Easy Creme Brulee

Easy Creme Brulee is an impressive dessert that’s cool, creamy, and flavored with vanilla bean paste and rum.  Plus, who doesn’t adore getting their own small dessert?

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Ramekins of easy creme brulee garnished with blueberries and mint.

If creme brulee was on the menu of a restaurant, you can rest assured that I ordered it – no matter the price (goodbye $14) and even if I had to get it to go.  

I love it, but the thought of making it at home seemed daunting to me.  What if it didn’t set? How can I get the perfectly caramelized, crunchy top? I wasn’t up for the task.

Then like most of us during quarantine, I began playing with recipes that I found intimidating.  To my surprise and delight, creme brulee was easy – unlike my sourdough fiasco!  I made creme brulee every day for at least a week – all in the name of research to perfect my recipe.  

With six simple ingredients, and by following the recipe with a few simple tips, you can make this luxurious dessert any time for family and friends.  


Creme brulee is a classic French custard with a crispy, crunchy, caramelized sugar topping.  The name literally means ‘burnt custard’.

It is typically flavored with vanilla but lends itself to many flavor options such as rum, orange, lemon, or cinnamon.


  • Granulated sugar
  • Heavy cream or whipping cream
  • Large egg yolks – save the egg whites for an omelet 
  • Vanilla bean paste or extract – either works, but the paste gives you the pretty flecks of vanilla in the custard.
  • Rum extract


  1. Whisk together sugar and heavy cream.
  2. Microwave until hot and then whisk again to ensure the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Stir in the egg yolks and flavorings.
  4. Pour the mixture into ramekins and bake.
  5. Sprinkle sugar on top and use a kitchen torch or broil to caramelize the sugar.
  6. Chill and enjoy!


  • Don’t skip the salt.  It enhances the flavor of the custard and without it, the custard will taste flat.
  • The shape of the ramekin is important here.  You want to use a shallow ramekin so you get the perfect ratio of custard to a caramelized shell. Also, if it’s too deep, the edges are overcooked before the center bakes.  No good can come from this scenario.
  • Use the best vanilla you can find/afford. You can really taste the vanilla in this dish, so the flavor is important.
  • Use ONLY granulated sugar.  This isn’t the recipe to try brown sugar, coconut sugar, etc.  The granulated white sugar will caramelize beautifully for the perfect crust.
  • Line your baking dish with a kitchen towel before filling it with water.  The towel will keep your ramekins from sliding around the baking dish while moving to/from the oven.
  • You want to avoid getting water in the ramekins, which will give the custard a pebbled look and a soggy interior.  To avoid this, wrap the bottoms and sides of the ramekins with aluminum foil that reaches higher than the ramekins, making a little collar or fence.  Another tip to avoid water in the ramekins is to put the ramekins in the baking dish and the baking dish in the oven before pouring the water into the baking dish.

Ramekins of easy creme brulee garnished with blueberries and mint.


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Ramekins of easy creme brulee garnished with blueberries and mint.



This easy creme brulee is an impressive dessert that takes only six ingredients.



3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 cup heavy cream

3 large egg yolks

½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract

½ teaspoon rum extract

⅛ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large glass bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons of sugar and the heavy cream until well combined.

Microwave on high until warm, 1-2 minutes.

Whisk again to dissolve the sugar.

Add the egg yolks, vanilla, and rum extracts.  Whisk vigorously until smooth.

Pour the mixture into two shallow ramekins.

Set the ramekins into a baking pan.  Pour hot water into the pan so that it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Slide the baking pan into the preheated oven and bake until the creme brulees are set, but still jiggly in the center when shaken – about 50 minutes.

Carefully remove the ramekins from the baking pan and chill in the refrigerator until cold, at least two hours.

When ready to serve, sprinkle each dessert with 1 tablespoon of sugar.

Use a kitchen torch to lightly toast and melt the sugar until brown and bubbling – about 30 seconds each.

Alternatively, place the desserts under the broiler in the oven for 3 minutes until brown and bubbling.

Chill the desserts again for at least 15 minutes until cold.

To serve, garnish each dessert with berries and a sprig of mint.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: French

Keywords: easy creme brulee, easy desserts, impressive dessert recipes, custard, restaurant recipes

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