Light Sour Cream Making Recipe

This is a generic recipe for making Light Sour Cream. Historically Sour Cream has been made by letting cow’s milk cream sour naturally by leaving it at room temperature to enable the natural bacteria in it to multiply and thicken the cream and create the tangy flavor. This is not feasible with store bought pasteurized cream as the natural bacteria count in the cream is significantly lower.

Note, store bought commercial Sour Cream is after being made, frequently re-pasteurized to give it it’s long shelf life, thus it cannot be used as a starter.

This recipe makes a lighter Sour Cream than the Heavy Sour Cream recipe as is has a lower fat content.

Ingredients – Metric

Makes ~0.5 liter of Sour Cream:

  • 0.5 liters light pasteurized cow’s cream.
  • 25 ml cultured buttermilk.

Ingredients – American

Makes ~2 cups of Sour Cream:

  • 2 cups light pasteurized cow’s cream.
  • 2 tablespoons cultured buttermilk.


  1. Place ingredients outside fridge for 1-2 hours to allow them to reach room temperature.
  2. Pour cream into food grade container, then stir in buttermilk.
  3. Cover and place in warm household area for ~24 hours until thickened to desired consistency (ie custard like).
  4. Use as required, preferably after allowing to thicken in household refrigerator for ~24 hours.


Tricks & Traps

  • Ripening time will be longer for cooler and shorter for warmer room & fridge temperature environments.
  • Sour Cream will continue to thicken/ripen while in fridge.