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Crème Fraîche substitute – The best and utterly delectable replacements for Crème Fraîche

Crème Fraîche substitute – The best and utterly delectable replacements for Crème Fraîche

If you’re looking for a crème fraîche substitute, then you’ve come to the right place! 

Crème fraîche is a popular type of sour cream in France. It’s exceptionally rich and creamy with a delicately tangy flavor. I love to add it to sauces, hot pasta, on top of crackers along with caviar, and desserts. 

Most of all, I use crème fraîche on top of all sorts of cobblers, particularly peach and cherry cobblers.  I also use it instead of whipped cream for a creamier texture. 

However, at times, I simply don’t have crème fraîche at home or can’t find it in the local store. In such an instance, I rely on various crème fraîche substitutes that you can also use in your cooking instead.

Read on to find the best crème fraîche substitutes out there!

Here’s a summary table for these substitutions:

SubstituteSuggested RatioApplicationNotes
Homemade Crème Fraîche1 cup heavy cream + 1 Tbsp buttermilkLet sit 24 hours at room tempThickens over time; for a rich, creamy texture
MascarponeEqual parts substitutionDessertsSlightly sweet, less tangy than crème fraîche
Sour CreamEqual parts substitutionBaking and as a toppingMore pronounced tangy flavor
Crema MexicanaEqual parts substitutionSauces and soupsRicher and thicker, good for savory dishes
Full Fat Greek YogurtEqual parts substitutionBaking and savory dishesTangier and less creamy
A stack of French toast topped with blueberries, raspberries, and creme fraiche

CrèmeFraîche Substitutes 

There are various creams that you can use instead of crème fraîche. Each substitute has its unique taste and texture, which will alter your dish accordingly. 

Here are my most favorite crème fraîche substitutes that you can use in your dishes: 

1. Homemade Crème Fraîche

For the best crème fraîche substitute, make your own at home. All you need is heavy cream and buttermilk. 

Simply combine 1 cup of heavy cream with 1 T of buttermilk in a clean glass jar that has a tight lid, such as a mason jar. Cover the lidded jar partially with a clean kitchen towel and let it sit at room temperature for about 24 hours. 

The longer you let the mixture sit in the jar, the thicker it’ll become. Don’t worry about the formation of bacteria as the acid in buttermilk will ensure that the crème fraîche remains free of any harmful bacteria. 

When the mixture has thickened to your desired consistency, stir the crème fraîche, and put it in your fridge for up to two weeks.

  • Ratio: Combine 1 cup of heavy cream with 1 tablespoon of buttermilk.
  • Application: Let sit at room temperature for about 24 hours until it thickens.

2. Mascarpone

If you’re looking for a crème fraîche substitute to add to any dessert, then look no further than mascarpone. It is essentially an Italian cream cheese with a slightly sweet flavor. Its creamy and rich flavor is quite similar to the flavor of crème fraîche.

However, it’s sweeter than crème fraîche and doesn’t have the subtle tang, hence the difference in flavor.

  • Ratio: Use equal parts mascarpone to replace crème fraîche.
  • Application: Ideal for desserts due to its slightly sweet taste.

3. Sour Cream

Sour cream is creamy and rich. Hence, it is a great substitute. Moreover, it has a more pronounced tangy flavor than the crème fraîche. Experiment with sour cream and use it in baking and dishes that require a dollop of crème fraîche. You can use sour cream in the same quantity.

  • Ratio: Use sour cream in the same quantity as crème fraîche.
  • Application: Suitable for baking and dishes that require a dollop of crème fraîche.

4. Crema Mexicana

Another excellent crème fraîche substitute is crema Mexicana. It’s a fresh, white cream cheese that has a mild and slightly sour flavor. It also has a rich and thick texture, which is quite similar to the texture of crème fraîche.

It’s an excellent replacement for crème fraîche to use in sauces and soups. Moreover, it’s tarter and thicker than sour cream and also doesn’t separate when added into hot soups.

  • Ratio: Substitute crema Mexicana in equal parts for crème fraîche.
  • Application: Great in sauces and soups; thicker and tarter than sour cream.

5. Full Fat Greek Yogurt

If you’re in a pinch, then you can use full-fat Greek yogurt instead of crème fraîche. Just remember that it isn’t nearly as creamy and rich as fraîche. Moreover, the flavor of Greek yogurt is surely tangier.

However, you can use it in place of crème fraîche in baking, but the texture of your dishes will alter a little bit because of the lower fat content.

It can also act as an ideal substitute for crème fraîche to add to soups and other savory dishes. Just remember that yogurt tends to curdle when added into hot sauces so turn the heat low before mixing in yogurt.

  • Ratio: Use Greek yogurt in the same quantity as crème fraîche.
  • Application: Good for baking and savory dishes but has a tangier flavor and lower fat content.

Tips and Tricks

Here are some tips and tricks for using the various crème fraîche substitutes:

  • When using yogurt instead of crème fraîche in sauces or soups, make sure to lower the heat so that it doesn’t curdle.
  • If you want to use a substitute for desserts, then try mascarpone as it has a slightly sweet taste that’s ideal for desserts.
  • If you want your dish to have the signature richness and creamy texture of crème fraîche, then use crema Mexicana instead of any other replacement.
  • For dishes that require a dollop of crème fraîche, use sour cream.

The Bottom Line

I hope you enjoyed reading this guide on crème fraîche substitute options. Make sure to refer to the tips and tricks that I’ve mentioned above to make the most of all the substitutes. 

So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and experiment with the different crème fraîche substitutes in your cooking to find the one that you love the best! 

A close-up photo of a tray of cupcakes decorated with creme fraiche frosting and topped with blueberries and raspberries.