Recipe: Crema Catalana

This blog post was originally posted on January 30, 2015, and was updated on October 14, 2017.

Crema Catalana, Europe’s lesser-known custard dessert, is one of our favorites in all of Spain, and we’re here to make sure it gets the credit it deserves!

Traveling around Europe, you might find that many countries claim to have invented the same thing. It’s always an age-old dispute that, despite having some evidence favoring one country over the other, still remains a hot topic of conversation.

Take crema catalana for example, the delicious Catalan custard dessert, and its French counterpart, creme brûlée. To this day, people still debate about who came up with it first!

Crema catalana is the Spanish version of creme brulee—and it's even been around longer than its more famous French cousin! For the best Spanish dessert from Barcelona, take a look at our crema catalana recipe here. #foodie #recipe #foodblog #delish #delicious #spain #barcelona

However, no matter what people say, crema catalana is the oldest custard dessert in Europe, as historians have found recipes dating back to 14th-century in Catalan cookbooks. While creme brûlée didn’t make an appearance until the 17th century. It’s pretty clear proof if you ask us.

But we didn’t come here to debate about history. We came here to talk about how good crema catalana is. Refreshing citrus-infused creaminess with a hint of cinnamon and that crunchy layer of burned sugar—it’s a classic Catalan dessert that we absolutely couldn’t live without. Now you can learn how to make it with this authentic crema catalana recipe!

The cremat is a delicious pastry version of the creme catalana recipe, and we try it on our Barcelona food tour in Gracia!
Come try the mini cremat, a pastry version of crema catalana, on our Gracia Neighborhood Food Tour!

Crema Catalana Recipe

Recipe Type: Dessert

Cuisine: Catalan

Prep time:

Cook time:

Total time:

Serves: 6

  • 1 liter of whole milk
  • 200 grams of sugar
  • 25 grams of cornstarch
  • 7 egg yolks
  • Zest of half an orange
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick


  1. Whisk the egg yolks and cornstarch in a bowl with a bit of cold milk.
  2. Put the milk, sugar, cinnamon, lemon zest and orange zest in a saucepan and gently bring to a boil.
  3. After three minutes, add the egg yolk mixture.
  4. Pass through a sieve and return to the pan.
  5. Over medium heat, stir constantly until the mixture begins to thicken, about 7 minutes, and then remove from heat.
  6. Pour into individual ramekins and allow to cool before placing them in the refrigerator.
  7. When ready to serve, sprinkle each ramekin with 1 tablespoon of sugar and caramelize using a blowtorch. Alternatively, place the ramekins under a gas grill and allow them to brown. Wait for the sugar to harden and serve immediately.
There’s more where that came from—check out 50+ of our favorite European recipes in our new cookbook!

2 Comment

  1. Kelly says
    August 15, 2018 at 10:45 am

    thank you soooooo much!My kids absolutely loved it.

    1. Devour Tours says
      August 17, 2018 at 12:44 pm

      So happy to hear it Kelly!! It definitely is a crowd pleaser!


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