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Homemade Clotted Cream

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Homemade Clotted Cream is quick and easy to make. Deliciously decadent served with warm scones and homemade jam for a perfect cream tea.

No oven required, no 12 hours of baking and no leftover whey. You can produce a silky, creamy clotted cream with a delicious golden crust in around an hour using your stovetop.

Rich and thick with the consistency of soft butter, clotted cream is inextricably linked with a Devon or Cornish cream tea and there’s nothing quite like it. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether to load your scone with jam first or home made clotted cream first, either way, the result is divine.

Close up image of a large spoonful of homemade clotted cream being scraped from a dish of cream.

I first tried making clotted cream while I was living in France after I promised our French neighbours an authentic Devon Cream tea. I knew it wouldn’t be easy to get hold of clotted cream and creme fraiche, delicious as it is, just wouldn’t do.

As I was trawling through recipes I came across a stovetop method for making clotted cream in an old WI booklet. The minimal effort of stirring cream for 20 minutes seemed much better than a long, slow cooking of cream in a low oven. After working out the ratio of cream to butter and the quantities, I had a go.

The results were far better than I expected and just as good as the pots I used to buy. A cream tea with homemade scones and strawberry jam topped with clotted cream became a regular occasion at the Kitchen Shed. This is the best recipe for homemade clotted cream and has been requested by neighbours and expats alike.

Split scone spread with cream and butter with a pot of homemade clotted cream in the background.

What do you need ?

  1. Fresh double cream or heavy cream, not UHT or ultra-pasteurized. I used Guernsey cream (regular readers know I love all things Guernsey) as this gives a much richer and creamier flavour but regular double cream works too. Regular double cream will make a buttery pale yellow colour clotted cream.
  2. Unsalted butter. Again, if you can get Guernsey butter I recommend it. Butter helps gives an extra creaminess to the finished clotted cream.
Large shallow ceramic dish filled with clotted cream and a spoonful being taken out.

How to make Homemade Clotted Cream on the stovetop

  • You will need a large, wide heavy bottomed saucepan or a saute pan. This is essential so the water in the cream is able to evaporate, leaving no whey at the end.
  • Place cream and butter in your pan over a low to medium heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula until it reaches a simmer.
  • Don’t let it boil and keep stirring until it’s reduced by half. Depending on your stove and how high you have the heat, about 20 minutes or so.
  • Pour into a shallow glass or ceramic dish, the larger the better. A larger surface area will give you more golden, buttery crust – the best bit !
  • Pop in the fridge overnight to firm up. If you’re in a rush, the cream will be ready to eat in a couple of hours but it does thicken more the longer you leave it.
Cream that has simmered down in a pan with a crust forming on the top.

How long does clotted cream last in the fridge ?

Kept in the fridge in an airtight container it will last for up to 7 days. Once opened use within 3 days.

A close up image of a scoop of thick buttery cream.

Can I freeze clotted cream ?

I wouldn’t recommend it. Like most dairy products clotted cream doesn’t fair well in the freezer. The texture is impaired, it becomes crumbly and doesn’t have the same creamy feel in the mouth.

However, it is safe to freeze clotted cream and it can work well for baking. Freeze fresh clotted cream for up to 3 months in an airtight container.

How to serve Homemade Clotted Cream

Serve with freshly baked scones and jam and a pot of tea.

However, clotted cream isn’t just for an afternoon tea. It’s perfect with a pudding or dessert. We love a dollop of clotted cream with our Nectarine Frangipane Tart or an apple pie or crumble. Oh, I nearly forgot – sticky toffee pudding too !

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Homemade Clotted Cream is quick & easy to make. Deliciously decadent served with warm scones & homemade jam for a perfect cream tea.

Homemade Clotted Cream

Homemade Clotted Cream is quick & easy to make. Deliciously decadent served with warm scones & homemade jam for a perfect cream tea.
4.86 from 117 votes
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Course: Afternoon Tea
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Cooling time: 12 hours
Total Time: 21 minutes
Servings: 16
Calories: 175kcal
Author: Sarah James

Equipment

  • A large wide heavy based saucepan or saute pan
  • A large shallow glass or ceramic dish

Ingredients

  • 750 ml double / heavy cream Guernsey cream if available
  • 30 g unsalted butter – ideally Guernsey butter

Instructions

  • Put the cream and butter in a large wide heavy based saucepan and place over a low to medium heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until it reaches a simmer.
  • Don’t let it boil over and keep stirring so it doesn’t catch on the bottom.
  • Let it reduce by half – about 20 minutes.
  • Once it has reduced, pour into a shallow dish, the more surface area the better !
  • Let it cool, before covering and chilling in the fridge overnight.
  • Keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 7 days. Once opened use within 3 days.

Notes

1 serving = 2 tablespoons
Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
Calories: 175kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 31mg | Potassium: 36mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 736IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg

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Top image is of a spoon of clotted cream being scraped up off a shallow dish.
Bottom image is of a split scone with jam and cream with a pot of cream in the background.

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Recipe Rating




Alexis G

Tuesday 13th of February 2024

Very easy to follow recipe! It worked for me easily the first time! However, this recipe needs salt AND sugar, otherwise it tastes... a bit bland. I came from a vacation in London last week and decided to try this myself at home when I still have fresh memory in my mind of what the real-deal tastes like...

So my change was: used salted butter instead of unsalted, and even then, I added a 1/4 tsp of salt. I added a tsp of sugar too. Not too much of either, but it increased the brightness of flavors overall.

Great recipe and thanks for sharing!

Sarah James

Tuesday 13th of February 2024

Hi Alexis, Pleased to hear the recipe worked well for you and thanks for your feedback about adding sugar and salt. In my recipe I was trying to keep as near as possible to traditional clotted cream. In the UK, Rodda's Clotted Cream is the market leader and their only listed ingredient is Cornish cows milk, which is where the flavour in Roddas cream comes from. I use Guernsey milk and butter because I love their richness and flavour. I think the finished flavour of the cream depends on which milk and butter you use, so adding sugar or salt to taste at the end is a good idea. I'm glad to hear that it didn't affect the consistency of the finished cream. Thanks again for sharing, Sarah.

Anne

Monday 4th of December 2023

This recipe looked like the most foolproof for me on the stove top, so I gave it a try. I did need to let mine reduce longer than recommended for the right consistency mentioned in the recipe, but glad I did! I’ve never had clotted cream, but prepared it for a friend from Essex living in the US now. She’s not normally very generous with compliments, but she absolutely loved it and kept going back in for more. My other friends and I could not stop spreading it on our pastries either. I will be making it again!

Grace

Tuesday 9th of May 2023

Thank you!!! You really save my time. I did it 25 min on the stove and another 5 min swirling my spatula to remove more steam. It’s perfect!!!

Sarah James

Friday 2nd of June 2023

You're most welcome Grace, it's a pleasure to share my recipe. Glad to hear it turned out so well for you, Sarah.

Jenn L.

Wednesday 19th of April 2023

OMG! This was so tasty! It took me a little longer to reduce it down, probably because I live at higher altitude but definitely worth it. I added 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar, sifted, for a hint of sweetness since we were putting it on cinnamon scones. It was the hit of the tea party and now a permanent recipe for future events! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe.

Sarah James

Thursday 20th of April 2023

Hi Jenn, so pleased you enjoyed my clotted cream at your tea party. The slightly sweet version with cinnamon scones sounds delicious. Reducing the cream does depend on the size of the pan, how low a heat you cook it on or the altitude like you say. It's a pleasure to share my recipe, thanks Sarah.

Liv

Monday 20th of March 2023

Does anyone know roughly how much this makes in weight? I’m going to make homemade clotted cream ice cream and think it will be even better with homemade clotted cream!

Sarah James

Monday 20th of March 2023

Hi Liv, ice cream made with homemade clotted cream is delicious. I haven't weighed the cream in grams but the recipe makes roughly 30 tablespoons of clotted cream depending on how far you reduce the cream.Hope this helps, Sarah.