Clotted Cream vs Double Devon Cream

Is there a difference between Clotted and Double Devon Cream? Well, yes. Actually, there is. You will often find that the two names are used interchangeably, but there is quite a difference between Devonshire Clotted Cream and Double Devon Cream.  This was quite confusing to me until I visited Devonshire, England, several years ago.

Devonshire is in the south of England, on the coast, and well known for it’s very rich and creamy dairy products. The family I stayed with in Devonshire knew that I was a tea fanatic and that I was greatly looking forward to having Devonshire Clotted Cream in Devonshire. So my hostess ordered some fresh Clotted Cream to be delivered with her dairy products while I was visiting. She told me about the history of Clotted Cream as I ate spoonfuls on homemade scones.

Clotted Cream
Clotted Cream

Clotted Cream — Fresh Clotted Cream is impossible to find in the US. That’s because it’s a very specialized art, and requires a Jersey cow that produces a rich, fatty milk. The only Devonshire Clotted Cream you will find is imported in jars. But in England it is delivered fresh.

The process of making Clotted Cream is very extensive. It begins with fresh cow’s milk. It is set into a pan where it is only a few inches thick and is left out overnight to settle. In the days gone past, it was then set next to the wood stove – or now, in warming areas, for another 6-12 hours. During this time, it sours a bit, and the cream forms a bit of a skin and turns yellowy and clotted. Then, it is carefully scooped from the top of pan and stored for a time in a cool place (preferably in a refrigerator)

Because of this unique process, many recipes in the US have been developed, trying to emulate Clotted Cream. Some US tea rooms serve whipped cream. Others mix sour cream with cream or mascarpone with whipped cream. These are good, but don’t come close to fresh Clotted Cream or even the processed, sealed clotted cream we can occasionally find in the US.

When you buy Clotted Cream in a jar, you must stir it a bit, but do not worry if it looks a bit yellow. After the first few servings, if you haven’t used it all up, it can be stored for awhile in the fridge.

Double Devon Cream
Double Devon Cream

Double Devon Cream — Double Devon cream is just as it sounds. It is the creamiest of the cream from the Devonshire Jersey cow! It’s really not whipped – it’s just so thick that a knife can stand up in it! It comes close to butter, but has a unique creamy flavor that differs from butter.

When you buy this in a jar, you may find a bit of separation. Do not worry, just open, stir and mix and it will turn back into an easily spreadable consistency. Unused portions can also be stored in the fridge, but will be almost too thick to spread on a soft scone, so you may need to let it sit out a bit.

Choosing between Clotted Cream and Devonshire Cream — I’m quite partial to Clotted Cream myself. The slight souring mixed with the sweet cream and the soft texture is my favorite topping on a scone. Actually, I’ll top it on a crumpet or even a croissant or English Muffin!

However, the Devonshire cream is such a unique delight that I’m afraid you will have to try both to decide which you personally prefer. Try it on anything you would tend to spread butter on and see for yourself what a treat it is!

[Editor’s note: Our blog is chock full of great articles on this topic. Use our search feature to find them!]

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26 thoughts on “Clotted Cream vs Double Devon Cream

  1. Robin

    I’ve heard that a close alternative to clotted cream is American cream cheese.A bit tangy and thick. Can anyone advise?

    1. Barbara Szalay

      Oh no–wouldn’t work at all. Yuck. Sorry. I’m envisioning cream cheese with strawberry jam & lemon curd on a scone. Just. NO. A whipped unsalted high quality butter would be a better sub imo. But why sub? Order from this store online or go to World Market, either one, to get clotted cream or double cream, which are both incredible. Oh yes–and get some lemon curd! And some Sticky Fingers scone mixes while you’re at it. Heat the milk for your tea. Enjoy 🙂

  2. Pingback: The Best of the English Tea Store Tea Blog in 2013 | Tea Blog

  3. Judy

    My friend and I talked about “clotted cream” and tried guessing what it was. Now I know and will be able to tell her what I have learned here. Thank you for all of the information.

  4. Sonia

    I was in Devon visiting my best friend last year and had a cream tea there and one in Cornwall. My friend said there is a difference between the clotted creams but I couldn’t tell. I will be ordering some clotted cream to use with my friend’s scone recipe. 🙂

    1. A.C. Cargill

      Yes, Sonia, the Devon folks and the Cornwall folks both swear their respective clotted creams taste different. Please let us know how your experience with them on those special scones goes!

  5. Cecelia

    One of my first words was “butter,” and clotted cream is even better. I’ve bought some elsewhere stateside that hadn’t been handled properly, so I’m going to try again on this site. For anyone who hasn’t had it in situ, it should have a very slight tang, but not be cheesy.

  6. 99bonk

    Omitted is the important fact that double cream in GB must contain at least 48% butterfat, whereas US heavy cream is only 36%.
    This makes a tremendous difference, leaving out the question of flavour.

  7. Bill

    Well, as a Devon boy, I have to comment.

    You don’t need milk from Jersey or Guernsey cattle to make clotted cream. Most dairy farmers used to make their own cream whether they had Devon, Ayrshire, Fresian or Channel Island cattle. You have to actually scold the milk (heated but not boiled) to bring the cream to the top. Cornish clotted cream (a brand like Rodda’s) is very good.

    Double Devon cream (locals never say “Devonshire”) used to be mechanically separated at the milk processing plant and then jarred. It never used to taste quite as good as the clotted cream that you could pick up from your local farmer. I imagine that EU regs now prevent farmers from selling cream direct to the public nowadays.

    1. Bill, you mustn’t forget that Trewithen Cornish Clotted Cream, made just outside Lostwithiel, is also very good!

      I also note that comments on this website have (so far) ignored the “cream first / jam first” debate. I guess we must agree to differ over that one!

  8. PJ

    I fell in love with clotted cream in the UK but it is most difficult to find in the US. For several years, I had a friend who was a Continental pilot who flew once a month from Houston to London then Paris. On his return route, he would bring me the ‘left overs’ of clotted cream from that flight (they served it regularly) and they were devowered on fresh, hot scones. Y U M ! Great stuff.

  9. Sherry

    Just had some Double Devon Cream with some scones today and it made me hesitate in reaching for the butter instead. Oh my god, so much better. Now, if only I can find the jarred clotted cream — just finding the Double Devon Cream was hard enough in my neck of the woods…

      1. A.C. Cargill

        Yes, I can also get the little jars of clotted cream at a local store. I’m told the ones from The English Tea Store are fresher, since they get it directly and it hasn’t sat on store shelves but has been kept cool.

  10. Lori Nappi

    Is there a recipe for clotted cream. If there is please send one. trying to make someone very special happy for the holidays. thank you

  11. Jonathan Skrine

    We buy BRITISH goods in the US for delivery to my wife’s American relations. We live in Wales and I am born and bred Welsh/British.

    The Devon Cream description needs a little modification.

    Devon(ed) cream is produced by a process of – ‘Devoning’ to simplify the cream is boiled to increase flavour/thickness and improve keeping qualities.

    A cheap and pretty good alternative is to buy UHT treated cream which has a very similar and delicious flavour, just as difficult to find in the USA but worth looking for.

    The best way of tasting either Devon or Clotted cream is on merringues which are simple and easy to make.

    Take some powdered sugar and mix with eggwhite until you have a putty (playdoh) consistency. Roll into balls about 1in – microwave on high on baking parchment – every microwave varies with time and number that can be done, experiment it’s fun. The trick is to catch them just as they stop expanding before they burn – the brown centered ones have the most delicious caramel flavour.

    Spread with clotted or devon cream and eat.

    Please never mix sugar into Devon or Clotted cream, it’s barbaric and ruins the flavour.

  12. Risa

    My husband and I loved the clotted cream we had in England years ago. We were traveling and my husband had us backtrack 40 miles so we could again visit the teashop where we had had scones and cream the day before. It was worth every extra mile.

  13. Susan

    While I will definitely order the Devon Clotted Cream, I would far rather order Cornish Clotted Cream, I really do enjoy it more. My grandfather was born in Cornwall and there is a definite difference between them. Thank you!

  14. Hello,
    we will be visiting Devon in July and are looking for a Cream Tea recomendation. Do you have any suggestions for a country cottage with a garden that serves traditional Cream Tea?
    Many thanks

  15. Chris

    Great article. Made me crave both kinds of cream, and was very educational as well. Author has obvious experience and clearly knows what she is talking about.
    Would like to read more like this. Thank you!

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