Quick Crème Brûlée Recipe


Crème brûlée is a timeless dessert that epitomizes elegance and sophistication. With its silky smooth custard and crisp caramelized sugar topping, this classic French treat is a favorite among dessert lovers. Our quick and easy recipe allows you to enjoy this luxurious dessert in the comfort of your home, with minimal effort and maximum flavor. Perfect for special occasions or a cozy night in, this crème brûlée will surely impress your guests and satisfy your sweet tooth.

Overview of the Recipe:

Our Quick Crème Brûlée recipe simplifies the process of making this delectable dessert without compromising on taste or texture. The recipe requires just a few basic ingredients and can be prepared in a little over an hour, with most of the time spent waiting for the custards to chill and set. The result is a rich and creamy custard with a perfectly caramelized sugar crust that provides a delightful contrast in every bite.

History and Origin:

Crème brûlée, meaning “burnt cream” in French, has a rich history that dates back to the 17th century. The earliest known reference to this dessert appears in François Massialot’s 1691 cookbook, “Le Cuisinier Royal et Bourgeois.” Despite its French name, some food historians believe that crème brûlée may have been inspired by similar custard desserts from England and Spain, such as “burnt cream” and “crema catalana.” Over the centuries, crème brûlée has become a beloved dessert worldwide, known for its luxurious texture and delightful caramelized topping.


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar (for topping)


Step 1: Preheat the Oven

Preheat your oven to 325°F (163°C).

Step 2: Prepare the Cream Mixture

  • In a saucepan, combine the heavy cream and vanilla bean (both seeds and pod).
  • Heat the mixture over medium heat until it just begins to simmer.
  • Remove from heat and let sit for 15 minutes to infuse the vanilla flavor.
  • Remove the vanilla bean pod from the cream.

Step 3: Prepare the Egg Mixture

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and granulated sugar until the mixture is pale and thick.

Step 4: Combine the Mixtures

  • Slowly pour the warm cream into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling.
  • Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large measuring cup or bowl to remove any solids.

Step 5: Divide and Bake

  • Divide the custard mixture among 6 ramekins.
  • Place the ramekins in a baking dish and pour hot water into the dish until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, until the centers are just set but still slightly jiggly.

Step 6: Cool and Chill

  • Remove the ramekins from the water bath and let cool to room temperature.
  • Refrigerate the custards for at least 2 hours, or overnight, to allow them to set completely.

Step 7: Caramelize the Sugar

  • Before serving, sprinkle a thin, even layer of brown sugar on top of each custard.
  • Use a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar until it forms a crisp, golden-brown crust. If you don’t have a kitchen torch, you can place the ramekins under a broiler for a few minutes, watching closely to prevent burning.


Serve the crème brûlée immediately after caramelizing the sugar to enjoy the contrast between the cold custard and the warm, crispy topping. This dessert is best enjoyed fresh, but leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Pairing and Serving Suggestions:

Crème brûlée pairs wonderfully with fresh berries, such as raspberries or strawberries, which add a touch of tartness to balance the rich custard. A dollop of whipped cream or a sprig of mint can also enhance the presentation and flavor. For a complete dessert experience, serve crème brûlée with a cup of freshly brewed coffee or a glass of sparkling water with a twist of lemon.

Variations of the Recipe:

While the classic vanilla crème brûlée is a favorite, there are numerous variations to explore:

  • Chocolate Crème Brûlée: Add melted chocolate to the cream mixture for a decadent twist.
  • Coffee Crème Brûlée: Infuse the cream with instant coffee or espresso powder for a rich, aromatic flavor.
  • Citrus Crème Brûlée: Add a touch of citrus zest (lemon, orange, or lime) to the custard for a refreshing twist.
  • Lavender Crème Brûlée: Infuse the cream with dried culinary lavender for a floral, aromatic dessert.

Health Benefits:

While crème brûlée is an indulgent treat, it does offer some nutritional benefits:

  • Egg Yolks: Rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals, egg yolks provide essential nutrients like vitamin D, choline, and selenium.
  • Dairy: The heavy cream used in crème brûlée is a good source of calcium and vitamin A, important for bone health and immune function.

However, crème brûlée is high in calories and sugar, so it should be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.


  • To ensure a smooth custard, make sure to whisk the egg yolks and sugar thoroughly until pale and thick.
  • When combining the cream and egg mixtures, pour the cream slowly and whisk constantly to prevent the eggs from curdling.
  • Using a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar is the best method for achieving a crisp, even crust. If using a broiler, watch the custards closely to avoid burning the sugar.


Q: Can I make crème brûlée ahead of time?

A: Yes, you can prepare the custards a day in advance and refrigerate them. Caramelize the sugar just before serving for the best texture.

Q: What can I use if I don’t have a kitchen torch?

A: You can use the broiler in your oven to caramelize the sugar. Place the ramekins under the broiler for a few minutes, watching closely to prevent burning.

Q: Can I substitute the vanilla bean with vanilla extract?

A: Yes, you can use 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract in place of the vanilla bean. Add the extract to the cream mixture after it has been heated.

Q: How do I know when the custards are done baking?

A: The custards are done when the centers are just set but still slightly jiggly. They will continue to set as they cool.

Q: Can I use a different type of sugar for the topping?

A: While brown sugar is traditional, you can also use granulated sugar or a mix of the two for caramelizing the top.


Crème brûlée is a classic dessert that combines simplicity with sophistication. Our Quick Crème Brûlée recipe allows you to create this elegant treat with ease, impressing your guests and satisfying your sweet cravings. With its rich, creamy custard and crisp caramelized sugar topping, crème brûlée is the perfect dessert for any occasion. Enjoy experimenting with different flavors and variations to make this timeless dessert your own.

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