Condiment Essentials: Homemade Sour Cream

Andy Anderson !


Sour cream purchased at the grocer, usually is not sour cream at all. Oft times, it is just milk that's been artificially thickened and flavored to taste like sour cream.

On top of that, store-bought sour cream usually contains additional ingredients like thickeners, and other nasty chemicals.

Suggestion: Make your own. Your body will say, thank you, and your taste buds will do a happy dance.

So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.


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24 Hr
No-Cook or Other



  • 1 c
    heavy or whipping cream, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp
    milk powder
  • 1/4 c
    buttermilk, room temperature

  • 1 - 2 pinch
    salt, kosher variety

How to Make Condiment Essentials: Homemade Sour Cream


  2. Why Room Temperature Ingredients?
    Since we are using milk powder, it will help dissolve the power into the liquid.
  3. The milk powder serves to give the sour cream a deeper, richer flavor, and to assist in the thickening process.
    An ideal container for this recipe would be a mason jar, or other glass jar with a lid.
  4. Leaving a dairy product on the countertop for 24 hours, may seem a bit dodgy; however, remember this is “sour” cream. The lactic acid bacteria in the buttermilk will ferment the cream, causing it to sour and thicken.
  5. If, after 24-hours, the sour cream is not thick, you can leave it on the countertop for another 24 hours. However, after that time, if it still has not thickened, then something went wrong, In most cases it will be due to a problem with the buttermilk, and the generation of lactic acid. It is a rare occurrence; however, it does happen occasionally.
  6. You can add additional ingredients to you sour cream, to customize its flavor. For example, a bit of lime, or lemon juice, paprika, cayenne pepper, etc. Have fun and experiment. One thing to remember, add any addition items at the end of the thickening process.
  7. Cost of Homemade:
    An eight ounce container of store-bought sour cream costs: $1.69.
    Eight ounces of heavy cream costs: $0.99 cents
    4 ounces of buttermilk costs: $0.20 cents.
    Total cost of homemade: $1.19

    So, not only is homemade cheaper, it taste better, and contains no unwanted chemicals.

    Sounds like a winner to me :-)
  8. Gather your ingredients (mise en place).
  9. Add the milk to a jar, or container, and whisk in the milk powder. Then, let stand for 5 minutes. This gives the powder a chance to be fully absorbed into the milk.
  10. Whisk in the buttermilk, until fully incorporated.
  11. Cover, and let sit on your counter for 24 hours, until thickened.
  12. When it is ready, whisk in the salt (if using), and place into your fridge.
  13. Chef’s Tip: The salt adds a nice mellow flavor to the sour cream; however, do not add it until the end. If you add the salt at the beginning of the process, it will react with lactic acid, and make the sour cream runny.
  15. Use in any recipe that requires good, tasty sour cream.
  16. Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

Printable Recipe Card

About Condiment Essentials: Homemade Sour Cream

Course/Dish: Other Sauces
Main Ingredient: Dairy
Regional Style: American

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