French Crème Brûlée

Caramelizing crème brûlée
Adam Gault / Getty Images
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Cooling and chilling time: 4 hrs 30 mins
Total: 5 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
336 Calories
26g Fat
15g Carbs
12g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 336
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 33%
Saturated Fat 14g 72%
Cholesterol 337mg 112%
Sodium 142mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 12g
Calcium 111mg 9%
*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.)

This crème brûlée recipe is easy to make. Crème brûlée is a simple custard, made with nothing but eggs, cream, and sugar along with a little vanilla.

To make crème brûlée, you'll need some heatproof dishes called ramekins. You'll also need a crème brûlée torch to caramelize the tops of the crème brûlées when you're ready to serve them. You can even get a crème brûlée set that includes the torch and the ramekins.


  • 8 extra-large eggs
  • 1/3 cup sugar (plus extra sugar for caramelizing)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup half-and-half

Steps to Make It

  1. Pre-heat oven to 300 F.

  2. Separate the eggs. Only use the yolks for making crème brûlée—you can save the whites for other recipes, like making an egg-white meringue torte.

  3. Beat the eggs with a whisk for a minute or two, until they're very smooth.

  4. Add the sugar and whisk for about 2 more minutes, or until the sugar is fully incorporated and the yolks are a pale shade of yellow. Now add the vanilla and whisk until blended.

  5. Add the cream and half-and-half and whisk until blended.

  6. Carefully pour the egg and cream mixture through a wire strainer into another bowl. Straining the custard filters out any eggy bits to ensure a nice, smooth consistency.

  7. Fill a large roasting pan with an inch or two of warm water, and place your empty ramekins into the pan. The water should come about halfway up the ramekins. Baking the custards in a water bath (called a bain-marie) keeps the air in the oven moist, and prevents the crème brûlées from cracking.

  8. Carefully pour the custard into the ramekins. Fill all the ramekins about halfway, then top up each one a little at a time. That way, you won't run out of custard before they're all full.

  9. Transfer the roasting pan to the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until the edges of the crème brûlées are set but the centers just barely jiggle when you nudge the pan.

  10. Remove the pan from the oven and let the crème brûlées cool in the water bath for 30 minutes or so. Then remove the crème brûlées, place them on a flat sheet pan or tray, cover with plastic, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours up to overnight.

  11. About 20 minutes before you're ready to caramelize the tops, remove the crème brûlées from the refrigerator.

  12. Gently dab away any moisture condensation on the crème brûlée tops with a paper towel, being careful not to dent them.

  13. Sprinkle the tops of the crème brûlées with granulated white sugar. Make sure you cover the whole surface and swirl the ramekins to distribute the sugar evenly. Shake off any excess sugar.

  14. Ignite your torch and carefully apply the flame to the sugar, keeping it constantly in motion. The sugar will start to liquefy, then turn caramel-colored. When a nice, hard glaze forms, you're done.

  15. Pop the crème brûlées back into the refrigerator for 10 minutes or so before serving them, just to re-chill them after they've been heated by the torch.

  16. You can serve the crème brûlées just as they are, and they'll be absolutely delicious, but a few fresh berries and a dusting of powdered sugar is a nice, elegant touch.