vanilla bean creme brulee in white ramekin with berries and spoon by fork in the kitchen

Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée

  • Author: Becca | Fork in the Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 4-oz. ramekins 1x


A luxurious, classic dessert with a creamy custard base, topped with a layer of “burnt” caramelized sugar. Dive in with that perfect “crack” with this easy recipe!



  • 1 1/3 cups heavy cream
  • 2 vanilla beans, split – see note – or 1 1/2 TBSP vanilla bean paste
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 6 TBSP sugar + more for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Prepare a glass baking dish with a washcloth in the bottom, 4 4-ounce ramekins on top, and water filled halfway up the ramekins to create a water bath. The washcloth is optional but it prevents the ramekins from slipping!
  2. Heat a saucepan over medium heat with the heavy cream and vanilla beans (if using paste, just whisk to combine). Let heat until several bubbles begin to form and then remove from heat do not let it simmer or boil. Let cool for approximately 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, beat together egg yolks and 6 TBSP sugar until combined and light yellow ( ~3-4 minutes of strong whisking).
  4. After the cream has cooled slightly, remove vanilla beans if using. Scrape out the seeds from the vanilla bean, and whisk them back in the cream. Discard the pods.
  5. Pour approximately 1/4 of the slightly cooled cream into the egg mixture; whisk together. Then, pour the egg mixture back into the remaining cream and stir to mix. Pour mixture into the ramekins and cover dish with foil. Bake for 30-35 minutes, just until center is barely set – there will be jiggle! Remove ramekins from water bath and let cool on a cooling rack. Cover with foil and let chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
  6. When serving, sprinkle a thin layer of sugar on top of each ramekin (I use about 2 teaspoons). Using a culinary torch, gently “burn” the sugar until it turns a rich amber color. Let cool for a minute so you don’t burn yourself, and dig in! Serve immediately once brûléed.


This recipe was specifically adapted to fit 4 4-ounce ramekins. If you want to 6 servings in 4 or 5-ounce ramekins, use the following proportions, following the same directions: 2 cups heavy cream, 2 vanilla beans (or 2 TBSP paste), 5 egg yolks, and 1/2 cup sugar.

Don’t have a culinary torch? You can make these without a torch still, but I do prefer the old fashioned way. If you don’t have a torch, use your broiler – see notes. It isn’t quite the same “burnt sugar” effect, but it definitely works in a pinch!

To slice the vanilla beans, lay the pod flat and gently press your knife down the length of the bean, being careful to not slice the entire way through. When you’re ready to remove the seeds, take your knife at an angle, starting at the top of the pod, and scrape down the slice. The seeds with pile up on your knife for easy transfer to the pan.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: French

Keywords: french, dessert, easy, 4 ingredients, sweet

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