Kramer, the three-times reigning world all-round champion and world record holder, added the only major honour missing from his resume by upgrading his 2006 Turin silver after powering to an amazing 2.35-second winning margin for his first Olympic title.
The 23-year-old Kramer, cheered on by orange-clad fans from the Netherlands who ringed the track, clocked six minutes 14.60 seconds to surpass the mark of 6:14.66 set by his compatriot Jochem Uytdehaage at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.
The ecstatic Kramer climbed over the fencing at the front of the stand to share hugs and handshakes with his delighted entourage once the final skater's time fell short.
"I was fighting for three years and I didn't lose any competitions except one and if I didn't do it (win gold), it would have been pretty hard," Kramer said.
Lee Seung-hoon of South Korea won the silver medal with a time of 6:16.95, and Russian Ivan Skobrev claimed the bronze in 6:18:05.
Even before Kramer lined up against American middle distance record holder Shani Davis for their race, the atmosphere was electric in the oval anticipating the coronation of a new champion.
When Kramer took off his sweats and stepped onto the ice to loosen up, Dutch fans began roaring for him and the world champion waved back to the orange-clad supporters on his first slow slide around the track as he might on a victory lap.
Once the race started he wasted no time, Kramer clicked off a succession of sub-30 second laps to leave Davis in his wake and establish an unlikely Olympic record considering the relatively slow, sea-level track.
Just outside the medals in fourth place was Norway's Havard Bokko in 6:18.80.
Defender Chad Hedrick of the United States, returning for one last Olympics at age 32, finished 11th, 12.47 seconds behind the remarkable Kramer and one place ahead of Davis.
"The ice conditions for the long race made Kramer and the other medallists untouchable," Hedrick said.
"Those guys were cruising out there and really put up some tough times for us to beat."
Place of birth: Heerenveen,
Previous Olympic results:
Silver medallist, 2006 Winter Olympics, 5000m
Bronze medallist, 2006 Winter Olympics, team pursuit
3x gold medallist, 2009, 2008, 2007 World All round Championships, big combination
2x bronze medallist, 2006, 2005, World All round Championships, big combination
4x gold medallist, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 European Championships, big combination
A Dutch fans’ favourite, speed skating runs in Kramer’s family. His father Yep competed in the 1980 and 1984 Olympic Winter Games.
Instead of a bronze medal in the team pursuit at the 2006 Turin Olympics, Kramer and his compatriots could have been celebrating a different colour had he not slipped and crashed with the team leading their semi-final against Italy.
His girlfriend Naomi van As was a member of the Dutch team which won the hockey gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.