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No Sour Cream for Cheesecake

Asked by lalaland17. Answered on 12th June 2013

Full question

Hi! I live in a small Greek town and there isn't any sour cream or cràme fraiche available in the shops. Could I use Greek yogurt as a substitute for recipes such as Nigella's Peanut Butter Cheesecake or the Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake? Thank you.

I can't get sour cream here in Portugal. I have substituted plain yogurt before now, but is this the best alternative? We do have wee boxes of UHT cream, would that be better for most things? Thanks, Carol Williamson

Our answer

Unfortunately substitutions for sour cream very much depend on the recipe and how much sour cream is to be substituted. In some cheesecakes and frostings it is not a good idea to use strained or Greek yogurt as the fat content is quite low and this will affect the texture and taste of the finished dish.

If you can find creme fraiche then that is a good substitute for sour cream.

In cake batters it is often possible to switch sour cream for a full fat/whole milk (around 5% fat content) Greek yogurt. We would suggest this if the amount of sour cream used in a cake batter is fairly small (around 120ml/8 tablespoons/1/2 cup). Also if there is only a very small amount of sour cream in a cheesecake batter then Greek yogurt may work. As an alternative, in cake batters only, you can make a substitute for sour cream by mixing 180ml/3/4 cup full fat/whole milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Let this sit for 10 minutes so that it thickens slightly and then stir in 60g/4 tablespoons melted butter. This will give a substitute for 240ml/1 cup sour cream. Unfortunately this mixture is a little too runny to use in frostings and we haven't tried in baked cheesecakes so can't recommend it for that use either.

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