This easy creme brûlée recipe is a classic dessert in just 30 minutes. Creme brulee is elegant, yet surprisingly easy for entertaining.

It can also be made ahead, and it’s made with just four staple ingredients! Rich and creamy, it’s the perfect way to finish a meal.

Easy creme brulee with a spoon in a bowl.
Want to save this?
Enter your email below and I’ll send it to you!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Crème brûlée is one of our favorite desserts both for it’s ease to make and enjoy. It’s not too sweet and so smooth, making a great dessert for brunch, lunch or dinner. And the fire factor? Don’t worry if you don’t have a torch. I have a simple solution for that as well!

Crème brûlée is also known as urnt cream, trinity cream, or crema catalana. Whatever you call it, it’s amazing! The rich custard base is topped with caramelized sugar, offering the most luxurious texture!

It’s typically served in a ramekin, which makes it feel special. I typically use a shallow ramekin for the perfect custard to caramelized sugar ration, but you can serve it in small, deeper ramekins as well!

Two bowls of easy creme brulee on a white background.

This classic French dessert is so much easier to make than you might think, and it’s a great option for a make ahead dessert. 

logo

Why You’ll Love this Easy Creme Brûlée

  • Simple Ingredients – You just need four ingredients to make this restaurant quality dessert!
  • Elegant – This is a decadent dessert that is surprisingly easy to make and serve at home, and it’s beautiful to serve.
  • Easy to Customize – We’ll show you options to add a variety of flavors, or you can stick with the traditional classic.
Easy to make creme brulee served in a bowl with a spoon.

Shopping List

  • Heavy Whipping Cream
  • White Granulated Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Eggs

Recipe variations

  • You can mix up this easy creme brûlée by adding orange peel, Grand Marnier or lemon extract, but plain ‘ole vanilla is just perfect for me.
  • Extract – You can get my Homemade Vanilla Extract recipe here, but you could also switch the extract for almond or even lemon or orange.
An easy-to-make bowl of creme brulee with a spoon in it.
A kitchen with a mixer and measuring spoons, perfect for creating delicious and easy creme brulee.

Tools

An easy creme brulee with a spoon.
logo

Tips

  • Use fresh egg yolks in this recipe. Keep the leftover egg whites and you can make Meringue Cookies or Pink Champagne Cupcakes with them.
  • When adding the cream mixture to the egg mixture, add it gradually whilst stirring so that it combines well. The cream shouldn’t be boiling or the eggs can scramble.
  • It’s important to bake the desserts in a water bath, as this keeps them moist and prevents them from cracking. Simply place the ramekins in a deep sheet pan or cake tin and fill halfway with water.
  • When broiling the sugar on top of the desserts, watch closely so that the sugar doesn’t burn or it will taste bitter.
An easy creme brulee served in a bowl on a white surface.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is creme brulee hard to make from scratch?

I think the 80’s made us believe that we needed help in the kitchen and stole our confidence in making and baking from scratch. But, creme brulee is just as easy to make from scratch, if not easier than a mix.
There’s no reason to be intimidated by anything other than your ability to refrain from eating it until it has set. I sometimes struggle with that because the custard is so good! 

What is on the top of creme brulee?

The topping on these desserts in caramelized sugar and it’s so easy to do! You may have seen professional chefs use blow torches to create this crunchy topping, but you can easily do it at home without one.
Simply sprinkle the sugar on top of the creme brulees just before serving and pop them under the broiler for a couple of minutes until the sugar starts to bubble and turn a dark brown.

How far ahead of time can you make creme brulee?

Creme brulee is one of my go to dinner party desserts, as you can make it up to four days ahead of time! Once the desserts have set, cover them with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge. Add the sugar topping and broil when you want to serve.
The creme brulee needs to set in the fridge once you have made them, so allow at least 30 minutes for this.

Two dishes of easy creme brulee on a white surface.

How to Store

  • Room Temperature – You can leave this dessert sitting out at room temperature for up to two hours safely.
  • Refrigerator – You’ll want to refrigerate your creme brulee for at least 30 minutes until set, and up to 3-4 days in total.
  • Freezer – Once your creme brulee is cooled to room temperature, cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Then chill in the refrigerator. You can safely freeze for up to 1-2 months. Thaw this dessert in the refrigerator overnight, and sprinkle with sugar for torching before serving.

Note: Although freezing is safe, it could alter the taste and texture of your creme brûlée.

An easy creme brulee in a white dish on a white background.
Easy creme brulee served in a white dish with a gold spoon.
5 from 6 votes
Click stars ↑ to rate and leave a review!

Creme Brûlée

This easy creme brûlée recipe is a classic dessert in just 30 minutes. It is elegant, yet easy for entertaining.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 8
Pin Rate Print
Save this recipe!
Enter your email and I’ll send it to you!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Ingredients  

  • cups heavy cream
  • ¾ cup white granulated sugar divided
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 5 large egg yolks

Topping

  • 3 tablespoons white granulated sugar

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 325℉.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat whisk together cream, half of the sugar and vanilla. Stir occasionally until it comes to a full boil. Remove from heat and allow to slightly cool.
    2½ cups heavy cream, ¾ cup white granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    An easy creme brûlée custard simmering in a pot of milk on a stove top.
  • In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine yolks and remaining sugar on low speed.
    On medium low speed, gradually add warm cream to yolks to prevent scrambling.
    5 large egg yolks, ¾ cup white granulated sugar
  • Pour mixture into ramekins. Place ramekins on a jelly roll pan or cake pan. Create a water bath by filling the pan halfway to the top with water, avoiding the ramekins.
    An easy baking sheet with three small bowls of creme brûlée.
  • For short ramekins, bake 20 minutes. Taller ramekins up to 30 minutes. Allow to cool and transfer to refrigerator 30 minutes or until ready to serve.
    Two bowls of easy creme brulee on a white surface.
  • To serve, dust sugar over the top of each ramekin to cover. Torch or broil 30 seconds to 1 minute, watching carefully until the sugar caramelizes.
    3 tablespoons white granulated sugar
    A spoonful of sugar sprinkled over a creamy creme brulee in a shallow white bowl on a white background.

Julie’s Tips

  • Use fresh egg yolks in this recipe. Keep the leftover egg whites and you can make Meringue Cookies or Pink Champagne Cupcakes with them.
  • When adding the cream mixture to the egg mixture, add it gradually whilst stirring so that it combines well. The cream shouldn’t be boiling or the eggs can scramble.
  • It’s important to bake the desserts in a water bath, as this keeps them moist and prevents them from cracking. Simply place the ramekins in a deep sheet pan or cake tin and fill halfway with water.
  • When broiling the sugar on top of the desserts, watch closely so that the sugar doesn’t burn or it will taste bitter.
Serving: 1g | Calories: 387kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 223mg | Sodium: 34mg | Potassium: 68mg | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 1255IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

Equipment

Ramekins
Jelly Roll Pan or Cake Pan

Explore More

How to Make Easy Creme Brûlée

  1. First, bring cream, vanilla and half of the sugar to a boil. An easy creme brûlée custard simmering in a pot of milk on a stove top.
  2. Combine the egg yolks and the rest of the sugar in a stand mixer.
  3. Mix the cream mixture into the egg mixture gradually while beating it.
  4. Create a water bath. Fill a cookie sheet or baking dish with water and line with ramekins. An easy baking sheet with three small bowls of creme brûlée.
  5. Pour custard into ramekins and bake. Two bowls of easy creme brulee on a white surface.
  6. Remove and refrigerate to set until ready to serve.
  7. Before serving, sprinkle with sugar, broil and voila! A spoonful of sugar sprinkled over a creamy creme brulee in a shallow white bowl on a white background. An easy creme brulee sitting on a white surface. An easy creme brulee sitting on top of a wooden table.

More Classic Desserts

dessert recipes

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this Recipe




8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was easier than I expected… and it tastes great too. I always thought this would be such a difficult recipe but much to my surprise it was not and I’m soo thankful…

    1. Hi Janie,
      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear that you enjoyed it and thought it was easy.
      Have a beautiful day,
      Julie

  2. 5 stars
    The flavour was amazing for my creme brûlée however it never did set. The consistency was like milk. I baked in a water bath for 30 mins as directed. Not sure if I didn’t boil the cream and sugar long enough. It never set in the fridge. I may try again with a smaller ramekin but was disappointed it never got custardy.

  3. Hi Julie…  Your recipes are always so mouthwateringly good-looking, and this is no exception!  I love creme bruleee more than any other dessert.  Just wondering if you have an easy way to remove the ramekins from the bain marie?  I always have trouble with it, and knowing you, you have an easy solution.  Help a sister out?  😉

    1. Thanks, Sara! I have rubber potholders and oven mitts that allow me to safely grab and lift. It’s less than graceful, but the easiest way I’ve found to date.

  4. Definitely agree that the simple things are often the best.. love creme brûlée and your version looks divine!