Homemade Sour Cream & Cultured Butter Recipe

*We are pleased to share these delightful recipes from our good friend Sarah, who likes to experiment and get creative with food.  Being her friend means we get the pleasure of being her taste testers!


How I made sour cream and cultured butter so I would have a delicious day…

sour cream & cultured butter

clover milk

I started with three types of organic creams available at Berkeley Bowl West – Straus, Organic Valley and Clover.  The taste-test-winner is pictured.


Sour Cream Process:

i) 1 tablespoon Yogurt or Buttermilk (I used Nancy’s organic whole milk yogurt).


ii) 1 cup Cream (best you can taste)

whipping cream


i) Blend ingredients until smooth,

ii) place in glass container with cover left slightly open to allow air to escape,

(THIS is critical, or else the container EXPLODES) and

iii) for at least 12 – 16 hours, allow contents of jar to get warm (temperature of 75 degrees is perfect, 70-80 is the range that google suggests). I covered mine with a dark dishtowel and left them in the sun to get warm.

milk bottles

iv) To test if the cream is ready, tilt container, when the cream separates easily and leaves little trace on the side of the jar you have SOUR CREAM.  I saved about half of this for simple sour cream recipes, of which there are many.

v) Refrigerate and seal tightly.


Butter Process:

i) With the rest (about ½ pint), seal the sour cream and place it in fridge until it’s at about 60 degrees, or cold.

cultured butter ingredients

ii) Place sour cream in a processor and mix (you can use a stand mixer too, but there may be some splashing of buttermilk here and there).

cultured butter mix

iii) Mix until the cream runs to liquid again and pulse a few seconds more, butter should be a pretty solid ball surrounded by watery/frothy buttermilk, which is good to save for buttermilk pancakes.

butter mixing

iv) Using a rubber spatula, work butter into ball or form and slowly pour off the buttermilk into a separate glass jar.

cultured butter recipe I

v) Place butter ball under cold running water and press out all the waters (milk fats, which will make the butter go bad more quickly if left in the butter, though I eat the results too fast for it to matter).

cultured butter

Yield, approx. pint of sour cream OR ¼ pound of butter (about a stick) + ¼ cup buttermilk.

Results. We devoured our 3 sticks of cultured butter with the following delights:

  • several baguettes from our local French Bakery, La Farine
  • sinfully homemade soft boiled egg salad
  • fig spread
  • Hey Boo Coconut Jam, (coconut and sugar and egg yolks and probably illegal in cardiovascularly responsible municipalities), San Francisco based company
  • Inna Jam raspberry preserves also local.

Really, the results were three more kinds of delicious to slather on baguettes.  Which reminds me, I’ve heard tell that there is a way to cook bread that even the celiacs can eat.. it involves sour dough-ing and other chicanery that I plan to try to make, soon.

Variations.  Butter on everything + sour cream gluten-free pancakes, mushroom stroganoff, tacos w/ sour cream on top.

Fluently lived,

Sarah  (guest & possibly regular contributor)

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