Stove Top Clotted Cream Recipe

clotted cream with scones

My Stove Top Clotted Cream Recipe is the easiest way I’ve found to make homemade clotted cream ~ If you’ve always wanted to make this English tea time treat, start with this easy recipe!

Scraping thick homemade clotted cream out of a glass pan

Homemade clotted cream made right on your stove top will change your life

Once you’ve tasted clotted cream you can never go back, nothing will ever match its rich luxurious mouthfeel and you won’t want anything else on your scones ever again. Normally you have to buy it in absurdly small, absurdly pricy little jars imported from the UK. But I’ve spent literally years experimenting and perfecting the art of making homemade clotted cream.

How to Make Clotted Cream in the Oven

First, way back in 2015 I made my first batch, and that was in a very low (180F) oven. It takes quite a while at that temperature, overnight, in fact. It turned out lovely and many of you have made it that way since. The only problem is some ovens don’t go down as low as 180F, so it was frustrating for some.


How to Make Clotted Cream in the Instant Pot

My next big innovation came in 2019 when I figured out that I could make clotted cream in my Instant Pot. It was a bit easier than the oven method, definitely faster, and resulted in perfectly silky clotted cream every time. Only problem there was that not everybody has an Instant Pot, and they keep changing their models so it can get confusing with different buttons and settings, etc.


A big leap forward to 2021 and this stove top method that is pretty much foolproof.  This method requires a bit more hands on time, but the overall time is the least of all the methods. This requires no special equipment or tricky temperature control. You just need a heavy bottomed saucepan.

making clotted cream on the stove top

What you’ll need to make stove top clotted cream

  • heavy cream (or whipping cream)
  • unsalted butter ~ the butter is not in my previous clotted cream recipes. It’s here to replicate the higher fat content of British cream.
  • a heavy bottomed medium saucepan
  • a silicone spoonula ~ or the equivalent for scraping the bottom and sides of the pan to prevent scorching

ingredients for clotted cream

How to make clotted cream on the stove

  • Put 3 cups of heavy cream and 2 tablespoons of butter into a medium sized heavy bottom sauce pan and bring to a gentle boil.
  • Cook the mixture, stirring often, until it has reduced by about 1/3. This will take a while, about 30 minutes and resemble a thick custard sauce.
  • Pour the mixture into a shallow baking dish and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  • Transfer the clotted cream into a jar and keep refrigerated. It will last up to a week and a half.

Does this stove top method make authentic clotted cream?

The do-it-yourself techniques for making clotted cream don’t replicate the exact way it’s made in England, but the concept is the same and the result is incredibly close to what you get in the little jars. In fact to me it’s practically indistinguishable.

This cream has the same thick texture and unctuous mouthfeel as the original, it spreads beautifully and has that subtle cooked cream flavor; in other words, it’s spot on.

 

Pouring homemade clotted cream into a dish for cooling

Clotted Cream faqs

It’s a British thing, basically a ‘cooked’ spreadable cream that’s spread on scones at tea time. Cornish clotted cream is now legally defined (like Parmesan and Brie) and the milk to make clotted cream must come from Cornwall with a minimum fat content of 55%.

Clotted cream isn’t sweet, and has no added flavoring, although people suggest it has a sweet ‘nutty’ or ‘cooked’ flavor. It’s really the amazing texture that is so tempting (imagine cream as thick as peanut butter.)

Authentic Cornish clotted cream has a yellowish tint due to carotene (yes, it’s in carrots, too) in the grass the cows graze on.

In America it’s not that well known, but you can sometimes spot it in better grocery stores in tiny little (very pricy) jars.

People who love it but aren’t living in the UK have had to resort to creative measures to get their clotted cream fix, and that’s where this diy method comes in.

 

A glass jar filled with stove top clotted cream

How to serve clotted cream

Clotted cream is served first and foremost with scones. Serve it in a little jar or pot along with your favorite jam. Whether the jam or the cream goes on first is a matter of hot debate in the UK. But one thing for certain, you’ll need a good pot of tea to go along with.

If you don’t have scones you might try it on biscuits, or English muffins.

If you’re planning a brunch this is a fabulous time to bake up a batch of scones and splurge on homemade clotted cream.

Other ways to use it include mixing it into scrambled eggs, risottos, mashed potatoes, etc. I love to bake with it, and I use it to make  a deliciously rich clotted cream shortbread.

 

clotted cream on a freshly made scone

Why this stove top clotted cream method works

As you simmer the cream in a saucepan the water content slowly evaporates in the form of steam.

You have essentially no waste, or whey, leftover at the end: you’re left with pure thick clotted cream. You’ll have a slightly higher yield than with other methods, for 3 cups of cream you’ll get approximately 1 1/2 cups clotted cream.

This method is quicker than the others, and your clotted cream will firm up within hours in the fridge, but can be left overnight.

Homemade clotted cream in a glass dish

The best scones to go with your clotted cream

clotted cream with scones
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5 from 18 votes

Stove Top Clotted Cream Recipe

Stove Top Clotted Cream Recipe ~ If you've always wanted to make homemade clotted cream for tea time scones, start with this easy recipe!
Course Breakfast
Cuisine English
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 1 1/2 cups
Author Sue Moran

Equipment

  • Medium sized heavy bottomed saucepan

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (710 ml) heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter

Instructions

  • Put the cream and butter into a medium sized heavy bottomed saucepan and heat to a gently boil, stirring often so the cream does not scorch. Gently boil the cream, stirring often, until it is reduced by at least 1/3. This may take up to 30 minutes, depending on your pan, and the heat of your burner. Note: I like to mark the depth at the start so I can judge when it has reduced enough. I dip a toothpick or popsicle stick into the cream and mark the measurement with a pen. Then I have a good reference point to check the progress of the cream.
  • As the cream cooks down it will thicken, almost like a custard, and will coat the back of a spoon. Pour the cream into a shallow baking pan to cool. Put it in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
  • Scrape the clotted cream out of the pan and into a small jar for storage. This recipe will make somewhere around 2 cups, and the clotted cream will last up to 10 days.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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33 Comments

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  • Reply
    Chie
    April 17, 2022 at 1:22 am

    5 stars
    I love this recipe very much. I have tired making clotted cream with sous vide and it left me with cream that doesn’t thicken enough and look like a very wet paste instead of a spreadable butter texture plus taking 2 days to make and more buttermilk than clothes cream. This method turn heavy cream into clotted cream in just 30-40 mins!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      April 17, 2022 at 5:14 am

      So glad you loved this Chie, it’s such a great method!

  • Reply
    Mary
    March 1, 2022 at 2:51 pm

    Why do you have to use unsalted butter rather than salted please?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      March 1, 2022 at 3:09 pm

      To control the salt in this recipe Mary, clotted cream should have a subtle sweet rather than salty flavor.

  • Reply
    Monica
    March 1, 2022 at 9:34 am

    What does a heavy bottomed sauce pan mean… is that a specific type of pan like cast-iron and will it affect the outcome of the clotted cream?
    Can’t wait to try it out!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      March 1, 2022 at 11:46 am

      heavy bottomed saucepans are usually stainless steel and help prevent scorching. The heavy bottom helps modulate the heat so things cook more evenly.

      • Reply
        Monica
        March 1, 2022 at 4:36 pm

        Great information.
        Thanks!

  • Reply
    Dave
    September 16, 2021 at 11:44 pm

    Tried, but came out very thick, gummy and grainy. Almost like Turkish ice cream.The texture doesn’t match the oven method. Did I do something wrong?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      September 17, 2021 at 6:39 am

      Hey Dave ~ the texture of the stove top method doesn’t exactly match the oven method. It will be thick, but it shouldn’t be grainy, so I’m not sure what happened there.

      • Reply
        Dave
        September 17, 2021 at 6:26 pm

        Maybe I cooked it too much? Do you know the temperature range it should be at?

  • Reply
    Colleen
    August 6, 2021 at 4:37 am

    I made it yesterday afternoon to find that it didn’t set overnight. The butter rose to the top to form a skin, but the cream below it is still liquid. Did I not reduce it enough? (I used regular ultra pasteurized heavy cream.)

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      August 6, 2021 at 6:34 am

      It sounds like it didn’t reduce enough on the stove, Colleen.

      • Reply
        Colleen
        August 6, 2021 at 8:53 am

        Ok thank you! Will give it another shot and use the previous batch for fettuccine alfredo. Why not?! ?

  • Reply
    Ari
    July 5, 2021 at 8:38 am

    5 stars
    I did it, 2 times, with UHT cream, works well, excellent! I was about to make the oven version…
    This one is so simple… put the cream in the sauce pan with butter, turn on your music, about 6 songs , then is done!
    Thank you for sharing the recipe,

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      July 5, 2021 at 11:36 am

      haha, love that, thanks Ari 🙂

      • Reply
        Michael Wolfe
        May 18, 2022 at 11:00 am

        5 stars
        This recipe worked like a charm for me! My clotted cream is beautifully thick ( but not too thick), silky, smooth, and creamy! Not a bit grainy. I constantly stirred it with a coil whisk during the process. This type of whisk is a MUST for creams and custards. And, I think it tastes better than the expensive store-bought stuff in the tiny jars.

        • Reply
          Sue Moran
          May 18, 2022 at 11:41 am

          I’m so glad Michael, this recipe is pretty game changing when it comes to cc!

  • Reply
    Colleen
    June 1, 2021 at 12:55 pm

    Is non-ultra pasteurized cream still a must for this version of your recipe? Can’t wait to try it!!
    Colleen

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      June 1, 2021 at 3:51 pm

      No, you can do this with any type of heavy cream!

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