How To Thicken Sour Cream – The Most Detailed Instruction For You!

You can notice the appearance of sour cream in many sweet dishes, with a light, slightly acidic taste. People would usually be confused about the originality of sour cream, asking whether it is due to sour buttermilk to create sour cream?

Well, sour cream is a pure substance on its own, providing a slightly-sour taste to the dish. But if it is too runny, it can ruin your dish significantly. So, how to thicken sour cream will be the question we reveal the answer to today!

You don’t want to miss this article for sure!

3 Best Ways On How To Thicken Sour Cream

3 Best Ways On How To Thicken Sour Cream

#1. Grain The Cream Using Cheesecloth

Why is my sour cream runny? There might be a lot of reasons, but the fastest and easiest way to thicken sour cream is to remove the excess liquid in it. There are many ways to do this, but a natural method that has effectiveness rises above other treatments is using cheesecloth.

Here are the steps you should follow to make your sour creamless runny using a cheesecloth:

  1. Fold the cheesecloth 3-4 times depending on the degree of viscosity of sour cream and arrange it neatly on a mesh strainer so as the cloth covers the mesh entirely.
  1. Slowly pour the sour cream into your strainer at the area where the cloth is. You can use a spoon at this step to prevent excess pouring. Then, you let that strainer to the brim.
  2.  Let the mesh strainer sit at a bowl’s rim and make sure the mesh is hanging inside the bowl.
  3. Use plastic wrap, cover the strainer and bowl entirely, and let this combination sits at a cool temperature from 4-24 hours (it will become dense if the time lasts longer).
  4. After the sour cream has thickened, remove it out from the strainer and pour the newly-dense substance into the new bowl. Make sure to wrap it with plastic wrap again to store the sour cream more effectively.

#2. Reduce The Sauce

This method requires you to slightly cook the thin sour cream to a medium temperature so as it can condense and turn out to be thicker, similarly to how to thicken grits. Let’s take a look at detailed steps on how to reduce a sour cream to make it less runny and soup-alike, solving the question “Why is my sour cream liquid?”:

  1. Bring the cream to a simmer. In the first step, you should manage to pour your sour cream into a simmer to reduce it on the stovetop. With some extra heat and stirring, your sauce will eventually become thicker thanks to the excess liquid that has evaporated. Start with a light heat to make the sauce start shimmering.
  2. Beware of the temperature. You can easily mess the sauce up using this technique if the temperature is too high. High heat can cause breakage in the sauce’s texture, making it unable to be used anymore. One tip to make sure you are doing the shimmering correctly is to look out when it begins to boil. You must reduce the temperature immediately when you see the sauce boils.
  3. Stir the sauce frequently until it achieves the thickness you want.  Using a wooden spoon and stirring the cream sauce frequently can prevent you from burning it accidentally. Keep stirring it until you find it has achieved the density you want, then turn off the stove and let the sauce sit for 10-20 minutes.

#3. Add A Thickener

One straightforward way to thick sour cream is to add a thickener. Many ingredients can help boost the texture of sour cream without demolishing its flavor. They are:

Flour Slurry

Use the same amount of flour, surry, and sour cream and pour them together in a bowl before whisking them all with water. Once you form a smooth-looking slurry, add one teaspoon of slurry at a time to increase the density and stop until you achieve the sour cream’s thickness that you want.


You can make a roux to add in liquid sour cream to make it denser. However, the roux portion should be calculated carefully if you don’t want the buttery components to delete the original flavor of sour cream.

Using flour and melted butter heated at low temperature, you can create a roux to add in watery sour cream later to enhance the texture. Remember to whisk them thoroughly together until you reach the desired consistency.


Gelatin is one of the well-known thickeners when it comes to thickening sauce. Here is what you need to do using gelatin:

  1. For two teaspoons of sour cream, add one teaspoon of gelatin and stir them all together in a bowl.
  2. Heat the mixture at a medium temperature ranging from 130-150 Fahrenheit degree.
  3. Let the substance cool down for a few minutes before wrapping it with plastic wrap and storing it in the refrigerator.

Cornstarch Slurry

Pour in a bowl the same amount of cornstarch and cold water, then mix them to make a slurry. Then add sour cream into the slurry spoon by spoon and whisk it.

If combining them seems to be difficult, place them on a stove at low heat to make the combining faster. Depending on how thick you want your cream to be, adjust the level of slurry you put into the sour cream.

This thickening method is applied mostly when thickening salad dressing, so if you are familiar with that process before, then thickening sour cream tends to be the same.

What Are The Tips To Thicken Sour Cream?

  • Beware of how much gelatin or any kinds of thickeners you add in the runny sour cream, or else it will result in gummy, sticky consistency, which is certainly not the thing we want in the end.
  • Pectin or agar-agar powder can be great substitutions for gelatin if you are looking for a thickening agent for your runny sour cream. The techniques and amount using are all the same.
  • Remember to stir the substance evenly and regularly once you put the substance of sour cream and its thickening agent onto heat.
  • Suppose a particular case where you use sour cream as a salad dressing; adding vinegar is a choice to make your sauce thicker. However, it will result in a more acidic, sourer flavor than it already is, so this technique can be applied in salad dishes only.

The Final Word

Grain The Cream Using Cheesecloth

And that’s all you need to know on how to thicken sour cream dip. The answer to “Why does sour cream get watery?” has been revealed. Thickening sour cream is not a difficult task at all once you follow our instructions carefully.

We hope that you can fix your sour cream and make your dishes more flavorful. Thank you for reading the article, and we will catch up with you soon!

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