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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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  • SOUR CREAM SUBSTITUTE (& heavy cream)

    HELLO, I live in Venezuela, south america, and we do not have sour cream here. What can I use instead when baking? yogurt, whipping cream? Thank you very much! Flaviaelena

    Hello, Can u advise me an alternative for sour cream & heavy cream. Leeta

    From the nigella team:

    Sour cream has a fat content of around 14% which is higher than the fat content of most yogurts. If the sour cream is only a very small past of the recipe then a full-fat natural yogurt should be a good substitute and if possible let the yogurt sit in a strainer lined with cheesecloth or muslin for 30 minutes before measuring and using as some of the watery liquid will drip out, making the yogurt slightly thicker. Otherwise you can try and emulate sour cream for baking slightly by stirring 1 tablespoon lemon juice into 180ml (3/4 cup) milk and letting it stand for 10 minutes. Stir in 60g (4 tablespoons/1/4 cup) melted butter before using. This will give a rough equivalent to 250g/1 cup sour cream. If buttermilk is available then you can use 180ml (3/4 cup) buttermilk instead of the milk/lemon juice mixture. 

    If you can find them in Venezuela then Casancrem and Mendicrem are also suggested as substitutes for sour cream in baking.

    For heavy cream the fat content is usually 33-36% and it is cream used for whipping (in the UK it is double cream). So in your supermarket it is best to look for cream that is recommended for desserts and whipping (in a carton or container, not the type that comes in a can and aerates as it is squirted out of the can).

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