Crème Fraîche vs. Sour Cream: What’s the Difference?

Last updated on: 18th May 2022
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Do you know the difference between crème fraîche and sour cream? Many people are not sure, but they are actually quite different.

Creme Fraiche vs. Sour Cream

Crème fraîche is made with a higher percentage of cream than sour cream, and it has a thicker consistency and a slightly nutty flavor. It is often used in sauces or as a condiment for meats.

Sour cream has a tangier flavor than crème fraîche. It is most commonly used in baking or as a topping for dishes like chili or potato salad.

What is Crème Fraîche?

Crème fraîche is a type of cream made from cultured milk. The milk is heated to about 88 degrees Fahrenheit, then bacterial cultures are added. These bacteria consume the lactose in the milk and produce lactic acid. This high level of acid causes the milk to thicken and form curds.

Crème fraîche is made in France and has a thick and smooth consistency and a slightly sour flavor.

What is Sour Cream?

Sour cream is a thick, creamy dairy product made from fermented cream. It has a tangy flavor and is commonly used as a topping or condiment.

Sour cream originated in Eastern Europe and was traditionally made by adding sour milk or yogurt to fresh cream. The fermentation process gives sour cream its signature tangy flavor. Today, most commercial sour creams are made using lactic acid bacteria.

Sour cream is a popular ingredient in many recipes, such as dips, sauces, soups, and baked goods. It can also be used as a topping for fruits and desserts or simply enjoyed on its own.

Using Crème Fraîche

Crème fraîche can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. It can be used as a topping for fruits or desserts or added to soups and sauces for a richer flavor.

Creme Fraiche dessert

Crème fraîche is also a popular ingredient in baking recipes, such as cakes, pies, and tarts.

Using Sour Cream

Sour cream can be used as a topping or condiment for many dishes, such as chili, potato salad, or tacos.

potatoes with sour cream

Sour cream is also a popular ingredient in dips and spreads. And can also be used in baking recipes or added to soups and sauces for a tangy flavor.

What’s The Difference?

Crème fraîche is made with a higher percentage of cream than sour cream, so it has a richer, creamier texture and a slightly nuttier flavor. It’s also less acidic than sour cream and has a higher fat content.

Sour cream is made with whole milk, while crème fraîche is made with heavy cream, so that’s another difference.

However, whilst they are not identical, both crème fraîche and sour cream may sometimes be substituted for one another in a 1:1 ratio.

For example, our St. Patrick’s Day Cheesy Spinach Dip uses sour cream, but you could easily substitute it for crème fraîche.

shamrock chips and dip

Which Should You Choose For Your Recipe?

There are a few things to consider when choosing between crème fraîche and sour cream for your next recipe. Taste, texture, and fat content are all important factors to consider. 

Taste-wise, crème fraîche is slightly less tangy than sour cream and has a richer flavor. If you’re looking for something with a bit more zip, then sour cream is the way to go. 

In terms of texture, crème fraîche is thicker and creamier than sour cream. Sour cream is a better option if you want a thinner consistency. 

Finally, fat content is another important consideration. Crème fraîche has a higher fat content than sour cream, making your dish richer and more decadent. If you’re watching your fat intake, sour cream is the better choice. 

The Verdict

So, what’s the verdict? When it comes to crème fraîche vs. sour cream, there is no clear winner. It all depends on your personal preferences.

Choose crème fraîche for a richer flavor and creamier texture or sour cream for a tangier taste and thinner consistency.

Creme Fraiche vs Sour Cream

The Crème Fraîche vs. Sour Cream debate has been around for years, with no clear winner. It all comes down to personal preference.

What’s your favorite recipe that uses either one of these ingredients? Let us know in the comments below!

And to keep learning about ingredients, we recommend reading these articles next:

Vickie aka The Crazy Family Mom

Vickie is the creator of A Crazy Family. She is a stay-at-home mom of a little boy with a big personality. She loves to share real food recipes, parenting tips & encouragement, fun kids activities, and so much more! Plus she is thrilled to provide you with a space to celebrate all that is awesome (and a little crazy) in the world.

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