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From Heavy Cream to Mascarpone: Best Substitutes for Clotted Cream

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Have you ever encountered the delicate texture of clotted cream and wondered just what it is?

Clotted cream is a specialty of British cuisine and can be used to top off or enhance a variety of desserts.

Although clotted cream is not as available in many parts of the world, there are still ways to make any recipe with a delightful substitution.

With five possible options to choose from, it is easy to find one that will create an equal, delicious and enjoyable treat.

Learn how to use these alternatives today to give your favorite dishes a special twist.

What is Clotted Cream?

Clotted cream is a thick, sweet cream traditionally found in Britain and Ireland.

It is typically made from high-quality unpasteurized cow’s milk and cooked slowly for hours at a specific temperature.

This process causes the cream to thicken and form an outer layer on the surface of the mixture.

The resulting clotted cream is a bit like butter in texture, but with a distinctively rich, sweet flavor that makes it especially delicious when spread on biscuits or scones.

Clotted cream is also sometimes added to tea or used in desserts or other dishes as an alternative to butter or whipped cream.

When buying clotted cream, it’s important to look for high-quality versions that are preferably organic and unpasteurized.

For best results, it’s usually best to use real clotted cream, but sometimes this isn’t feasible.

The 5 BEST Substitutes for Clotted Cream

Unfortunately, this set of extraordinary characteristics make clotted cream hard to find outside of England and certain other regions.

Although many people enjoy the delicate flavor and texture of clotted cream, it may not be accessible for everyone.

Here’s a detailed comparison of the 5 best substitutes for clotted cream, along with their key characteristics and proper ratios:

SubstituteKey CharacteristicsProper Ratio
Greek YogurtThick and creamy with a tangy flavor. It can be used as a healthier alternative to clotted cream.Use an equal amount as clotted cream
Mascarpone CheeseA rich and creamy Italian cheese with a slightly sweet flavor. It adds richness to recipes.Use an equal amount as clotted cream
Sour CreamTangy and creamy with a slightly acidic flavor. It provides a similar texture to clotted cream.Use an equal amount as clotted cream
Crème FraicheHas a rich and velvety texture with a slightly tangy flavor. It is similar to sour cream but milder.Use an equal amount as clotted cream
Heavy Cream/Whipping CreamThick and rich with a high fat content. It can be whipped to achieve a similar texture to clotted cream.Use an equal amount as clotted cream

Now let’s explore each substitute in more detail:

1 – Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is one of the closest substitutes to clotted cream in terms of texture, consistency and flavor.

Greek yogurt is made by removing some of the water content from regular yogurt by straining it through muslin or cheesecloth.

It results in a thick and creamy product that lends itself well to baking and desserts.

Greek yogurt works especially well when used for topping scones, pancakes or mousses.

Be sure to buy a full fat variety, as this will give you the richest and creamiest taste.

If you need it to be sweeter, mix in some honey or fruit puree for extra flavor.

2 – Mascarpone Cheese

Mascarpone cheese is a great substitute for clotted cream.

It has a similar texture and a bit of sweetness.

Made from heavy cream that has been seasoned with salt and tartaric acid, this Italian-style cheese is perfect for adding richness to any dish.

It’s also an excellent thickener or emulsifier, as well as a great topping on pastries, waffles, and other desserts.

To use as a clotted cream substitute in baking or cooking, mix equal parts of mascarpone cheese to whole milk until the desired consistency is achieved.

It’s also an excellent base for frosting and can be flavored with lime zest or nutmeg.

3 – Sour Cream

Sour cream can make a suitable substitute for clotted cream in many recipes.

Unlike clotted cream, sour cream is made by adding a starter culture of lactic acid bacteria to fresh heavy cream.

The bacterial activity produces lactic acid, which results in flavor-enhancing and texture-thickening effects.

It can be used in the same way as clotted cream, but it is especially good on top of fruits and desserts or as an ingredient in savory dishes.

However, because it is thicker than clotted cream, you may want to thin your sour cream with a little milk or skimmed yogurt when using it for baking purposes.

4 – Crème Fraiche

Crème fraiche is a French cultured cream that has been most popular for over a hundred years.

It’s a thick, rich cream with a slightly tangy and tart flavor.

The consistency of crème fraiche is slightly thinner than clotted cream, but it will still do the job when thickening desserts and drinks.

In addition to that, it won’t curdle easily when added to warm beverages or sauces.

However, crème fraiche does lose its richness when exposed to prolonged heat, so you want to be careful about adding it too early in the recipe-making process if something needs to simmer for several minutes or more.

This type of cream fat content ranges between 30 and 40%, which puts it among the richest types of cream available in markets.

5 – Heavy Cream or Whipping Cream

If you’re looking for a quick and easy substitute for clotted cream, heavy or whipping cream will be your best bet.

Both are thick and creamy, though heavy cream is generally a bit thicker than whipping cream.

To use heavy or whipping cream as a clotted cream substitute, simply whip it until it has reached the desired consistency (it should be thick enough to spread).

Keep in mind that heavy and whipping creams do not contain the same amount of butterfat as clotted cream—heavy cream typically has a butterfat content of 45% while clotted cream has at least 55%–so be prepared to add a bit more sweetness or flavor if necessary.


In conclusion, clotted cream is a thick and luxurious cream with an unmistakable taste that simply can’t be replicated.

It is a traditional and much-loved accompaniment for scones and other pastries.

Although there are many alternatives available, none can truly replicate the flavor and texture of clotted cream.

To ensure a truly authentic experience, why not give making it yourself a try? It may take some time, but the results will be worth it.

The 5 BEST Substitutes for Clotted Cream

Recipe by Kimberly Baxter Course: Substitutes


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  • 1 1 – Greek Yogurt

  • 2 2 – Mascarpone Cheese

  • 3 3 – Sour Cream

  • 4 4 – Crème Fraiche

  • 5 5 – Heavy Cream or Whipping Cream


  • Choose your preferred substitute from the list of options.
  • Organize all of your ingredients.
  • Use the proper substitute to cook your recipes.

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