Vanilla Crème Brûlée

homemade creme brulee

With a smooth and creamy custard base that’s topped with caramelized sugar, this crème brûlée is a total indulgence. Making this fancy treat seems like it would be complicated and intimidating but with the right recipe and technique, it’s actually quite simple. This recipe is effortless, yet the final result is pure elegance.

Vanilla Crème Brulee

Recipe by Melissa Nicholson Course: Dessert


Prep time




Cooking time



Sometimes the best things come in the simplest form. Créme Brulee is often only seen in fine dining establishments, yet it's a simple dessert with only a few ingredients. The vanilla flavor and rich custard texture are delicious.


  • 2 cups 2 heavy cream

  • 1 tsp 1 vanilla extract

  • 5 5 egg yolks

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 granulated sugar, plus extra for caramelizing

  • pinch salt


  • Preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C).
  • Pour the heavy cream and vanilla extract into a medium saucepan.
  • Heat the cream over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  • While the cream is cooling, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a large bowl until pale and creamy.
  • While whisking constantly, slowly pour a small amount of the warm cream into the egg mixture.
  • Continue to whisk and slowly pour in the remaining cream.
  • This will gradually bring up the temperature of the eggs without cooking them, ensuring that they don't scramble or curdle too much when you add them to the hot cream mixture.
  • Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher or large measuring cup.
  • Divide the mixture evenly among six 6-ounce ramekins or custard cups.
  • Place the ramekins in a baking dish and add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the custards are set but still jiggle slightly in the center.
  • Remove the ramekins from the water bath and let them cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • When ready to serve, sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar evenly over the top of each custard. Use a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar until it forms a crispy crust.
  • Let the custards sit for a few minutes until the caramel has hardened. Serve and enjoy your delicious homemade creme brulee!


  • If you don't have a kitchen torch, you can still achieve a caramelized crust by broiling in the oven for 15 to 30 seconds until golden brown crust forms.


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Meet Melissa

Bourbon stole my heart a few years ago when I had several opportunities to write about it. Food stole my heart when I was lucky enough to be raised by a mom who managed to make nearly everything from scratch when we were growing up.