Clotted Cream

Clotted Cream

 The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  • Total: 8 hrs 2 mins
  • Prep: 2 mins
  • Cook: 8 hrs
  • Yield: 2 cups (10 servings)

Clotted cream may have an almost unappetizing name, but this delicious thick spread is a real treat. Famously from the southwest English counties of Cornwall and Devon, clotted cream is an essential ingredient for a traditional British afternoon tea. The cream gets its name from the crust that forms on the cream during the long, slow cooking. Once finished, the crust is removed from the surface resulting in a thick, butter-colored cream.

Finding clotted cream outside England can be difficult, but it is extremely easy to make at home. The cream will need to cook for at least 6 to 8 hours to form the crust and one of the best ways to do this is to use a slow cooker. If you don't have one, then a long, slow trip in the oven will work. To serve your clotted cream, all you'll need are some freshly baked scones.

The most famous way to serve the cream is in a Devon or Cornwall cream tea. These traditional teas involve light, fluffy, freshly baked scones with layers of butter, jam, and clotted cream. The order of the jam and cream varies from county to county, but no matter what order they are piled onto the scones, they taste the same.


  • 4 cups heavy cream

Steps to Make It

To Use a Slow Cooker:

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Set the slow cooker to the low setting and add the cream. After one hour, check the temperature of the warmed cream with a thermometer. It should not exceed 180 F and should ideally be around 165 F. Once the temperature is correct, put the lid back on and let it cook with the heat on for 7 hours. Do not rush this process—the longer and slower it takes, the better the result.

  3. After 7 hours, check that a crust has formed on the surface, taking care not to disturb the cream in any way. When the crust has formed, it will be evident as it will have changed to a deeper, buttery yellow and be a little lumpy. Having a crust at this point will depend on the size and shape of your cooker; tall and narrow will take longer than a wide oval-shaped cooker.

  4. Once you have a crust, turn off the heat, lift the pot from the cooker, and leave it to cool completely on the counter. Once cooled, place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours (you can even leave it overnight) to set firmly. Do not touch or prod the cream at any point—you will break the crust.

  5. Once firmly set, use a large metal spoon to lift the crust and any cream stuck to it and place into a bowl or jar. Discard the cream underneath. You do not need to stir the clotted cream, it will mix on its own. Keep the cream in the refrigerator and use within 3 days.

To Use the Oven:

  1. Heat the oven to 165 F or the lowest possible setting.

  2. Pour the cream into an ovenproof shallow dish. Place in the center of the oven and leave for a minimum of 10 hours before checking. If the crust isn't fully formed, cook until it does, then proceed to step 3 above.