Creme Brulee

creme brulee with spoon

Creme Brûlée is a simple but elegant dessert made with egg yolks, heavy cream, vanilla and sugar. A creamy custard topped with caramelized sugar!

Even though the thought of making Creme Brûlée can be intimidating if you’ve never made it, I promise it’s easier than you think! It is made with just a few ingredients and very little prep time! If you enjoy this Creme Brûlée recipe, you might also enjoy this easy Amazing Salted Caramel PopcornCrème Brûlée French Toast or this simple Best Christmas Crack Recipe (Saltine Cracker Toffee).

creme brulee overhead

Creme Brûlée

Creme Brûlée is one of those recipes that seems like it must be difficult, because few people make it at home and it’s usually a special treat at restaurants.

But I’m here to tell you that making Creme Brûlée is one of the easiest desserts you’ll make, if you can follow a few simple steps!

One of the best things about Creme Brûlée is that you can make it a few hours or even a few days in advance, and finish off the topping just before you’re ready to serve.

This makes it the perfect dessert for serving to guests — they’ll be wowed by its presentation, but the reality is that you didn’t have to spend a lot of hands on time preparing it.

creme brulee with spoon

How to make Creme Brûlée:

  1. Pour your cream into a small saucepan and heat it over medium heat — you want it to be hot but never boiling.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together your egg yolks and sugar.
  3. When the cream is hot, stir in the vanilla, and gradually whisk the hot cream into the egg yolks, whisking vigorously.
  4. Pour the custard into some ramekins (you can use a variety of sizes, just note that a shallower ramekin will require less bake time, and a deeper ramekin.
  5. Bake until the top is set but the filling is slightly jiggly.
  6. Let it cool, then chill completely.
  7. Just before serving, top with sugar and caramelize it for that great crunch!

How do I get that crisp caramelized topping on Creme Brûlée?

There are two ways to caramelize your sugar on creme brûlée.

You can use a kitchen torch to torch the sugar for a nice even brown top, or you can set the creme brulees on a baking sheet in the oven and broil for a couple of minutes.

A kitchen torch is generally preferred because it won’t heat the custard as much as the oven, but don’t be afraid to make Creme Brûlée if you don’t have a kitchen torch!

creme brulee with custard

How far in advance can I make Creme Brûlée?

You can bake your custards, chill completely, then wrap and store for a few hours or up to 3 days before finishing and serving.

The perfect make ahead dessert!

More easy dessert recipes you’ll love!

Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee is a simple but elegant dessert made with egg yolks, heavy cream, vanilla and sugar. A creamy custard topped with caramelized sugar!

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar ((1/4 if you prefer less sweet))
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (for topping)
  1. In a small pot, heat cream over medium heat until hot but not boiling — small bubbles will appear just along the edge of the pot.

  2. Meanwhile, whisk together egg yolks, 1/3 cup sugar and vanilla — I like to do this in a large glass measuring cup for easy pouring!

  3. When the cream is hot, add it to the egg yolk mixture a little at a time, whisking well after each addition.

  4. Pour into 4 7-8oz ramekins (wider and shallower is better if you have them).

  5. Place filled ramekins in a large baking dish and fill the baking dish with hot water so that it comes 3/4 of the way up the sides of the ramekins — be careful not to get any water in the custard!

  6. Bake at 325 degrees F for 30-45 minutes — this will depend on how deep the custard is! (Smaller ramekins, deeper custard = longer bake time) The top will appear set but underneath it will still jiggle.

  7. Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours until chilled. (You can wrap and refrigerate up to 3 days).

  8. Sprinkle each custard with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and torch or broil just until caramelized. Serve immediately or chill to serve later.