Classic French Crème au Caramel

creme caramel

The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
338 Calories
16g Fat
42g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 338
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 9g 46%
Cholesterol 179mg 60%
Sodium 100mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 42g 15%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 42g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 109mg 8%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 157mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Crème caramel is a classic French dessert that is deliciously creamy custard topped with caramel. The custard and caramel are all cooked in the same little ramekin, upside-down cake style. The custard is chilled, and flipped and the beautiful caramel pours down the sides of the custard. 

Crème caramel and flan are often interchanged. They are essentially the same dish, although flan typically refers to the Spanish style of this custard. Both include a caramel and a custard and are cooked in the same way. The custard is very similar to the custard in crème brûlée but no caramelized sugar is added at the end. Instead it is baked right along with the custard. 

This silky, elegant custard makes for a showstopping dessert but can also be enjoyed as an afternoon snack. Everything is made ahead of time, so it will make dessert after dinner super easy and quick.


  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided

  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice

  • 2 cups whole milk

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 2 large eggs

  • 3 large egg yolks

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather your ingredients.

    creme caramel ingredients
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Add 1 cup of the sugar to a saucepan. Add the lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of water to the sugar. Heat on medium-low heat and stir with a wooden spoon or swirl the pan until it is a deep brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Be very careful and do not leave the pot as the caramel can burn very easily.

    caramel cooking in a saucepan
  3. Equally divide the caramel into the bottom of each ramekin. You will need 4 to 5 (6-ounce) ramekins. Swirl to coat the bottom and just barely up the side. Set aside.

    caramel in a ramekin
  4. Add the milk and heavy cream to a separate saucepan. Heat on medium-low heat until just hot, not boiling. Then remove from the heat.

    milk heating in a saucepan
  5. Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl until combined.

    eggs whisked in a bowl
  6. Slowly whisk in the hot milk, a ladleful at a time until completely incorporated into the eggs. Whisk in the salt and vanilla extract.

    milk whisked with egg
  7. Pour the custard over the caramel in each ramekin.

    custard in a ramekin
  8. Add the ramekins to a roasting pan. Very carefully pour boiling water  into the bottom of the roasting pan, avoiding splashing or pouring into the ramekins.

    custard in a roasting pan
  9. Place on the bottom rack of your oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the custard still jiggles but is just set.

    Remove from the roasting pan using tongs or a hot pad. Allow to cool slightly and then wrap with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.

    creme caramel in ramekins
  10. Use a sharp knife to loosen the custard along the edge of the ramekin. Flip onto a plate and serve immediately.

    custard loosened by a knife

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