If you want to make homemade clotted cream, this is for you! I’ve made it many, many times now, and in this article I share all the details about what works and what doesn’t.
If you want to get right to the recipe, click “jump to recipe” or scroll aaaaaall the way down.
If you want to read answers to some frequently asked clotted cream questions and about the clotted cream experiments that led to my now perfected recipe, keep reading!
Whenever I visit the UK or Ireland I always eat at least one currant scone with clotted cream. Ok, one a day. Ok, sometimes two. Hey, don’t judge me until you’ve tried one – then you’ll understand and will also be on the scone and clotted cream diet!
I was so excited to realize that I can make British-style clotted cream at home to eat on my favorite fresh-from-the-oven currant scones. It’s so easy. If you can pour cream into a dish, you can make homemade clotted cream! The hardest part of the recipe? Waiting the 24 hours you need to bake, and then chill, the delicious cream before devouring it.
Some of you are probably salivating at the thought of slathering fresh clotted cream on a scone and then topping it with jam (or the other way around), while others are probably wondering, what in the world is clotted cream? What is clotted cream used for?!
Read on, my friend, and I’ll tell you all about it. 🙂 If you’d rather skip reading about my clotted cream experiments and get right to the recipe, just scroll all the way down.
What is Clotted Cream?
- 0.1 What is Clotted Cream?
- 0.2 What Does Clotted Cream Taste Like?
- 0.3 What to Do with Clotted Cream?
- 0.4 Clotted Cream FAQ
- 0.5 How to Make Homemade Clotted Cream
- 0.6 Clotted Cream Troubleshooting & Tips
- 1 Easy Clotted Cream Recipe
- 2 Clotted Cream Ice Cream
Don’t be put off by the name! Clotted cream, sometimes also called Devonshire or Cornish cream, is a thick cream that often accompanies scones in the UK. The slow heating and cooling process allows the cream to separate and for the “clots” to rise to the surface. Made from cow’s milk (well, cream) this is not a low fat food. The fat is what makes it so creamy and to-die-for delicious!
What Does Clotted Cream Taste Like?
The texture and taste of clotted cream can vary, depending on the cream you use and how you cook/bake it, as you’ll see via my experiments below. The taste is unique and not like anything we typically eat in the US. It’s like a cross between butter and unsweetened whipped cream.
You can easily make a batch using my easy clotted cream recipe below. Another option is order a small 1 oz jar of clotted cream to try before making it at home.
Clotted cream is absolutely delicious slathered on my fluffy currant scones and topped with my homemade lemon curd or jam. Clotted cream and scones are perfect for hosting an afternoon tea, birthday party, office party, shower, holiday party…or as a delightful afternoon treat with a steaming hot London Fog, Fresh Mint Tea or Earl Grey.
What to Do with Clotted Cream?
Here are some other uses for clotted cream. Besides the typical scones and clotted cream pairing, it’s amazing slathered on…
- quick breads
- Irish soda bread
- french toast
- treacle tart
- German Stollen bread
You can also use clotted cream in…
- ice cream
- caramel sauce
- chocolate truffles
Clotted Cream FAQ
Can I freeze clotted cream?
Yes! Freezing clotted cream is easy, just put it in a freezer safe container. But I seriously doubt you have any left over to freeze.
How many calories are in clotted cream?
Do you really want to know that? It’s made from heavy cream so looking at the calorie count on the heavy cream you choose to use will give an idea.
Can you make slow cooker clotted cream?
Yes! I always make it in the oven but from what I’ve been told, you can use a slow cooker instead.
Where can I buy clotted cream in the USA?
If you’d rather buy clotted cream than make it, try Trader Joe’s, Whole Food or Wegmanns. Or grab a jar of clotted cream here on Amazon.
Where can I buy individual portions of clotted cream?
You can get little 1 oz jars of clotted cream right here. How cute would individual jars be for brunch, tea or a shower?
What kind of cream should I use?
First, use the highest quality cream you can (organic, grass-fed, local, etc) with a high fat content.
Second, only use pasteurized cream, NOT ultra-pasteurized cream. The ultra-pasteurized stuff just doesn’t work. I’ve tried it (see “Round 1” below) several times, and I can say from experience, you’ll get the very best results with non-ultra pasteurized cream and will be disappointed if you use ultra-pasteurized. Where to find NON-ultra-pasteurized cream? I get it from my local co-op or Whole Foods.
That said, readers have said that they’ve gotten good results with ultra pasteurized heavy cream! So give it a try if you’d like. If it doesn’t work try it again with non-ultra pasteurized cream.
Update: a reader suggested Organic Valley ultra pasteurized cream, so I picked up a pint at Whole Foods. It worked! It wasn’t as thick, creamy or smooth as when I use non-ultra pasteurized cream but it was MUCH better than any other ultra pasteurized cream I’ve tried. I’m going to stick with using non-ultra pasteurize cream from our local dairy (it works better and it’s cheaper) but I’m so glad to have another option!
One more thing – from what I’ve been told, unpasturized cream is what works THE BEST. I haven’t been able to find it where I live so I haven’t tried it yet. If you have access to unpasturized cream, you might want to give it a try.
Créme frâiche vs clotted cream…what’s the difference?
While both are made with heavy cream, they are quite different. Créme frâiche is made by adding buttermilk, whereas clotted cream has nothing added to it. Créme frâiche develops by sitting at room temperature, while clotted cream needs to be baked. Créme frâiche is a “soured cream” that has a tang. Clotted cream is more like a cross between butter and whipped cream. Click here to try my easy Créme frâiche recipe!
How to Make Homemade Clotted Cream
I’ve made many batches of clotted cream in a variety of ways in order to see what works the best. What follows are my various experiments so you can see what worked and what didn’t. The “official” recipe at the end of this article is the method I found worked the best. I’ve included some tips below, as well as troubleshooting tips just before the recipe.
A few notes before we get started:
- Cream. I’ve had much better luck with non ultra pasteurized heavy cream (so just organic, pasteurized cream, from our local dairy, purchased at my local grocery coop). Readers have told me that they’ve used ultra pasteurized cream — the kind you typically find at the grocery store — but, unfortunately, that’s never worked well for me, and I’ve tried several different kinds of cream. — Update: see my note above about Organic Valley ultra-pasteurized cream! — Other readers have said that using un-pasteurized cream works the best – but I haven’t tried that yet.
- Oven. I have a double oven and had much better luck using the large oven. I tried making clotted cream in the smaller top oven and it just didn’t turn out right.
- Baking dish. I used to use a Pyrex 8×8 glass baking dish (like this one) for 1 pint (2 cups / 450ml) of cream but have found much better results using a 3-cup Pyrex glass baking dish (like this one).
- Try, try again! One of the reasons I’ve done so many clotted cream experiments is because sometimes my clotted cream would turn out and sometimes it wouldn’t! Fortunately, I get pretty consistent results now. So, if your clotted cream doesn’t turn out the way you want the first or even second time, make some notes and try again!
- Timing. If you’re making clotted cream for a special occasion, make it a few days in advance. That way, if your first batch doesn’t turn out the way you want, you have time to remake it.
Ok, let’s get to my clotted cream experiments. If you want to go right to the method I now use to get perfect clotted cream every time, scroll down to Round 6. I hope sharing all of this will help you get better clotted cream more quickly!
Round #1: Getting Started
I poured one pint (2 cups / 450ml) of regular grocery store heavy cream into an 8×8 glass baking dish and let it sit uncovered in a 180F/82C oven for 12 hours. This is what it looked like at the end of those 12 hours:
The yellow stuff on top is the clotted cream. I spooned it into a jar and used the milky leftovers in a batch of scones. It’s always a good idea to make clotted cream the day before you want to make scones so you don’t waste any of the leftover cream/whey.
For this first round, I used a pint of heavy cream from Trader Joe’s – just regular old heavy cream. Later I realized that it was ultra-pasteurized, which clotted cream experts advise against using. I found that it worked ok but not great. I much preferred the cream that was made with local organic pasteurized cream (see Round #3).
This batch of clotted cream tasted good but was a bit gritty and had the worst texture of all my clotted cream experiments.
Round #2: Maybe Foil Would Help?
The second time around, I did everything the same as the first time, except that I covered the dish with foil. I thought that might create a smoother texture. Here’s what the cream looked like after 12 hours in the oven:
This batch wasn’t gritty…but it was soupy.
You can see in the photo above that the texture was quite different from the first round. And the only difference was that this batch was covered in foil!
I liked the taste of this batch, and it was smoother than the first, but it was a little too runny for scones.
Round #3: Starting to Get It Right
The first batch was too gritty, and the second too runny, but the third batch was perfect!
When I realized that I’d been using ultra pasteurized heavy cream I decided to try two pints of local, organic, pasteurized heavy cream. I used a larger baking dish and left it uncovered, but the cream was in the oven at the same temperature (180F/82C) for the same amount of time. After 12 hours, the clotted cream looked like this:
As I mentioned, this was my favorite batch by far! The clotted cream was smooth, thick, and rich. The perfect texture for scones. After separating the clotted cream from the liquid cream and then chilling the clotted cream overnight, this is what it looked like:
The texture was buttery smooth, easy to spread on a scone, and delicious with jam. Success!
The only downside to this batch was that only half of the cream clotted. That part was out of this world, but I was left with a small jar of separated liquid cream. I used it in other baking recipes, so it didn’t go to waste, but I was disappointed that this round didn’t make very much clotted cream. So, it worked but not as well as I’d like.
Round #4: Trying a New Method
I recently heard someone swear by this next method because it results in completely smooth and creamy clotted cream with none of those thick butter-like clumpy bits. I gave it a try and wanted to share it with you!
Here’s what you do:
- Heat oven to 360F/182C
- Pour clotted cream into a baking dish and cover with foil – I used 1 pint (2 cups / 450ml) of non-ultra pasteurized heavy cream
- Place cream in oven
- Turn oven off
- Take cream out of oven 12 hours
- Chill in the fridge for 12 hours
- Scoop clotted cream into a dish
Here’s what my clotted cream looked like after following this method (this was after baking and chilling)…
My clotted cream was definitely smoother and creamier! I loved that there were no chunky bits and it wasn’t gritty or lumpy at all. There was still a fair amount of whey, but that’s to be expected.
I think I transfered a little too much whey when I scooped the clots of cream into a jar, which made it runnier than normal.
That said, it did thicken up after another 12 hours in the fridge. But it didn’t have the same butter-like consistency that I usually get. It still tasted amazing, even if it was more pourable than spreadable.
Round #5: Let’s Try the Slow Cooker
I recently tried making clotted cream in a slow cooker. I completely forgot to take photos but I wanted to share the results with you. While I like that you can let it cook all day or night while you’re not at home (I don’t like to leave my oven on when I’m not in the house) I didn’t love the final product as much.
The first round cooked on the “low” setting on my crock pot. But that was too high a temperature. The top of clotted cream turned dark and the texture was lumpy yet thin.
So, for the next round, I cooked it on “warm” for about 12 hours. That turned out better but I ended up with only a small amount of clotted cream.
Some people swear by using a crock pot to make clotted cream. It worked ok for me set to warm but after this I’ll stick to using the oven.
Round #6: I Found THE ONE – The Best Clotted Cream Method!
Recently I needed to make a batch of clotted cream but I couldn’t make it the way I usually do – 12 hours in a 180F/82C oven – because I wasn’t home most of the day, and I don’t like to leave the oven on when I’m not in my house. So I tried a new method, basically by accident. This batch turned out the best of all of my clotted cream experiments! I make my clotted cream this way and get excellent results every time.
Here’s what I did:
- I heated my oven to 360F/182C (if you have a double oven, use the larger one).
- Poured 1 pint (2 cups / 445 g / 472 ml) of non-ultra pasteurized organic local heavy cream into a 3-cup Pyrex dish (this one) and covered the dish with foil — see photos below.
- I put the cream in the oven and turned off the heat.
- I left the house for about 3 hours.
- When I got home, I turned the oven back on to 180F/82C and let it bake for about 7 hours.
- After taking the cream out of the oven (the cream still looked white and runny at this stage) and letting it cool to room temperature, I let the clotted cream chill in the fridge overnight (about 12 hours).
- The next day I carefully poured as much whey as possible into a jar and then scooped the clotted cream into a dish. This is easy to do if you use a 3-cup Pyrex dish and a spoon to hold back the clotted cream.
This batch turned out awesome! It was thick, creamy, white, smooth, and yielded the most clotted cream of any batch I’ve ever made. I’ve since made clotted cream using this method several times and have found success each time!
I’ve gotten the best results when using a 3-cup Pyrex dish like the one below. It’s perfect for 1 pint (2 cups/454ml) of cream. The size also makes it super easy to drain off the whey before scooping out the clots of cream, which results in thicker clotted cream.
Clotted Cream Troubleshooting & Tips
If your clotted cream didn’t turn out the way you expected, don’t worry. There are several factors that affect how your clotted cream turns out, and it might take a few tries to figure out what works for you. Here are a few troubleshooting tips from my experience:
My clotted cream is too runny. Did you use non-ultra pasteurized heavy cream? Did you bake it long enough? Have you chilled the clotted cream in the fridge for 12 hours? Did you separate the whey from the clots of cream after baking and chilling? Did you drain off the whey before scooping out the clots of cream? Did you transfer more whey than you realized when scooping the clots of cream into a bowl? I find that my clotted cream is too runny when I use ultra pasteurized cream, don’t let it chill long enough or transfer too much whey when scooping out the clots of cream.
My clotted cream is gritty or lumpy. Did you bake your clotted cream uncovered? If so, try covering the dish with foil. You can also try using a different kind of cream.
I didn’t end up with very much clotted cream. Try using a smaller baking dish. Or, if you used ultra pasteurized cream, try using non-ultra pasteurized cream. You might also need to chill it longer.
How to Make Homemade Clotted Cream
Rather Buy Clotted Cream?
And then add a jar of lemon curd….
…and strawberry jam!
Easy Homemade Clotted Cream
Now that you’ve got clotted cream, try making this easy no churn ice cream!