Make Ahead

Homemade Creme Fraiche

June 21, 2012
1 Ratings
  • Makes 1 cup
Author Notes

Creme Fraiche at grocery stores can be both difficult to find and expensive. Not to worry because making it in your kitchen is so simple. —A Cozy Kitchen

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  1. You'll want to seek out a good quality heavy cream that is pasteurized, not ultra-pasteurized. If you can only find ultra-pasteurzed, it will work, but will take longer to thicken.
  2. To start, you want to pour 1 cup of heavy cream into a non-reactionary container (basically, any container that isn't made from iron or aluminum).
  3. Next, add two tablespoons of buttermilk to the heavy cream. Cover the bottle with a lid and shake until everything is thoroughly combined.
  4. Loosely cover the heavy cream mixture and allow it to sit out on your kitchen counter for 12-24 hours. Ideally the temperature in your kitchen will be from 72 to 78 degrees. My apartment tends to be on the cooler side, so it always takes mine a full 24 hours to thicken. After it's at the perfect consistency, transfer it to your fridge. The creme fraiche will be good for up to 2 weeks.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Madame Sel
    Madame Sel
  • Horto
  • Pably Wobbly
    Pably Wobbly
  • mward
  • A Cozy Kitchen
    A Cozy Kitchen
I'm the writer behind the food blog, A Cozy Kitchen. My blog is a place where my love for cute things, pancakes and corgis is celebrated. In Spring 2013 my first cookbook, PANCAKES: 72 Sweet and Savory Recipes for the Perfect Stack, was published.

15 Reviews

Madame S. April 28, 2020
I made this with half and half from our local farm and it worked beautifully. at almost the exact 24 hour mark it became thick-amazing!
Horto April 19, 2014
would powdered buttermilk work?
Pably W. April 28, 2013
I have a yogurt incubator and just for grins, I thought I would see if I could speed it up a bit. Yep, 5 hours at 110°F and it was quite thick. Oh, and I was using cream from raw milk.
leeleebrown February 17, 2013
Ok...the recipe is awesome, but what is that beautiful tart underneath it!? It makes me drool. If u have a recipe also that would be completely awesome :)
Kookla September 10, 2012
P.S. Adding vanilla bean seeds sounds awesome!
Kookla September 10, 2012
Can I use a dollop of creme fraiche in the heavy cream? I just happen to have some.
handmade June 25, 2012
Can you use a buttermilk substitute for making creme fraiche? Most recipes for the substitute call for adding 1 Tbsp vinegar or lemon juice to low-fat, fat-free, or whole milk til it fills up 1 cup. Then let it stand for 10 minutes. Some people also use soymilk.
A C. June 25, 2012
I haven't tried it--but it should work. The buttermilk is there for its acidity so in theory it should work just fine.
Galapagos June 25, 2012
The buttermilk is there to provide active culture of lactobacillus which ferments the lactose in the cream. Yogurt also provides that bacterial starter. Milk soured with lemon juice is not an effective substitute here, unlike in baking where it's the acid that matters in a chemical reaction to produce carbon dioxide.
Beetgirl June 24, 2012
Can you use yogurt (plain, with active cultures) instead of buttermilk?
A C. June 25, 2012
Yes! This should work just fine.
caroline B. June 24, 2012
Delicious - Thank you!. Question - can you add any fruit flavors say like lemon?
A C. June 25, 2012
The end result has a good amount of tangy flavor so I don't think it needs it, but if you'd like you can add some additional lemon zest.
mward June 24, 2012
This looks great, and so easy!
Lisa P. June 22, 2012
Can't wait to try this. The perfect solution to scarcity and expense of creme fraiche in rural NC.