Crème Fraîche

crème fraîche, stirred

As promised, here’s a how-to for making crème fraîche at home. To stretch my purchase of Cowgirl Creamery crème fraîche, I typically use Straus Family Creamery’s whipping cream because it’s the same milk used for the Cowgirl’s product.

However, brands aren’t essential — you only need to mix together a starter (crème fraîche or buttermilk) and non-ultra-pasteurized heavy cream. The latter can be difficult to track down, but I’ve had great success with the Trader Joe’s store brand (both the organic and conventional versions; please double check the carton, though, what is sold in California may differ from what’s available in your state). Give the mixture about a day to do it’s thing (culture) and, voilà, you have homemade crème fraîche for about a third of the price of the store-bought stuff.

Crème Fraîche

(adapted from multiple sources)

Preparation Time: 1 minute

Inactive Preparation Time: About 12 – 24+ hours

Makes: 1 cup


  • 1 tablespoon (14 grams) crème fraîche (store-bought or homemade from this recipe) or buttermilk
  • Scant 1 cup (7.5 ounces or 213 grams) heavy cream (NOT ultra-pasteurized)


Stir together ingredients in a 1 cup Mason Jar or bowl. Cover with lid or plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free place for about 12 – 24+ hours. (The process goes a lot more quickly during the summer months; if you keep your place below 70°F in the winter, it will likely take closer to, or more than, 24 hours. I use this as an excuse to throw the heat on or do some baking! Or, less enjoyably, as practice of patience.) The mixture is ready when the top layer separates and the mixture is thickened. Stir to recombine, cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Keeps for about 10 days or until the expiration date of the heavy cream used, whichever comes first.

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  • Reply
    Kiri W.
    January 9, 2012 at 5:55 am

    How cool! I’ve never made my own creme fraiche even though we use it all the time in Germany (no sour cream there). Great post!

  • Reply
    January 10, 2012 at 6:44 am

    How long will this keep in the fridge?


  • Reply
    January 10, 2012 at 6:45 am

    Thanks for reminding me how to make creme fraiche!

  • Reply
    heather sage
    January 10, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Kiri W.: Thank you! Is it terribly expensive to buy there like it is in the states?

    Charlie: It will keep for about 10 days or until the expiration date of the heavy cream used, whichever comes first.

    Alyce: Glad to be of help!

  • Reply
    January 10, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Delicieuse, you are right much better than the store bought, congratulations, great post!

  • Reply
    January 15, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Thank you for sharing! Something I never thought about, but makes perfect sense.

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