milk are two different things.

Coconut milk is lactose-free so anybody with a milk allergy can have this without any problems.

Using this as a sour cream substitute is perfect. You have to blend the cream from full-fat coconut milk with apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and sea salt. This is going to give you something that is the same type of consistency as sour cream with a slightly varied taste.

The fact that you are using apple cider vinegar is going to help aid in your weight loss if that is something you are trying to achieve.

If you want to use this coconut milk substitute in baked goods, that can be done as well.


non dairy sour cream substitute

Soy-based sour creams are made to satisfy the needs of vegans and those with milk allergies.

You’re going to have similar amounts of fat and calories as regular sour cream.

The taste is going to be fairly similar as well.

The drawback to soy-based sour creams is that they typically have added sugars which can be a concern from a health standpoint. However, if you have any type of dietary restrictions, this minor drawback could be worth it in the end.

Substitutes for Sour Cream

There are plenty of sour cream substitutes out there. It may take a little experimenting to find the one that you really want to stick with. However, these substitutes shouldn’t give you much concern in the end.

You should be able to freely eat these substitutes and enjoy any recipe as you would if you were using regular sour cream.

Although sour cream is a popular ingredient for a lot of people, some might need a tastier alternative. That’s what these substitutes are able to provide for everyone.

If you want substitutes for other foods that can help make any recipe better, check out these substitutes for heavy whipping cream and cumin.