This Creme Brulee recipe is an easy yet impressive dessert to serve. It features a creamy vanilla bean custard crowned with a caramelized burned sugar topping that makes it simply irresistible.
Easy Creme Brulee Recipe
Creme Brulee is an easy and elegant dessert to serve for the holidays, Valentine’s Day, special occasions and entertaining. It’s basically interpreted as “burnt cream” referencing the scrumptious caramelized sugar topping that makes creme brulee irresistible. See how to make homemade Creme Brulee in the oven: (Scroll down for full printable recipe.)
- Cream – In a 2 quart saucepan, over medium low heat, warm the cream with the vanilla bean seeds. It should be warm, not boiling.
- Egg Yolks – In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the granulated sugar. Slowly (to temper the eggs) whisk in a small amount of hot cream. Whisk the tempered eggs back into the remaining cream whisking to combine. Divide the mixture evenly in the ramekins.
- Prepare the Water Bath – Fill the baking dish with hot water until the water to around 3/4 of the way up the side of the ramekins.
- Bake in the preheated 325°F oven per the recipe. The middle of the creme brûlée will still be jiggly.
- Cool – Remove the ramekins from the water bath and cool to room temperature then chill in the fridge for 2 hours.
- Caramelize Sugar – Sprinkle the top of each brûlée with an even layer of sugar fine sugar. The top should be evenly and completely covered. Using a kitchen torch, start to caramelize the sugar on top moving the torch back and forth. Be careful, it can burn easily. Avoid holding the torch in one spot move it continuously to evenly caramelize the sugar.
- Caramelize Sugar Under the Oven Broiler – Turn the oven broiler to the full setting and move the rack to the upper third of the oven. Place chilled creme brulee on a sheet pan. Broil the sugar until caramelized, turning the pan for even browning.
- Serve – Enjoy the creme brulee immediately or chill until serving garnished with fresh berries.
How to Make the Best Creme Brulee Recipe
- Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Creme Brulee: Heavy cream, one long vanilla bean split and scraped, 6 large egg yolks, granulated sugar, salt and superfine sugar for tops plus fresh berries and mint for garnishing.
- Kitchen tools you’ll need: One 13 x 9 inch large baking dish large enough to hold the ramekins, 4 – 4 inch ramekins, small saucepan, medium mixing bowl, kitchen torch.
- Tempering the eggs is a process of slowly, very slowly adding a hot liquid to eggs. The will keep the eggs from scrambling in the oven.
- This is a great recipe to make in advance as it requires a lot of chill time. However, the caramelized topping should be done right before eating, no sooner.
- Store leftovers covered in the fridge. The longer the caramelized topping is refrigerated, the softer it becomes.
- You can freeze this recipe prior to caramelizing the sugar topping. Allow the ramekin to cool completely before wrapping it and putting in the freezer. It will keep for 1 month. Thaw in the fridge and cover with the topping when thawed.
- If you do not have a kitchen torch, use your oven. Do not preheat it. Put the creme brûlée in the oven and then turn on your broiler. Watch it very closely. The process only takes a few minutes to brown.
- Don’t have vanilla bean? You can substitute with 1-2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste.
- Store baked Creme Brulee chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
More Easy Dessert Recipes to Make
- Serve this Blackberry Cobbler with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- Hello Dolly Bars are a handheld sensation.
- Simple cinnamon spiced Rice Pudding.
- This recipe for Cream Cheese Danish will take you from breakfast to dessert.
- Chess Pie is a Southern classic with a filling that you whisk together, pour into the pie shell and bake.
- These little Pecan Tassies are a cross between pecan cookies and pecan pie.
- Chocolate Mousse from King Arthur Baking.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 long vanilla bean split and scraped
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 Tbsp superfine sugar for tops
- fresh berries and mint for garnishing optional
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Place four (4 inch) ramekins into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
- Vanilla Creme: In a 2 quart saucepan, over medium low heat warm the cream with the vanilla bean seeds. It should be warm, not boiling.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the granulated sugar. Slowly (to temper the eggs) whisk in 1/4 cup of hot cream. Whisk the tempered eggs back into the remaining cream mixing to combine. Divide the mixture evenly between the ramekins.
- Fill the baking dish with hot water until the water is around 3/4 of the way up the side of the ramekins.
- Bake for 40 minutes. The middle of the creme brûlée will still be jiggly when gently shaken. (This is okay, you don’t want to over bake it.) Remove the ramekins from the water bath and cool to room temperature. Transfer to the fridge and chill for 2 hours.
- Sprinkle the top of each brûlée with an even layer of sugar fine sugar. You want the top to be evenly and completely covered.
- Caramelize Sugar Using a Kitchen Torch: Using a kitchen torch start to caramelize the sugar on top using a back and forth motion. Be careful, the sugar can burn easily. Pro Tip: Avoid holding the torch in one spot move it continuously to evenly caramelize the sugar.
- Caramelize Sugar Under the Oven Broiler: Turn the oven broiler to the full setting and move the rack to the upper third of the oven. Place chilled creme brulee ramekins on a sheet pan. Place into the oven and broil the sugar until caramelized, turning the pan for even browning.
- Serve immediately or chill until serving garnished with fresh berries, if desired.