Easy Creme Brulee

This post was updated on June 28, 2014 to include updated images and a recipe video.

Easy Creme Brulee

Okay.  It’s finally here.  The moment you have all been waiting for.

Easy Creme Brulee.  Hooray!

Easy Creme Brulee - Carton of Eggs

I am finally posting my creme brulee recipe.  Wow, that took a while, didn’t it?

As I sit here writing this post, I’m having an internal debate with myself over which dessert I prefer more: creme brulee or cheesecake?  At first, I would have totally thought cheesecake would beat out crème brûlée. (And, yes, this is totally a legitimate debate to have in one’s head).

Easy Creme Brulee - Eggshells

But…then I remember just how good creme brulee is.

Hard decision, right?

Easy Creme Brulee - Egg Yolks

Hmmm…anyone else thinking creme brulee cheesecake?  Yup — that’s how my mind works. Heehee.

Which dessert is your favorite?  Is there a tie between the two? Does it even include either?

Easy Creme Brulee - Beaten Eggs

Well, this easy creme brulee recipe is not a hard decision at all.  You won’t even believe how easy it is.

No heating up the custard and slowly tempering the egg yolks, here.  No crazy double boiler action needed. No need for a blow torch.  No fuss.

Easy Creme Brulee - Ramekins

Just sweet custardy goodness with a crunchy caramelized sugar topping.  Mmm.

Just mix, pour, bake and broil (or torch, if you happen to prefer that method).

Easy Creme Brulee

Easy Creme Brulee

Watch my video to see how easy these little guys are to make:

See?  So. Easy.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Easy Crème Brûlée
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This Creme Brûlée is much easier thanks to not needing to use a double boiler or a blow torch. And still super tasty!
Author:
Recipe type: Easy
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 egg yolks
  • ½ cup granulated sugar, plus more to sprinkle for topping
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • optional: fresh berries or mint for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Whisk together the egg yolks and ½ cup sugar in a medium mixing bowl until smooth and creamy. Add cream and vanilla and gently stir to combine, taking care not to mix quickly so as not to introduce extra bubbles. Place un-filled ramekins in a baking or casserole dish and fill baking dish with hot water until about half-way up sides of ramekins. Pour egg mixture into ramekins.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, checking every 10 minutes after 35-40 minutes. When done, a knife inserted into the center of the egg mixture should come out mostly clean.
  4. Remove from baking dish (I use a spatula) and lay onto clean dish towel to dry, set and cool. Allow to sit for 15 minutes.
  5. Set oven to low broiler setting.
  6. Sprinkle a thin, even layer of granulated sugar over the top of the cooked custard. Completely, but lightly, cover the custard with the sugar. Place the ramekins back into the baking dish and surround by ice and cold water until the water almost reaches halfway up the sides (don't fill too high with water, as the ice will melt and add to the volume of water).
  7. Place baking dish with ramekins under broiler (or use crème brûlée torch, if you'd prefer) for 3-5 minutes, or until the sugar has melted and creates a golden brown, caramelized crust.
  8. Garnish with berries and/or some fresh mint leaves.

 

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About the author: My name is Lacey and I’m so glad you’re here. I am a foodie, a photographer, a chef, and a project manager at a local tech start-up in Austin. But, most importantly, I am the mother of three adorable little kiddos (Jordan, Savannah and Hunter) and am madly in love with and married to my high school sweetheart, Dustin.

68 comments… add one

  1. Michelle in NZ April 20, 2011, 8:05 am

    These look so good!

    My dear Mum bought my dear Dad a wee kitchen torcha few years back. The dear man wore it out burning the old paint off their windows, ready for a major (and much needed) repaint. the window now look great and Mum ahs bought a replacement little torch that Dad might even use in the kitchen (he is a way better cook that my much loved Mum).

    Sending super happy and caring thoughts for the upcoming birth of your dear wee daughter, and much care and love to you all,

    Michelle down in Wellington, New Zealand (and from my sleeping feline, Zebby Cat)

    Reply
  2. Michelle in NZ April 20, 2011, 8:07 am

    And one day I’ll even learn to proof read! I sincerely hope that all is going well for you, dear Lacey,

    Michelle again, xxxxxx

    Reply
  3. NanaBread (Jeanne) April 20, 2011, 9:59 am

    YES! Wahoo! Woot Woot! Hooray!
    Now that it’s published, I’m suffering from shock and awe. Who would have thought it would be so easy to make? I have all the ingredients in my kitchen, and TCP has a torch, too. I may even break out the expensive vanilla bean paste for this one. I can see this is going to be dangerous. Amazing, but very, very dangerous!

    Reply
      1. lacey - a sweet pea chef April 21, 2011, 11:33 pm

        Yay, NanaBread! I just read your post and am so incredibly flattered. I’m blushing! Thank you very much for the great review and continuous support of my blog and photos. Can’t tell you how much I appreciate it :)

        Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef April 21, 2011, 11:19 pm

      Jeanne, it is SO easy! I have been thinking about you for this post and hoped you would see it :)

      Sorry it took me so long!

      Reply
  4. Karen D. April 20, 2011, 11:24 am

    How long can you let this cool? Could they cool overnight and broil right before serving?

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef April 21, 2011, 11:21 pm

      Good question, Karen. Yes, it can definitely cool overnight. Just make sure to wait on topping with the sugar until right before you want to caramelize it. Otherwise, it will get soggy.

      Reply
  5. Kate April 22, 2011, 1:24 pm

    This looks delicious! It looks so perfectly browned. Last time I made creme brulee I scorched the top of it – whoops! Beautiful!

    Reply
  6. katie April 22, 2011, 9:50 pm

    looks gorgeous and delicious!!

    Reply
  7. katie April 22, 2011, 9:51 pm

    oh yes, and perfect way to use up 4 more dozens of cage free eggs I have!

    Reply
  8. Lindi October 11, 2011, 2:27 pm

    Fabulous recipe! Thanks so much, Lacey. Made this tonight for my partner and family – first ever time making creme brulee – and it came out beautifully. The custard was incredibly smooth and creamy and it tasted divine (not eggy in the least, which is what I was worried about).

    I will definitely be adding this to my repertoire.

    Reply
  9. Penny November 12, 2011, 9:50 am

    I am so excited to try this! I’ve never tried it and was always worried about making it…. Not any more!! I’m thinkin about makin it tonight and sharing with family that lives near by… Thank you

    Reply
  10. Leslie December 25, 2011, 4:07 pm

    I have made this twice, and each time it came out chunky and watery soup. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef December 28, 2011, 2:50 pm

      Hmmm…I’m so sorry to hear this, Leslie. Are you following the directions exactly?

      Reply
    2. Lacey Baier March 10, 2014, 12:28 pm

      Ugh, Leslie, I am so sorry you haven’t had much luck making this recipe. What size ramekins are you using? Are you stirring it while it’s in the oven? The larger the ramekin, the longer you will need to cook it. Stirring it might account for the chunkiness… Let me know if I can be of more help — we can figure this out! :)

      Reply
  11. Claire January 20, 2012, 3:24 am

    Hey Lacey

    I just came across this and it looks so simple, I’m going to try it this weekend!!!

    p/s: yes, when you mentioned creme brulee and cheese cake, I thought of a creme brulee cheesecake too! You’re not alone :)

    Reply
  12. Mar January 27, 2012, 7:09 am

    This recipe is awesome and easy. Yummy.

    Reply
  13. Andrea February 4, 2012, 8:24 pm

    I just made this recipe. I love how inexpensive the ingredients are, and how simple the steps are to understand and do. Mine didn’t seem to set very well though, it’s quite soupy. The flavor is wonderful, though, and we’re enjoying them anyway. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  14. Terri in TX February 19, 2012, 7:42 pm

    I Googled “easy creme brulee” and found your recipe. I have used another recipe in the past that required cooking the custard and took a lot longer. Your recipe was SO easy and absolutely delicious!! This is definitely my new “go to” when I want this awesome dessert. :)
    Thanks for posting it!

    Reply
  15. Julia March 24, 2012, 3:23 pm

    Do we bake the ramekins in the baking dish?

    Reply
  16. Sarah April 5, 2012, 10:14 am

    this is my go-to creme brulee recipe. I have made it 4 times now and everyone loves it!! Thanks for sharing :)

    Reply
    1. Lacey Baier March 10, 2014, 12:27 pm

      You’re so welcome, Sarah. I LOVE it when my recipes make it to the “go-to” list ;)

      Reply
  17. Carrie April 27, 2012, 12:34 pm

    Very good. To those who thought soupy, maybe you used deeper ramekins? Need to ccok longer?

    Reply
  18. Lisa June 3, 2012, 1:05 pm

    As a busy mom and owner of http://www.babybeddingshop.com, I am often looking for ways to indulge my sweet tooth–and creme brulee is one of my favorites! I made this 2 or 3 times for guests, and they LOVED it! Unfortunately, my hubby and I both decided to go on diets several months ago (he’s on Atkins and I’m just trying to eat more sensibly and cut back on simple sugars). I knew we were going to miss having this lovely creme brulee, so I set us on a mission of being able to still make despite our diets!I loved your recipe because it required no cooking and seemed straight forward and simple. Instead of using real sugar, I substitute Stevia. Since Stevia isn’t as sweet as regular sugar, I nearly double the amount of sugar you are using in this recipe. I follow all the rest of the directions, but stop at caramelizing the sugar on top. Sadly, you can’t caramelize these substitute sugars, as they simply don’t melt. Sigh! What we do instead is a thin layer of sugar-free honey on top to get a similar taste. Voila! It makes for a no-carb dessert for my hubby and it solves my low/no sugar diet concerns. I’ve now made your recipe in this modified manner about 5 times and it’s truly wonderful! In fact, it’s in the oven right now for dessert tonight! Thanks for offering up a really simple recipe that is super easy to modify given one’s dietary restrictions.

    Reply
    1. Lacey Baier March 10, 2014, 12:26 pm

      Hi Lisa! I’m so impressed that you made this recipe into a healthy recipe for you and your husband to still enjoy. I will keep that in mind in the future if someone is needing a low carb/sugar dessert. Thank you so much for sharing and best of luck with your diet!

      Reply
  19. stephanie November 28, 2012, 10:53 pm

    This turned out awesome for me. As for those who think it turned out soupy. Cook longer or in a dish not as deep. Mine ended up taking an hour and 20 min in a deep dish but turned out great! Tastes awesome!

    Reply
    1. Lacey Baier March 10, 2014, 12:25 pm

      Thanks so much for sharing this, Stephanie. That’s great to know!

      Reply
  20. Amy C. February 13, 2013, 11:28 am

    Not going to lie…I have the cheesecake/creme brule debate in my head ALL THE TIME!! I think I’ve made a decision and then eat one or the other and change my mind again. Would LOVE if you could meld the two!

    Reply
    1. Lacey Baier March 10, 2014, 12:24 pm

      Oh my gosh, I’m not alone in this! :) They are just too good and for different reasons. The best part is we don’t have to choose!! :)

      Reply
  21. Shelia W February 15, 2013, 8:46 am

    Found your recipe yesterday and made it last night for Valentine dessert. It was fantastic and much, much easier than most of the recipes out there. Creme Brûlée is our favorite dessert – my official taster, my husband of almost 33 years, thoroughly enjoyed it! Thanks for a great recipe.

    Reply
    1. Lacey Baier March 10, 2014, 12:23 pm

      You’re so welcome. I trust my official taster of almost 16 years as well ;)

      Reply
  22. Vic C. February 16, 2013, 2:30 pm

    I used larger ramekins and it is taking nearly 1.5 hours to set in the oven. Glad to hear that cooking it for longer won’t change its properties.

    Reply
    1. Lacey Baier March 10, 2014, 12:22 pm

      How much larger ramekins did you use, Vic? I’d love to know how it turned out.

      Reply
  23. Joyce April 3, 2013, 1:27 pm

    This was the first attempt Creme Brulee, well that did not come out of a box, bad I know. The recipe was really easy. Everyone loved it and my dear picky friend said it was the best he has had.

    Reply
    1. Lacey Baier March 10, 2014, 12:22 pm

      Wow, that is so awesome. Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  24. Shazia June 2, 2013, 2:46 am

    Wonderful recipe!!!

    Reply
  25. Lynaea June 11, 2013, 11:17 pm

    Lacey, I found this post when I googled “easy creme brulee”…I was writing my own post about my first attempt at creme brulee (which actually was a sweet success), and was trying to remember which recipe I’d used. Your recipe was at the very top of Google’s first page! And your pictures & post are so beautiful…I read through your recipe and found it was very similar to the one I’d used, so I cited your article in my post. Thought I’d let you know. My article: http://everydaybloom.com/easy-creme-brulee/

    Reply
    1. Lacey Baier March 10, 2014, 12:19 pm

      Hi Lynaea! Thanks so much for the support and the link. I enjoyed reading your blog post :)

      Reply
  26. Kelli January 29, 2014, 8:48 am

    How big are the dishes?

    Reply
  27. Laura Ries Dralle February 23, 2014, 9:54 am

    THANK YOU for the amazing, easy dessert recipe! I love creme brûlée but have always hated multi-step recipes (especially when the result, while amazing, looks so simple to the non-cooks devouring them). My kids now want to make this every weekend, and love that they are old enough to play with supervised fire (14 and 13). Great blog – I will be sure to share and check back soon! :)

    Reply
    1. Lacey Baier February 24, 2014, 10:26 am

      That is so awesome! Thanks for sharing, Laura :)

      Reply
  28. Cathy in VA April 1, 2014, 12:30 pm

    Love your easy recipe! Made it last summer and it became my son’s favorite desert. Whipped it up again today for his birthday! Again, can’t believe how fast I can make this and the best part is when everyone makes all those great swooning noises while eating it! Thanks from all of us!

    Reply
    1. Lacey Baier April 1, 2014, 5:26 pm

      Yay! I love the swooning noises as well – they’re the best! Thanks for sharing :)

      Reply
  29. Juliet April 14, 2014, 5:40 am

    I tried this out and it turned out really well, tasted simply great! except I found it too sweet for my taste. Will be reducing the amount of sugar but I totally can imagine myself making this again and again! Thank you so much~

    Reply
    1. Lacey Baier April 15, 2014, 3:18 pm

      Glad you liked it, Juliet. Good luck finding the right sweetness for your tastes :)

      Reply
  30. Lis April 25, 2014, 3:24 am

    I am just about to embark on this having managed to track down a chef’s torch – as I am used to metric measurements, could you give any advice on cups? I have cup measures, but can you really use the same thing for cream as for sugar? I also have something made in Australia called Vanilla paste which is more like syrup, but seemed more natural than flavouring. I’ll have a go and see how I get on :-).

    Reply
    1. Lacey Baier April 28, 2014, 8:41 pm

      Hi Lis. A dry cup and a liquid cup are the same measurement for us. Is recommend using a dry measuring cup for the sugar and a glass measuring cup for the liquid, as they settle differently. I hope that helps. I’ve never heard of vanilla paste but I hope it turns out for you!

      Reply
  31. Greg Byles April 26, 2014, 6:12 pm

    Hi. I made your recipe for a dessert for a BBQ, however, I had a major fail. I followed the recipe to the letter and placed the ramekins in the hot water bath into the oven. After 10 minutes, they started to look more like soufflés. After 20 minutes they were all brown on the top and had all risen well above the lip of the ramekins. After 30 minutes they were spilling over the top into the hot water bath.
    I was really disappointed as I don’t know where I went wrong.
    I removed the tray with the hot water and the ramekins from the oven. There was more mixture in the hot water bath than in the ramekins, but what was in the ramekins was thick and lumpy.

    Any ideas? I’d love to try again, but I hesitate at wasting good eggs.

    Thanks
    Greg

    Reply
    1. Lacey Baier April 28, 2014, 8:47 pm

      Hi Greg. Ugh, that’s not what you want at all! I’m sorry it didn’t turn out for you. I’m wondering what size ramekins you used?

      Reply
  32. Greg Byles April 29, 2014, 1:04 am

    Hi Lacey. The ramekins I used were 3 inch diameter and 1 and a half inches deep, but I only filled them half way.
    My friends have all laughed and said that they didn’t know how I could get them to rise so high when Crete brûlée is not meant to rise.
    I was forced to make a chocolate cake with homemade mango and choc chip ice cream for dessert for the BBQ instead of the brûlée. Ahhh the sacrifices we make.

    Hope you or some other contributors may have the answer to my problem as I would love to give your brûlée recipe another go.

    Cheers

    Reply
    1. Lacey Baier April 30, 2014, 9:06 pm

      Yea, I’m just not sure what happened. Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. If you try them again, please let me know how they turn out. If you’re following the recipe exactly (other than the size ramekins I use), it *should* work…

      Reply
  33. Lianne September 23, 2014, 12:34 am

    These were absolutely amazing! This is he only recipe online that is so easy and delicious. I made mine in a toaster oven and they still turned out great! I also substituted the heavy cream for 2% milk. I didn’t find it made any difference. The consistency was thick and custard-like. Thank you for sharing! I’ll definitely be back for more recipes. Loved the video by the way.

    Reply
    1. Lacey Baier September 23, 2014, 8:24 pm

      Yay! So glad you enjoyed the creme brûlée and the video :). Thanks for sharing how the 2% worked, too!

      Reply
  34. Kristie October 5, 2014, 7:04 pm

    You are funny, authentic, adorable, and obviously a super skilled cook! I came here for the creme brulee recipe and ended up staying and watching your awesome videos for almost an hour. Thanks! :)

    Reply
    1. Lacey Baier October 5, 2014, 7:32 pm

      Kristie, that is so sweet of you to say. Thank you for all the compliments. I’m glad you enjoyed the YouTube videos. We’ve been trying really hard to make those videos entertaining and useful so it’s great to get such positive feedback :)

      Reply
  35. William October 6, 2014, 3:43 pm

    I’ve tried this twice. And followed exactly however both times they did not set… I even made an ICR/ salt water bath yo get colder water and didn’t set..veven baked up to an extra 30 min… 3 inch deep rammies

    Reply
    1. Lacey Baier October 6, 2014, 7:15 pm

      I’m so sorry you’re having difficulty, William. I’m thinking the ramekins you’re using are the culprit. Mine are just about an inch deep. Do you have any that are more shallow? Otherwise, I’d expect it to take quite a while longer to set given the extra volume. Best of luck!

      Reply

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