This post was updated on June 28, 2014 to include updated images and a recipe video.
Okay. It’s finally here. The moment you have all been waiting for.
Easy Creme Brulee. Hooray!
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).
But…then I remember just how good creme brulee is.
Hard decision, right?
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?
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.
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).
Watch my video to see how easy these little guys are to make:
See? So. Easy.
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar plus more to sprinkle for topping
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- optional: fresh berries or mint for garnish
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Whisk together the egg yolks and 1/2 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.
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.
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.
Set oven to low broiler setting.
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).
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.
Garnish with berries and/or some fresh mint leaves.
As written, this recipe works best for shallow ramekins. Deeper ramekins will require longer cooking times in order to set.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links for the kitchen item(s) I use 🙂
98 thoughts on “Easy Creme Brulee”
Crew brûlée could not be easier with this recipe! So easy & so delicious. Made these with black berries & red raspberries in the bottom for Christmas dinner! Recipe is a keeper!
Made this recipe and it was a hit! I’ve made creme brûlée the traditional way with heating the cream, but this batch was way easier and actually turned out way better. Thank you!
Easy to make and a crowd pleaser. I made them in Madirea wine glasses and instead of a bain marie dry baked at 210 degeees Fahrenheit.
Very good ! So easy to make and everyone loved it. I will be making this recipe instead of the more lengthy involved ones. Thank you.
Not only was this recipedelicious It was so easy to make I think I will make it often from now on
I have half pint canning bottles (might be deeper) , thinking just do the clustered served cold like a pudding, will that work? What’s the max depth I should keep?
First time I ever tried think it looks about right we will find out soon.
So tried this last night and it was really good. But I have some questions. Are most ramekins like corning ware or pyrex and can handle the temp extremes? I was concerned about put the ramekins in the ice water and then in oven to broil the sugar topping. I used my new torch I rec’d for Christmas to do 2 of them. I still need to top the other two. Can I take them out of fridge, put them in the baking dish with cold water and then put them in to broil without fear of breakage? They are cordon bleu ramekins – well that’s the brand at least. Thanks for you help. Only problem is it’s all gone too quickly 🙂
Could I make One large creme brulee instead of 4 little ones? I don’t have small ramekins.
hey if my ramekins are to deep can i still get it to cook
Just found your recipe this morning. I’m eager to try it but have 2 questions: 1) Can I replace white sugar with coconut sugar? I realize the color would be darker but am wondering if it would still set? 2) can this recipe be easily doubled, tripled etc? I have 12 ladies coming for a dinner and would like to make this.
I followed the recipe exactly & even cooked them about 65-70 mins. I used ramikins that were about 1″ deep & they were still “runny”. Does cooking them @ high altitude (5,200 ft.) make a difference in cooking time or temperature?
The flavor was very good though.
First off, I’ll just say I love this recipe! It’s so easy and my boyfriend asks me to make these for him on a daily basis!
I tried to modify it a little and add some lemon juice, but every time I do it seems too runny. 🙁 I’m not exactly the best baker in the world. Any tips or ideas?
Maybe try using lemon zest instead?
Best and easiest recipe I’ve used. I doubled the recipe as I had 10 yolks having made pavolva’s. It doubled fine. I used a collection of shallow and deep ramekins and had no problems. This recipe is going to be a standby for years to come. Thanks:)
Woohoo – love hearing that, Jeanie. Thanks so much for sharing how it went 🙂
Mine are not setting at all, but I just saw below that my ramekins are probably too deep. Wish I’d read that before I made it. :/
Ugh, sorry to hear that! I’ll update the recipe to make that very clear.
I came across your blog and this recipe while looking for a simple way to make creme brulee. It’s my boyfriend’s favorite dessert and I wanted to prepare it for him as a surprise, but I’m not much of a chef. I am writing while I have the two ramekins in the oven! Your recipe is so easy to make, I hope I haven’t messed anything up and that it comes out okay 🙂 It smells delicious already. Anyway, THANK YOU for sharing! I’m now a fan and will keep reading your blog for more!
Woohoo! Welcome, Sandra!! 🙂 I hope they turned out perfectly!
Want to make this recipe for Valentine’s Day- is it possible to make these beforehand and put them in the fridge? Thanks!
Hi Madison – yes, absolutely! They are best when chilled anyways. The hardened shell will not be as crispy as when it’s first heated, but it will still be super tasty 🙂
Oooh okay. Is it possible to make them, chill them, then broil/brule them just before serving? 🙂
Yes, that is a perfect way to make them 🙂
Sounds heavenly glad I saw your Creme brulee recipe
Thanks, Betty! 🙂
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
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!
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! 🙂
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 🙂
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.
Yay! So glad you enjoyed the creme brûlée and the video :). Thanks for sharing how the 2% worked, too!
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.
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…
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.
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?
Sounds like he may have used the whole egg, instead of just the egg yolk?
Hmmm, perhaps. Thanks for the suggestion, Susan!
If the mixture rose, you had to have a rising agent in the mix… Did you use the whole eggs rather than just the yolks?
Good point, Karen. Definitely want to use the yolks only in this recipe.
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 :-).
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!
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~
Glad you liked it, Juliet. Good luck finding the right sweetness for your tastes 🙂
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!
Yay! I love the swooning noises as well – they’re the best! Thanks for sharing 🙂
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! 🙂
That is so awesome! Thanks for sharing, Laura 🙂
How big are the dishes?
Kelli, they are small, individual-sized ramekins just like these ones.
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/
Hi Lynaea! Thanks so much for the support and the link. I enjoyed reading your blog post 🙂
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.
Wow, that is so awesome. Thanks for sharing!
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.
How much larger ramekins did you use, Vic? I’d love to know how it turned out.
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.
You’re so welcome. I trust my official taster of almost 16 years as well 😉
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!
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!! 🙂
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!
Thanks so much for sharing this, Stephanie. That’s great to know!
As a busy mom and owner of 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.
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!
Very good. To those who thought soupy, maybe you used deeper ramekins? Need to ccok longer?
Thanks for the tip, Carrie!
this is my go-to creme brulee recipe. I have made it 4 times now and everyone loves it!! Thanks for sharing 🙂
You’re so welcome, Sarah. I LOVE it when my recipes make it to the “go-to” list 😉
Do we bake the ramekins in the baking dish?
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!
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!
This recipe is awesome and easy. Yummy.
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 🙂
I have made this twice, and each time it came out chunky and watery soup. Any suggestions?
Hmmm…I’m so sorry to hear this, Leslie. Are you following the directions exactly?
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! 🙂
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
Good luck, Penny! I’d love to hear how it goes 🙂
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.
Yay! I’m so glad to hear you all enjoyed this dessert. Thank you for sharing 🙂
oh yes, and perfect way to use up 4 more dozens of cage free eggs I have!
Oh, wow. Most definitely! 😉
looks gorgeous and delicious!!
Thanks so much, Katie!
This looks delicious! It looks so perfectly browned. Last time I made creme brulee I scorched the top of it – whoops! Beautiful!
Thanks, Kate! Better luck next time 🙂
How long can you let this cool? Could they cool overnight and broil right before serving?
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.
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!
Okay, Lacey. I made it tonight, and it was FABULOUS! Mine aren’t nearly as pretty, but they really are everything I was hoping for in the flavor department. I need to practice my blow torch skills. This could not have been easier to make. I plan to make it again and again and again. See it here:
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 🙂
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!
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
It certainly is going well, Michelle. Thank you again!
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)
Thank you so much for sending your kind thoughts, Michelle 🙂 Very much appreciated.
Comments are closed.