Crème Brûlée Recipe

Heather Dessinger

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On this day **indistinct cough** years ago, I was running through an airport with my childhood crush and a wedding dress over my head. By sundown I’d left my old world behind, and within twenty-four hours I had a new last name and a marriage certificate that’s more colorful than an Olympic logo.

The ceremony was a blur – I think I was in shock that it was actually happening. But as we swung open those mahogany reception doors and laid our eyes on the feast set before us things started coming back into focus . . . cornish hen with local squash and fried plantains layered over crème brûlée . . . wine . . . laughter intermingled with blessings as the candles melted into stumps. 

I’d love to tell you that all these years have been nothing but happily ever after, but that’s not how it went. 

We’ve experienced job stress and stretched budgets

Turns out we have very different communication styles. 

And also, tiny humans bring light and joy but also sleepless nights and short fuses. 

But let me tell you this: I have never been more convinced of the wisdom of my ten-year-old self than I am now. She saw something in the heart of the boy that eventually became her husband . . . the kind of love that keeps showing up no matter what. 

As much as I’d love to hop over to the island we were married on this year, the closest we can get is a meal based on our wedding night feast. At the top of the menu – don’t judge me, I have priorities – is this crème brûlée with it’s luxurious vanilla custard, crispy caramelized sugar topping, and loads of fresh berries. 

Recipe Tips & Notes

Selecting Your Sugar – With one other exception – these lemon bars which call for optional organic powdered sugar as a topping – all of my desserts exclusively use unrefined sugars like honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar and rapadura sugar. 

However, coconut sugar and rapadura are much more likely to scorch in this recipe, so I use brown sugar that I keep on hand to make this sugar cookie body scrub. If you want to go with an unrefined sugar I suggest rapadura (sometimes called sucanat).

Making Your Caramelized Sugar Topping – Restaurants use a kitchen torch to evenly heat the sugar topping until it caramelizes and becomes brittle. They’re pretty inexpensive so I picked one up a few years ago, but you can use the broil setting on your oven if you don’t have one on hand. 

I’ve included instructions for both methods in the recipe. 

creme brûlée recipe
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5 from 3 votes

Crème Brûlée Recipe

With a creamy custard and crispy caramelized sugar topping, this crème brûlée recipe is incredibly easy to make and so satisfying!
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Refrigeration Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 50 minutes
Servings 5 people
Calories 545kcal
Author Heather Dessinger



  • cup maple syrup
  • 10 large pastured egg yolks
  • 1 ⅓ cups heavy cream
  • cup coconut milk (or whole milk)
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp organic brown sugar (or more, to taste – Sucanat may be substituted, see Recipe Tips & Notes above for more info)



  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. 
  • Place ramekins inside two large baking dishes or roasting pans.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream, milk, vanilla, egg yolks, maple syrup and salt until everything is well-combined.
  • Transfer the cream mixture into the five ramekins, dividing equally.
  • Create a water bath by pouring hot water into your baking dishes until the water is halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  • Place the baking dishes in the oven and bake the custards until the edges are set and the center is slightly jiggly, about 35-40 minutes.
  • Carefully remove the custards from the water and allow them to cool to room room temperature. To remove them, I usually put an oven mitt on one hand and grab a spatula with the other, then I slide the spatula under a ramekin while holding it in place with the oven mitt before lifting it out.
  • Allow the custards to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate them overnight.

Carmelized Topping Option 1

  • To create the caramelized topping using a kitchen blow torch: Sprinkle 1-2 teaspoon sugar over each creme brulee, or more if desired.
  • Turn the torch on and hold it about an inch above the sugar, moving it over the surface until all the sugar is melted. 

Carmelized Topping Option 2

  • To create the caramelized sugar topping using an oven: Preheat your broiler, then move your oven rack up so that it is pretty close to the heating elements.
  • P_lace the custards in a roasting pan, then pour enough ice water into the pans to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  • Sprinkle 1-2 teaspoons sugar evenly over each custard.
  • Broil until the sugar melts, rotating the pan several times for even browning while watching closely so the sugar doesn’t burn.


Calories: 545kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Cholesterol: 478mg | Sodium: 168mg | Potassium: 263mg | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 1452IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 146mg | Iron: 2mg
easy creme brulee recipe

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Heather is a holistic health educator, herbalist, DIYer, Lyme and mold warrior. Since founding in 2009, Heather has been taking complicated health research and making it easy to understand. She shares tested natural recipes and herbal remedies with millions of naturally minded mamas around the world. 

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30 thoughts on “Crème Brûlée Recipe”

    • Oops! At least it wasn’t an apostrophe mistake. Daniel says he can tell how much sleep I’ve had by how many random apostrophes I insert into posts. 🙂 I’ll go fix it now.

  1. Susie – Happy anniversary to you! Isn’t January a great month for anniversaries? The year is fresh and when budgets allow it’s a great time to escape the cold for an anniversary celebration closer to the equator!

    Christine – Thank you! Although it’s technically tomorrow I’m celebrating for two days (and every other day of the year, but for these two days I’ll even get out of my pajamas)

    • I just they’re just a few bucks, but buying ramekins this year made me feel so very sophisticated. I like the way the word rolls off my tongue. Weird, I know 🙂

      • I first learned the word “ramekins” back in my waiting tables years, seventeen years ago at Chili’s. haha Man, I feel old after typing that. I remember calling to the Mexican cooks “ramekin of wing sauce, por favor.” haha I have a ton of ramekins in my cabinet, just none that are oven safe:) The kids use them for snacks.

  2. oh and Happy Belated Anniversary!!!:) We celebrate 15 years this coming July! I know what you mean about it being a blur…. Sadly though, we didn’t have a meal to remember like yours, but there are aspects of course, I will never forget.

    • Should I be blushing??? Seven years is great . . . the only thing I am itching for are more babies! But fifteen? That’s AWESOME.

      • Fifteen is awesome!!! God has been so good to us. But seven is still something to celebrate for sure!!!

        My hubby laughs at me, after we saw the documentary, Babies. I said I want to be pregnant again! We’re going to try for another one next summer. Lord willing we will get a sister for G.

  3. speaking of ramekins, i got some for the first time last year for the specific purpose of making the lickety split french onion soup recipe you posted! they have a 4-pack at BBB for like $7, and they are oven-safe.

  4. I am trying to make your coconut milk by hand (using your tutorial) 😉 Can I substitute that for the canned coconut… or is it not the same?

  5. Can you use coconut sugar for the topping? I’ve been looking for a recipe for creme brulee that doesn’t use a kitchen torch! 🙂

    • Tracy, Heather hasn’t tested it with coconut sugar so she’s not really sure. At the very worst it may burn a bit, but it will probably work fine.

      • Thanks! Not sure why I appear as Rachel on here 😀 I do have another question: I have an abundance of eggs and would like to make this recipe this week but I don’t have ramekins. Any suggestions? Thanks!

        • I would use the smallest oven-safe containers I had. It may very well alter the cooking time, though, so watch to see when they are set in the middle. 🙂

  6. Love to see all these posts. We just celebrated 40 year anniversary in Carmel, CA. Good to see others enjoying January as a good month to get away. Wonderful time after all the busyness of Dec! Blessings on all of you. Thanks for the yummy looking creme brulee. I will need to try it maybe for Valentines Day. =)