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Overhead view of three terracotta ramekins with Crema Catalana

Crema Catalana

  • Author: Vicky Cohen and Ruth Fox
  • Total Time: 3 hours 20 mins
  • Yield: 6 ramekins 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Crema Catalana is a lemon and cinnamon infused Spanish dessert. It comes together in a creamy custard delight with a crunchy sugar topping.


  • 4 cups unsweetened plant-based milk (such as almond, cashew, coconut, oat, etc if you want to make it dairy-free) or regular milk, low fat or whole, if you want to make it dairy
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • The peel of one medium-size lemon
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch, tapioca starch, or potato starch


  1. Prepare 6 1/2 cup size ramekins
  2. Heat the milk, cinnamon stick, and lemon peel together in a pot over medium-low heat, until bubbles start to form on the sides. This can take up to 10 minutes depending on your stove, you want the lemon and cinnamon to have time to infuse their flavor into the milk.  Watch it closely to prevent it from boiling
  3. In the meantime, in a medium bowl beat the eggs yolks and sugar until pale yellow. Add the corn starch and keep beating for another minute or so
  4. Add the vanilla extract and keep beating until smooth and creamy
  5. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick and lemon rind from milk. Slowly add about ½ cup of warm milk to the egg yolks, stirring constantly to temper the eggs (it's important to follow this step, or else you will end up with scrambled eggs instead of custard)
  6. Slowly add the rest of the milk, whisking until well incorporated
  7. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, until it thickens slightly and coats the back of a wooden spoon (do not let it boil), about 3-4 minutes
  8. Pour 1/2 cup of custard into each ramekin and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until set
  9. Before serving, sprinkle each ramekin with 1 tablespoon of sugar and caramelize using a torch or a caramelizing iron


  1. Calories are calculated using almond milk. If using any other milk, adjust the calories accordingly.
  2. If you can find wide and low ramekins, you will have more surface for a crunchy sugar topping.
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Spain


  • Serving Size: 1 ramekin
  • Calories: 233
  • Sugar: 37.7
  • Sodium: 130
  • Fat: 4.9
  • Saturated Fat: 1.1
  • Unsaturated Fat: 3.5
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 45
  • Fiber: .6
  • Protein: 2.9
  • Cholesterol: 123

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