Creme fraiche is a tasty, versatile ingredient that’s used in all sorts of recipes, both sweet and savory alike. But if you’ve run out while cooking, you need to find a suitable substitute.
Luckily, there are plenty of alternative ingredients to use instead of creme fraiche, so don’t worry!
In this handy list, we’ll take you through 6 of the best creme fraiche substitutes out there, so you can get back on track with your cooking in no time!
Creme Fraiche Substitutes
1) Sour Cream
Sour cream is one of the best substitutes for creme fraiche out there. With how similar the two are, you can use sour cream as a 1:1 alternative ingredient without any substantial difference!
There are a few things that set the two apart, however. Sour cream has a slightly tangier taste than creme fraiche, along with a lower fat content.
With that being said, however, sour cream and creme fraiche are similar enough that you can easily swap the two without any issues whatsoever.
Sour cream has the same rich and creamy taste as creme fraiche, but with a slightly tangier hit that makes it even better than the original!
2) Heavy Cream
If you can’t get creme fraiche, then heavy cream (see also ‘13 Heavy Cream Substitutes You Should Know!‘) can be a handy substitute in a pinch. However, heavy cream is (surprisingly) heavier than creme fraiche, so you won’t get quite the same texture here.
Heavy cream also lacks the distinct tang of creme fraiche, leaving it with less presence among other ingredients.
Don’t let this put you off, though. Heavy cream is still a great stand-in for creme fraiche if you’re out, and its rich, creamy taste is perfect for adding depth to a recipe.
Whipping the cream beforehand will give it a lighter texture that’s more similar to creme fraiche.
3) Full-Fat Greek Yogurt
Another handy stand-in for creme fraiche is full-fat Greek yogurt. This yogurt has a much stronger tanginess than creme fraiche and lacks its richness, but it’s still a great option if you need a substitute in a pinch.
Using full-fat yogurt is important here, as the fat content of creme fraiche is what gives it its creamy texture and makes it so versatile as an ingredient.
The higher fat content in full-fat Greek yogurt means that it is less likely to curdle when encountering high heat or other ingredients, making it a suitable substitute.
You can use yogurt in place of creme fraiche for baking recipes, or mix it with pasta for a lighter, tangier sauce.
One place where full-fat Greek yogurt shines compared to creme fraiche is when dolloped onto soups.
Add a spoonful of rich, creamy yogurt on top of your soup and enjoy the balance brought by a slightly sour twang of yogurt.
4) Cream Cheese
Many cream cheeses can also make a good alternative to creme fraiche.
Spreadable cream cheese has a distinct tangy taste that is less pronounced than regular cheese, and its creamy texture makes it remarkably similar to creme fraiche.
While cream cheese is usually thicker and has a stronger taste than creme fraiche, it still makes a great substitute in savory dishes.
This sweeter variety of cream cheese is a perfect creme fraiche substitute if you’re making a sweeter recipe.
The subtle flavor of mascarpone gives it a light and creamy taste. It’s also more liquidy than other cream cheeses, making it a much better analog for creme fraiche than some other substitutes.
With its subtle tang, gentle sweetness, and creamy texture, mascarpone is great for including in desserts like pastries or as a topping on a cake.
6) Make It Yourself!
Not interested in using any of these alternatives? Then make your own creme fraiche at home! It’s easy to make a homemade creme fraiche, and it only requires a handful of simple ingredients.
All you need is buttermilk, heavy cream, and a bit of patience. Mix two cups of the cream with two tablespoons of buttermilk and combine them thoroughly.
Then simply wait 24 hours with the mix in a warm place, and you’ll have a tasty homemade creme fraiche ready to go!
You can also swap out the buttermilk for yogurt if you want less fat.
There you have it! There are plenty of great substitutes for creme fraiche if you’ve ran out while cooking, perfect for use in both sweet and savory recipes.
So if you don’t have any creme fraiche, or simply just want to try something new, you can use these handy alternatives instead while still keeping the same tangy, creamy taste of creme fraiche!
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