What Is Clotted Cream? (2024)

This is an English specialty you should get to know.

Updated on March 21, 2022

Clotted cream originated in southwest England and has become a traditional British topping for baked goods at afternoon teas. Depending on which county the product was made in, it's also sometimes called Devonshire/Devon cream or Cornish cream.

To make clotted cream, full-fat milk is indirectly heated in a shallow pan for several hours until the cream rises to the top. It's then allowed to cool in the pan for 12 to 24 hours. During this period, the cream will thicken and clot. Once the watery whey is poured off, the result is a thick and creamy spread that's smooth in texture and lightly yellow in color.

Clotted cream is incredibly rich, requiring 55 percent butterfat to be properly classified as clotted cream. For comparison, heavy cream has a mere 36 percent butterfat.

What Is Clotted Cream? (1)

What Does Clotted Cream Taste Like?

Clotted cream has a unique taste, often described as being similar to a high-quality unsalted butter. It can also have nutty notes from the milk's long cooking time.

When it comes to texture, clotted cream could be compared to softened cream cheese, with the richness falling somewhere between butter and whipped cream.

How to Use Clotted Cream

Most afternoon teas in southwest England wouldn't be complete without a helping of clotted cream. It's often served on scones with jam, but would be just as delicious spread onto crumpets or quick breads.

When berries are in season, it's also popular to serve a bowl of fresh fruit with a dollop of clotted cream. Once opened, a jar of the cream will keep refrigerated for about three days.

Where to Buy Clotted Cream

Your average grocery store outside of the United Kingdom probably won't sell clotted cream. It must remain refrigerated, so shipping isn't always practical. While some online outlets sell a shelf-stable version or ship the cream in insulated boxes with cool packs, for the tastiest clotted cream experience it's best to make it yourself. All you need is some heavy cream, an oven, and patience.

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What Is Clotted Cream? (2024)


What is clotted cream called in America? ›

Also known as Devonshire cream, clotted cream is a thick cream that originated in the Southwest of England.

Why is clotted cream illegal in the US? ›

Its exclusivity extends beyond England, however, as clotted cream is technically illegal in America. Why? True clotted cream is made with unpasteurized milk, and the FDA officially banned the distribution of any milk or milk products that haven't been pasteurized in America in 1987.

What does clotted cream taste like? ›

Clotted cream has a unique taste, often described as being similar to a high-quality unsalted butter. It can also have nutty notes from the milk's long cooking time. When it comes to texture, clotted cream could be compared to softened cream cheese, with the richness falling somewhere between butter and whipped cream.

What is similar to clotted cream? ›

Fortunately, you can easily make a substitute at home. Of course, it doesn't perfectly replicate the flavors of the original, but it's still delicious! All you need is three beautifully fatty ingredients: butter, sour cream, and cream cheese. You should definitely opt for the highest quality ingredients you can afford.

Is clotted cream illegal in Canada? ›

"The Canadian Government" has not allowed companies the quota to import Clotted Cream from England. If/when independent retail locations import Clotted Cream they would be (and are) subject to a tax and tarrif around 70% of the retail price of the cream.

Is clotted cream the same as heavy whipping cream? ›

Clotted cream and whipped cream are both made with heavy cream, but while whipped cream is whipped into airy peaks, clotted cream is heated and separated, for a far denser texture. With its ultra-thick consistency, clotted cream can even be mistaken for butter.

How do the British eat clotted cream? ›

You can also use clotted cream as a topping as you would whipped cream. In the U.K., it's common to serve a dollop of clotted cream with fresh strawberries or other summer berries. You can use clotted cream in place of butter to accompany baked goods such as muffins and quick breads.

Does clotted cream taste like sour cream? ›

Crème fraîche has a sour flavour, giving it a distinctive taste that is very different from that of clotted cream, which has a nutty flavour from being heated and a buttery richness.

Do you refrigerate clotted cream? ›

An average rule of thumb is Clotted cream can be kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Once opened it lasts for approximately 4 days, depending on how you refrigerate it. Unopened clotted cream will keep for longer, up to 14 days.

Can you put clotted cream in coffee? ›

Unopened, our Clotted Cream has a very long shelf life, once opened it must be refrigerated and eaten within a few days. Can you put clotted cream in coffee? Clotted cream is too heavy for coffee, but single and double cream can be used.

Does the Queen like clotted cream? ›

3. Authentic Clotted Cream: The Queen was known for her appreciation of locally sourced ingredients. Her cream teas featured authentic Cornish clotted cream, rich and luxurious, adding an unmistakable touch of quality and tradition.

Why is clotted cream so good? ›

If you haven't had it, it's kind of like a mix between whipped cream and whipped butter, but with a deeper flavor. It's thick, it's creamy, and it's absolutely dreamy on scones warm from the oven. Clotted cream and scones have always been my favorite part of afternoon tea. I'm obsessed with it.

Can I use double cream instead of clotted cream for scones? ›

Double cream is of a thick pouring consistency but proper clotted cream has to be cut or spooned, it will not pour. Guernsey gold top extra thick double cream will do if clotted cream isn't available but if it's clotted cream you want only the real thing from Cornwall will do.

Is extra thick cream like clotted cream? ›

Clotted cream has a much higer fat content than double and extra thick cream.

Why is clotted cream banned in the USA? ›

Clotted cream is technically illegal in America, as it is made with unpasteurized milk, and the FDA banned milk products that haven't been pasteurized in America in 1987. When milk is unpasteurized, it means the milk is raw and hasn't been processed to remove bacteria.

Is there clotted cream in America? ›

In states like New York, Texas, and others, you can only buy raw milk directly from farms. That doesn't mean that you're totally out of luck when it comes to clotted cream here in the U.S. It might not be authentic, but versions of the cream are for sale on Amazon and at stores like Whole Foods.

What is the US equivalent to double cream? ›

The British use double cream in recipes the way we use heavy cream or whipping cream here in the US, but they also allow it to accompany dessert the way we might use ice cream.

What is a substitute for clotted cream in the US? ›

So if you're unable to find clotted cream, don't feel like making your own, or want to try something different, whipped cream, mascarpone cheese, and coconut cream are all fine substitutes. Each of these options provides a creamy texture and can be enjoyed with scones and desserts.

What do the British call clotted cream? ›

Clotted cream (Cornish: dehen molys, sometimes called scalded, clouted, Devonshire or Cornish cream) is a thick cream made by heating full-cream cow's milk using steam or a water bath and then leaving it in shallow pans to cool slowly.

Is mascarpone clotted cream? ›

For those who are unfamiliar with Mascarpone, it is a soft unripened cheese that belongs to the cream cheese family. It comes from Switzerland and Italy and is a thick, rich, sweet and velvety, ivory-colored cheese produced from cow's milk that has the texture of clotted or sour cream.

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