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Easy classic crème brûlée hits the spot with a rich, thick vanilla custard and caramelized sugar topping. This is so exquisite, your guests won’t believe you made this at home! 

Creme Brulee in ramekin with spoonful taken out

We love any dessert that calls for a kitchen torch. Seriously though folks, even though this recipe recommends a kitchen tool you may not have on hand already, it is extremely easy to make. The base of this recipe is a creamy vanilla custard, and is super quick to whip up. So many crème brûlée and custard recipes call for heating the milk or cream on the stovetop before baking, but we’ve kept it simple with this easy, classic recipe; no pre-heating required. Just mix it all together and put it straight in the oven!

We want you to treat yo’ self (and your loved ones) with an amazing dessert. Today might be Valentine’s Day, but you can make this any day of the year. No need to fuss over a lengthy, complicated recipe. We’re not about that. So dust off those ramekins hiding in the back of your pantry, and savor every bite of this decadent dessert. We even saved the best news for last: crème brûlée is gluten-free.

  • Ramekin Size:

    The ideal ramekin size for creme brulee is 6 ounces. These dishes have a diameter of approximately 4.8 inches, and are 1.1 inches deep. Other sizes can also be used. Cooking time is determined by the depth of the liquid. For best results, only fill your ramekin with a depth of 3/4-inch of custard no matter what size the diameter is. 

  • Can I add in other flavorings to crème brûlée?

    We love this classic, vanilla crème brûlée, but there are many flavor varieties. Citrus and cafe au lait are a couple of popular variations to the classic recipe, but one of our favorite flavored varieties is lavender. If you want to take the time to infuse the cream with fresh or dried lavender, go for it! Otherwise, keep it simple and add in 1/2 teaspoon of lavender extract with the cream. 

  • What if I don’t have a kitchen torch?

    You really don’t need a kitchen torch for crème brûlée. You can caramelize the sugar in your oven under the broiler setting, however the downside to this is that broiling can also heat up the custard and make it soupy. If you don’t want to invest in another kitchen tool, just keep a watchful eye and don’t let them stay too long under the broiler.

  • Water bath tips:

    You want to place the ramekins in a water bath for a couple of reasons: it keeps the oven moist and prevents the custard from cracking; water bathing also improves the texture of the custard, making it creamy and not rubbery. The water should reach half-way up the rameking. Be careful when adding water and moving around the pan so that the water does not slosh around and end up spilling over into the custards. Slow movements and steady hands are important when working with a water bath.

Creme Brulee in ramekin with berries

If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other delicious dessert recipes:

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Creme Brulee in ramekin with spoonful taken out
Easy classic crème brûlée hits the spot with a rich, thick vanilla custard and caramelized sugar topping. This is so exquisite, your guests won’t believe you made this at home! 
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Cooling Time 4 hours
Ingredients
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 vanilla pod, scraped
  • 1/3 cup superfine sugar
Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 300 degree Fahrenheit. Place six 6-ounce ramekins into the bottom of a 9x13 pan or roasting pan.
  • In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to beat together egg yolks and sugar until smooth and velvety, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Pour in heavy cream and vanilla extract. If using vanilla bean pod, split open lengthwise and scrape seeds directly into egg mixture. Beat on low until combined, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Strain custard through a fine mesh strainer to remove any egg chunks. Then pour into prepared ramekins, filling each 1/4-inch from the top. Pour hot tap water into pan to surround the ramekins with water 1/2-inch deep. Be careful not to get any water into the custard.
  • Carefully transfer pan to the oven. Bake in the preheated 300 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes until set.
  • Carefully remove from oven and transfer pan to a wire rack. Let the custards cool slowly in the pan with the water until completely cooled. Remove ramekins from water, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve, at least 4 hours.
  • Just before serving, sprinkle a scant 1 tablespoon of superfine* sugar over each one. Use a kitchen torch to melt sugar until caramelized, or place ramekins 2-3 inches under the broiler setting of your oven and broil 1 to 2 minutes, watching carefully, until sugar is caramelized with a deep brown color.
Notes
  • Cooked custard can be stored in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 4 days. Always caramelize additional sugar just before serving. 
  • If you don't have superfine sugar, you can use regular sugar or even brown sugar instead. Superfine sugar simply melts more quickly and evenly due to its small crystal size. 
  • The ideal ramekin size for creme brulee is 6 ounces. These dishes have a diameter of approximately 4.8 inches, and are 1.1 inches deep. Other sizes can also be used. Cooking time is determined by the depth of the liquid. 

Nutrition

Serving: 16-ounce serving | Calories: 460kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 369mg | Sodium: 42mg | Potassium: 86mg | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 1512IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Creme Brulee

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Marie

5 stars
Thank you! Thank You!! Thank You for posting this recipe!!! Crème Brûlée is my Favorite dessert. I can’t wait to make this with the real vanilla pods which make a huge difference not only for the taste but also the presentation. And every chef knows: “Presentation is everything!” (We taste with our eyes first.) You rock!

Sherrie Voegele

5 stars
This sounds wonderful and I can’t wait to use this recipe.

Rachel;
I have tried several of your recipes. All were easy to follow. I agree with all of the “you rock” girl.
Bill

Helen

5 stars
RACHEL…I dont know what to say about comments made yesterday about you… totally crazy. I love your recipes and your beautiful spirit. You have a wonderful gift and I hope you will continue to use it! You’re the best!!

Barbara Saiz

Some people are just plain mean and live with no joy . I love her recipes but more her person . 💕

Linda Perez

5 stars
Love you and all your recipes, and your talent, and Super Duper attitude! … You Rock Girl! You Rock! ??

we have tried several of yoyr receipies and like them all,especilly the chocolate cake. do you have a receipe for egg custard?

Christy

Rachel, let me start by telling you that you are amazing and you shouldn’t waste a moment of your time responding to such ignorant people, evidently there are some people out there that are obviously jealous of you.
I have not tried any of your recipes, that my husband and I don’t love. I have followed several other cooks and their recipes, some are ok and others not so ok. I love the fact that you walk us through each recipe.
You, my dear are an angel! Shine on.!

Penny L. Novy

5 stars
I don’t throw out the leftover vanilla bean pod, but add it to the bottle of vanilla extract I have for other baking. It adds so much flavor to commercial vanilla, and you get those cute little seeds in other baking.

Margarita Solorzano

5 stars
I have to say I admired you before I saw you Answer that horrible message to you. But now I must say I admire you even more, for your courage and beautiful response. You are correct in all you said, I for one totally agree with you and love to see how simple you make cooking look. I wish you all the best!

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