How To Make Cheesecake Without Sour Cream

Dessert is a staple part of a family meal for us on a special occasion or at the weekends. We all get together and bring a dish to serve up.

For many dessert fans, cheesecake is almost a sacred word, which can be a bit intimidating for novice and even experienced cooks when preparing this dish. A perfectly made cheesecake can make you cry out to the heavens in bliss-filled exaltation.

However, one that’s undercooked, overcooked, or badly prepared can send you crashing down to earth real fast. But worry not, because you’re about to learn the secret to making incredible cheesecake certain to make even the staunchest critics your biggest fans after just one bite. Best of all, this recipe does something a bit different from others you’ll find

This cheesecake recipe without sour cream with a graham cracker crust is very tasty. You can make it a lemon cheesecake by adding lemon curd or lemon juice to this homemade cheesecake recipe. You can also add other flavors like pumpkin to the cream cheese mixture to make pumpkin cheesecake. This is an easy cheesecake recipe.

Whoever gets to make the dessert is always the winner and the most loved person at the dinner table. If you don’t class yourself as a star baker, then a cheesecake is always a great option.

Cheesecake is simple to make and in some recipes, you don’t even have to bake them. Doesn’t that seem like a dream? Serving up a cheesecake with some single cream drizzled over the top is simple and delicious.

Also, infusing different flavors into your cheesecake can be super effective and turn out to be a winner for your family. For example, peanut butter or lemon flavors are so tasty!

Before we get sidetracked with all of the different flavors you can add to a cheesecake recipe, a lot of people ask about sour cream. Is sour cream needed in a cheesecake? What does sour cream do to the mixture? Firstly, sour cream does have some benefits to your cheesecake recipe, however, it is not an essential ingredient.

In today’s post, we’re going to share with you all some alternatives to sour cream that you can use in your recipe.

A great thing about our substitutes is that they don’t hinder the flavors or textures too much. So, you can still enjoy one of the best dessert dishes in the baking game!

Cheesecake Without Sour Cream

Cheesecake is a delectable dessert loved worldwide, providing a rich, creamy experience in every bite. Its appeal lies in its combination of textures and tastes, but many traditional recipes call for sour cream. You might be looking for a cheesecake without sour cream, either due to dietary restrictions or personal preference. Worry not, as there are plenty of alternatives for making a mouthwatering cheesecake without the use of sour cream.

The versatility of cheesecakes allows for a variety of substitutions, resulting in a dessert that can suit your taste preferences. By using alternative ingredients, such as cream cheese, yogurt, or heavy cream, you can create the perfect cheesecake that fits your specific needs.

Why does cheesecake contain sour cream?

When you search online, you will find sour cream in a lot of the recipes. Of course, sour cream is there for a reason but is it an essential ingredient?

We’re going to be honest with you, sour cream is good in cheesecake. The only problem is that it is quite difficult to get hold of. Many stores don’t even sell it!

This is why we want to share with you some alternative ingredients which will give you similar results to your cheesecake. But first, we need to take a deep dive into why sour cream is included in cheesecake, to begin with?

Many French cheesecake recipes include sour cream. We all know how well the French does desserts! There are three main reasons why sour cream is added to a cheesecake.

The reasons are to create a creamy consistency, to stop it from drying out so quickly, and to create a tartness to the flavor.

If you take a bite into a cheesecake and it is quite solid, then you know that the person who has made it hasn’t added enough of the dairy ingredients.

This is where the sour cream or substitute ingredients would come into play. These ingredients add a creamier texture to the topping making it an absolute delight to eat.

As cheesecake is usually made in large batches, you pretty much always have leftovers. That is, unless you have a huge family gathering or if you have a big sweet tooth!

Cheesecake will last for three to four days if stored in the fridge. It is great to snack on throughout the week if you’re feeling the need for something sweet.

If the recipe isn’t up to scratch then you do risk your cheesecake from drying out too quickly. You can tell if your cheesecake is dried out by the look and texture of your topping. It may seem rubbery or slightly discolored.

Unfortunately, if your cheesecake has these qualities, then it is time to throw it out. Sour cream prolongs this from happening so it is a great ingredient! Our substitutes will also help to prevent this from happening to your cheesecake.

Lastly, by adding sour cream you will get a slight tartness in the flavor. This is usually a welcomed trait of a cheesecake as the rest of the ingredients can be very sweet.

Our alternative ingredients will also provide this flavor as it is a signature part of a good cheesecake.


Sour cream seems like a good thing to add to your cheesecake, doesn’t it?

The thing is, not everyone loves the taste of sour cream, and sometimes it is a nightmare to try to find at the store.

If you are in a rush, we have two recommendations which act as alternatives to sour cream.

These ingredients are much easier to find at the store and still provide the good qualities that sour cream brings to the table.

Crème Fraiche

The first substitute that we are going to discuss is Crème Fraiche. This is probably the closest alternative to sour cream that you will find. It is easier to get in stores than sour cream so it is a great option if you’re struggling.

The taste that Crème Fraiche adds to your cheesecake recipe is so similar to sour cream. It is still a dairy product that adds a slight tang to your cheesecake topping. It completely balances the sweetness of the rest of the cheesecake with a little punch of sour.

Crème Fraiche will also give a comparable texture to your cheesecake. It is a similar consistency to sour cream so your cheesecake will be creamy when you take a bite into it.

There may be some stores that do not sell Crème Fraiche but it is very rare. If you can’t find it, you can use our second substitute which you can find with ease and you probably have some in your refrigerator right now.

Greek Yogurt

You didn’t see this one coming, did you? That’s right, you can use Greek yogurt in your cheesecake recipes.

One thing to take into account is that it must be full-fat. If you search for healthy cheesecake recipes, they usually include this ingredient. It is popular to add this into your cheesecake topping instead of sour cream.

Greek yogurt does have a different consistency to sour cream so you have to get the full-fat version to get the best results. This is because the high-fat content in sour cream helps to create the perfect texture for your cheesecake.

We like to bake our Greek yogurt cheesecakes to set the filling. However, you can also add in some thickening agents to get a similar effect.

The taste will be similar to that of sour cream. Greek yogurt does have a slight tangy taste to it which works well with all of the sweet ingredients added into the mixture.

Greek yogurt is sold in most grocery stores so you can make a delicious cheesecake without the difficulty of hunting down a carton of sour cream.

How to make cheesecake without sour cream

From the two above options, we believe that Greek yogurt will be much more accessible.

Greek yogurt produces a delicious result and doesn’t compromise the taste or texture.

If you would like to know how to make a cheesecake without sour cream, keep reading for our recipe!

Our favorite recipe serves 10 people and does require baking. It is so good! You will not be disappointed.


For the base:

  • 1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp melted butter
  • For the cheesecake topping:
  • 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
  • 16 oz full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt


  1. 1Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. 2We are going to start by making the cheesecake base. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Once the mixture is fully incorporated, you can press it into a cheesecake tin.
  3. 3Place into the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes. Set aside and wait for the base to fully cool.
  4. 4Now it’s time to make the cheesecake filling. Blend the cream cheese, Greek yogurt, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and salt in a food processor. Keep blending until the mixture is a super smooth consistency.
  5. 5Once the cheesecake base is cool, spread the cheesecake filling evenly on top.
  6. 6Once you are satisfied with the coverage of the filling, place the cheesecake tin back into the oven for 50 minutes. When you take the cheesecake out of the oven, it should jiggle slightly which lets you know that the cheesecake is set.
  7. 7Set the cheesecake to the side and allow it to fully cool before placing into the refrigerator.

We hope that you enjoy your cheesecake made without sour cream.

Today you have learned that sour cream is not essential in a cheesecake recipe and that there are some equally as good substitutes out there!

Now, sit back, relax, and enjoy a slice of your delicious cheesecake!

Cheesecake Without Sour Cream

Gluten-free: No 
Dairy-free:  No
Suitable for nut allergies: Yes
4.91 from 82 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine European
Servings 9
Calories 258 kcal


  • Mixing bowl
  • Cheesecake tin


For the base:

  • cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp melted butter

For the cheesecake topping:

  • 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
  • 16 oz full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt


  • To begin, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Combine the ingredients fully together and then press into a cheesecake tin.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes. Wait for the cheesecake base to cool completely before moving onto the next step.
  • In another bowl, blend together the cream cheese, eggs, greek yogurt, sugar, vanilla extract and salt. You should keep mixing until you get a smooth consistency.
  • Spread the cheesecake filling onto the top of your base.
  • Place the cheesecake back into the oven for 50 minutes. It will have some bounce to it when you remove from the oven and that is perfect.
  • Allow the cheesecake to fully cool before serving.


Calories: 258kcal
Keyword Cheesecake, Cheesecake Without Sour Cream
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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
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