Creme Fraiche has so many uses in cooking, but it can be a bit expensive to keep it around. In this post, I’ll show you how to make your own Creme Fraiche. It’s so very easy, and such a money saver!
Make It, Don’t Buy It-
If you have been following me for long, you know I try to make everything myself if possible and avoid processed ingredients where I can. Homemade creme fraiche is so easy and inexpensive, you will never buy it at the store again once you have made this yourself.
Not only do you know exactly what is in it, but this is extremely budget friendly. Until I started making my own, creme fraiche was somewhat of a luxury item. It can be quite expensive, and you don’t get a whole lot in the container either.
This is an ingredient that often costs 7 or 8 dollars in most grocery stores for a mere six ounces! Consequently I never bought it much, even though it is something I enjoyed using. Now, I can have some whenever I need it, and so can you!
What You Will Love About This Recipe
Not only is this a great way to help control food costs by using what you already have, you can now stock a specialty item in your kitchen and have it on hand whenever you need. Also, this recipe is so easy!
Homemade Creme Fraiche is:
- No Bake
- No Cook
- Two Ingredients
What is Creme Fraiche?
Creme fraiche comes from France, and has the same thickness as sour cream, but its acidic tang is much milder. It has many uses, and it was usually only found in gourmet or specialty markets in the past, but most grocery stores now carry it.
Most people consider it to be somewhat of a specialty ingredient because it is not commonly found, but there is no need to go out hunting for it when it’s so easy to do at home.
Only Two Ingredients
This simple two ingredient recipe could NOT be easier! All you need are two dairy products that most of us have in our kitchen at any given time, along with a small canning jar that has a tight fitting lid. Then, all it takes after that is time and patience. Once ready, it tastes just like store bought!
The Heavy Cream
Definitely use heavy whipping cream. You want as high a fat content for the cream as you can get. Why? It just makes for better creme fraiche, but it also means that the end product is creamier and more flavorful.
It doesn’t really matter if it is organic cream or not, just make sure the container says heavy whipping cream, not whipping cream. Heavy whipping cream has a higher fat content, which is what we want here.
It is important to note that you cannot use 2% milk or anything else but heavy cream!
Why can’t you use 2% milk? You need the fat in the heavy cream for this recipe to work, and other dairy products just won’t do. You don’t need to worry about using organic heavy cream, but if you have it definitely use it!
This ingredient right here is the key to making this work! You need almost no buttermilk for this at all. The cultures contained in it react with the cream, and with time create the creme fraiche.
You can use low fat or full fat buttermilk, there really is no difference in the end result. What you really need here are the cultures from the buttermilk.
This recipe is not the time to use a homemade buttermilk substitute made by combining milk with lemon juice or white vinegar. While these substitutes work fine in baked goods, you will absolutely need real buttermilk here or the cream won’t set up. You need those cultures in the buttermilk that will not only thicken the cream but create that mild tang that creme fraiche is known for.
If you don’t have any buttermilk, you can use an equal amount of plain yogurt. It has the same cultures that are present in the buttermilk, and it will produce the same result.
How To Make Creme Fraiche Without Buttermilk
Making creme fraiche without Buttermilk is fairly easy. Just swap out an equivalent amount of plain yogurt for the buttermilk! I would try to use full fat or low fat yogurt, don’t use nonfat. Creme fraiche has a high fat content, so you want to use ingredients that will give you that.
How to Make Creme Fraiche
This is so easy! Just add the heavy whipping cream and the buttermilk to a clean 6 or 8 ounce canning jar with a tight fitting lid. It will need to sit at room temperature so that the buttermilk (or plain yogurt if that’s what you’re using) can interact with the cream and work it’s magic.
Creme Fraiche vs Sour Cream
A lot of people think that creme fraiche and sour cream are interchangeable. While there are some similarities, they really are not the same thing and should not be treated as such.
First of all, creme fraiche has a milder tang than sour cream. Creme Fraiche has less of an acidic bite to it with a smoother, richer flavor thanks to its higher fat content.
What does a higher fat content mean for you and your cooking? It means that it won’t curdle when it’s boiled, making it a great addition to sauces, or stirring into a soup.
Important Tips For Making Creme Fraiche
Be sure to leave this at room temperature long enough to thicken the cream. After 12 hours, pick up the jar and tilt it around a bit without opening it. If you want, you can open the jar to take a peek rather than tilting it around.
If the cream moves around inside the jar, it is still liquid and will need to sit longer. This process could take as long as 36-48 hours to complete depending on the temperature inside your house. Try to check it every 12 hours or so.
You will know it’s done when you open the jar and it is thick and creamy just like sour cream is when you stir it with a spoon. At this point, it should be refrigerated. The refrigerator will finish the thickening process. After about four hours or so in the fridge, it will be ready to use.
How To Store Creme Fraiche
Creme Fraiche should be stored in a tightly sealed container with a lid. A small mason jar is great, but if you don’t have one you could use a plastic container with a tight fitting lid. Once it has solidified and you have refrigerated it, it needs to remain refrigerated when not in use to maximize its shelf life.
How Long Does Creme Fraiche Last?
I normally go through creme fraiche rather quickly, due to using it quite often. I have had homemade creme fraiche in my refrigerator a month after making it and it has still been just fine.
Serving Suggestions and Uses
Creme fraiche is a really versatile ingredient. I use it quite often in my cooking, and in more than one recipe on the blog. This is great with my recipe for Cream of Asparagus Soup. It really adds something nice!
It also makes a wonderful topping for scones or biscuits, such as my White Chocolate Rosemary Scones with Pear Curd. You don’t have to eat it plain, it’s quite good with some fresh herbs stirred in, and I use it this way in the base for my Vegetable Flatbread with Creme Fraiche.
Creme fraiche is lovely to bake with, you can use it anywhere you would use sour cream, and you could use it as a substitute for the buttermilk in my Cheesecake with Blackberry Lavender Swirl or for extra zing, try using it in my Dark Chocolate Orange Cheesecake in place of the heavy cream. It’s great in sauces as well, providing a slight acidic bite to help round out a dish.
It is such a useful tool in your cooking arsenal, you will love having it around if you have not worked with it in the past.
I believe there is a great sense of accomplishment that comes from making things yourself rather than buying them whenever possible. Little tricks like this do not take up a lot of time, and can not only save you money on your food budget, but they can even help cut down on food waste by utilizing ingredients you already have in your kitchen. This is even a fun food science project to do with kids!
If you tried this recipe for how to make your own creme fraiche, I’d love to hear how it turned out! Just leave a rating or comment below, or take a picture and tag me @thecoppertable on Instagram, pin to a board on Pinterest or share with your friends on social media! If you have not signed up for my newsletter, you can do that below. I have all sorts of exclusive content just for newsletter subscribers, and I’d love for you to join. Happy Cooking!
This easy no cook recipe for creme fraiche has only two ingredients and it tastes just like store bought. You'll never have to buy it again!
- 3/4 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 2 1/4 tsp Buttermilk (or plain yogurt)
- 6 or 8 ounce canning jar with tight fitting lid
- Add the 3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream to the jar.
- Next, add the 2 1/4 tsp of buttermilk or plain yogurt and stir well.
- Place the lid tightly on the jar, and leave out at room temperature, open the jar and check to see if the cream has thickened at the 12 hour mark.
- If the cream is not thickened, wait another 12 hours and check again.
- If after 24 hours it has still not thickened, continue to check every 12 hours. The process could take up to 36 to 48 hours depending on the temperature inside your house.
- Once the cream has thickened quite a bit, give it a good stir and refrigerate at least four hours to finish the thickening process before using. It will keep for up to two weeks refrigerated.
Low fat or full fat buttermilk may be used.
Be sure to use heavy whipping cream, which has a higher fat content. For further information, please see notes in the post.
You don't need to worry about using organic heavy cream if there is none available. Any store brand will be fine, just be sure it is labeled heavy whipping cream, not whipping cream.
Creme Fraiche may be stirred into soups or sauces, or used in baked goods.
Don't use any homemade buttermilk substitutes that use lemon juice or vinegar mixed with milk here that you would use when baking. You will not get the desired result. For further information on why this wont work, please refer to the info in the post.
Should you decide to use plain yogurt in place of buttermilk, be sure to use low fat or full fat yogurt, don't use nonfat.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 51Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 6mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
All information presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist or registered dietitian and any nutritional information should only be used as a general guideline. Statements within this site have not been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is provided for recipes contained on this site. This information comes from online calculators. Although The Copper Table attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.