13 Substitutes for Sour Cream in Baking

Substitutes For Sour Cream In Baking
Photo by HelenJank

Baking with sour cream adds a lovely, rich flavor to goodies like cakes and muffins.

But if you’re looking for a dairy-free alternative, some great substitutes for sour cream in baking still add moisture and texture to your treats. 

Non-dairy milk, such as almond milk or even plain water or light olive oil, can give the same results as sour cream for cakes and other baked goods.

Other substitutes for sour cream in baking options include plain yogurt, reduced-fat mayonnaise, firm silken tofu, and unsweetened applesauce; these are good choices that substitute nicely for sour cream in baking.

1. Buttermilk

Buttermilk is first on our list of substitutes for sour cream in baking.  Baking with buttermilk is often considered an easier alternative to using sour cream.

While many recipes call for either one or the other, whole buttermilk offers a delicious and distinct flavor to baked goods while providing some of the same structural benefits provided by sour cream. 

In addition, buttermilk is often lower in calories than sour cream. It tends to have a slightly tangier flavor than regular milk, which adds depth and complexity to cakes, pancakes, muffins, and other baked goods.

Finally, it can be exchanged for sour cream one-for-one in baking recipes with slight adjustments in baking time or temperature as needed.

2. Plain Yoghurt

Plain yogurt is also on our list of substitutes for sour cream in baking. It makes a great substitute for sour cream in baking.

Not only does it provide the same creamy texture, but it also has almost all of the same health benefits as regular yogurt. 

In addition, plain yogurt is lower in fat and calories than traditional sour cream, which can help to reduce calories in delicious recipes without compromising flavor.

Plain yogurt is also easier to incorporate into many recipes that call for sour cream because its neutral taste won’t overpower other flavors or ingredients like traditional sour cream can.

Baked goods made with plain yogurt will often rise more and have a better texture than sour cream, making ideal substitutes for sour cream in baking to create a healthier dessert.

3. Creme Fraiche

Crème Fraîche is one of the richest, most luxurious substitutes for sour cream in baking on the market. It is becoming increasingly popular as a substitute for sour cream in baking.

Crème Fraîche, with its velvety texture and flavor, works especially well in recipes that would benefit from the added richness and subtle sweetness that crème fraîche can provide. 

It can also be used instead of sour cream to top baked potatoes or other savory dishes.

Crème fraîche is sold commonly at many supermarkets in the dairy section and can serve as an elegant alternative to using sour cream in baking or cooking.

4. Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta cheese is an excellent substitute for sour cream in baking. It contains a lighter flavor than sour cream and is a more versatile option for baked goods.

The ricotta’s protein and fat content mimics sour cream’s, making it a viable replacement. 

When preparing recipes that call for sour cream as an ingredient, substituting ricotta will reduce the fat content by about half.

Ricotta also has fewer calories than sour cream, making it a healthier alternative.

Additionally, the added protein from ricotta gives cakes and other baked goods an impressively light and fluffy texture!

5. Cashew Cream

Baking with cashew cream can be a great dairy substitute for sour cream in baking for those who wish to avoid things like sour cream.

And if you want to make a vegan-friendly dessert, use it as an option instead of dairy products like sour cream. 

Cashew butter or cashew paste is flavorful, creamy and can bring your baking recipes to life thanks to its rich texture.

Cashew cream is made from cashews and water (or any other liquid you’d like).

This makes it a simple and healthy option for baking recipes that call for sour cream, giving them a smooth finish with an earthy sweetness.

6. Coconut Cream

Coconut creams make amazing substitutes for sour cream in baking. Unlike other vegan substitutes for sour cream in baking, coconut cream has a thick and creamy texture similar to dairy-based sour creams. 

It’s packed with healthy fats and can easily be whipped into an airy, fluffy fluff that works perfectly in recipes such as cake batters or frostings.

It can also be used as a lightening agent in baked goods like coffee cakes or muffins to make them light and moist!

7. Mayonnaise

Although a bit tangier in flavor than sour cream, mayonnaise can be used as one of the substitutes for sour cream in baking!

The fat content of mayo is slightly higher, making it an ideal replacement for the creamy texture you get from sour cream. 

You’ll find that mayo helps make your cakes and cookies extra moist and delicious.

Remember to replace the sour cream with equal amounts of mayo; your baked treats will come out perfectly!

8. Mexican Crema

Mexican Crema is next on our list of substitutes for sour cream in baking. It is an excellent substitute for sour cream when baking and cooking. 

With a superior flavor, Mexican Crema can easily be incorporated into various dishes.

Beyond that, the broth has the picky nature many chefs love and honor, as it adjusts well to temperature changes without splitting or curdling like sour cream would in most cases. 

While milder than Sour Cream, Mexican crema still offers acidity, richness, and a creamy texture.

This makes it among the great substitutes for sour cream in baking for traditional sour cream recipes.

9. Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is a great substitute for sour cream when baking. Its milder flavor makes it especially suitable for cakes and desserts, such as cakes and muffins.

Plus, since it’s already soft and creamy, you don’t need to pre-soften or whip it before adding it to the batter. 

You can substitute an equal amount of cream cheese for any recipe that calls for sour cream – add it at the same time as regular cream cheese.

Plus, using cream cheese helps keep your baked goods extra moist – due to its high-fat content!

10. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt as a stand-in for sour cream in baking has benefits beyond being a healthier alternative.

It adds an extra protein boost to the dish due to its higher protein concentration than regular yogurt. 

Additionally, the substitutes for sour cream in baking promote a fluffier texture thanks to its creamy nature and are great for adding moisture which helps bakery items stay fresh longer.

Greek yogurt is also incredibly versatile and can be used in almost any recipe calling for sour cream as an ingredient, making it an ideal substitution.

11. Kefir

Kefir is also one of the excellent substitutes for sour cream in baking. It has a thick, creamy consistency and adds a subtle tart flavor to your dishes.

Kefir can add moisture and richness to traditional baked goods, like cakes and brownies, and make vegan alternatives taste even better. 

Kefir is also rich in probiotic bacteria that help with digestion and immunity, so you get the same great flavors while gaining health benefits that can help improve gut health.

Therefore, making kefir an excellent substitute for sour cream in baking.

12. Heavy Whipping Cream

Heavy whipping cream is a great substitute for sour cream in baking because it behaves like sour cream but has a few important differences.

First, heavy whipping cream will not impart acidity to the recipe, so you won’t have to worry about an overly acidic outcome. 

Second, it also has a higher butterfat content than sour cream, which means you can use less of it in recipes that require whipped toppings.

And finally, using heavy whipping cream instead of sour cream will create a lighter texture in your baked goods since whipped heavy cream doesn’t contain all the moisture that those spongy lumps give off when heated.

13. Whole Milk, Evaporated Milk, or Milk Powder

Lastly, sour cream can add flavor and moisture when baking. However, if it isn’t available or you’re looking for an alternative, here are a few substitutes for sour cream in baking that work well.

The most common replacements are whole, evaporated, and powdered milk

These substitutes for sour cream in baking liquid are thicker than regular milk and will do a very good job of replacing the texture of sour cream in baked goods.

Understanding that different baking recipes may call for different proportions is important. Whichever substitute you choose, add extra fat in some other form if necessary.


Regarding substitutes for sour cream in baking, various options are available. Greek yogurt is often an effective replacement as it has a similar consistency and flavor when baked.

Non-dairy yogurts such as coconut or soy can also be used, although the results may vary depending on the desired outcome. 

While some people may opt for cream cheese, this can produce a heavier texture that may not work in certain recipes.

Ultimately, it is important to choose substitutes for sour cream in baking based on specific recipe goals and dietary restrictions.

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