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
    Sabie
    July 17, 2021 at 5:49 pm

    5 stars
    I made this using 1 cup heavy cream and 3 tbsp yogurt. Left it for 20 hrs, and it turned out great! Thanks for the recipe! So easy, will definitely make more in the future!

  • Reply
    Cyndy
    August 21, 2020 at 9:15 pm

    5 stars
    I forgot just how easy it is to make your own creme fraiche. I will be making a fresh batch tomorrow with your recipe for my mushroom soup!

  • Reply
    Patty at Spoonabilities
    August 21, 2020 at 7:52 pm

    5 stars
    Oh there is nothing like an amazingly creamy creme fraiche topped on sliced fresh fruit, or anything really! Yum! Thanks for the great directions!

  • Reply
    Alexandra
    August 21, 2020 at 7:40 pm

    5 stars
    This is so much more simple to make than I ever would have thought – I will definitely be making my own creme fraiche from now on 🙂

  • Reply
    Genevieve from @fittyfoodlicious
    August 21, 2020 at 7:29 pm

    5 stars
    I had no idea Creme Fraiche was so easy to make! This recipe looks easy to follow and delicious. Yummy!

  • Reply
    Chef Mireille
    August 21, 2020 at 7:17 pm

    5 stars
    What a convenient recipe. Not only is creme fraiche expensive but not at the local market which means I usually have to travel to the gourmet market to get it. Thanks so much for this. Will definitely keep it on hand the next time I need creme fraiche

  • Reply
    Chris-27
    August 21, 2020 at 3:58 pm

    Can you freeze the rest of the buttermilk in ice cube trays, and use it for future creme fraiche? I can’t think of anything else I want to make that involves buttermilk. (Oh, wait, biscuits!) Actually, I might try with heavy cream and yogurt … surely, that will work as well as buttermilk?

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 21, 2020 at 6:07 pm

      Great question, first of all, I never have an issue with the rest of the buttermilk because I use it in so much of my baking, and it keeps a really long time. And as for yogurt, I haven’t tried that, I’d be curious to hear how it turns out if you try.

  • Reply
    thomas a wall
    December 5, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    where can I get the jar?

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 21, 2020 at 11:16 am

      I just used a recycled jam jar, Thomas, but mason or canning jars work great, too.

  • Reply
    Wesley
    August 18, 2019 at 3:50 pm

    What if you don’t have buttermilk ?

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 21, 2020 at 11:17 am

      You’ll need buttermilk for this recipe, but you can find it right with the regular milk in most grocery stores.

  • Reply
    Cynthia Willis
    May 11, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    Have you tried making this in the instant pot on the yogurt setting? I’m betting the results would be great.

    I will try this next!

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 11, 2017 at 1:11 pm

      Great idea, I’m on the verge of getting an instant pot, I keep hearing great things about them…let us know if you try!!

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