The Ultimate Guide to Sour Cream

Sour cream is a dairy product that is made by fermenting regular cream with different kinds of lactic acid bacteria. Its name comes from the production of lactic acid by bacterial fermentation, which is called souring. Sour cream has long been an ingredient in Eastern and Central European cuisines. It was introduced to the west as people immigrated to other countries. In the United Kingdom, it is called soured cream.

Sour cream has become a staple in most kitchens, including in the United States. It is used in making quick dips, sauce thickener, in making creamy frosting, and in garnishing baked potatoes and soups. Most of the time, it is added at the end of cooking or when serving. But sour cream can also be used in tenderizing and softening baked goods.
If you want to know more about sour cream, you’re in the right place. Today, we are giving you the ultimate guide to sour cream.

How to Make Your Own Sour Cream

If you want to make your own sour cream at home to use a dip or ingredient to dishes, we’re here to help you. It is actually fairly easy to do. All you need are ¼ cup of milk, a cup of double cream, and ¾ teaspoon of vinegar or apple vinegar.

First, you need to mix the milk and the vinegar together in a jar and shake it. Let is stand for about ten minutes so that the milk and vinegar will culture. After that, add the double cream to the fermented mixture of milk and vinegar. Let the mixture sit overnight. You can keep it in the refrigerator and use it within two days.

Aside from that method, you can also try another one, which is also easy and has a lower fat content. What you need is a cup of low-fat cream, a cup of low-fat ricotta cheese, a cup of low-fat yogurt, and ½ cup of lemon juice. You just need to mix all of these ingredients well and refrigerate.

Different Uses of Sour Cream

When you buy sour cream from supermarkets, they are ready to use right out of the container. If there’s any separation, what you need to do is pour the liquid or stir it back to the sour cream.


Sour cream can be eaten or used as an ingredient without cooking. This is why it is popularly used as a garnish, condiment, raw dip, spread, sauce, and an ingredient for frosting. Sour cream can also stand up well in baked goods. When you add a tablespoon or two of sour cream to a standard pancake, cake, biscuit, or muffin recipe, it can help boost their textures and flavors.

However, sour cream is sensitive to heat, and it will curdle. This is why it is usually added toward the end of the cooking time. If you wish to use sour cream in cooking, you should bring it to room temperature first before adding it to any hot foods, most especially warm liquids. You can also add a tablespoon of flour for every half cup of sour cream to thicken it and prevent curdling.

When using sour cream as a condiment, do not use its storage container when serving it. Spoon out your needed amount into a separate dish and put the remainder back in the fridge. This can help in extending the shelf life of your sour cream.

Storing Sour Cream

Sour cream should be kept refrigerated, whether it is open or not. You also need to consume it within three weeks of the sell-by date on the container. You also need to look for signs of spoilage, such as a moldy, rancid smell, growth of mold on the surface, and if the cream is yellow or discolored. If you see one of these signs, discard the entire container of sour cream.


You can also freeze sour cream for up to six months. However, when you do this, the texture will change because it separates as it freezes. Frozen sour cream is best reserved for cooking rather than raw preparations. If you are using frozen sour cream, thaw it first in the refrigerator for a day or two. After that, you can directly add it to dishes like soups.

Best Sour Creams You Can Buy Today

Where to Buy
365 Everyday Value, Organic Sour Cream, 16 oz
Daisy, Regular Sour Cream, 8 oz
Kraft Breakstones All Natural Sour Cream, 8 Ounce -- 12 per case
Lala Mexican Style Sour Cream, 24 Fluid Ounce -- 6 per case
Green Valley Creamery Lactose Free Sour Cream, 12 oz
Kite Hill, Sour Cream Dairy Free, 12 Ounce
Clover Sonoma Organic Sour Cream, 16 oz
Amazon Brand - Happy Belly Sour Cream, Kosher, 16 Ounce
Organic Valley, Organic Sour Cream, 16 oz
Horizon Organic Cultured Sour Cream, 16 oz.

If you do not have time to make your own sour cream at home, no worries because there are lots of ready-made ones you can buy in grocery stores and supermarkets. To help you out, here are some of the best ones we can recommend:

1. 365 Everyday Value Organic Sour Cream

This sour cream is brought to you by Whole Foods Market. It is USDA organic and is perfect for vegetarians. It is made from cultured pasteurized grade A organic milk, pasteurized organic cream, and microbial enzymes.

2. Daisy Regular Sour Cream

This is a pure and natural sour cream that does not contain any artificial additives or preservatives. It is made of grade-A ingredients, and it is certified Kosher, perfect for those who are into a healthy lifestyle.

3. Organic Valley Organic Sour Cream

This is an organic sour cream. It does not contain GMOs, antibiotics, synthetic hormones, and toxic pesticides. It also does not have artificial flavors and preservatives. It is great for digestive health as it contains probiotics. It is also gluten-free, which is perfect for those who are into a healthy diet. The organic milk and live cultures in this sour cream give it an extra-tangy zip.

4. Horizon Organic Cultured Sour Cream

This organic cultured sour cream is made from the best quality ingredients. It is gluten-free and non-GMO. It is graded A pasteurized, and it contains live and active acidophilus and Bifidobacterium cultures. It is a perfect match for baked potatoes and a delicious dip for chips and crackers.

5. Kraft Breakstones All-Natural Sour Cream

This all-natural sour cream has a classic creamy taste. Its texture sets it apart from other brands. It is perfect when it comes to toppings. It is made from pasteurized milk and cream, and as well as biological enzymes. Each serving of this sour cream contains 60 calories. However, you need to limit your use of this sour cream each day, as it contains 20mg cholesterol and 6g fat in a 30g tablespoon serving.

6. Lala Mexican Style Sour Cream

If you like a smoother, thicker, and creamier sour cream, then this one is perfect for you. It is a Mexican style sour cream that combines a delicious taste with a smooth texture. It is easy to add to any recipe that you want to improve. It comes in an easy-to-scoop cup, making it convenient to use when adding to a special soup or topping on a delicious meal.

7. Happy Belly Sour Cream

This sour cream is made from grade A pasteurized milk, and it is certified Kosher. The milk used in making this sour cream is not from cows treated with rbST. It is a great topping for tacos, baked potatoes, chili, or used in recipes for baking.

8. Green Valley Creamery Lactose-Free Sour Cream

This sour cream is organic and lactose-free. It is made using the best ingredients, and it is being manufactured in the United States. It is made from real, organic cream. It is added with an enzyme called lactase that breaks down the lactose or milk sugar into two easily digestible sugars, making it lactose-free. It means that it is perfect for those who are lactose intolerant.

9. Kite Hill Dairy-Free Sour Cream

This sour cream is made from dairy-free ingredients, including almond milk, coconut oil, rice starch, coconut milk, maltodextrin, chickpea, protein, salt, and cultures. It is also brought to you by Whole Foods Market, making it great for those who are in a healthy diet.

10. Clover Sonoma Organic Sour Cream

This organic sour cream is made from cultured organic milk and cream for full flavor. Each serving of this sour cream, which is about two teaspoons, has 6 grams of total fat. It has a fresh and tangy flavor, making it perfect to add to potatoes, soups, and stews.
These are some of the best sour creams that we can recommend. We hope this guide will help you in finding the best sour cream that you can use as a dip or as an addition to recipes for more flavorful dishes.