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Clotted Cream vs Butter: What’s the Difference?

Summary of key points

The main difference between clotted cream and butter is their fat content. While both are dairy products made from cream, butter has a higher percentage of milk solids compared to clotted cream, making it richer and more flavorful. Additionally, the process of making these two spreads also differs.

Clotted cream is traditionally made by heating unpasteurized cow’s milk until a layer of cream rises to the top, which is then skimmed and left to cool and thicken. On the other hand, butter is made by churning cream until it separates into solids (butter) and liquid (buttermilk).

In terms of taste and texture, clotted cream is smooth, thick, and slightly sweet with a velvety mouthfeel. It’s commonly used as a topping for scones and other baked goods in British cuisine. Butter, on the other hand, has a smooth and creamy texture with a rich and buttery flavor. It’s versatile and often used in cooking, baking, or simply spread on toast.

Clotted cream and butter sit at the heart of the great debate in our kitchens. Both are dairy champions, yet hold distinct crowns.

Clotted cream, with its rich, indulgent texture, hails from the lush fields of England. It’s the stuff of legends at teatime. Butter, on the other hand, is the global workhorse, making everything better from toast to sauté pans.

Our personal battles with choosing between these two can get real. Remember the time we almost set the kitchen ablaze, trying to make homemade clotted cream?

Or the butter sculpture fiasco at last year’s family reunion? Lessons were learned, laughs were shared.

Every spoonful tells a story. A story we’re here to share.

What is Clotted Cream?

Clotted cream from the UK is a luxurious indulgence. It’s made by heating raw milk until a rich layer forms.

This process gives it a thick texture, like soft butter. Clotted cream is different from butter.

Butter is made by churning cream until fat separates from liquid.

But clotted cream is made with slow heat-aging. This creates a silky-smooth texture.

Clotted cream and butter have different flavors.

Clotted cream is sweet, with notes of cooked milk and caramel.

Whereas butter has a creamy taste with a hint of salt.

Also, clotted cream has more fat than butter. This makes it extra creamy and decadent.

What is Butter?

Butter is a dairy product made from churning cream or milk. It enriches and flavors many dishes.

Its creamy texture and golden color make it perfect for baking, cooking, and spreading on toast.

Its main trait is its high fat content – 80-85%.

This fat gives butter its smoothness and melts easily when heated.

Water and milk solids further contribute to its taste and aroma.

Making butter starts by separating cream from milk.

Then, churning the cream until the fat globules form solid butter.

Buttermilk is removed during this process.

For centuries, butter has been essential in many cuisines worldwide.

It’s used for baking, cooking, and even medicine.

Recently, debates arose about butter’s health effects due to its saturated fat content.

However, some studies suggest moderate consumption of butter can be part of a healthy diet.

Differences Between Clotted Cream and Butter

Clotted cream and butter may look alike, but there are differences between them.

Ingredients and Production Process

Clotted cream and butter look alike, but they are different.

Clotted cream is made by heating unpasteurized milk until a layer of thick cream forms on top.

This cream is then spooned off and cooled. The result is a rich and velvety texture.

Butter is made by churning fresh or fermented cream.

This process separates the fat from the liquid, forming butter solids and buttermilk.

Clotted cream focuses on a thick cream layer while butter production separates the fat from the liquid.

Texture and Consistency

Clotted cream and butter differ in texture and consistency.

Clotted cream is thicker and denser than butter, which is softer and spreadable.

Clotted cream’s luxurious and velvety feel makes it perfect for spreading on scones or toast; its richness lingers on the tongue.

Butter is smoother and easier to spread, adding a more delicate flavor to dishes.

Clotted cream endures heat better than butter; it keeps its shape and richness when cooked.

But butter melts quickly and works well for sautéing vegetables or basting meats.

Both clotted cream and butter bring unique textures to elevate any dish – it comes down to personal preference when choosing between them.

Flavor Profile and Culinary Uses

Clotted cream and butter are both dairy products, but their flavors and uses differ.

Clotted cream is smooth, with a sweet-nutty taste. It’s great on scones and tea biscuits.

Plus, its thick texture is perfect for spreading or dolloping on baked goods.

Butter has a creamy, savory flavor, which makes it ideal for various cuisines. From sautéing to baking, it’s very versatile.

Clotted cream’s production involves heating whole milk and skimming off the thick layer.

Butter comes from churning cream until the water separates.

Clotted cream is great for afternoon teas and desserts, while butter adds flavor to savory dishes like steaks and mashed potatoes.

Both offer distinct flavors that will take your culinary ventures to the next level.

Nutritional Content and Health Implications

Clotted cream and butter are both dairy products, but they have distinct features and impacts on our health.

Clotted cream is rich and creamy, due to slowly heating full-fat milk.

It contains 55-60% fat, meaning it’s high in calories and saturated fat.

Butter is made by churning cream, and usually has around 80% fat.

It also has less moisture and more protein, making it easier to spread or cook with.

When it comes to health implications, too much of either can lead to high cholesterol and heart disease.

So, enjoy these dairy treats in moderation.

Similarities Between Clotted Cream and Butter

Clotted cream and butter may look alike, yet they have clear distinctions.

Both are dairy products, used in cooking and baking.

But, their textures, flavors, and production methods vary.

Clotted cream and butter are both made of cow’s milk.

They are creamy and rich in taste, providing a luxurious touch to dishes.

Nonetheless, their textures differ greatly.

Clotted cream has a thick and velvety consistency, whilst butter is solid at room temperature and melts quickly when heated.

The taste of clotted cream is unique and a bit tangy, due to the slow-heating process it goes through.

On the other hand, butter has a more distinctive savory flavor arising from its high fat content.

These two dairy products will have different effects on recipes, depending on their flavor profiles.

In terms of production methods, clotted cream is produced by slowly heating full-fat cow’s milk until a layer of cream forms on the surface.

This clotted layer is skimmed off and collected.

Instead, butter is made by churning cream until the fat molecules join together and separate from the liquid, known as buttermilk.

Though clotted cream and butter are alike, as creamy dairy products with richness in taste, they have their own unique characteristics.

Knowing these differences can help you pick the right one for your cooking needs – whether it’s a thick spread with a hint of tanginess or a flexible ingredient with rich flavor notes.

Cooking and Baking Applications of Clotted Cream and Butter

Clotted cream and butter both have lots of uses in cooking and baking.

They give dishes a rich and creamy taste. But there are some differences between them.

Clotted cream is popular in traditional British recipes such as scones and puddings.

Its thick texture makes it great for spreading on top or stirring into sauces.

Butter, though, is used in many cuisines worldwide.

It’s great for sautéing veg, frying meat, or spreading on toast.

In baking, clotted cream and butter have different jobs.

Clotted cream makes cakes, muffins, and pastries moist and tender.

It adds a subtle sweetness too. Butter gives structure and flakiness to pies, cookies, and croissants.

Its high fat content helps make layers and a crispy outside.

Something else you should know is that clotted cream can be stored at room temp.

Its high fat content acts like a preservative.

Butter, though, needs to be kept in the fridge to stay fresh.


After learning about the differences between clotted cream and butter, it is easy to see why these two dairy products have arrived at such distinct positions in the world of cuisine.

Clotted cream is much higher in fat content than butter, yet remains a delicacy due to its rich, creamy texture.

Butter on the other hand has been a staple for baking, cooking, and spreading.

Both ingredients are highly nutritious however and provide us with a variety of beneficial vitamins and minerals.

With both of these delicious foods offering their own unique flavor profiles, one can decide which will best suit their recipes – clotted cream or butter?

No matter what your choice may be, you are sure to add some tasty flavors to whichever dish you choose.

Clotted Cream vs Butter: What’s the Difference?

Discover the nuances between clotted cream and butter with this concise comparison. Uncover the key distinctions in flavor and texture to make an informed choice for your culinary endeavors.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course This vs That
Servings 1 Serving


  • Clotted Cream
  • Butter


  • Choose between clotted cream and butter based on your recipe and taste preference.
  • If using clotted cream, scoop it from the container.
  • If using butter, slice or melt the desired amount.
  • Incorporate either into your dish as specified in your recipe.
  • Enjoy the rich, creamy goodness of clotted cream or the classic richness of butter in your culinary creation.
  • Experiment with both to discover which complements your dishes best.
Keyword Clotted Cream vs Butter
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