Vanilla crème brûlée recipe

August 19, 2020 Last updated: July 24, 2023
Vanilla crème brûlée recipe

From now on, make your own crème brûlée with this easy recipe. Eating (and making!) this delicious crème brûlée dessert will never disappoint.

Classic crème brûlée recipe

I don’t know about you, but I have often eaten disappointing crème brûlée in restaurants. From ice cold to way too thick, or even without the crack of the caramelized layer that is essential when eating this dessert. It has made me less likely to pick this French dessert from the dessert menu.

Yesterday I made my own crème brûlée for the first time and wow, it was fantastically delicious. With only 5 ingredients you can make your own crème brûlée at home, so I highly recommend it. Of course I share this easy recipe with you!

Crème brùlée dessert flavors

And did you know that you can also vary with this recipe? For example by adding extra flavors, such as citrus peel or lavender. Still, for me, nothing beats the original, vanilla-based and with a golden brown, crunchy sugar coating.

Baking basics crème brûlée 2a

Crème brûlée torch

I often get asked which exact burner I use for this dessert and my answer is simple: it doesn’t really matter. I have tried several and they all work fine. As long as the burner has a child lock and can be refilled, it’s totally fine. Like this one for example.

I do like to have refill packs in the house because you will always find that your burner is suddenly empty at the moment you’ll need it. So don’t forget to purchase those as well.

Crème brûlée without torch

As already mentioned in the recipe, one option is to put the sugar-coated desserts under the grill until the sugar turns golden brown. So it can be done, but you get the best results with a burner.

Frequently asked questions about crème brûlée

Why is crème brûlée prepared au bain-marie (in a water bath)?

This ensures that the filling cooks evenly. Therefore, the layer of water should be as high as the filling in the dishes. For this reason, it is better not to fill the filling to the edge of the dishes. Another good tip: do not fill the oven dish with boiling hot water until it is already on the tray in the oven.

My crème brûlée is not firm enough, why is that?

This could be due to several factors. Perhaps the oven was not at the right temperature after all, or perhaps you used dishes that were too small. In restaurants you usually see somewhat lower dishes (like this one) and that is for a reason: that way the cream filling cooks better and especially faster. Also, crème brûléé desserts really need time in the refrigerator to set, so don’t skip this out of time constraints.

Can I also substitute the vanilla pod with vanilla extract?

You can, but then you miss the beautiful black speckles of vanilla that really belong in it if you ask me. To replace 1 vanilla pod, you need 3 tsp of vanilla extract.

Can I use any other sugar for the sugar coating?

I prefer to use cane sugar because it creates the most beautiful, brown caramel layer. Yes, you can use other sugar, but then the results will be a bit different.


Easy crème brûlée recipe

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4.55 from 48 votes

Vanilla crème brûlée recipe

From now on, make your own classic crème brûlée with this easy recipe, enjoy!
Servings: 6 servings
Small 7-8 cm/3 inch oven dishes


  • 5 egg yolks
  • 80 grams of fine granulated sugar
  • 500 ml whipping cream
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • cane sugar


  • Put the egg yolks and fine granulated sugar in a bowl and using a whisk, whisk well together.
  • Pour the whipping cream into a saucepan. Cut the vanilla pod in half lengthwise and add the vanilla seeds to the whipping cream.
  • Heat the whipping cream while stirring and then pour it in with the egg yolks while continuing to stir in the bowl.
  • Divide the mixture among the baking dishes. Place them in baking dish, put in the oven and pour in a layer of hot water.
  • Bake the crème brûlée for 45-50 minutes (larger dishes up to 60 minutes) in the oven at 150°C/300℉ (conventional).
  • The dessert is good when the mixture is firm, but in the center of the dish it may still be a little jiggly.
  • Let them cool for a while on the counter and then put them in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours to set.
  • After they have set, remove them from the refrigerator and sprinkle a thin layer of cane sugar on top. Use a blow torch to caramelize the sugar layer. Putting them under the grill until the sugar is melted and turns golden brown is also an option.
How to store

Can be stored for 1-2 days covered in the refrigerator (without sugar coating).

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