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Clotted cream

Clotted Cream

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  • Author: Julie Cockburn
  • Total Time: 10 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: about 6 ounces clotted cream 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Creamy, thick, luxurious, kissed with a hint of natural sweetness, and fresh with a slightly nutty flavor, clotted cream is what you might imagine to be the perfect, beautiful child of freshly whipped cream and grass fed butter.


Units Scale
  • 16 ounces (1 pint) heavy cream – SEE NOTES!
  • That’s it!


  1. In the base of a double boiler or medium saucepan, bring an inch or two of water to a simmer. Adjust the heat so the water is at the barest simmer. Place the top of the double boiler or a wide glass or metal bowl on top, ensuring the bowl isn’t touching the simmering water. Gently pour the heavy cream into the bowl, and position a probe thermometer into the cream, avoiding touching the bottom of the bowl with the thermometer.
  2. DO NOT stir the cream at all, ever, even once during this process.
  3. Gently heat the cream, uncovered, without stirring, to exactly 187°F. It will generally take between 30 minutes to an hour to reach 187°F. At this point, the cream will have a slightly wrinkly, yellowish skin on top. It will also look thin and liquid-y, and you’ll think that your clotted cream has failed to form. Don’t worry, it will thicken after refrigeration.
  4. Carefully monitoring the temperature, hold the cream between 180°F and 199°F for 30 minutes, ensuring the cream never comes to a boil.
  5. After 30 minutes, carefully, so as to not burn yourself, remove the bowl with the cream from the saucepan. Avoid pouring, jostling, or swirling the cream. Allow it to come to room temperature, then place in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 8 hours. You didn’t stir it, right?
  6. After about 8 hours, a thick layer of yumminess will have formed on top of a thin liquid. That thick layer is your clotted cream. Did I mention that you shouldn’t stir it? You can scoop the deliciousness off with a slotted spoon, leaving the liquid behind, or pull back a corner of the thickened cream and pour the liquid into another container, leaving the clotted cream behind. Don’t throw out the liquid-y bits. Stir it into coffee or tea, and use for baking. Extra bonus if you use it for baking scones!
  7. Optional – if you feel your clotted cream is too thick, too dry, or too craggly, gently stir a tiny bit of the leftover liquid back into the cream. This will loosen and smooth out the texture. (See notes)
  8. Transfer the clotted cream to a glass jar, and store in the fridge until ready to use. It will generally last for a few days – that is if you don’t eat it all by then!

Recommended Equipment and Goodies


Do NOT use ULTRA-pasteurized heavy cream or heavy cream with gums, stabilizers, or thickeners (such as gellan gum or carrageenan) in the ingredient list. Use only pasteurized or non-pasteurized heavy cream or heavy whipping cream, with at least 35% butterfat, and no additives. 

To make the clotted cream, you will need a probe thermometer, plus a double boiler or a medium to large metal or glass mixing bowl set on top of a medium saucepan. Just be sure to use a wide enough bowl that your heavy cream has a lot of surface area while heating.

DO NOT stir the cream at all, ever, even once during the cooking and cooling process. A few gentle sloshes here and there, while you move the container, are OK, but stirring or swirling to incorporate the cream is not.

You should expect to get a little less than half the volume of clotted cream than the volume of heavy cream you started with. So if you start with 16 ounces of heavy cream, expect about 6 ounces of clotted cream.

I have found that occasionally my clotted cream turns out on the dry and waxy side, even with good quality heavy cream – still tasty, but not the best texture. I believe it either has to do with the brand of cream or possibly seasonal variations in cream production. If you run into the same issue, simply stir a spoonful or two of the leftover liquid into the clotted cream. It should incorporate nicely, smoothing and loosening the texture of the clotted cream.

  • Inactive Time: 9 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: British
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