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Homemade Clotted Cream

Clotted Cream is deliciously creamy and the essential companion to a batch of British scones. You don’t have to go to England to enjoy your tea-time treats though, because it is so easy to make at home! 

Clotted Cream is the essential companion to British scones, and it's so easy to make at home! |

What Is Clotted Cream?

Clotted cream is a staple on British tea-time tables. You’ll find it served in a little dish right alongside your scones (or very traditionally, Cornish ‘splits’, a type of yeast bun).

It is a thick, creamy, white spread, with the consistency of softened cream cheese. It is ever so slightly sweet, but mostly just incredibly creamy. Like a good, unsalted butter.

But so much more.

Devonshire Cream vs Clotted Cream

Sometimes you may hear “clotted cream” called “Devonshire cream” or “Cornish cream”. It really all depends on the region you are in.

The making of clotted cream started in Devon as a way to separate the fat from milk to make butter. Centuries later in Cornwall, it became popular to use the cream on its own. At that time, clotted cream and butter were the most popular ways to preserve milk.

One of our readers sent us a wonderful insight into clotted cream making, that is worth sharing. Angela spent her childhood during WWII at Callington with her grandparents who were retired farmers on the Devon/Cornwall border. She explained that the real difference between clotted cream in Devon and Cornwall came down to the process. 

She stated,

“Devon cream was made by putting the full milk straight from the cow into a large enamel pan. It was then rested overnight to allow the fat to rise to the top. Then the pan was placed on the range over a pan of simmering water until the cream became a crust. (The milk must not boil!)  It was then removed and allowed to become cold in the pantry – no fridges then.

When cold, the thick crust was carefully scooped off the top of the milk and put in a cream dish ready for use.  The remaining fatless milk was used for cooking and on farms, surplus skim milk was used to feed pigs etc. 

This was the method we used as we no longer had the farm.  Just 2 bottles of unpasteurized full cream milk produced enough cream for splits, stewed fruit or junket.

Cornish clotted cream was made as follows – The full milk was poured through a separator. This was a rather complicated piece of mechanical equipment used on farms to separate the fat from the milk.

The full cream was then put into the enamel pan and very slowly heated on the stove until it thickened from top to bottom. No skimming needed.  When cold, it could all be eaten! 

This is what can be bought in supermarkets today.”

Many thanks to Angela for sharing her knowledge and family heritage story with us! 

Of course, those in Devon and Cornwall each claim that their cream is superior.

I guess we’ll have to take a trip to decide for ourselves!

An authentic British Scone is the perfect accompaniment to your warming cup of tea, particularly with some cream and jam to serve it with! |
Clotted cream is the perfect accompaniment to our British scones!

What’s The Difference Between Clotted Cream And Whipped Cream?

While at first, a bowl of clotted cream might look similar to whipped cream. But once you take a taste, you’ll know the difference.

Both start with the same basic ingredient: heavy cream. But, for whipped cream, you whip that cream into light and fluffy pillows. Often you’ll add sweetener and possibly a flavoring, like vanilla, to whipped cream as well.

Clotted cream, on the other hand, is heated and separated, as we’ll go into more detail below. This process produces a thicker, creamy substance.

Another difference is that clotted cream is typically not sweetened. People love it for the creamy texture it adds, similar to butter, rather than a particular sweetness or flavor.

What’s The Difference Between Clotted Cream And Butter?

So, if it has a thicker consistency and is more savory, how is clotted cream different from butter?

Again, it comes down to the process.

Butter is made by churning (or whipping) cream. So, if you over-whip your whipped cream, you’ll end up with nice, whipped butter.

Clotted cream, again, has to do with the separation of the fat in your cream.

Our reader Angela pointed out to us that the making of butter in a churn took additional time and hard work. So making clotted cream was a much easier option. 

Clotted Cream is the essential companion to British scones, and it's so easy to make at home! |

How To Make Clotted Cream

Clotted describes the look of the cream when it is heated ever so gently so that the fat separates to the top and clings together.

Buying jars of imported clotted cream can get quite pricey. But you don’t have to worry about that anymore, because making it at home is incredibly easy.

Actually, the hardest part about making clotted cream is finding the cream. You see, for best results you need to start with heavy cream that has not been ultra-pasteurized for a longer shelf life. Simply look for a carton of heavy cream that does not say “ultra-pasteurized”, and you’re good to go! (Note: this is becoming more and more difficult to find in the States, and some of our readers have had luck using ultra-pasteurized cream.)

After you find your cream, the second hardest part of making clotted cream is the wait.

This is not a quick process.

The cream has to be heated slowly for 12 hours, which we find easiest to do overnight. Then it is cooled for another 8 hours (or over the next night).

Finally, you separate the cream from the liquid, and you have the spread that you have been waiting for.

It might take a long time, but it’s mostly hands-off.

And it’s SO worth the wait!

Scraping the cream after heating

Savory Uses For Clotted Cream

Clotted cream typically lends itself to sweeter uses: spread on scones (or “splits” as Angela pointed out to us were more common where she was growing up) with some jam.

You can find many other sweet uses too: in fudge or as a topping to tarts or ice cream.

However, it is rich and creamy and you can use it for savory applications as well. 

We think it would be delicious as a veggie dip or spread on a cucumber slice as an appetizer. 

You could also add it to mashed potatoes, risotto, or eggs to give them extra creaminess, much like you would butter. Or you could add it to soups or sauces to give them a creamy boost.

Can I Make Clotted Cream In The Slow Cooker?

This is a question that we get often from our readers, so we did some testing to find out. 

The answer is yes you can! Have a look at our recipe and process for making clotted cream in the slow cooker.

There are also some nice tips and tricks about making clotted cream in general over there, so even if you’re thinking about making it using this oven method, take a look over there for the tips! 

Yield: 1 cup (16 servings)

Homemade Clotted Cream

Clotted Cream is the essential companion to British scones, and it's so easy to make at home! |

To make clotted cream, you will want to start the process 3 days before you plan to serve your cream. It sounds like a lot of time, but most of the process is done while you sleep!

Cook Time 12 hours
Resting Time 12 hours
Total Time 1 day


  • 2 c heavy cream, (not ultra-pasteurized)


Day 1

  1. Preheat your oven to 170-180F.
  2. Pour the cream into a shallow casserole dish or glass baking dish. (The cream should only come up the sides about 1-2 inches. The key here is to have a lot of surface area.)
  3. Place the cream in the oven for 12 hours, uncovered. (This works great overnight.**)

Day 2

  1. After heating for 12 hours, the cream will develop a skin. Carefully remove the dish from the oven and let it cool to room temperature. Once cool, cover the dish and refrigerate it for 8 hours (or overnight again).

Day 3

  1. After chilled, gently skim the thick layer of clotted cream from the surface, leaving the thinner liquid behind. (It will feel like you’re pulling a layer of slightly softened ice cream from the top of a layer of milk*. The skin in fine, it will soften as it is mixed into the cream.)
  2. Gently stir the skimmed clotted cream to create a smooth texture. (If your cream is too thick for your liking, you can always stir a little bit of the thin liquid back into your cream, until it reaches your desired consistency.)
  3. Store the clotted cream in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. (Clotted cream can also be frozen and thawed in the refrigerator, if desired.)


*The leftover liquid can be used like milk. It’s great for baking!

** Oven note #1: Some ovens have a safety feature that shuts them off after extended periods of time. If this is your oven, you may want to do the clotting step during the day, when you can make sure your oven stays on and at a low temperature. 

Oven note #2: We have a lot of readers who are discovering as they try this recipe that their oven runs hot. After 12 hours in the oven, their cream has developed a dark brown skin. The skin on your cream should only be a pale tan if it starts to darken. If you think your oven may run hot, check your cream after 8 hours and again after 10 hours to see if the top is darkening. If it is, you may need to cycle your oven between off and on to keep a temperature that is not too hot for the cream. (As a side note, the darkened top on the cream does not mean it is ruined. It simply means your finished cream will have a bit of a deeper flavor, and it will most likely have some flecks of brown and not be a pure creamy white.) 

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 g

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 101
wp-recipe-maker/recipe {“id”:25081

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Samantha G.

Thursday 21st of March 2024

Followed this recipe for the first time this week, and OH MY GOODNESS — it is SO tasty and so very easy! I was luckily able to find a non-Ultra Pasteurized cream at a local organic market. I made 32oz at once in a 13"x9" glass baking dish, no problem. Thank you so much for sharing this! Now to try not to make it every week of the year! lol!

Sarah - Curious Cuisiniere

Tuesday 26th of March 2024

We're so glad you enjoyed it!


Tuesday 30th of January 2024

I'm making this at the moment using 33% whipping cream from my local supermarket. I'm heating it at 80C in a steam-injection oven for 12 hours with the humidity set to 35%.

If it works I'll add a few citric acid crystals to the leftover milk then make some scones to go with it.

Sarah - Curious Cuisiniere

Saturday 3rd of February 2024

We hope you enjoy it!

Wendy Shuttleworth

Saturday 11th of November 2023

I just made this, used heavy whipping cream from Winco. It was ultra pasteurized which had me worried when I read further into the recipe but it came out fine.

A friend had messaged me a few days ago “what the hell is clotted cream?” (I’m from England). The friend had been chatting with a 100 year old English woman in the care center where she works. This resident was wishing for her tea in a “real” cup with scones, jam and clotted cream. It turned into a weekend project for us. I have some home made raspberry jam I can dig out too. Wonder if any other care centers in Idaho will be serving up English tea this week :-).

Sarah - Curious Cuisiniere

Monday 13th of November 2023

Hi Wendy. Thank you for sharing! How sweet of you and your friend to put that together for her!


Wednesday 18th of October 2023

I can only find the UHT heavy whipping cream in SC, but I’m going to try it today anyways, if it works I’ll make a batch of Downtown Abbey scones, would be awesome if we could post pics on here.

Sarah - Curious Cuisiniere

Monday 23rd of October 2023

We have had readers who share good luck with even UHT cream, so hopefully it goes well for you too!


Sunday 8th of October 2023

I made this with ultra-pasteurized heavy whipping cream, and it turned out absolutely perfect! I actually live a couple hours from the Kalona Creamery,but haven't had a chance to get up there yet. So, I used what I had on hand. I cannot find their whipping cream in my area, but can get a lot of their other products.

Sarah - Curious Cuisiniere

Tuesday 10th of October 2023

Thank you for sharing Shana. We're glad you're enjoying the clotted cream!

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