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A hand holding a spoon of homemade sour cream over a full jar.
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5 from 3 votes

How to Make Sour Cream

I discovered the trick to making a THICK and tangy yet not too zingy sour cream, just like my family was used to from the store!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Inactive Time1 d
Total Time1 d 25 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 quart
Calories: 51kcal


  • 1 quart heavy cream skimmed from raw milk or pasteurized cream from store
  • 2 teaspoons gelatin
  • 1/4 teaspoon mesophyllic culture I've had good success with aby2c yogurt culture too!


  • Stir cream and gelatin together and let sit a few minutes.
  • Warm to 90-95F, then sprinkle mesophyllic culture over the cream and let sit a few minutes to rehydrate.
  • Whisk it in, pour into a jar (i like to rinse jar i used to scoop cream into with hot water to warm it up). Put a lid on and wrap with a tea towel. Tuck somewhere warm (i like beside stove) and let sit 24-36 hrs.
  • To know if its done, gently tip it on its side, does it look like its thickening up? If so, move to fridge. If not, leave another 6-12 hrs and check again.
  • When its chilled, it will have thickened up more and be PERFECT for all your sour cream needs!


Make this to your desired thickness - incubation time is anywhere from 24-36 hours depending on your preference.


Serving: 1tablespoon | Calories: 51kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 14mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 217IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg