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Crema Catalana Recipe – How to Make Crema Catalana

User Rating 3.5 Star Rating (5 Reviews)


Crema Catalana
Gavin Kingcome Photography/The Image Bank/Getty Images
Crema Catalana or Catalan Cream is the Catalan name and version of the French dessert, crème brulée. In fact, many regions lay claim to the origin of the dessert. Wherever it originated, enjoy and let it dissolve in your mouth! It is a great dessert for Spring, since it is also called Crema de Sant Josep, or St. Joseph’s cream, traditionally prepared on March 19th, St. Joseph’s Day, the Spanish equivalent of Father’s Day in the USA.

Prep Time: 3 hours, 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: 4 Servings


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups milk


This is a great dessert to make ahead of time, since it is very easy and requires 2-3 hours of refrigeration before serving. Make it the day before and leave it in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. Then, heat the broiler, caramelize the sugar and serve!

In a pot, beat together the egg yolks and 3/4 cup sugar until thoroughly blended and the mixture turns frothy. Add the cinnamon stick and grated lemon rind. Pour in the milk and cornstarch. Slowly heat the mixture, stirring constantly, just until thickened. Remove pot from heat immediately.

Tip: As soon as the mixture thickens and you feel resistance while stirring, remove the pot from the heat or the mixture may curdle or separate! The texture of the finished crema will be grainy instead of smooth and creamy as it should be.

Remove the cinnamon stick and ladle the milk mixture into 4-6 ramekins (depending on size). Allow to cool, then refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours.

Before serving, preheat the broiler. Remove ramekins with the crema catalana from refrigerator and sprinkle the rest of the sugar over each ramekin. When broiler is hot, place the ramekins under the broiler on the top shelf and allow the sugar to caramelize, turning gold and brown. This may take 10 minutes or so, depending on your broiler. Remove and serve immediately.

If you'd like, you can serve the crema catalana chilled, but we think it has more flavor when served warm from the broiler.

Do you prefer to follow a step-by-step recipe with photos? Then our How to Make Crema Catalana Step-by-Step is for you!

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
This is Awesome!, Member Cattrix9

I made this because I had too many eggs in my fridge and I eat a lot of egg white omelets, I didn't have lemons but I used some grated orange rind and added a couple of pinches of cinnamon instead of the stick. This turned out very well, the consistency was just a slight bit looser than Creme Brule and next time I will make with a little less sugar also. But this was delicious, my husband asked me right away, ""when are you going to make this again? Like tomorrow ok?"" I don't know why the person who gave it a bad review had trouble with it, unless some of her ingredients were off, because mine turned out Yummy, Muy delicioso!

8 out of 8 people found this helpful.

See all 5 reviews

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