3 Sour Cream Substitutes for Cheesecake

One of the better desserts, right after brownies, cheesecake is a decadent, creamy dessert usually made with cream cheese and sour cream. Don’t have sour cream on hand? Have no fear – there are excellent substitutes that will still give your cheesecake the rich, satisfying taste you were looking for.

The easiest and tastiest substitutes for sour cream in cheesecake include buttermilk, greek yogurt, and heavy cream. Talking about creamy cheesecake, durian also tastes similar.

We’ll go into all of the ways these ingredients can be substituted for sour cream, and give you a few extra tips to make your cheesecake really delicious.

Substitutes for Sour Cream in Cheesecake

Let’s start with our tangy substitute and move onto our sweeter ingredient options. One of the better qualities of a cheesecake is that tangy taste provided by sour cream, so it’s only natural that we start with close substitutes.

1. Buttermilk

Buttermilk is a fermented milk product – think when your milk just starts to go bad but isn’t there yet. You can purchase it at your local grocery store, or easily make your own.

How to Make Buttermilk

If you’re making your own buttermilk, the ratio of your fermenting agent is 1 tablespoon per cup of milk. 

You can easily make delicious buttermilk by mixing 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar into 1 cup of milk. Let it sit for a few minutes et voila! You’ve got yourself a cup of buttermilk.

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If you’re substituting buttermilk for sour cream, make sure you add less buttermilk than the amount of sour cream that is called for in your recipe. You don’t want to accidentally make your cheesecake too watery!

Hoosier Hill Farm Buttermilk Powder, 1LB (Pack of 1)
  • Sweet and creamy Buttermilk Powder is the perfect pantry staple for pancakes, biscuits, and recipes calling for buttermilk.
  • Keep real buttermilk on hand without worrying about refrigeration or waste.
  • For one cup of liquid buttermilk, mix 3 Tbsp Buttermilk Powder to 7.5 oz. water.
  • Store in a cool, dry place. We do not recommend refridgeration or freezing of the powder
  • Product of the USA

2. Greek Yogurt

Another tangy substitute that is most similar to sour cream is greek yogurt. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can use flavored yogurt, and most people prefer to use plain yogurt.

Greek yogurt is different from plain yogurt. Greek yogurt has been strained so that all of the whey is removed, making it thicker in texture and giving it a slightly sour taste.

Remember: ingredient quality is key in cheesecake. Try and use full fat or 2% greek yogurt when substituting it for sour cream in cheesecake. 

Regular yogurt is also acceptable here, and greek yogurt will mimic the tangy taste of sour cream in cheesecake.

3. Heavy Cream

The sweetest of acceptable substitutes for sour cream in cheesecake, heavy cream is also the most common replacement.

Heavy cream is in between the thickness of sour cream and buttermilk, and you should still be able to use the same amount as you would sour cream. This is because when sour cream warms up, as it does when you’re stirring, it develops a consistency similar to heavy cream.

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Be careful not to overbeat your heavy cream – you’ll end up making whipped cream, instead!

Anthony’s Heavy Cream Powder, 1 lb, Gluten Free, Non-GMO, Keto Friendly, Product of USA
  • High Quality Heavy Cream Powder with 72% Butterfat
  • Batch Tested and Verified Gluten Free
  • Lends a great rich flavor with a creamy mouthfeel to your baked goods and beverages!
  • Only one ingredient – sweet cream solids! No fillers or preservatives added!
  • Made in the USA – Also known as Dehydrated Sweet Cream Powder

Cheesecake Ingredients

Let’s quickly talk cheesecake ingredients. To make the best cheesecake, don’t skimp on the quality of your ingredients. Cheesecake is one of these recipes that just doesn’t do well when you try to make it healthier, either.

Stick with full-fat dairy ingredients – especially the cream cheese. It just makes it that much better.

Sour Cream

So, what’s the purpose of sour cream in cheesecake? Sour cream adds both moisture and texture to your cheesecake. It’s lighter than cream cheese and will help break up the thickness. Talking about cream cheese, learn how to thaw frozen cream cheese?.

Sour cream also adds a nice tangy taste to your cheesecake. For those who prefer a cheesecake that’s less sweet, sour cream is a great addition to your recipe.

So, what happens when you don’t like sour cream or just don’t have it on hand? Use one of those 3 suitable replacements.

Hoosier Hill Farm Sour Cream Powder, 1LB (Pack of 1)
  • Try our famous Sour Cream Powder, made from Sour Cream (Cream, Cultures, & Lactic Acid), Cultured Nonfat Milk Solids, & Citric Acid
  • Use to create dips and sauces or add tangy flavor to muffins and cakes.
  • Instantly rehydrate with cool water to get creamy, smooth sour cream.
  • Product of the USA
  • Store in a cool, dry place. We do not recommend refrigeration or freezing of the powder

Tasty Additions to Cheesecake

Because the base ingredients of cheesecake tend to be on the plainer side, the options for tasty add-ins are numerous. Here are some great options.

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Fresh or Frozen Fruit

You can use fresh or frozen fruit in your cheesecake recipe and it will be delicious. Frozen fruit does best inside the cheesecake batter so that it thaws during the cooking process. You can use fresh fruit on top or inside the cheesecake to flavor it.

Blueberries, strawberries, and even rhubarb (fresh or frozen) are all great options!


Oreo cheesecake is a classic flavor that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser. You can also use double chocolate or chocolate chip cookies if those are more to your taste.

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