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How to make crema catalana

Crema catalana / Spanish burnt cream custard

Crema catalana is a Spanish custard dessert very similar to crème brulee. This dessert is made with milk, cream, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, orange peel, and cinnamon.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Catalan, Spanish
Keyword Crema catalana
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Time in refrigerator 12 hours
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 - 10


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 4 strips orange peel can also use lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick – optional
  • 8 egg yolks
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup turbinado or raw sugar
  • 3 tbs corn starch


  • Bring the milk, cream, vanilla, orange rind and cinnamon (if using) to a boil over low heat.
  • Remove from the heat and let it cool down.
  • Strain the milk and cream mixture to remove the vanilla bean, orange peel strips and cinnamon stick.
  • Mix the egg yolks and ½ cup of regular sugar until you obtain a thick creamy mixture.
  • Dissolve the cornstarch in ¼ cup of milk mixture, the stir it back into the remaining milk.
  • Mix the milk in with the eggs and sugar, place it in a double boiler pan (or in a heat resistant glass bowl in a pan of water baño Maria style) over medium low heat, and stirring consistently until the cream thickens, do not let it boil.
  • Cool the cream and pour into the ramekins or cazuelas.
  • Chill for 24 hours or overnight.
  • When ready to serve sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the raw sugar over each ramekin or cazuela, heat the iron and press it against the sugar until it is burnt. You may also use a torch or place it under the broiler in the oven.
  • Serve immediately.