Crema Catalana Cupcakes

cupcakes_crema_catalana-16Yes, “Crema Catalana” you heard right. No Crème brûlée or any of the other plagiarisms that exist. Do not accept imitations, this is the real and really good Catalan Cream together with a spongy and delicious vanilla Cupcake. And of course, the Catalan Cream must be caramelised, no other way!!

cupcakes_crema_catalana-5Here is the perfect Anglo-Catalan fusion!! Catalan cream is scrumptious and good vanilla cupcakes too, so everything together could not fail. Actually, the thing is not mysterious, right? I do not need to explain too many things, surely you all know the taste of the cream and also the one of a sponge vanilla cupcake. Put them together in your mind and that’s what you have here today.

cupcakes_crema_catalana-6I take the opportunity to send a message to everyone reading this post. “Crema Catalana” and the Crème brûlée ARE NOT THE SAME!!!!!!!!!!! Every time someone refers to the second as equivalent of the first a Catalan puppy dies. So, stop doing it, please, I beg you. They are not the same, they are not prepared the same and of course they do not taste the same way, NO, NO and NO.

cupcakes_crema_catalana-18And what is even more offensive, the French version is more famous than the Catalan version, obviously, but there are many indications pointing that it is a copy of the original Catalan cream that used to be prepared in the old Catalan-French region of Languedoc -Roussillon. There we go, you French people take it! While it is true that there are also other theories that say that it was copied to the English of its famous English cream. It can also be, but you already know how the French are with the cooking topic (well, and with almost every topic), they are the best and they have invented everything …

cupcakes_crema_catalana-2Well, and after jumping into the pool with this delicate subject and putting a whole country against me (I know, I’m very crazy) maybe I should leave you with the recipe, right? Eiiih, but good vibe eh? Now seriously, I have many French friends, they are really great people, but from now on they are going to hate me, well not if they want to continue eating my sweets. But sometimes with this patriotic pride they have they a little too far …

cupcakes_crema_catalana-21Again, I messed me up writing and did not say anything useful. About the recipe itself, I wanted to tell you that this version of vanilla cupcakes is new, it is not a recipe that I always used to bake. This one is from the famous “Jemma Cupcakes” and from now on it will replace the one I always made because they are much fluffier and light and it is super-fast and easy to make and you get the exact batter for 12 cupcakes.


And finally, a little history of this traditional dessert, which is considered one of the oldest in Europe. In Catalonia is traditionally prepared in Saint Joseph day, on March the 19. Basically, because at that time of the year is when the hens produce more eggs. And we do not know call it “Crema Catalana”, obviously. In Catalonia, it is simply known as: Cream, “Crema Cremada” or “Crema de Sant Josep”. Just to talk about cream I’ve gotten hungry, I’m going to eat a cupcake 🙂

Crema Catalana Cupcakes

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Serves: 12 cupcakes
Cooking Time: 45 min


  • 500 ml milk
  • The skin of ½ lemon zest (only the yellow part, the white part does not give aroma)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 125 g sugar
  • 50 g cornstarch
  • 125g flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 125g sugar
  • 125g butter (soft)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 and 1/2 Tbsp milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Blowtorch
  • 100 g dark chocolate (optional)



Bring the milk to boil with the cinnamon and the lemon zest. In a bowl, mix the yolks with sugar and cornstarch. When the milk is boiling, remove from heat and strain. Pour only a little of the milk in the bowl of the yolks (if you put too much it will cook the eggs) and mix with a stick until it is incorporated. Continue to pour the milk slowly and do not stop mixing.


Put the mixture in a saucepan and heat again stirring constantly until it begins to boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely with a transparent film on the surface to prevent crusting. When the mixture is cold, fill a pastry bag and leave it ready to decorate the cupcakes. If you are not going to use it on the same day, you must keep it in the fridge.


Preheat the oven to 170ºC and prepare a cupcake pan with 12 cups. In the bowl of the mixer (if you do not have it, use a large bowl) sieve the flour and mix with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add sugar, butter and eggs. Mix, starting at low speed so that the flour does not fly away, and once they are integrated slightly raise the speed to medium-high and mix for 1 minute. Stir in milk and vanilla extract and mix for about 30 seconds more at high speed.


Distribute the dough evenly into the cups filling only up to ¾ parts of their capacity, it would come to be like 1 tablespoon of well-filled batter per cup. Bake at 170 ° C for 22 minutes. Check by pinching the centre of one of the cupcakes with a toothpick that are well made before being removed from the oven. Cool completely on a rack.


To decorate the cupcakes, make a hole in the centre of each one. Stuff the centre of the cupcakes with cream and put some more cream on top. No matter that it does not look good and with a defined shape, in fact, I like it that way, as with the cream falling irregularly. Do not put too much cream on top of each cupcake, first because it does not have the consistency enough to hold and second because the Catalan cream can be somewhat heavy mixed with the sponge cake and we do not want to make anyone sick.


If you want to use some kind of chocolate decoration like the one I made, simply melt the chocolate in the microwave and use the shape you have, I have some very cute spoon moulds that are what you see in the photos.


If you want you can serve them like that and they will be very yummy, but the ideal would be to burn sugar on top of the cream as it is made in authentic Catalan cream. This should be done just before serving. To do this, sprinkle the cream with plenty of brown sugar (I like the aroma of brown sugar, but you can use normal) and using a torch or a metal burner burn sugar until it gets a nice golden colour.

Sweet Dreams,

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