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Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee

Happy National Creme Brulee Day!  Ok, most of us probably didn’t know Creme Brulee has its own dedicated day on the American food holiday calendar.  But we all can agree this creamy, luscious dessert with the crispy caramel topping absolutely deserves to be celebrated.

vanilla bean creme brulee 3

Hubby and I have been Creme Brulee aficianados for as far back as I can remember.  When the dessert menu at any restaurant landed on our laps, one of us would automatically scan for Creme Brulee.  True, a rich cheesecake or decadent chocolate cake would often make their way onto our table, too.  But if Creme Brulee was on the dessert menu, it made an appearance on our table with spoons ready.

vanilla bean creme brulee

One day, this all changed.  Several years ago, we did something that defied our restaurant dessert habits.  We made our own Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee.  Oh, my.  Words cannot describe how much more awesome homemade Creme Brulee is, compared to restaurant offerings.  This homemade Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee actually ruined all other experiences of creme brulee for us. Everything else pales in comparison.  We haven’t ordered it ever since we discovered the secret to making it ourselves.  It is THAT good.

vanilla bean creme brulee 2

This Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee is not only THAT good, it’s also unbelievably easy.  The rich, creamy custard filling is laden with vanilla.  The topping is a delicious layer of crispy caramel. You can make it a day or two ahead of time, keep it in fridge, and get torch-happy just before serving.  Not only is it fun to fire up some sugar right before the gawking eyes of your guests, but the creamy flavor will have them singing your praises all night long.

Try it very soon.  We think this Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee will change things permanently for you, too. 🙂


Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee

5 from 1 reviews

This creamy, vanilla-laden Creme Brulee will knock your socks off! The crisp caramel sugar topping is amazing.

Yield: 6


  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 fresh, whole vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 5 large egg yolks (take care that no bits of whites are included)
  • Kettle of boiling water
  • 12 tsp granulated sugar
  • fresh berries for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 325F, with rack on lower middle position.
  2. In medium saucepan, combine cream and sugar, mixing well. Use a small knife to scrape all seeds from vanilla bean, into the saucepan. Once all seeds have been added to saucepan, add the empty vanilla bean into saucepan.
  3. Over medium heat, stir until sugar completely dissolves and the creamy mixture comes to a simmer. Cover pan and reduce heat to lowest setting. Simmer gently for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, uncover, and remove the empty bean and any other pieces of the bean. Set aside to let cool about 10 minutes.
  4. In medium bowl, whisk yolks until well blended. Very carefully and in a very slow stream, whisk in the hot cream mixture into the yolks, just to combine.
  5. Divide custard evenly among six individual ramekins (3/4 cup ramekins.) Place ramekins in a glass 9×13 baking dish. Pour enough of the boiling water into the pan to go halfway up the sides of ramekins. Place baking dish in oven and bake about 35 minutes. Custards should be almost set in the center when pan is gently shaken.
  6. Remove ramekins from baking pan and let cool to room temp. Chill in fridge for up to 2 days; a minimum of 3 hours.
  7. When ready to serve, sprinkle 2 tsp sugar evenly over each chilled custard. Work a blowtorch over one custard at a time. Move flame quickly back and forth over the sugar topping until it reaches desired caramel appearance. Repeat with other custards. Serve immediately with fresh berries.
  8. Note: Whole vanilla bean is highly recommended. However, 2 TB real vanilla extract may be used instead. If using extract, add it in at the end of the simmering stage. Extract flavor diminishes the longer it is cooked.
  • Author: Chew Out Loud
  • Category: dessert

 Source:  Chew Out Loud, adapted from Bon Appetit

Note:  I got my kitchen blow torch online, but you can get it at most cook ware stores.

Our other favorite restaurant-style desserts:

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake, my Cheesecake Factory copycat:

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake 5

An outstandingly moist, tender, chocolatey Chocolate Cake with Whipped Cream and Berries:

double chocolate layer cake

Did you make this?

Leave a comment below and tag @chewoutloud on Instagram

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Recipe rating


    • Lauren

    First recipe I’ve ever tried for creme brûlée and only one I will ever use!!!!

      • chewoutloud

      Super awesome, Lauren! 🙂 🙂

    • Michelle R

    I made this recipe for dessert at our New Year’s Eve dinner party and the guests said it was the best creme brûlée they have ever eaten, hands down. Thank you so much for such a simple and delicious recipe!!

      • chewoutloud

      Thanks so much, Michelle! Happy new year to you and yours

    • Mandee

    hey what size/ounces are the ramekins? Thank you

      • chewoutloud

      Mine are about 5oz ramekins, but something between 4.5 to 6oz will work great for individual sizes. The recipe is somewhat forgiving 🙂 Enjoy!

    • Cathy

    Just made this today and not only is it super easy (always been intimidated by custards things) but amazingly creamy and almost…heavenly. I will be bookmarking this page when I need to impress company!

      • chewoutloud

      SO glad you liked it, Cathy! It’s our favorite, and has it not totally ruined restaurant creme brulee for you now? 😉

    • ~ Phuong ~

    I love creme brulee!!! Yours look so good, I gotta get myself a blow torch to try this recipe out soon.

      • chewoutloud

      The blow torch is sooo worth getting. Doesn’t cost much, but works wonders with Creme Brulee or any other brulee’d desserts! 🙂

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