Cream Cheese vs. Sour Cream – What’s The Difference?

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If you already have an idea about cream cheese and sour cream, it would be easy for you to understand the difference between both. But in case you are new to the cooking field and want to gather all the quality ingredients to start with, this article would be a great help for you.

Moving towards the primary difference between cream cheese and sour cream, cream cheese is prepared from mixing milk and cream while sour cream is made with cream only. Different flavors and textures make them different as well. Sour cream tastes sour and soft, while cream cheese tastes mild and thick consistency.

Well, if cream cheese and sou cheese are served to you on a plate, you won’t be able to spot the difference by just looking. As both cream cheese and sou cheese consists of similar appearance, the difference can be spotted by tasting.

We have mentioned their properties, similarities, differences, nutritional facts, and manufacturing to understand sour cream and cream cheese better. So read the article and clear all your doubts.

Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is white, spreadable and fresh with a smooth surface and is produced using sweet milk and cream, giving a sweet mouthwatering taste. As indicated by FDA, cream cheddar contains 33% fat substance and 55% moisture content. Mascarpone cheese has a similar taste to cream cheese.

Cream cheddar is devoured alongside numerous food, for example, bread spread, on bagels and wafers, mixed greens and sauce and so on. The preparation of cream cheddar is basic, and one can undoubtedly set it up at home. A portion of the stabilizers like agar gum and carrageenan is added.


The preparation of cream cheese is simple and involves the process of fermentation. The mixing of milk and cream occurs, and lactic acid is added to the mixture. The mixture is then heated so that fermentation takes place.

Later the curd and whey are separated, the whey part is eliminated, and further processing is done with curd. In the curd, some artificial stabilizers are added to thicken the cream cheese and get better results. In the end, salt addition takes place to enhance the taste.

Nutritional Facts

Below, we have summarized info related to cream cheese’s nutritional facts. Keep in mind that these values are by one cup of cream cheese containing:

  • 793 Kcal Total Calories
  • 79 g Fats
  • 9 g Carbs
  • 744 mg Sodium
  • 14 g Proteins
  • 320 mg Potassium


When it comes to cream cheese, there are numerous uses as it is a versatile kind of cheese. You can consume it in any form you like, such as in raw form or along with some other food. Below we have mentioned some of the uses of cream cheese.

  1. It can be used as frosting on cupcakes and cakes. So that when you take a bite, you can taste the burst of creaminess.
  2. Cream cheese is also spread on bagels to give a sweet taste.
  3. Cream cheese is also added in dipping sauce and herbs and spices to taste delicious.
  4. You can also enjoy the cream cheese in white sauce pasta.
  5. Lastly, cream cheese is added in soup garnish to give a creamier taste.

Health Benefits

  1. The presence of lactose in cream cheese acts as a calcium source in people with lactose intolerance.
  2. It is also gluten-free, so patients with celiac disease can also consume it and fulfill their vitamin and mineral requirements.
  3. Cream cheese is also a good source of calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus, and all these nutrients altogether play a vital role in growth and development.
  4. Cream cheese is a good source of protein and contains all basic amino acids, which help provide basic energy and stay healthy.
  5. Lastly, cream cheese is a good source of vitamin A and zinc, which help in improving vision.

Sour Cream

Sour cream is a dairy product formed by the fermentation of cream with the addition of lactic acid. The bacteria that produce lactic acid thickens the sour cream. Sour cream is a major ingredient in eastern and European cuisine.

Sour cream is added in dipping, sauces, baked items and soups. It is mostly added to tenderize the food items and provide a refreshing taste.  Sour cream is similar to a French cream known as crème Fraiche.


Sour cream preparation is very easy and is prepared by adding lactic acid bacteria. The lactic acid is added to the cream, and fermentation starts. The sour cream’s texture and taste start to change, and consistency is thickened.

Some of the extra ingredients are added in to give a unique taste. The creams used in the processing are fat-free cream or dairy-free creams. The fat content in sour cream is less and is about 12% to 16%.

Nutritional Facts

Below we have summarized the basic nutritional facts of sour cream. The values mentioned below are of one cup sour cream contains:

  • 445 Kcal Total Calories
  • 7 g Carbs
  • 45 g Fats
  • 184 mg Sodium
  • 8 g Proteins
  • 324 g Potassium


Sour cream has many uses, especially in cooking, making them taste better. There are many uses of sour cream, some of which are mentioned below.

  1. Sour cream is added to the dipping sauce, mostly consumed with chips and wedges.
  2. Sour cream is also added in salad dressings, especially salads of chicken or beef.
  3. All the desserts and sweet dishes contain sour cream to give a thick consistency.
  4. The combination of baked potato and sour cream is very delicious, along with cheese and onions.
  5. Instead of mayonnaise, people tend to add sour cream in sandwiches, which is healthier.

Health benefits

Sour cream is not a primary source of nutrients but provides some health benefits, like:

  1. It promotes the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, E and D.
  2. The live bacteria that ferment the cream provide probiotic benefits like boosting immunity.
  3. As sour cream is low in carbs, people on a diet consume it to reduce weight.

So What’s the Difference Detween Cream Cheese and Sour Cream?

So, to summarize the topic of discussion, below we have mentioned some key differences between cream cheese and Sour cream.

  1. Sour cream tastes sour and tangy, while cream cheese is a little sweet in taste.
  2. The processing of sour cream takes place by fermenting the cream while the cream cheese is prepared with milk and cream.
  3. Sour cream has only twenty percent fats, and cream cheese has thirty-three percent fats.
  4. Sour cream has less protein and carb content than cream cheese.


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