Difference Between Sour Cream and Yogurt

Sour Cream vs Yogurt

The difference between sour cream and yogurt begins with the method of making and goes up to the nutritional value of each. Sour cream is a product made using cream while yogurt is a product made using milk. We all love dairy products, especially yoghurt and sour cream, don’t we? Both make great recipes and are also eaten as such by people. Despite similarities in looks and taste, there are differences between sour cream and yogurt that will be highlighted in this article. So, let us first have a look at each term individually and then go on to discuss the difference between sour cream and yogurt.

What is Yogurt?

To make yogurt, we begin by taking milk and putting it to fermentation through bacteria called yogurt cultures. It is cow’s milk that is considered ideal to make yogurt though yogurt can be conveniently made with milk obtained from other cattle too such as goat, sheep, buffalo, and even yaks and camels. Lactose present in milk gets fermented with the help of bacteria. If you do not have yogurt culture, just add a spoon of leftover yogurt into milk and leave it for a few hours to be turned into yogurt. Then as the milk ferments, the taste becomes sour because of the formation of lactic acid.

In some cultures, yogurt is eaten raw, and some eat it adding salt while others like sweetened yogurt (called mishti dahi in Bengal). There are many who are allergic to dairy products. Such people are advised by doctors to consume yogurt as it is not only nutritious, but also, does not produce allergy in people. Yogurt also increases immunity, which is why it is given to patients who are recovering from various ailments. It not only contains all the protein of milk, but is also rich in calcium and vitamins B6 and B12.

Difference Between Sour Cream and Yogurt

What is Sour Cream?

To make sour cream, we have to begin with cream. It is the bacterial culture that is introduced to the regular cream obtained from milk, which makes the cream thick and sour. However, it is not as sour as yogurt but gets the name sour cream because of the process of making of lactic acid being referred to as souring. The cream is nothing, but fat obtained from milk, which can also be turned into butter. Sour cream can be easily made at home by adding culture from buttermilk to the cream. Traditionally, sour cream was made by allowing the fresh cream to sour naturally. The acids in the cream change that into sour cream that can be added to both sweet, as well as salty dishes. Sour cream cannot be made with pasteurized cream as the absence of bacteria means the cream produced will not be sour; the cream will get spoiled rather.

Sour cream is available in the market, but it is prudent to check the label for the ingredients as there are some ingredients like rennet, gelatin, vegetable enzymes, salt, and sodium citrate, etc. that may be a source of allergy to some.

 Sour Cream vs Yogurt

What is the difference between Sour Cream and Yogurt?

• Method of Making:

• Fermenting of cream gives sour cream.

• Yogurt is obtained by fermenting milk itself.

• Nutritional Values:

Both are dairy product with different nutritional values.

• Calories:

• Sour cream has 492 calories in one cup.1

• Yogurt has 154 calories in one cup.2

• Fat:

• Sour cream has 48.21 g fat in one cup.

• Yogurt has 3.8 g fat in one cup.

• Protein:

• Sour cream has 7.27 g protein in one cup.

• Yogurt has 12.86 g protein in one cup.

• Taste:

• People consider sour cream not to be as sour as yogurt.

• Food and Condiment:

• Sour cream is mostly used as a condiment to make recipes tastier.

• Yogurt is in itself a food item. It is also used as an ingredient to dishes.

• Uses:

• Sour cream is mostly used in cooking for its taste rather than for its nutritional value.

• Yogurt being more nutritious is given to pregnant women, children, and adults. It is also given to sick people while recovering from ailments.

These are the differences between sour cream and yogurt.


  1. Sour Cream
  2. Yogurt 


Images Courtesy:

  1. Pistachio Frozen Yogurt with Oreos by ParentingPatch (CC BY-SA 3.0)
  2. Sour cream via Wikicommons (Public Domain)