Homemade Crème Fraîche

Homemade Crème Fraîche recipe ~ with just 2 ingredients you can make thick and creamy crème fraîche ~ no more last minute trips to the supermarket to buy one of those overpriced little tubs!

Making homemade creme fraiche in a glass pitcher

Never run out of crème fraîche again ~ make it yourself!

The other day I was making my  Sweet Potato Spears with Lemongrass Dip, which required crème fraîche, and I was so frustrated when my regular grocery store didn’t have any. That’s one of the few downsides to the explosion of so many different types of foods we now have available to us in grocery stores…there simply isn’t the shelf space for all of them. It got me thinking about trying a homemade version.

Crème fraîche is basically a cultured cream

It’s a French version of sour cream, but  more luxurious and subtle. Not quite as sour, or as thick as sour cream, though. It’s more of a tangy custard. (This post from The Kitchn breaks it down even further if you’re interested!)

diy creme fraiche in a small jar

The process of making crème fraîche is so simple!

  • Mix buttermilk and heavy cream in a clean jar.
  • Cover and let sit at warm room temperature for 12-18 hours.
  • Voila! You’ve got thick rich crème fraîche.

It’s a little like making yogurt only with a cream base instead of milk, but nothing gets heated or cooked. And it’s much easier. All you need to do is stir a little buttermilk into heavy cream, and let it sit so the bacteria can do their job. It will thicken into a silky crème fraîche in about 12 to 18 hours. You can literally do it in your sleep!

Creme fraiche made with cream and buttermilk, in a jam jar, with spoon

Homemade Crème fraîche can replace mayo, cream, sour cream, yogurt, and mascarpone cheese in recipes.

Crème fraîche has a slightly higher fat content than sour cream, so when you add it to hot food it won’t break down or curdle like sour cream sometimes does. You can stir it into a sauce at the end to get a beautiful glossy finish and rich flavor. You can mix it with mayo when you’re making potato or shrimp salad. Stir it into an omelet or scrambled eggs. It makes amazing dips, salad dressings, and frostings. Sweeten it and use it like whipped cream with desserts and fruit.

Recipes using crème fraîche

homemade creme fraiche in a glass jar
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3.37 from 60 votes

Homemade Creme Fraiche

Homemade Crème Fraîche ~ with just 2 ingredients you can make your own thick and creamy crème fraîche ~ no more last minute trips to the supermarket to buy one of those overpriced little tubs!
Course condiment
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
culturing 12 hours
Yield 1 cup
Author Sue Moran

Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 Tbsp cultured buttermilk (look for it with the regular milk in your supermarket)

Instructions

  • Pour the cream into a clean jar or small bowl. Stir in the buttermilk.
  • Cover with a clean dishcloth and let sit at a warm room temperature for 12 to 18 hours until it is thickened.
  • Stir it, and cover tightly.
  • Refrigerate until ready to use. It will last 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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41 Comments

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  • Reply
    Emma Balibalita
    February 14, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    Any recipe’s are good esp,when it comes to dairy product processing.

  • Reply
    davena
    December 17, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    5 stars
    Wanted to replicate a butternut squash soup I tried while in San Francisco. Couldn’t find creme fraiche and decided to use this recipe. Did an earlier experiment using sour cream but this made such a big difference. Thanks.

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 17, 2016 at 8:03 pm

      I’m so glad, thanks for letting me know Davena!

  • Reply
    Willow | Will Cook For Friends
    February 9, 2016 at 7:10 am

    This is so good to know! My grocery store does carry creme fraische, but it is sooooo expensive. Seriously, something like seven dollars for a four ounce container of the stuff — wtf?! Now that I know how easy it is to make, I’ll definitely be doing this the next time I need some!

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 9, 2016 at 8:16 am

      There are so many skills and recipes like this that get lost over time, and people don’t realize that they can do it themselves…hope you try it Willow 🙂

  • Reply
    Christina
    August 7, 2014 at 8:13 am

    This is pure genius! I always have buttermilk and cream in my fridge! Thanks for the post!

  • Reply
    heatherm
    November 1, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Yay, I did bookmark a creme fraiche recipe that said to use a bit of yogurt as the principle is the same. Commercial buttermilk is often not real buttermilk and full of thickeners and additives, so will try with the yogurt one of these days.

  • Reply
    Toni Legates
    August 12, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    A great post. Most people are unaware of just how easy it is to make creme fraiche. I saw a recipe at a video blog I just love called Foodwishes.com. Where chef John does his take on “The Standard Grill’s” Million dollar chicken. Which just happens to be a roasted chicken that is slathered in a creme fraiche glaze. I haven’t made this dish yet but this post of yours has me craving it.

  • Reply
    Randi Lynne
    August 9, 2013 at 10:35 am

    SO, I am a sour cream addict. I keep it on hand and like to top soups, stews, and all sorts of dishes with a dallop of the stuff. I have been reading food blogs for years and have seen how to’s for making your own yogurt, but never creme fraiche (which for my purposes is an equal exchange for sour cream, but actually even more versatile). I started it yesterday and today had some with my soup. Shared on Facebook saying there is no need to ever purchase sour cream again. It’s one of those “Where have you been my whole life??” moments. Thanks for posting.

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 9, 2013 at 2:06 pm

      Thanks Randi Lynne, it’s great to have your testimonial! The thing I like about it especially is that it doesn’t curdle in hot sauces and soups like sour cream sometimes does.

  • Reply
    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl
    August 1, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Thanks for posting this! Sometimes this is hard to find in my local grocer so now I know I can just make it myself.

  • Reply
    The Café Sucre Farine
    July 31, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    I love to make creme fraiche this way. It’s crazy how expensive it is here. My daughter lives in London and creme fraiche is just an every day ingredient there, very inexpensive and ordinary. I think someone is playing a trick on us!

  • Reply
    shannon
    July 31, 2013 at 4:15 am

    totally cool: this, like always, is very good to know, as my grocery store is hit or miss when it comes to the creme fraiche. Seems as though when i don’t need it, i see it, but when i seek it out as something to purchase, boom; not there. 🙂 so now i have this as a backup, or i can just completely avoid looking altogether thanks to you.

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