substitute for sour cream in baking

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Check out these amazing ways to substitute for sour cream in baking.

substitute for sour cream in baking

While baking, you may realize midway that the recipe calls for sour cream and you do not have any. If you do not want to trek out to the store for sour cream, you can always substitute it with something else that you may already have at home.

So, what can you substitute for sour cream in baking?

The best sour cream substitutes for baking include both dairy and non-dairy options. They are:

  • Yogurt
  • Mayonnaise
  • Buttermilk
  • Creme Fraiche
  • Cream Cheese
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Coconut Milk
  • Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream

Best Substitutes For Sour Cream In Baking

Whether you just do not have sour cream at home or are baking for someone with a dairy allergy, there are all kinds of substitutes that will work great in your recipes.

However, it is important to note that some substitutes will require some mixing with other ingredients to achieve the most similar flavor and texture to sour cream as possible.


greek yogurt

The best substitute for sour cream in baking is yogurt. Full-fat Greek yogurt or natural yogurt is ideal, but you can use low-fat yogurt or nonfat yogurt if you want. As long as the yogurt is plain and not flavored, it will work as a substitute. Use a one-to-one substitution. Also, check out how to replace sour cream with greek yogurt in banana bread in this previous post.

Homemade sour cream

Homemade sour cream

You can make your own homemade sour cream with a mixture of heavy cream, milk and lemon juice.

To make your own sour cream at home, you will mix cup heavy cream, ¼ of a cup of milk and tablespoon lemon juice together until well combined.  Then, use at a 1:1 substitute. 



Mayonnaise may seem like an unlikely candidate as a baking ingredient, but it actually works quite well as a sour cream substitute for baking. It has less tanginess than sour cream, but still has a good amount of moisture.

It also has a similar texture to sour cream, so there will not be much of a texture difference in the final product. Use a one-to-one substitution.

Additionally, you can use a combination of mayonnaise and yogurt if you do want some more tanginess in your recipe.



Buttermilk makes a good baking substitute for sour cream, but it is noticeably thinner than sour cream. This will cause the batter to appear thinner, but it will still bake just fine. Just be sure to only use ¾ cup of buttermilk for every cup of sour cream that you need for the recipe.

Creme Fraiche

Creme Fraiche

Creme fraiche, which literally translates to fresh cream, is a great substitute due to its texture being a mixture between cream cheese and sour cream. We’ve shared how to use cream fraiche instead of sour cream for cheesecakes in a previous post.

You can even use it as a topping for your baked goods if you want to.

However, creme fraiche has a milder flavor than sour cream, so the recipe may not have as much tanginess. Use a one-to-one substitution.

Cream Cheese

creamy Cream Cheese

Cream cheese makes a good sour cream replacement in baking because it has a similar amount of moisture and creaminess as sour cream. However, it is thicker than sour cream and will need to be thinned out.

Use 6 ounces of cream cheese thinned out with a tablespoon of milk, buttermilk, or water for each cup of sour cream needed. You can use 2 tablespoons if you need to thin it out more.

Cottage Cheese

Cottage Cheese fo baked goods

Cottage cheese is a healthier alternative to sour cream in baking. Be sure to get a small curd cottage cheese.

For every cup of sour cream that you need, use 1 cup of cottage cheese mixed with ¼ cup of milk and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. This will give the cottage cheese a similar taste and texture to sour cream.

Vegan substitutes for sour cream in baking

Coconut Milk

Coconut Milk for baking

Coconut milk is a vegan and dairy free alternative to sour cream, which makes it great for when you need a dairy free version of any baked good.

However, it will carry a slight coconut flavor over to the final product, so be sure to consider that when using it, as that flavor will pair better with certain recipes than others.

To use coconut milk, be sure  to skim the coconut cream layer off of the top first. Mix the coconut milk with apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to  give it some tanginess.

Use full fat coconut milk to help achieve a similar thickness to sour cream as it makes a great substitution for sour cream in baking.

Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream

Another great vegan sour cream substitute for baking is Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream. It taste very similar to real sour cream and can be used in any baked good that calls for sour cream at a 1:1 substitution ratio. You can grab an Tofutti better than sour cream at a reasonable price here.

Homemade vegan sour cream

If you do not want to purchase store-bought vegan sour cream, you can easily make your own non dairy sour cream with a mixture of dairy free yogurt like SO Delicious Dairy Free Plain Yogurt, some plant based milk and lime juice.

Also, feel free to check out some more vegan sour cream substitute ideas here.

Final thoughts

As you can see, there are plenty of good substitutes for sour cream in baking. Each replacement offers a slightly unique and different twist from actual sour cream, but each works well.  

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