How to Make Probiotic Creme Fraiche

If you’ve never made crème fraiche, you’re in for a treat. Culturing cream into crème fraiche is one way to introduce beneficial bacteria into your daily life, specifically lactic bacteria similar to lactobacillus. It’s also an excellent way to enjoy a gourmet treat that you created right in your own kitchen!

Crème fraiche is gluten-free, making it an ideal and healthy addition to your diet if you are on a gluten-free diet.

You can easily incorporate probiotic crème fraiche into your daily life by substituting it for sour cream in any recipe. You can add it as a garnish to chili, or mix it into a probiotic salad dressing.  It’s also excellent to mix with eggs as you scramble them, and it makes them very fluffy without altering the taste too much. The only limit is your imagination.

How to Make Probiotic Crème Fraiche

To make probiotic cultured crème fraiche, you can use cream from the grocery store, but steer clear of ultrapasteurized cream, as sometimes it doesn’t thicken correctly or takes a very long time to thicken. You’ll have a better experience with pasteurized or raw cream.

The starter culture to create crème fraiche contains lactic bacteria like Lactococcus cremoris and L. lactis, which are close cousins of lactobacillus, the beneficial bacteria in ferments, making probiotic crème fraiche an excellent way to round out the beneficial bacteria in your diet.

So how do you culture cream into probiotic crème fraiche? I’m glad you asked. Despite its reputation as a gourmet treat, crème fraiche is so simple to culture that it’s probably the easiest thing you’ll do all day.

To make probotic crème fraiche:

1. Warm cream to 86° F, making sure to watch the pot so it doesn’t get too warm. It happens fast!

2. Add your starter culture, and stir in a gentle “up/down” motion to incorporate. You can purchase a starter culture from a cheesemaking supplier or you can also use two tablespoons of cultured buttermilk or yogurt with live cultures, although the taste will be slightly different.

3. Transfer the mixture to a container, and cover the container. It does not need to be air-tight, but it should be protected against bugs, dust, etc.

4. Place in a warm spot at room temperature.

5. Your cream should turn to thick, probiotic crème fraiche in 12-24 hours. Because you’re dealing with a “live” food, it’s impossible to give an exact time frame, but keep an eye on the crème fraiche, and when it’s thick like sour cream, it’s finished culturing.

6. Transfer to the fridge, and use within a week. Your crème fraiche will continue to culture, but at a very slow rate as long as you keep it in the refrigerator.

Once you get the hang of homemade probiotic crème fraiche, you’ll fall in love! Trot it out at your next dinner party (you can use it as a dip with fermented veggies), or just enjoy it on a day-to-day basis!


In the Fermentools store, you will find fermentation lids for Mason jars, glass weights, and that special Himalayan Powder salt that dissolves in cool water. Better yet, get a kit! Everything you need in one package.


Maat van Uitert is a professional writer and homesteader based in the South. Maat is a fermenting nut who specializes in making cheeses, yogurts, probiotic sauces and condiments to spice up and create flavorful meals. You can read more about Maat and her homestead at FrugalChicken, where Maat helps everyday people achieve independence by raising chickens, learning traditional skills, and becoming more self-sufficient. You can also catch up with her on her weekly podcast, What The Cluck?!, available on iTunes now.

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