5 Ingredients or Fewer

Caramelized Cream Eggs From Ideas in Food

October  8, 2019
49 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham. Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog. Prop Stylist: Brooke Deonarine.
  • Cook time 5 minutes
  • Serves as many as you like!
Author Notes

This egg recipe might not just change how you think about cooking eggs, but most other ingredients, too. The amounts below are just a suggestion, but the technique is very flexible if you realize you've eyeballed wrong: If the pan looks dry before your ingredients are cooked through, just add more cream, or a splash of water or stock. If it looks too liquidy, pour off some of the cream or turn up the heat. (Just be careful not to burn it, which is the only way to ruin these.)

After you taste these eggs, try cooking more things in cream, and flavoring the cream with herbs, spices, garlic, citrus zest... Aki and Alex have written about carrots and smashed potatoes on Ideas in Food, but I've also tried kale (stems first) and a few baby eggplants I didn’t know what else to do with. They were soft-creamy and brown-buttery-crisp, every time. Talbot also rattled off still more ideas for ingredients to cream-caramelize—everything from meats (like pork chops seared in smoked paprika cream, burgers, sausages, hot dogs, ragus, dumpling fillings) to fish (with mustard, soy sauce, or miso) to fruits (apples with star anise and cinnamon). Adapted from H. Alexander Talbot and Aki Kamozawa at Ideas in Food.

This technique was featured on our new cook-along podcast Play Me a Recipe. Listen as Kristen cream-caramelizes carrots—offering insider tips and backstory along the way.Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Caramelized Cream Eggs From Ideas in Food
  • Heavy cream
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  1. Choose a nonstick skillet with a lid that’s large enough to hold the number of eggs you’d like to cook, without leaving lots of extra room (an 8-inch skillet fits 2 large eggs nicely). If you don’t have a lid that fits your pan, a baking sheet or another skillet will work well.
  2. Without heating the pan, pour enough heavy cream into the bottom of the skillet to make a thin layer (this will depend on the size of the pan, but for an 8-inch skillet, a few tablespoons is enough). Sprinkle the cream with salt to taste and add the eggs.
  3. Now turn the heat to medium-high to start cooking the eggs. The cream will boil, steam, and eventually separate into liquid butterfat and butter solids. If you are using a gas stove, the cream will likely caramelize at the edges; electric or induction will likely only caramelize the bottom.
  4. When the egg whites are almost set and the cream has mostly become butter and butter solids, remove the pan from the heat and cover it for a minute to finish setting the whites, specifically in the center of the pan.
  5. Remove the eggs from the pan and serve up breakfast. The bottoms should be caramelized, the whites tender and cream-coated, the yolk firm but runny. Now you have a new way to cook delicious eggs and a path to explore adding flavors.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • MRubenzahl
  • Lourdes Marin
    Lourdes Marin
  • cindy_perkins_marlow
  • Picholine
  • Anu Narayan
    Anu Narayan
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

87 Reviews

MRubenzahl May 10, 2023
I seem to be the opposite of everyone else: I love the technique but not so much the overly loquacious delivery (which, to be fair, is the Food52 style). The water boils off and the cream separates into butterfat and solids, which give it a toasty, butterscotchy flavor and a pudding texture.

Whites are not crispy but they are coated with caramelized butter. Definitely adding this to my techniques library.

And if anyone wants to do this without wading through 2000 words: Pour a thin layer of cream into an unheated non-stick skillet (that has a lid). Turn heat on, medium-high. Add eggs, sprinkle with salt to taste. When the egg whites are almost set and the cream has mostly become butter and butter solids, remove the pan from the heat and cover it for a minute to finish setting the whites, specifically in the center of the pan.
MacGuffin May 10, 2023
I like them as well, although I had to play a bit for optimal results. I found I had to be careful in order for the yolks not cook too much, which I think is due to the steam that results as the cream cooks down, as well as maybe using too much cream. Once I got that down, I started flipping them because I prefer my eggs over easy.
Lourdes M. May 2, 2023
The recipe itself is easy to follow and well-written, I just didn't care for the end result. I expected this to be a sort of shortcut version of making "eggs en cocotte." It was not as similar as I anticipated, so my disappointment in the recipe is a matter of my having false expectations. I prefer a crispy fried egg, I guess. I will leave the heavy cream for eggs en cocotte!
MikeyG March 27, 2023
I don’t get it. I tried this a few times. Eggs fried in butter or olive oil is way better. You can use the same technique with taking off the heat and covering for 1 min. Or if you like the cream thing, Shirred eggs are also better. Warm butter in a pan, add eggs, top with a little heavy cream, bake at 375 for 7-8 min. This recipe is like a technique in search of a use.
chef C. March 18, 2023
DING-DING-DING, we have a winner here!

Something to note, if using a smooth-top ceramic eye, be sure to turn the setting to about 7 or 8. Any lower and the eggs cook too slow causing the bottoms of the yellows to cook too solid, and you will not have as much golden runny goodness - and that would be a real shame!
Otha T. March 14, 2023
Thank you so much for this. I prepared as directed and placed over yellow stone grits (polenta). I was so bored with my normal way of making eggs. Delicious!!!
cindy_perkins_marlow September 19, 2022
These quickly became my favorite way to cook eggs when I have heavy cream in my fridge. I add Italian seasoning to the cold cream and serve on toasted sourdough bread. YUMMM!
Rsia June 19, 2022
I do this with baked eggs. Each egg in their own cup, about a tablespoon of cream with each egg. Place on a rimmed baking sheet for ease of handling in and out of the oven. Bake 375 about 7 to 8 minutes.
RG June 19, 2022
Gotta try this!
[email protected] March 19, 2023
Hummm, I’ll bet ramekins would work as well. Thanks for the tip!
RG March 19, 2023
Now we're into different territory but put some spinach at the bottom of the ramekin (greased of course). Make a little well -- I use frozen spinach which has sorta thawed. Crack in an egg. spoon he cream over top and bake. Allegedly King Charles' fave dish.
Lourdes M. May 2, 2023
Eggs en cocotte!!
MacGuffin March 27, 2022
Okay, so I wanted to make these (I’ve made them before) but lacked heavy cream (I can’t even get heavy cream in my area--just whipping cream with stabilizers added). What I did have on hand though . . . was . . . *drumroll* . . . crème fraîche!!! Doesn’t split when heated, right? Long story short, it worked out great. It might actually have tasted better than it did with the heavy cream I’d checked in my luggage last year. Sometimes, you just have to think out of the box.
Sadie K. February 26, 2023
Thank you. I was going to, and will, try this.
Sadie Kendall, Kendall Farms Creme Fraiche
MacGuffin February 26, 2023
I remember my buddy Steve Jenkins LOVES your crème fraîche.
Sadie K. February 27, 2023
If memory serves, Steve especially liked my corn chowder recipe.
MacGuffin February 27, 2023
If anyone knows food, Steve does. I seem to recall your corn chowder recipe appears in his Cheese Primer. My copy's packed away, so I don't have access to it.
Sadie K. February 27, 2023
Go to www.kendallfarmscremefraiche.com. My creme fraiche cookbook is on the website somewhere. I believe it is in my cookbook.
food52 February 26, 2022
I will definitely make these again. I can’t figure out what tu pair them with but I really liked them! I feel like maybe with mushrooms and gruyere?
Susie February 24, 2022
I’ve made this three times and I think I’ve ironed out the kinks.

1) Use a pan just big enough for the number of eggs you want to cook and the use just enough cream to cover the bottom of the pan. When you add the eggs, the cream level will rise so you don’t need as much cream as you probably think you do.

2) Season the cream before you add the eggs. This will achieve the best distribution of seasoning.

3) Don’t be afraid of the heat. Use medium high and trust the recipe. I have an electric range with a glass top and I turn the heat to 7.5-8 and let it rip.

4) I like the whites cooked solid so I watch them until all of the white is almost completely set, then take the pan off the heat and cover it immediately. Having a clear glass lid is a plus but if you don’t have a see-through lid, put your lid on and set a timer for 60 seconds and leave it alone! The eggs will look like you’ve basted them when you remove the lid.

The recipe works. As for the results, I would call them okay. I didn’t swoon over them but they were an interesting variation that I will make again when have leftover heavy cream.
Alexis February 22, 2022
Couldn't decide on what to have for dinner tonight. I made a big salad and thought fired eggs would be a great topper. It seemed like a good time to try making these eggs in cream. Incredible! The eggs were perfectly done and buttery. What a great recipe to have in my toolbox!
azzzzz July 5, 2021
I just made these egg this morning! I didn't have butter or margarine so I used cream and they were delicious. Actually it was a toss up between cream or mayo, which I think I'll try next time.
food52 February 26, 2022
Oooh Mayo! Did you try that?
azzzzz June 22, 2022
Not yet. Afraid of making a low cal easypeasy meal into a really fatty bite.
Picholine September 25, 2020
Made the caramelized eggs and what an exquisite taste ! I really was surprised that cooking eggs this way would make a difference. Such a treat.
Food September 16, 2020
I can't wait to try this technique. I would love to watch a video on making crispy eggs. I was watching a British cooking show and this older lady cracked an egg in her hand, dipped and rolled it quickly in bread crumbs then quickly placed in hot oil to deep fry. It came out as a brown crunchy ball and when she cut into it the yellow was runny and white perfect. Have you heard of this technique. I am still shocked. I would love to learn how to do this. You can place the crispy egg balls on a salad or pasta.
[email protected] September 16, 2020
Are you referring to “Scotch Eggs”?
Robin February 20, 2022
Could this be it?
djfisher1312 September 12, 2020
Just read this, immediately tried it, delicious and incredibly easy!
[email protected] September 8, 2020
To me, these were poached eggs, elevated to the nth degree! And the best part, they hold their shape very well. Confession: I did use more cream than suggested. Unbelievably good! I used a stainless steel skillet, with no issues whatsoever.
Rosalind R. September 16, 2020
Electric or gas stove?
[email protected] September 16, 2020
Rosalind R. September 17, 2020
When this hit my inbox as just "gas," I couldn't imagine what recipe I had commented on that would elicit such a response!

I hope you realize how lucky you are to be cooking with gas. Sadly, I live in Arizona where gas kitchens are as rare as hens teeth. Electric is so limiting!
Deanna A. March 23, 2021
I make them on electric stoves.
Gina T. July 18, 2020
I tried this technique when first published here and was underwhelmed. Now, I have tried again and these eggs are perfection! I believe I had too much cream the first time, and was also cooking on a dreadful glass-top electric range. Today, I used just enough cream to coat the bottom of the pan and cooked on induction and made some of the best eggs I've ever had. I did give them a flip during the one minute rest because I feared the yolks weren't set but it was probably not necessary. Next time, I will not. I quite easily made 4 and think I could even do 6 at once.
nancy S. June 12, 2020
Contrary to all of the wonderful reviews, I found this to be a most unappetising recipe. I cannot, for the life of me, see its charm. It was completely unappetising.
J. June 12, 2020
Agreed 100%. Fried egg in butter with crispy edges any day over these.
Werdyo May 15, 2020
This was *delicious*. But before recommending non-stick skillets, you should watch the movie Dark Waters or do some research on the toxicity of Teflon. I used a stainless steel skillet with no problems.
MacGuffin February 18, 2022
Not all non-stick is teflon.
Anu N. March 11, 2020
This was gorgeous! I think I used more than a "thin" layer of double cream, but since I'm on the keto diet, it's all good :) I added some homemade everything bagel seasoning over the eggs, and drizzled a bit of truffle oil before eating... Wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing this fantastic recipe, this will go on my regular weekday rotation.
Anu N. March 11, 2020
Oh I should add another favourite way of mine of frying eggs, thanks to my best friend's recipe. Grate some cheese (cheddar works best) on the bottom of a nonstick pan to cover it, crack an egg or two over this layer of grated cheese, turn the heat to medium high, and cook until the cheese starts to melt and develop a crust. If the whites are still runny, you can switch off the job and cover the pan, exactly like this recipe. Once the eggs are cooked to your liking, transfer the crispy cheese and eggs to a plate and eat immediately!