Looking to liven up your Mexican dishes? Look no further than my Mexicana Crema, sometimes also referred to as Mexican Sour Cream. Cool and just a touch tart to balance out those spicy flavors in Mexican recipes.
Perfect for tacos, burritos and Street Corn Salad!
What's In This Article
What is Mexican Sour Cream?
Think of Crema Mexican as the Mexican version of French crème fraiche or American sour cream. It is slightly thinner and a bit sweeter and often served along with cotija or queso fresco cheeses.
Some might call is Mexicana crema or just plain crema.
Just like other types of cream, you can add a little bit of flavor by blending in other flavors. Some of my favorites are:
- fresh cilantro
- lime juice or zest
- lemon juice or zest
- chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
How Do You Make Crema Mexicana?
Crema Mexicana can be found in many Latin supermarkets and some mainstream stores. That side, my store was fresh out so I needed to make my own. Don’t worry, it is super simple!
The traditional crema recipe calls for heavy cream blended with buttermilk and given 24 hours to thicken up. Again, I was tight on time.
The quick version of crema Mexicana uses 1/4 cup of sour cream. I opted for a middle of the road experiment – a little bit of buttermilk AND a little bit of sour cream.
Let it Thicken
It needs to sit in a warm place to thicken. Near the stove or oven (if you are using it,) on top of the refrigerator, or in my case, outside on a beautiful 80-degree day all work just fine.
The end result will be thinner than yogurt or sour cream, so don’t be concerned if it seems a bit more loose in terms of texture than what you were expecting.
I used this batch for Mexican Street Corn but you can also use it on my favorite Totchos. It also tastes great on Chicken Fajitas or Smothered Burritos.
More Mexican Inspired Recipes
- Best Fish Tacos
- Tropical Beef Tacos
- Mexican Cauliflower Rice
- Loaded Nachos
- Chile Relleno Casserole
- Chipotle Dressing
- Crispy Chicken Quesadilla
Sour Cream vs Mexican Crema
What is the difference between crema mexicana and sour cream?
It is just the Mexican version of American sour cream or French crème fraîche.
It is a slightly soured thickened cream, but thinner than sour cream.
Can I use sour cream, crema Mexicana and crème fraîche interchangeably?
You can use all three interchangeably, but remember they have a slightly different texture. Sour cream is the thickest.
Can I use plain yogurt instead? You can! In fact, I love using yogurt in place of any of the three soured creams. However, for my purposes, I usually need something a little thinner.
Storage & Shelf Life
How long is homemade crema Mexicana good for? Just like most dairy products, it will be good for about a week if kept refrigerated.
How long can crema Mexicana be out at room temperature? The FDA recommends it being out for no longer than 2 hours.
I do not recommend freezing this recipe.
Homemade Crema Mexicana Recipe
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 heaping tablespoon sour cream
- 1 tablespoon buttermilk
- In a microwave safe container, heat heavy cream for 40 seconds. Meanwhile, stir together sour cream and buttermilk in a glass bowl.
- Add heavy cream, stirring until smooth. Mixture will be watery, but you will notice it starting to thicken already while stirring.
- Allow to sit in a warm place, set lid loosely on the top, or use plastic or aluminum foil. Allow to breath, but to keep covered and free from any floating particles near by, especially if placed outside. Do not let crema mexicana go over 100 degrees.
- Allow to sit for 4-6 hours to thicken. Add flavor, if desired, using a stick blender.
- Drizzle over your favorite Latin dish.
- Blending in cumin, cilantro, chipotle peppers, lime and/or lemon juice or zest to flavor your crema are all optional.
Oh, how interesting. I can put this on tacos and nachos and all my favorite Mexican dishes. Lovely. Can’t wait to try this.
I love using Mexican crema on enchiladas, taquitos and nachos. We use it once a week and this recipe is so much better than the store bought kind.
Fantastic recipe, we added cumin and lemon zest as you suggested and it came out perfect 🙂
Thanks for sharing!!
I never knew how they made this but I love creama Mexicana! Thanks for such a great and easy recipe!
This sounds so good ! Love that it can be made homemade!
I was so tired of driving to the edge of town to find crema mexicana! I’m so glad I found your recipe as it worked perfectly in my suiza enchildas!!
I always buy crema mexicana and love the brand I get but when ever I can’t find it, is now good to know how to make it at home. Sooo simple. Thanks!
It is simple- still a little time consuming since the “quick” version takes 4 hours, but in a pinch, it works!
I’m SO tired. lol
This is delightful. I was to slather it over everything.
Oh I love putting cojita and mayo on my corn!! I’ll have to make this!
What a great recipe for Mexicana Crema. Can’t wait to try it!
Thank you! I so badly needed a recipe to make my own crema… I madly love Mexican food, but I don’t always have time to travel to the other side of town where there all of the Latin markets are located to pick up some of the harder-to-find ingredients. I already learned to make my own tortillas, so between that and this recipe for crema, I’m basically set! 🙂
I have never heard of this before but it sounds delicious!! Sadly, I can’t have too much dairy but I’ll make it for our next Latin themed party — sounds like a winner to me!!
This is fantastic. I love Latin and Mexican recipes and find it refreshing to find this recipe for Quick Crema Mexicana! Will come in handy in several areas! Pinning!!
This looks great and seems like you could use it in so many things!
How neat. I have never heard of this before but I love Creme Fraiche!
Love the simple ingredients! Sounds too easy not to try!
I had no idea how to make crema! I often need it and, of course, don’t have it on hand. Love to learn something new every day – thanks!
I’ve never tried Crema Mexicana but i looks incredible and can be used in so many ways! Like on top of my quesadillas!
I’ve never heard of Crema Mexicana, but it looks really versatile!