16+ Creme Brulee Flavors For Any Occasion
Looking for creme brulee flavors? Whether you want vanilla, chocolate, or something exotic like blood orange or lavender, you’ll find your perfect creme brulee recipe here.
Like savory dishes like my salmon pasta recipe and salmon piccata, creme brulee is one of those things that really exemplifies my “simple yet special” cooking at home ethos. It’s a little time consuming, but it’s not HARD, by any means. And the payoff is more than worth the effort.
While many of us have poked our spoons through the crackly top on a classic vanilla creme brulee at a restaurant, there’s a whole world of creme brulee flavors out there waiting to be explored.
Whether you want to make chocolate creme brulee for your Valentine, bring some pumpkin creme brulee to Thanksgiving, or celebrate the holidays with an eggnog version, you’ll find a recipe for it at the bottom of the post.
I’ve also included recipes for alternative cooking methods, like Instant Pot and slow cooker creme brulees!
Before we dive into the creme brulee recipes, allow me to share some of my best tips for making the smoothest, most decadent creme brulee.
How to prep the ramekins and roasting pan:
The first step to any traditional oven-baked creme brulee recipe is preheating your oven and bringing a tea kettle of water to a boil on the stove.
You will need a roasting pan or a very large baking pan with high sides for creme brulee. If you have a big pan you break out once a year for baked ham with pineapple sauce or maple bourbon glazed turkey, well, now you’ll need to break it out twice a year.
All of the ramekins need to fit onto the bottom of the pan in an even layer.
Once your custard mixture is prepared, you will be dividing it between the ramekins. Then, place the roasting pan with the filled ramekins onto a pulled-out oven rack.
Carefully pour boiling water from the kettle into the pan around the ramekins. Be sure not to get any water into any of the custards.
You want to fill the pan with enough water so that the hot water comes up to the halfway point of each ramekin. This hot water bath will allow the custard to cook evenly without cracking.
Once the hot water is poured in, carefully push the oven rack with the roasting pan on it fully into the oven.
A note about ramekin size:
Size DOES matter for the ramekins in creme brulee recipes. Not only will you need as many ramekins as the recipe calls for, but you’ll need to pay attention to the shape of them and how it will relate to the baking time.
Many recipes will specify “5 ounces ramekins” or “6 ounces ramekins,” etc., but they won’t tell you what those ramekins should look like. Wide and shallow, or narrow and deep?
Some tips for torching creme brulee:
First of all, for any creme brulee recipe, you want to be sure to get an EVEN layer of sugar across the surface of each custard.
I sprinkle the sugar across the custard as evenly as I can, and then I kind of tilt and shake and shimmy the ramekin until it’s even more evened out.
Once you start torching the sugar, it’s important to remember to keep the torch moving constantly so none of the areas burn.
Personally, I’ve found it easiest to brown the sugar of creme brulee in stages. Meaning, first I torch the entire surface of the sugar until it is light golden brown.
And then I go back and keep torching until everything is medium golden brown. And then again until it’s all dark golden brown.
As soon as you start to smell any sugar burning, stop torching immediately. Dark brown sugar is delicious, but burnt sugar is just bitter.
Ready to make some creme brulee? Get started with the inspiration below!