What is clotted cream and how to use it

What is clotted cream and how to use it is a common question for many. Clotted cream sits somewhere between double cream and butter with a butterfat content of 55%+ while double cream weighs in at 45% and butter at 80% . It has a heavy, smooth, spoonable consistency that many compare to mascarpone and is known for its sweet, nutty flavor ideal for your scones. It is largely mostly made in the counties of Cornwall and Devon in the UK.

It was traditionally made by heating full-fat cow’s milk or heavy cream in large shallow pans to a temperature of 175 to 200 °F for a long period -nearly 12 hours- until the cream rises to the top and clots. The thickened, buttery crust was taken off the top and left aside to completely cool off. After the cooling process, it was mixed in cold and wet wooden bowls to remove the last of the watery milk and layered up in pots.

Nowadays, there are two ways of producing clotted cream: the float cream method and the scald cream method. Both follow a similar process of heating double cream for a long period of time and then separate the cream from the milk mechanically. The clotted cream produced is pasteurized.

What is clotted cream and how to use it
Clotted Cream


According to the Oxford Companion to Food, it is believed that clotted cream was first introduced to England by Phoenician settlers nearly 2000 years ago. This cream was a way of preserving buffalo milk by removing the milk liquid and only leaving the thickened cream so that the growth of bacteria was slower.


The Public Domain 1658 Compleat Cook cookbook features a recipe of the clouted cream.

In the 1755 Elizabeth Cleland’s book A New and Easy Method of Cookery there is a recipe to make clouted recipe. During the process, rose water and sugar were sprinkled between the layers. Red the recipe below:

Clouted Cream recipe
This is a recipe for clouted cream

🧁What is clotted cream and how to use it

With scalded-cooked flavor and a yellow, butter-like color, clotted cream is a very special cream to use in traditional and maybe non-traditional baking:

  • You can use clotted cream on top of a steaming bowl of freshly made oatmeal in the morning for an extra layer of luxury!
  • You can alternate with whipped cream and put it on top of your apple pie
  • You can add it to our sticky toffee pudding
  • Put it on top of a strawberry bowl in the summer
  • Or substitute for buttercream on cupcakes

Clotted cream is famously served with scones and jam as part of the classical afternoon cream tea. Or that Devonshire Junket, a traditional 18th recipe.

🛒Where to buy

Clotted cream is not largely available in grocery stores but it can be found both online and at specialty food retailer stores. Check it out here.

You can also get it on Amazon here

 🔎 Interesting facts

Since 1998 the Cornish Clotted Cream is a Protected Designation of Origin. What does it mean? In order for it to be a PDO, and therefore an authentic clotted cream, it has to be made with cow’s milk produced in Cornwall and has to contain a minimum of 55% percent butterfat.

Can the clotted cream be stored at room temperature?

Yes, it can be. The duration varies depending on the brand but once it is open, it has to be refrigerated

Can I find clotted cream in the USA?

Yes. Although clotted cream is not largely available in the USA, it can be found both at online and specialty food stores.

Can I make clotted cream at home?

Yes. You will need heavy cream that is not ultra-pasteurized and a shallow baking pan. Pour the heavy cream in the pan under 1 inch depth. Bake for 12 hours at 180°F degrees. During this time, the cream will develop a thick, yellow crust. Remove from oven and let the cream cool to room-temperature for about an hour and then put it in the fridge. Let the cream chill for at least 4 hours. Then strain the remaining liquid cream and save the clotted cream on top. Enjoy it with scones!

Find our cream guide here

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