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 9 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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13 Comments

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  • Reply
    Alicia
    March 20, 2021 at 6:57 am

    Made this yesterday afternoon so it would be ready today. Couldn’t wait for tea time so had it on English muffins. Wonderful! This will become a staple in this house. After tasting it by itself, put on some raspberry preserves. I started reading you at the beginning of the pandemic and I have learned so much. Glad I found you. It took every bit of 30 minutes cooking but this is well worth the time!

  • Reply
    Sue P.
    February 26, 2021 at 5:20 am

    5 stars
    I made this last night using 1 cup of cream and 2 teaspoons of butter. I was using the remainder of the cream in the scones so had to cut this recipe back. It took about 30 minutes of boiling and stirring and turned out very well! It chilled in the refrigerator overnight and we had it on freshly baked scones this morning — even though the British eat their scones at afternoon tea, we wanted them for breakfast. The stovetop clotted cream was delicious! It made such a yummy spread for our scones. Definitely something I’ll make for the afternoon tea parties our ladies’ group plans once we can safely gather again. (writing this during pandemic!) Thank you for developing and sharing the recipe.

  • Reply
    Joy
    February 24, 2021 at 11:21 am

    I’ve made your oven clotted cream twice now, as an American who lived in England for a few years and is now back in America. It was spot on. I am wanting to make this but wondering if it will have the nice crusty top that I love so much. It doesn’t seem as crusty! Thank you for these wonderful recipes.

  • Reply
    Suzanne
    February 6, 2021 at 4:31 pm

    Sue, you are guilty of reading my mind! Just this morning I was wishing there was a quickcr method for making clotted cream so that I could make it more often. Can’t wait to try your recipe. So many thanks.
    Suzanne (Australia)

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      February 6, 2021 at 5:38 pm

      I’ll be curious what you think, Suzanne!

  • Reply
    Cheryl Brighty
    February 6, 2021 at 1:13 pm

    5 stars
    I have made clotted cream in this way before, originally discovering it as a happy accident. Here in England, however we would not eat scones for breakfast they are for afternoon tea! (unless maybe we had some left over from the day before – although scones are usually best eaten the day they are made).

  • Reply
    Sandra D in Joliet
    February 6, 2021 at 12:58 pm

    Will have to try this. I just watched a YouTube and a lady made it in a crock pot. It had a nice crusty top (I love crunch) but I only have a huge slow cooker. She said the recipe called for non Ultra-pasturized also but couldn’t find it so she did use Ultra-pasturized and she loved the results.

  • Reply
    Susan Cowie
    February 6, 2021 at 8:25 am

    5 stars
    Wonderful !!

  • Reply
    Sparki Beltran
    February 6, 2021 at 8:08 am

    Sue, can you use Ultra-pasturized heavy cream for this recipe? For the intant pot recipe you couldn’t use Ultra pasturized. I was just wondering.

  • Reply
    Denise
    February 6, 2021 at 7:12 am

    I am absolutely going to try this! I’ve read other recipes (that I have never made) that specify not to use ultra-pasteurized cream. You don’t address that, so can I assume that the type of cream doesn’t matter for this method?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      February 6, 2021 at 7:44 am

      In this case I tested with regular cream, but my guess is that you can use ultra-pasteurized as well.

  • Reply
    Donna
    February 6, 2021 at 7:01 am

    What a fabulous idea – so much easier than doing it in the oven; can’t wait to try! Thank you.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      February 6, 2021 at 7:07 am

      Is is easier, for sure, and more reliable, I’ve found.

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