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How to Make Sour Cream

This is a simple version of "American" sour cream that only requires 2 ingredients and will never "separate" once refrigerated.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Culturing Time2 d
Total Time2 d 5 mins
Course: Condiments, Pantry Staples
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cultured Sour Cream, Homemade Sour Cream, Sour Cream
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Mary's Nest


  • 8 ounces Whipping Cream NOT "heavy" whipping cream. You want whipping cream that has only 4.5 grams of fat.
  • 2 tablespoons Cultured buttermilk See "Recipe Notes" below.


  • Pour whipping cream into a clean jar.
  • Add buttermilk to cream.
  • Stir the cream and the buttermilk with a clean utensil.
  • Put a lid on the jar and leave the lid loose. Do not tighten the lid. If the jar you are using does not have a lid, another option is to cover the lid of the jar with a clean dish towel or new cheesecloth.
  • Place the jar in a warm spot in your kitchen between 68-78°F, out of direct sunlight, and allow the cream to culture for 12-24 hours until the desired tangy taste and thickness is achieved.
  • If you are using milk kefir to culture your cream, follow the same instructions above.
  • If you are using yogurt to culture your cream, you will need to place your jar in a warmer place that can maintain a temperature of approximately 110°F. This place may be in an oven that is turned off but has the electric light or pilot light turned on.
  • Refrigerate the sour cream in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. It should stay fresh for approximately 2 weeks.



Buttermilk:  You can use cultured whole milk buttermilk that is available from most grocery stores, or you can use real cultured buttermilk that is a by-product of making cultured butter. 
For How to Make Cultured Butter, visit: https://youtu.be/e5ebze7Gof4
Buttermilk Substitutions:  If you do not have access to either buttermilk variety described above, you may use 2 tablespoons of plain milk kefir (homemade or store-bought), or 2 tablespoons of plain whole milk yogurt (homemade or store-bought).  
For How to Make Milk Kefir, visit:  https://youtu.be/meSkLYz9cBw
For How to Make Yogurt Without a Yogurt Maker, visit:  https://youtu.be/dDPSM_zxA_E
Find this recipe and video at https://marysnest.com/learn-how-to-make-sour-cream/
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