Is Soured Cream The Same As Creme Fraiche?

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Published by: Chef Matty Riedel • Updated: October 28, 2023

Soured cream is not the same as creme fraiche. Although both are made with a bacteria culture, sour cream has lesser fat, a thinner texture and a more sour taste as compared to creme fraiche while also curdling more readily than creme fraiche.

Is Soured Cream The Same As Creme Fraiche?

Soured cream and creme fraiche are two different kinds of cream. To understand how they differ, keep reading through the following points of distinction.


Soured cream tastes tangy and salty due to its acidic content while creme fraiche has a mild toastiness to it while also being much richer.


Creme fraiche is much thicker in texture, whereas soured cream has a much thinner and looser consistency.

whisk covered in whipped cream

Fat Content

The fat content of creme fraiche is higher than that of soured cream. This makes it easier to whisk or whip creme fraiche, which is less effective in the soured cream.

Culturing Process

Bacteria and lactic acid are what help culture the soured cream, while creme fraiche only requires bacteria. The process takes longer for soured cream because thickeners are sometimes added later to stop the culturing process.


Because soured cream has low levels of fat, it curdles easily at high temperatures whereas creme fraiche does not face this issue.


Soured cream is mainly eaten on the side, as a topping or mixed with cooked or raw ingredients. This also applies to creme fraiche, although it can also be added during the cooking process.

pot of cream with sliced pizza bread


Creme fraiche is a couple of pounds more expensive than soured cream.

Is Soured Cream A Replacement For Creme Fraiche?

Despite the differences between soured cream and creme fraiche, there are times when you can use soured cream as a replacement for creme fraiche. For instance, if you cannot find or make creme fraiche and have some sour cream lying around, you can use it for thickening a curry or stew or even on top of your desserts.

However, since soured cream curdles easily at high temperatures, make sure you add it only after completing the cooking process.


Which Is Healthier—Soured Cream or Creme Fraiche?

Soured cream is healthier than creme fraiche since it contains more protein and a lesser fat content as compared to creme fraiche.

Can I Make Soured Cream And Creme Fraiche At Home?

It is possible to make both soured cream and creme fraiche at home. For soured cream, combine heavy cream with some lemon juice (you can also add a bit of milk) in a container and allow the combination to thicken at room temperature for around 24 hours.
For creme fraiche, combine heavy cream and a bit of buttermilk and let it rest at room temperature overnight or for 12 hours.

Parting Thoughts

Soured cream and creme fraiche are two different kinds of cream and differ in terms of taste, texture, fat content, culturing process, curdling, uses and costs. Despite this, there are some situations where you can replace creme fraiche with soured cream or vice versa.

Chef and Restaurant Owner Matty Riedel
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