8 Sour Cream Substitutes For Baking

8 Sour Cream Substitutes For Baking

Perhaps you are on a strict diet, or perhaps you have run out of sour cream, and it is a deal-breaker for your recipe, or maybe you simply want something new in your baking recipe. For you, we have provided 8 healthy sour cream substitutes.

All of them can be purchased from grocery stores and most of them can be homemade. If you have the luxury of time, you can attempt making some of these sour cream substitutes at home. The ingredients for the homemade substitutes are within reach and are common ingredients for everyday culinary activities.

The baking sour cream substitutes you should try are Yogurt, cream cheese, coconut milk, coconut milk, heavy cream, whipped cream, cashew cream, buttermilk, milk powder, and cottage cheese. All of these ingredients when added to your baking mix in an adequate measure alongside an acidic agent if necessary would produce the sour flavor sour cream can provide.

Asides from providing these sour cream substitutes, we have also included the nutritional benefits and tips when using sour cream.

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Sour Cream Explained

Nutritional elementGrams Daily value
Fat20 g30%
Saturated fat12 g60%
Cholesterol52 mg17%
Sodium 80 mg3%
Potassium141 mg4%
Total carbohydrate2.9 g0%
Dietary fiber0 g0%
Sugar2.9 g
Protein 2.1 g
Vitamin C1%
Vitamin D3%
Vitamin B65%
Iron1%
magnesium2%
Calcium11%
Cobalamin 5%
Source: USDA.

These are the nutritional elements contained in every 100 grams of sour cream you consume.

These are some of the nutritional benefits you stand to gain from using sour cream. Some tips have been included as well.

  1. Since sour cream is high in calcium, it helps protect your bones and teeth
  2. Sour cream contains vitamins, specifically vitamin B12
  3. Sour cream contains active agents that improve immunity and digestion
  4. Limit your intake if you are on a diet. This is one of the reasons we have provided healthy substitutes for you
  5. Avoid using sour cream if you are lactose intolerant or allergic to milk. Use other substitutes to prevent unfortunate health conditions.

8 Baking Sour Cream Substitutes

We have provided 8 healthy sour cream substitutes for you. Even if you are vegan, we’ve got you covered.

1. Yogurt

You just ran out of sour cream, and you have a bowl of yogurt in your freezer? You have the perfect substitute for sour cream. Yogurt is a healthy replacement for sour cream due to the nutritional elements it contains.

As a dairy product, it is high in protein and calcium and is a healthy option, especially when baking for kids who require some of these nutritional elements. Different kinds of yogurt can serve as substitutes for the sour cream in your recipe.

Yogurt
Source: Cuisine Gizmo

Greek yogurt, kefir, skyr, soy yogurt, and non-dairy yogurt are the varieties of yogurt available. Although they have the same nutritional elements, they differ in the level of consistency and might not produce the exact result when used in your baking recipe. Some are thicker than others and have higher levels of nutritional elements than others.

When yogurt is added to a baking mix, it produces a fluffy texture, although this is dependent on the quantity added to the mix. The varieties of yogurt mentioned can be homemade or purchased from your grocery store.

For homemade yogurt, all you need is your preferred choice of milk (raw, whole, or skimmed), and a good starter (this is what thickens the milk; powdered culture or yogurt with live active cultures).

Ensure you do not add any sweetening agents to the yogurt in other for it to produce the sour effect your baking mix requires. If you have never dried making your yogurt, now is a good time to try

2. Mayonnaise

While mayonnaise would not give you the exact sour cream taste, it can still serve as a good replacement.\

Although it can be used as a singular agent, mayonnaise when mixed with yogurt and milk can produce sour cream as well. Due to its creamy and smooth texture, mayonnaise would produce the exact baking texture you would have gotten with sour cream.

You would need to add more than the regular quantity of sour cream when using mayonnaise to bring out the sour cream effect in your baking mix. If you would rather use home sour cream instead of using mayonnaise as a singular agent, you just need to measure and pour equal amounts of mayonnaise, unsweetened yogurt, and heavy cream into your blender.

Easy-Homemade-Mayonnaise
Source: Cook’s Country

Blend the mix until you get a creamy consistency. A whisker can come in handy in place of a blender. Mayonnaise can be purchased from stores and can also be homemade. Eggs, lemon juice, and cooking oil are the ingredients you need for your homemade mayonnaise.

3. Cream Cheese

The right quantity of cream cheese in your baking mix is all you need as a sour cream substitute. Most bakers and culinary enthusiasts prefer using cream cheese rather than other sour cream substitutes. This is due to the thick texture it brings to any baking mix. The cream cheese is thicker than the regular sour cream.

For every 6 ounces of cream cheese added to your baking mix, add at least one tablespoon of milk or water but preferably milk for taste. If the baking mix remains thick due to the cream cheese, keep adding milk till you get the desired texture. This helps reduce the thickness and produces a light and fluffy baked good. Your cream cheese is best preserved when stored in a fridge.

After opening up your cream cheese, you are advised to use it up within 10 days. Like other sour cream substitutes, the cream cheese can also be homemade but to save time, you can order from your grocery store. 

4. Coconut Milk

Most vegans use coconut milk as a substitute for sour cream. Plain coconut milk is a perfect substitute for sour cream in your baking mix, especially when added with lemon juice. Asides from using coconut milk and lemon juice, you can make your coconut sour cream in no time and with basic ingredients available at home.

If you do not fancy a vegan recipe then the coconut sour cream is not for you, but there is no harm in trying it out. It might be the your-go substitute, you never can tell.

Bear in mind that coconut milk would not produce the texture sour cream would have given your baked goods. Despite this, the coconut is still one of the most popular sour cream substitutes. They are very easy to make, affordable, and common in grocery stores.

Ensure you do not add any sweetening agent to your coconut milk especially if it is homemade. Doing this would alter the desired sour taste it is expected to produce when mixed with the lemon juice. 

5. Heavy Or Whipped Cream

Although whipping cream is used as a layering agent or toppings for baked goods, it can serve as a moistening and flavorful agent in your baking mix. Its thick texture almost matches that of sour cream.

When whipping cream is whisked with lemon juice, it produces a texture and taste similar to sour cream. It is important to mix an adequate amount of whipping cream and lemon juice to produce a perfect consistency and in other not to go overboard with the sour taste.

Most bakers and chefs refer to this mix as the perfect homemade sour cream substitute. You can also make your whipped cream with basic ingredients, but it is better to purchase ready-made whipped creams from stores especially when you do not have the luxury of time for a homemade recipe.

Basic homemade sour cream
Source: Theyummylife

Asides from using whipped cream, you can also use heavy cream with lemon juice. The difference between heavy and whipped cream is heavy cream is made of liquid content. In addition, heavy cream is more nutritious than whipped cream.

6. Cashew Cream

Cashew cream is another sour cream substitute for vegans. The cashew fruit has a natural sour taste which makes it’s cream a good replacement for sour cream in baking recipes. The cashew cream is a healthier replacement for sour cream since it is plant-based.

Although they are available at stores, they may be more expensive than other sour cream substitutes mentioned for you.

If you have cashews at home, and you have the luxury of time, you can make your cashew cream. For the homemade cashew cream, you would need these: fresh cashews, water, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. You can soak the cashews for about 4 hours before blending all ingredients into a smooth texture.

With your cashew cream, be guaranteed a sour cream texture and even moisture level in your baking mix.

To get the desired level of sourness, you are advised not to use roasted cashew as they do not contain the desired level of sourness for a baking mix. However, bear in mind that this is still subject to what you prefer. If you desire a nutty flavor, you can make use of roasted cashew

7. Buttermilk 

Although buttermilk is a good sour cream substitute, not that it would not give you the exact texture and fluffiness sour cream would give your baked goods. When using buttermilk as a sour cream substitute, you would need to add butter to the baking mix to produce a smooth and fluffy texture.

You need to beat your buttermilk with butter before adding it to the making mix.

This is one tricky substitute especially when you pour the wrong quantity of buttermilk or butter into the baking mix. Buttermilk is one of the simplest sour cream substitutes to make because all you need is any desired milk of your choice and lemon juice or vinegar.

When mixed, they produce the sour flavor your baking good requires. Be cautious of the amount of lemon juice or vinegar combined with the milk, so you do not go overboard and ruin your baking mix. 

8 Sour Cream Substitutes For Baking

8. Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is one of the healthiest sour cream substitutes. Cottage cheese is a fresh cheese, so the nutritional elements are still intact unlike processed cheese sold in grocery stores. Although it does not have a strong flavor like some other sour cream replacements, cottage cheese, being creamy, would produce the fluffy texture your baking goods require.

Cottage cheese can even be made into whipped cream. All you need to do before using your cottage cheese is to blend it alongside milk and at least a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar.

Due to its high nutritional content, people on strict diets are advised to use cottage cheese instead of sour cream. Cottage cheese contains low fat and calories and is very high in protein compared to some other sour cream substitutes. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I substitute milk for sour cream? 

Yes, you can substitute milk for sour cream. Although you can substitute milk for sour cream, you would need to add lemon juice to the milk to produce the sour taste effect. Milk mixed with lemon juice is a good substitute for sour cream in your baking mix.

Can I substitute milk and vinegar for sour cream?

Yes, you can substitute milk and vinegar for sour cream. Vinegar when added to milk produces a sour effect similar to sour cream due to its acidic content. Most chefs and bakers when using milk as a replacement, use vinegar instead of lemon juice. Both options are good, although they are added to the milk in appropriate quantities. 

Can I skip sour cream in muffins?

Yes, you can skip sour cream in muffins. The issue with omitting sour cream from your muffin recipe is your muffin may not have the expected moisture and richness if you had used sour cream. The moisture and texture level of your muffin is subject to your choice, so you may consider sour cream as optional in your muffin recipe. 

Can I use cream cheese instead of sour cream?

Yes, you can use cream cheese instead of sour cream. Cream cheese is thicker than sour cream, so you would need to add liquid to the mix. Although you can use milk or water, you are advised to use milk to preserve the taste and flavor of the baking mix.

Final Note

Sour cream is one ingredient that can be easily substituted in recipes without losing the desired result so far the substitute is added to the baking mix in the right quantity alongside an acidic agent such as lemon/lime juice or vinegar.

Either option works fine.  

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