Skip to Content

Substitute For Sour Cream In Cake

Substitute For Sour Cream In Cake

Are you making a cake that calls for sour cream but you’re all out? Or maybe you don’t want to use dairy when baking your cake.

Either way, you are in luck! There are a number of substitutes you can use instead of sour cream no matter what recipe you are using.

Sour cream is called for in many cake recipes for very good reason. It allows you to add moisture without thinning out your cake batter.

Sour cream provides a rich, moist texture that is absolutely delectable. So when looking to replace it, you want to use an ingredient that provides a similar texture and flavor profile.

So what are the best substitutes for sour cream when baking a cake?

The top sour cream alternatives you can use in any cake recipe are Greek yogurt, crème fraiche, buttermilk, cottage cheese, tofu, and coconut cream or milk.

Each of these ingredients will provide you with a wonderful flavor and texture. Make sure to read on to learn how to use each replacement in your particular recipe.

Related: Freezing cake before frosting

Sour Cream Alternatives for Baking Cake

slice of German chocolate cake on plate

Sour cream provides a wonderful texture. It produces cakes that are moist and soft with a wonderful, crumbly texture.

Cake batter needs moisture not only for that wonderful texture, but also to bind together your other ingredients.

And sour cream is a great ingredient to do that. But when you can’t use sour cream, you can use the ingredients below to bake a moist and flavorful cake.

Related: Vegetable replacement in cake

Greek Yogurt

view from above of bowl of Greek yogurt on table

Greek yogurt is the best all around substitute for sour cream when making a cake. It provides enough moisture to bind your ingredients while producing a cake with the perfect texture.

The flavor also compliments the sweetness of your cake, which makes it my personal favorite sour cream alternative.

Make sure to use unflavored Greek yogurt unless you want to bring additional flavors to your cake.

Related: Greek yogurt alternatives


1 cup of Greek yogurt equals 1 cup of sour cream

Crème Fraiche

bowl of creme fraiche closeup

Creme fraiche is not used in many US kitchens, but it is a great sour cream alternative if you have it available.

Produced by adding bacteria culture to heavy cream, it offers a thick consistency that will provide a lot of moisture to your cake.

It has a more subtle flavor than sour cream, so it’s a great option for those who just don’t like sour cream’s flavor.

Related: Substitutions for crème fraiche


1 cup of crème fraiche equals 1 cup of sour cream


glass bottle half full of buttermilk

Buttermilk produces a flavor quite similar to sour cream while giving you all the moisture you need to bake a delicious homemade cake.

Buttermilk was called for in many classic cake recipes, and it’s still a wonderful ingredient to use today. It is thinner than sour cream so you can thicken it with a tablespoon of cornstarch if you wish but it’s not necessary.

Otherwise simply replace your sour cream with buttermilk without any other recipe changes.

Related: Non dairy buttermilk alternatives


2/3 cup of buttermilk equals 1 cup of sour cream

Cottage Cheese

bowl of large curd cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is more than just a delicious snack! It is an excellent sour cream substitute you can use in any cake recipe.

The flavor is much milder than sour cream, so it’s another great option for those looking for a flavor replacement for sour cream.

Because cottage cheese contains curds, you will need a little prep work before adding it to the other ingredients in your recipe.

Place your cottage cheese in the blender and add a couple tablespoons of milk and process until well blended.

Related: Cottage cheese vs sour cream


1 cup of cottage cheese equals 1 cup of sour cream


silken tofu in floral pattern bowl

Silken tofu is an excellent dairy free and vegan friendly sour cream substitute you can use in any cake recipe.

Combine silken tofu with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice in your blender and process until well combined.

This combination will provide your cake with the right amount of moisture while letting the other flavors in your recipe shine through.


1 cup of tofu equals 1 cup of sour cream

Coconut Cream

container of fresh coconut cream

Another excellent option for those in need of a dairy free sour cream alternative is coconut cream. Coconut cream will give you a wonderfully moist texture and an excellent flavor.

Coconut cream can be found in most grocery stores as well as from numerous online retailers. And it is a versatile, dairy free baking option so it’s worthwhile keeping it stocked in your kitchen.

Related: Coconut cream replacements


1 cup of coconut cream equals 1 cup of sour cream

Coconut Milk

pitcher of fresh coconut milk

Coconut milk is our final dairy free substitute for sour cream. And it is a decent option for baking cake when you don’t have any other options available.

It is thinner than sour cream but it will still produce a great flavor and texture. You will want to add a tablespoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. And then simply add it to the rest of your ingredients without any other recipe changes.

Related: Substitutes for coconut milk


1 cup of coconut milk equals 1 cup of sour cream

Sour Cream Replacement in Cake FAQ

slice of homemade layer chocolate fudge cake

Can you use milk instead of sour cream?

Yes, you can use milk instead of sour cream when baking a cake. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice to your milk and then use a 1:1 ratio.

What’s a good substitute for sour cream in chocolate cake?

You can use a number of replacements for sour cream in any chocolate cake recipe. You can use Greek yogurt, crème fraiche, silken tofu, or coconut milk at a 1:1 replacement ratio.

Can you substitute cream cheese for sour cream?

Yes you can use cream cheese instead of sour cream if you thin it before adding it to the rest of your ingredients. Stir a tablespoon of milk, water, or non dairy milk into your cream cheese. Use a 1:1 ratio when replacing sour cream with cream cheese.