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A thick, tangy Mexican Crema that is perfect for drizzling on tacos, enchiladas, soups and more! Made with only 4 ingredients, this homemade version adds just the right creamy, richness to your favorite Mexican and Tex Mex dishes.

Cup filled with homemade mexican crema with a spoon above drizzling crema.


 

What is Mexican Crema?

Mexican crema is a very popular Mexican and Tex Mex condiment that is similar to American sour cream. It has a thick creamy consistency and a tangy flavoring.

Use it as a drizzle, for the finishing touch, over the top of nachos, taco, enchiladas and other Mexican meals. It’s also used in soups where it adds a nice rich, creamy consistency.

The cold, creaminess of it tones down spicy foods, and it adds a soothing flavor to all dishes.

Ingredients

Ingredients needed to make homemade mexican crema laid out on the counter. A measuring glass of cream, bowl of sour cream, half a lime, and a small amount of salt.
  • Sour Cream: you can sub this with buttermilk also. We need some kind of cultured cream and I personally have sour cream on hand more often.
  • Heavy Cream: this creates a nice, thick cream sauce.
  • Lime Juice: adds a nice fresh citrus taste.
  • Salt: use a fine ground sea salt.

Find the complete recipe card below with measurements and full instructions.

How to Make Mexican Crema

  1. First, pour the heavy cream into a clean jar.
  2. Then, stir in the sour cream (or buttermilk) then cover the jar and let sit at room temperature for up to 24 hours until thickened.
  3. Finally, add the lime juice and salt. Stir, taste and adjust.
  4. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Squeezing lime juice into a jar filled with Mexican sour cream.

Mexican Crema vs Sour Cream

  • Mexican Crema typically has a higher fat content than sour cream. It is less likely to curdle when heated making it a nice addition to soups.
  • Crema has a slightly sweeter taste, it’s less sour, but more tangy.
  • Crema is thinner and more of a cream sauce than sour cream is. Crema is typically drizzled, while sour cream is added in dollops to top a meal.
Overhead of a glass filled with mexican cream sauce with a spoon dipping in.

Mexican Crema Substitutes

  1. Crème fraîche: this French version of cultured cream is similar in its tangy taste. It is a bit thicker, but can be thinned with a splash of lime juice or milk.
  2. Sour Cream: thicker and with an exaggerated sour taste, this can be used as is, or stir in some milk to create a thinner cream you can drizzle.
  3. Plain Yogurt: while the flavoring is different, it will still provide a creamy, cooling effect.

Recipes that Use Mexican Crema

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Mexican Crema

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Resting Time: 1 day
Total: 1 day 5 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: Serene
A thick, tangy Mexican Crema that is perfect for drizzling on tacos, enchiladas, soups and more! Made with only 4 ingredients, this homemade version adds just the right creamy, richness to your favorite Mexican and Tex Mex dishes.
Overhead of a glass filled with mexican cream sauce with a spoon dipping in.

Ingredients  

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions 

  • Add the heavy cream and sour cream to a large jar or measuring cup. Stir to completely combine.
  • Loosely cover and let this sit at room temperature for up to 24 hours until mixture is thickened.
  • After letting sit, add in the lime juice and salt. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust as needed.
  • Seal and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

If you have a weakened immune system please exercise caution in enjoying fermented dairy products. 
The crema thickens more the longer it sits in the refrigerator. If needed, thin with a bit of lime juice or milk. 

Nutrition

Calories: 143kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 60mg | Potassium: 43mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 608IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 0.04mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

Recipe posted April 3, 2023. Updated April 8, 2024.


Welcome to my kitchen!

Welcome to the House of Yumm!! My name is Serene. I’m the food photographer, recipe developer, and official taste tester around these parts.

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