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What is a Substitute For Crème Fraiche?

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Crme Fraiche is a rare dish that combines sweetness and creaminess. It is for this reason that the ingredient is popular in many European meals and has made its way into American recipes. And when you see it on a recipe list, you know you’re in for a treat. However, alas! You notice that your cream Fraiche tub is empty, and you have neglected to replenish it.

Don’t panic, since that’s what most people will do in your situation. Rest assured that everything has a solution, and even a luxurious product like crème fraiche may be substituted. You’ll find condiments and additions in your kitchen that may be used in place of crme Fraiche. But, before we get into the specifics, let’s talk about why crme Fraiche is so delicious and how it became that way.

What is Crème Fraiche?

Crème Fraiche is a sort of sour cream in its most basic form. The condiment is French in origin, as seen by its name. Crme Fraiche translates approximately to “fresh cream.” However, its composition and taste profile demonstrate that it is more than that.

Cream Fraiche is technically cultured cream, or cream that has been mixed with bacterial culture. The bacteria in the cream ferment the sugar, giving it a sour taste and a thick consistency. In this regard, Cream Fraiche is similar to sour cream or Mexican crema, although it is significantly sweeter and thicker than both. It also contains roughly 30% fat content and a nuttiness and tanginess to its flavor.

Crème Fraiche Uses in Recipes

Crème Fraiche is a versatile ingredient that may be used in a variety of cuisines. It’s ideal as a basis for toppings and sauces. And because of its high fat level and low protein content, it is a great thickening for hod dishes. Crème Fraiche may also be used to meat, fish, and shellfish to enhance richness and taste. It also goes well with vegetables and may be used in both standard and spicy salad dressings.

Crème Fraiche may also be served as a dessert when combined with fruits and nuts. It may be used with flour to produce baked products or used to make cold sweets. It also works well in stir-fries and as a side dip at cocktail events. These and more applications exist for French sour cream, which is why it is often used in recipes and cuisines such as;

  • Soups
  • Fruit crisps
  • Ice cream
  • Bacon-wrapped chicken breast
  • Tarts
  • White pizza
  • Pasta
  • Cakes
  • Pesto
  • Sauces
  • Dips
  • Toppings
  • Crispy potato bites
  • Parfaits
  • Pancakes
  • Smoked trout
  • Smoothies
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Soused mackerel
  • Grilled salmon
  • Rhubarb compote
  • Boiled potatoes
  • Canaps
  • Summer-in-winter chicken
  • Puddings
  • Sponge cakes
  • Pies
  • Roasted potatoes
  • Frostings
  • Baked eggs
  • Dressings
  • Truffles
  • Shortcakes
  • Baked greens
  • Scones
  • Beef stroganoff
  • Banana pots
  • Flammkuchen
  • Sorbets
  • Baked potatoes

Crème Fraiche Substitutes

You may run out of crème fraiche or be unable to consume it because you are vegan. You may also be lactose intolerant and unable to consume dairy products, or you may like to try something new out of curiosity. In all of these circumstances, these substitutions are excellent alternatives to explore.

Sour Cream

Why not use plain sour cream instead of crme Fraiche, which is French sour cream? Because both components are produced in a similar manner, the consistency and taste will be identical. If you’re vegan, just replace it with a vegan alternative, such as sour soy cream, and you’re good to go!

Of course, sour cream has a stronger tang than crème fraiche. But it’s just as rich, thick, and creamy as the original, so it works well. Sour cream may be substituted for crème fraiche in any recipe that asks for it. And since its taste is similarly familiar, you may not detect the tang change at all.

Buttermilk + Heavy Cream

A premeasured mixture of buttermilk and heavy cream will produce a substitute that is almost identical to Crème Fraiche. In a glass jar, combine two cups of heavy cream and two tablespoons of butter and let aside for 10 to 24 hours, covered. The longer it sits, the thicker it gets. The heavy cream compensates for the richness and smoothness, while the buttermilk gives the necessary acidity. Also, don’t leave it out for longer than 24 hours or it will deteriorate.

In lieu of crème fraiche, equal proportions of this buttermilk-heavy cream combination will work in all scenarios, and this mixture will stay in the fridge for two weeks.

Full-Fat Greek Yogurt

Those on a healthy diet always have a container of Greek yogurt in their refrigerator. And if you’re one among them, you’ve discovered an excellent crme Fraiche replacement. In this case, full-fat Greek yogurt works best since it has the most creaminess. It goes well with both sweet and savory foods.

However, full-fat Greek yogurt has less smoothness and fat than crème Fraiche and will have a more pronounced tang. However, it still works in an emergency and may be replaced at equal ratios.

Cream Cheese + Lemon Juice

In most recipes, cream cheese may be used in lieu of crème fraiche. If you think the tang isn’t strong enough, add a squeeze of lemon juice to taste. Aside from that, if you know how to utilize it, cream cheese may be a good substitute for crème fraiche. When incorporating them into dishes, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, since cream cheese is firmer than crème fraiche, it must be diluted down with another creamy dairy product, such as milk, before being used in liquid dishes like dips. Second, when you combine it, make sure it totally melts in soups and sauces. Cream cheese will lend a richness to such dishes, but its thick structure demands it to be properly mixed for the finest results. Also, keep in mind that just a tiny quantity works in soups and sauces. Because it cannot be dolloped or drizzled, it can only be used as a topping.

Whipped Ricotta Cheese

This cheese replacement for crme Fraiche is often used in filled dishes, but it may also be used in place of crme Fraiche. Ricotta works just as well as crème fraiche in no-cook foods like desserts and chilled soups. However, it must be made to a close texture and consistency, so whisk the ricotta cheese before adding it to your recipes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use Philadelphia instead of crème Fraiche?

Some people think it’s a good alternative, so it’s a question of preference. Philadelphia cooking cream is a frequent ingredient in many American recipes and does not separate at high temperatures, therefore it may sometimes be used in lieu of crème fraiche.

Can I use mayonnaise instead of crème Fraiche?

Not in every circumstance. In contrast to the sweet taste of crème Fraiche, mayonnaise has an acidic flavor. As a result, unless the dish will not be overpowered by its taste, you should avoid using mayonnaise to substitute crème fraiche.

Can I use coconut milk instead of crème Fraiche?

You certainly can. However, keep in mind that the coconut flavor will have a significant impact on the recipe’s flavor profile. If you’re thinking about it, use full-fat coconut milk.


Crème Fraiche is a delectable delicacy that sweetens both our food and our emotions. However, you may not always have it in your fridge and may need to substitute something different. And, although these solutions may not be exact replicas, they will get you out of a bind when you are cooking without Crme Fraiche. Plus, you get to experiment with tastes you never thought were feasible in your meals.


What is the American equivalent of crème fraîche?

In many aspects, crème fraiche and sour cream are similar, and they may be swapped on a 1:1 basis (if your recipe asks for 12 cup crème fraiche, use 12 cup sour cream).

Can I use cream cheese instead of crème fraîche?

Cream cheese has a similar creamy, slightly tangy flavor to crème frâiche and may be replaced in most recipes at a 1:1 ratio.

Is crème fraîche just sour cream?

Both crème fraîchee and sour cream are prepared in industrial settings using pasteurized milk injected with certain bacterial cultures, with the key difference being that crème fraîche is fattier and thicker, whilst sour cream is tangier, lower in fat, and has a more liquid feel.

Can I use heavy cream instead of crème fraîche?

Extra Heavy Cream

Cream has a high fat content and will not curdle, so use it in soups and sauces as you would crème fraiche. You may simply beat your cream and use it in place of crème fraiche. When you whip your own cream, you may get whatever thickness and consistency you like, from runny to nearly buttery.

Can I use Greek yogurt instead of crème fraîche?

In a pinch, another creme fraiche substitute? Yogurt from Greece! Keep in mind that Greek yogurt is not as rich and creamy as crème fraiche, and the taste is considerably tangier. This substitute may be used in baking recipes, however the texture will alter due to the lower fat content.

Are crème fraîche and sour cream similar?

Creme fraiche is thicker, richer (see fat content), and less tart than sour cream, and it’s fantastic in soups and sauces since it won’t curdle if boiled. Or just spoon it into your mouth, untouched.

Is Philadelphia cheese like crème fraîche?

The texture is the most noticeable distinction between the two. Cream cheese is clearly much thicker. Cream cheese has the same sharpness as crème fraîche but a gentler overall taste. Having said that, cream cheese might still come in helpful if you don’t have crème fraîche on hand.

Where can I buy crème fraîche?

Crème fraîche may be found at specialist food shops and even certain supermarkets. It’s often seen in the dairy section or mixed up with speciality cheeses.

Is Philadelphia a substitute for crème fraîche?

Creme de Philadelphia

It is a good alternative for crème fraiche and does not separate at high temperatures, according to some.

Is crème fraîche the same as half and half?

To be clear, crème fraiche is not sweetened cream. It may thicken soups, stews, and sauces without imparting a bitter flavor to the cooking process. Both would work nicely in a half-and-half recipe. According to the New York Times scale, creamier dairy products have a firmer finish.

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