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5 from 6 votes
Classic Creme Brulee Recipe
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Chilling time
2 hrs
Total Time
1 hr

Follow the step-by-step tutorial for making Classic Creme Brulee. The ultimate impressive dessert of smooth vanilla custard topped with crackling caramelized sugar. 

(Be sure to scroll up in the post to see the pictures and special instructions)

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: classic creme brulee recipe
Servings: 6
Author: Melissa Howell
  • 4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar (plus 2 Tablespoons for the topping)
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 8 cups hot water (2 quarts)
  1. Combine the four cups of heavy whipping cream and the two teaspoons of vanilla in a medium saucepan on the stove. Cook over medium heat, stirring continually, until bubbles start to form around the edge. (The cream will almost be at a simmer). Remove from the heat and cover. Let rest for about fifteen minutes while you prepare the rest of the custard.

  2. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.

  3. Add the six egg yolks and 1/2 cup of sugar to a medium-sized mixing bowl. (Preferably one with a spout, if you have it). Whisk briskly for 1-2 minutes, until the egg mixture begins to lighten in color.

  4. Very slowly pour your warm cream/vanilla mixture into your egg/sugar mixture, whisking briskly as you pour.

  5. Place six (7-8 ounce) ramekins into a large baking or roasting pan. (You may need to use two pans). If desired, place a tea towel at the bottom of the pan to keep the ramekins from sliding around.

  6. Divide the custard mixture evenly between the six ramekins. Pour the hot water into the pan(s) until it comes about half way up the sides of the ramekins. (If desired, you can place the pan(s) with ramekins inside the oven, and then with the oven door still open, carefully pour the hot water into the pan(s) and then close the oven.

  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes. (At the 45-minute mark, take them out, even if you don't think they are done).

  8. Carefully remove the ramekins from the pan(s) and allow them to cool at room temperature for about half an hour. Then place them in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours.

  9. About a half hour before serving, remove the ramekins from the refrigerator. Just before serving, sprinkle one teaspoon of granulated sugar on top of each custard. Using a kitchen torch, melt the sugar on top. Keep torching until the sugar is brown and bubbly. 

  10. Let sit for about five minutes to allow the sugar to harden. Then serve and enjoy!