making sour cream

When the Damsel said she had a post that needed to ripen, maybe you thought she was being metaphorical.

Nope. For real. She was making sour cream, and she is totally excited about how easy it is.

IMG_3108This is all you need. Heavy cream and cultured buttermilk.

The Damsel looked for brands that didn’t have a bunch of additives, because sometimes those can fool with the results of projects like this. Plus natural is nice. This cream had nothing but “heavy cream” on the label. The buttermilk choices at the Damsel’s neighborhood shop were few, so she closed her eyes and hoped for the best.

The Damsel has learned there is a difference between “cultured” buttermilk and the liquid that is remaining when you make butter. That will be another Old School lesson, but for now, buy some that has the word “cultured” on the label.

IMG_3109Pour a cup of cream into a container. It can be anything, even a bowl. The Damsel used a pint jar. A pint equals two cups, so she filled the jar half full.

IMG_3110Measure two tablespoons of buttermilk into the container. When the Damsel was researching this, she found recipes that called for anything between 1 and 4 tablespoons, so she walked the line.

IMG_3112Mix well. Or shake to mix, if you’ve used a jar. Then all you do is set it somewhere warm-ish. The Damsel just put it on the kitchen counter. Just leave it. Walk away. And believe in the sour cream that is to come. It will take about 24-36 hours.

The Damsel hates waiting. But she was pleasantly surprised that this, unlike some other things she’s experimented with for the Old School, worked perfectly.


Smooth, creamy, tangy sour cream. A little softer in consistency than store-bought, but not much. One source said the longer you let it sit, the thicker it will get. The Damsel assumes it will also get sourer. She put hers in the fridge after 30 or so hours because she liked the taste at that point.

This isn’t cheaper than buying sour cream. It cost perhaps $1.50 to make. But isn’t it nice to know that if there’s a disaster and you can’t go to the market, you can still have sour cream? All you need is a cow. No problem!

17 thoughts on “making sour cream

  1. I am so on this one…I bet it is better than that IMO yuck stuff…does it taste the way sour cream should like on a potato?

  2. Sweet! Or, should I say, “Sour!” I, for one, am not in the least a fan of sour cream. The Husband, on the other hand, puts so much of it on things that he might as well be eating it out of the container. :^)

    • Haha! I’m totally that way. one day Sparky saw me licking a spoon with white stuff on it and he wasn’t sure if it was plain yogurt or sour cream!

  3. Ooh, I’ve never made sour cream. I have, however, made my own yogurt before. The principle is basically the same, though (except I used a bit of store-bought yogurt as a culture “starter” rather than using cultured buttermilk). I’m definitely going to give this a try.

      • My sprog would put sour cream on everything so I should do this. Homemade yogurt and kefir are more of her favorites. She is big into the sour stuff. Do you have a copy of Nourishing Traditions? I’ll bring you mine if you’d like.

  4. It always makes me sad that cream is so expensive. It’s even cheaper to buy ice cream than make our own…unless we make sherbet. Which is good, too, I suppose.

  5. Your recipe for sour cream is exactly the same as one I found for creme fraiche. Only difference is 12-24 hrs. for creme fraiche and 24-30 for sour cream.

    If I take the creme fraiche out of the fridge and let it come to room temp., can I let it sit for another 10 hrs. or so, and will it then become sour cream??

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