Traditional Crema Catalan – a crusty firework of taste

I love desserts!  Do I have a favourite?  Without a doubt it would have to be Creme Brulee or the Spanish equivalent – Crema Catalana.  Once you have tapped into the thin crispy caramel topping you have the silky smooth custard underneath.  Absolute perfection.  This Crema Catalan recipe is a really easy recipe that has never failed me. 

creme catalan recipe

The lighter sister of the French Cremé Brulee ist the perfect dessert after a dinner with friends or family. The Spanish Crema Catalan is slightly easier to make because they add cornflour which helps to set the custard. 

How to get the perfect crust

The caramelization process has to be really quick so that you don’t heat up the custard underneath (this would make it too runny) and I have never found a household grill hot enough to do this.  Both my Mum and I are dedicated to our Brulees and have stepped up a notch and use plumbing torches – perfect brulee in seconds. 

To get a real crusty topping, you need to use either a branding iron, which is typically used in Spain or a cook’s blowtorch*.


Can Can I keep leftovers?

The custard base can be made 1 to 2 days in advance but once you caramelize the topping it cannot go back in the refrigerator and needs to be eaten within half an hour or so. 

The last thing I need to say is: Please don’t miss out on the step of straining the custard.  Even if you have made a perfect, lump free custard you still need to strain out the lemon zest to get that silky smooth result.

Try these desserts also: White Meringue Dessert with Strawberries and Cream, Juicy Plum Crumble with red wine or Classic homemade Vanilla Ice Cream.


The most delicious Crema Catalan

This recipe for Crema Catalan, the famous spanish dessert, is easy to follow and guarantees a mind-blowing result. Try our recipe!
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Prep Time 45 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Spanish
Servings 4 servings


  • 150 g caster sugar

  • 4 tsp cornflour
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 750 ml carton full fat milk
  • 1 lemon Grated zest
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • caster sugar r for the topping


  • Put the milk, zest, and cinnamon in a pan and heat gently until it reaches boiling point.
  • Remove from the heat.
  • Mix the caster sugar and the cornflour in a bowl.
  • Stir in the egg yolks until smooth – do not whisk or the mixture will form a froth.
  • Pour the cream mixture onto the egg mixture, stirring to combine well.
  • Rinse out the pan and return the mixture to it.
  • Stir over low heat for 5 minutes until thickened. It must not cook!
  • Set aside for 30 minutes to infuse and thicken further.
  • Strain into a large jug and pour it into your serving dishes.
  • Cover with cling wrap and chill overnight or longer to set
  • Just before serving – sprinkle some caster sugar evenly over the top of the custards and caramelize quickly with a cooks blowtorch
  • As the caramel cools, it will harden
  • Eat within half an hour but do not chill in the refrigerator as this will cause the caramel crust to soften
Keyword Catalan cream, creme catalan
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Image credits: Unless otherwise stated: ©Angela Darroch, ©Pro Stock Media via or ©

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About Susan 98 Articles
Hi, I am Susan. I love the art of cooking and I love life! Also am keen to inspire you and try out new ways of cooking. Here on My Golden Pear I write about the latest food trends, recipes and share my travel discoveries. As I am German by birth, you will also find many authentic German recipes here. Enjoy!

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