The Best Simple Crème Fraîche Substitutes

Crème Fraîche substitutes

Looking for an alternative to Crème Fraîche? You’re in the right place! Keep reading for my favourite simple Crème Fraîche substitutes both dairy and dairy-free.

What is Crème Fraîche?

Crème Fraîche is a type of sour cream that originally comes from France. It’s a delicious dairy product made by fermenting cream with lactic acid bacteria cultures which give the cream a fresh tangy flavour and thicken the texture so it looks more like whipped cream.

The Best Crème Fraîche Substitutes – Dairy

1. Greek Yoghurt

If I don’t have sour cream in the fridge, a tangy creamy Greek Yoghurt is my go-to substitute. Greek yoghurts contain a lot less fat (approx 10%) compared to regular Crème Fraîche (approx 35% fat) so it will be lighter and slightly more acidic but generally this isn’t a problem. Just be careful if your recipe requires the sour cream to be cooked as yoghurt will curdle if brought to the boil, so best to add it at the last minute.

2. Double Cream

A thick dollop of double cream will be sweeter than Crème Fraîche which may or may not be a good thing.

3. Lemon Whipped Cream

Whipped cream won’t have the acidity of it’s sour cousin so adding a squeeze of lemon and/or some lemon zest will make up for the tangy flavour. My mum used to add vinegar to cream to make sour cream for pikelets which worked well but looked pretty gross.

4. Buttermilk

In baking buttermilk will work for cakes but will be too high in moisture if using it in pastry. For savoury cooking buttermilk is much less thick so won’t be ideal but then better than nothing.

The Best Dairy-Free Crème Fraîche Substitutes

1. Cashew ‘Sour Cream’

I love making this fresh creamy sauce using cashews and lime juice. It is delicious in it’s own right but it’s a handy dairy-free alternative to Crème Fraîche – especially in Mexican cooking.

2. Pine Nut ‘Sauce’

A similar idea to the cashew sauce above using pine nuts instead. Recipe here.

3. Avocado or Guacamole

In recipes where you are just dolloping on the Crème Fraîche as a sauce I often use mashed avocado or some guac. Don’t use avocado in recipes where the sour cream is cooked. OR in baked goods, unless you think you won’t notice the green colour and avocadoey flavour.

4. Hummus

Another option to replace Crème Fraîche when you’re just looking for a sauce to dollop on things. This Almond Hummus recipe will work in a similar way.

How to Store Crème Fraîche

Crème Fraîche can be stored for weeks in the refrigerator. I generally ignore the best before date and eat it even weeks after it is out of date. As long as there’s no mold growing on it. Don’t freeze as the fat crystals go all grainy when defrosted.

Crème Fraîche Goes with…

  • Chives & Crème Fraîche
  • Paprika & Crème Fraîche
  • Chilli & Crème Fraîche
  • Sweet Chilli Sauce & Crème Fraîche
  • Lime & Crème Fraîche
  • Dill & Crème Fraîche
  • Potatoes & Crème Fraîche
  • Herbs & Crème Fraîche

More Ingredient Substitutes

Also see see the Simple Ingredients Substitutes Index.

Have fun in the kitchen!

With love,
Jules x