Creamy and smooth, this classic Vanilla Creme Brulee recipe is super easy to make even if you are a beginner baker! Made with just 4 ingredients, it has a rich custard and crispy caramelized topping.
If you’ve never made a homemade creme brulee, thinking that it’s complicated, you need to try this recipe! While it looks fancy and delicate, it’s super easy to make with just 4 simple ingredients!
The vanilla custard comes out perfectly smooth and silky, and the topping is beautifully crispy and caramelized.
Why you will love this recipe
- Easy to make! This classic dessert might seem complicated, but in reality, it’s one of the easiest recipes to make!
- You need only 4 ingredients! Can you believe that you need just 4 simple ingredients to make this delicious dessert that’s served in fancy restaurants?
- Can make it ahead of time! You can make it 1-2 days ahead and create a caramelized topping just before ready serve.
How to make it
Preheat the oven to 325°F and boil a pot with water.
1. Make Custard.
Heat heavy cream and vanilla extract in a sauce pan over a medium heat until it slightly starts to simmer. Turn off the heat and put the mixture aside.
While the cream is heating, in a mixing bowl beat together egg yolks and granulated sugar for about 5 minutes until it has thicker consistency and pale color.
Gradually, a little at a time, add heated cream and vanilla mixture to the beaten eggs until well combined, constantly stirring.
Divide the mixture between 4 ramekins and place them into a large baking pan. Pour hot water into the pan, covering ¾ of the ramekins.
Bake at 325°F for about 30-35 minutes until Creme Brulee is set but slightly jiggling in the center.
When Creme Brulee is done, remove it from the baking pan, cool off completely, then cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Before serving, sprinkle granulated sugar over the Creme Brulee, and using a blow-torch, brown the sugar to a crispy finish. You also can top caramelized creme brulee with fresh berries and mint leaves. Enjoy!
How to make Crème Brulee without Torch
If you don’t have a blow torch (though I would advise you to get one), you can caramelize the sugar under the broiler. Just evenly sprinkle the sugar over chilled Crème Brulee, place the ramekins in a baking sheet, and place it directly under the broiler. Keep a close eye on it and the sugar will brown very quickly.
Tips for best results
Temper the yolks. This is probably the most important step in this recipe. Make sure you beat the egg yolks with granulated sugar really well. Gradually add hot cream, while constantly whisking. That will prevent the eggs from scrambling.
Vanilla. In this recipe I use vanilla extract, as it’s more available to everyone. For more intense vanilla flavor, you can use a vanilla bean (like I do in my French Vanilla Ice Cream), it will bring this recipe to a whole new level!
Choose the right ramekins. There is a great variety of different ramekins on the market. I found that shallow ramekins work better for Creme Brulee, as they cook faster and more evenly. When you make this dessert in deep ramekins, there is a chance that it will be undercooked inside and have a burnt outside.
Water bath. This is another important step. Water bath helps to create moist environment while baking. Which helps with more even cooking.
Baking time. It’s always hard to say exact baking time. It depends on many factors, including the size of the ramekins and how deep they are. The most important key for perfect baking is to make sure that the edges are set and the center is slightly jiggly. You also can check the internal temperature, which should be at 170˚F.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! After it’s cooled off, it has to be refrigerated for at least 4 hours or overnight. This way it will perfectly set and bind all the flavors together.
When the custard is done, the edges should be set and the center is should look set and still wobble when you gently shake it. When you scoop it out, it should have a thick yogurt consistency. The easiest way to check if it’s done is to use a thermometer. The internal temperature should be 170˚F.
I always prefer to use shallow ramekins, not deeper than 1 ½-2 inches. If you use deep ones, you have a good chance of undercook the custard and burn the tops.
MORE DESSERT RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE:
- Orange Pound Cake
- Chocolate Mousse Pie
- Mini Cheesecakes with Blueberry Sauce
- Chocolate Bourbon Truffles
- Classic Apple Pie
- Blueberry Hand Pies
- Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake
- Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Filling
- 3 Ingredient Coconut Truffle
- Julia Child’s Chocolate Mousse
- Italian Tiramisu Recipe
- Chocolate Cake from Scratch
Vanilla Creme Brulee
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 egg yolks
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar for topping
- 1 kettle of hot water
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Heat 2 cups heavy cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a sauce pan over a medium heat until it slightly starts to simmer. Turn off the heat and put the mixture aside.
- In a mixing bowl beat together 6 egg yolks and ⅓ cup granulated sugar for about 5 minutes until it has thicker consistency and pale color.
- Gradually, a little at a time, add cream and vanilla mixture to the eggs until well combined, constantly stirring.
- Divide the mixture between 4 ramekins and place them into a large baking pan. Pour hot water into the pan, covering ¾ of the ramekins.
- Bake at 325°F for about 30-35 minutes until Crème Brûlée is set but slightly jiggling in the center.
- When Crème Brûlée is done, remove it from the baking pan, cool off completely, then cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- Before serving, sprinkle granulated sugar over the Crème Brûlée, and using a blow-torch, brown the sugar to a crispy top. Enjoy!