Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée Cupcake

This year my husband got me a Crème Brûlée torch. Ever since I opened it I have kind of become a little torch crazy. I am intentionally trying to find recipes that require me to use it or reasons as to why something might need a caramelized sugar glazed…maybe a grapefruit?! It makes everything look enchanted. My kids love it too. Today they burst into laughter as they shouted “Mom you caught the cupcake on fire!” Side note, last year I set my purse on fire in our kitchen. I will never live it down! That memory is “burned” in their minds forever!

In addition to my new fascination with my favorite kitchen tool, Jake and Aiden are coming up with several variations to my Crème Brûlée recipe. I think we are all a little obsessed. Aiden has even requested a large – like the size of a jelly-roll pan Crème Brûlée for his birthday. Which led to my next thought…Crème Brûlée Cupcake? So I went Googling and found this recipe. We love it! Although it took more time than my standard cupcake recipe. It was worth the extra time and thought. My friend, Linda exclaimed, “This is one of the best cupcakes I have ever had”. I will make this again and again, as it combines two wonderful desserts into one. Happy torching! XOXO San

Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée Cupcake

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours

Yield: 1 dozen

Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée Cupcake

Crème Brulee Cupcake - a moist cake topped with a caramelized sugar custard.


  • Pastry Cream
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Cupcake
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • *Topping *
  • Granulated sugar, about 1/3 cup
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • 12 fresh raspberries (optional)


For the pastry cream:

In a medium saucepan, heat heavy cream, milk, 6 tablespoon sugar, salt and seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean along with vanilla bean pod over medium heat. Bring mixture just to a gentle bubble, stirring occasionally (remove from heat as necessary to prevent vigorous boiling while preparing remainder).

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks and 2 tablespoon sugar until well blended. Add cornstarch to egg yolk mixture and mix until very well combined and slightly pale and fluffy.

Take about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture from pan, and while vigorously whisking, slowly pour hot cream mixture into egg yolk mixture, do this about 1 tablespoon at a time. Replace back on heat and reduce burner temperature to medium-low. Then, while whisking hot cream mixture in saucepan, slowly pour egg yolk mixture into hot cream mixture in saucepan. Cook mixture, whisking constantly, until thickened. Allow it to boil for about 30 seconds after it has started to cook out starchy flavor. I had to go back and do this again, after my cream did not reach desired consistency after refrigeration. NOTE: You can boil this mixture again, after you have refrigerated it. I did and it still worked. Although it was a bit more like a custard than a cream.

Immediately force mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Mix in 1 tablespoon of butter. Cover with plastic wrap pressing directly against surface of custard. Chill thoroughly, about 2 hours.

For the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt for seconds, set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy.

Mix in egg then blend in egg whites and vanilla. Add 1/2 of the flour mixture and blend just until combined, then add milk and blend just until combined and finish adding in remaining 1/2 flour mixture and blend just until combined.

Divide batter among 12 paper lined muffin cups, filling each cup about 2/3 full.

Bake in preheated oven 21 - 24 minutes until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To assemble cupcakes:

Pipe or spread chilled pastry cream over cooled cupcakes into an even layer. Working with one cupcake at a time, sprinkle entirety of pastry cream with sugar then heat with a kitchen torch until sugar begins to melt and caramelize. While I torched one cupcake, I would keep the rest in the refrigerator.

One of the best suggestions from this recipe was the coating of the sugar on the cream: First coat the edges of pastry cream while rotating the cupcake, then sprinkle tops. Torch it and add another layer of sugar, if you would like. I personally did 2 layers on all the cupcakes, using about 1 ½ - 2 teaspoons of sugar per cupcake. Allow topping to cool.

Garnish with whipped cream and a blackberry or raspberry if desired. Serve immediately or put in the refrigerator for 30 – 60 minutes before serving. I found that keeping them in the fridge helped the cream keeps it form and for the caramelized sugar to stay hardened. We didn’t test it past an hour…as we ate them all.


Total time for these cupcakes is 3 hours, this includes the 2 hours that the custard topping needs to refrigerate.

creme brulee cupcake
A great option is making the pastry cream the day before, especially if this is your first time to make pastry cream. Also, I would make two batches or double the amount of pasty cream. My kids and I loved it and ate ½ of it before we even topped the cupcakes. We only got to brûlée 6 of them because the cream is that good!

Recipe from Cooking Classy


  1. says

    Really? REALLY? Are you for real with this cupcake right now? You have made my day for sharing this. I am a creme brulee fiend and I’m already obsessed with this dessert. So perfect and pretty. I can’t wait to make it. Pinning for sure.

    • Sandra says

      Thanks Jennifer! You will love it, I now want to try a chocolate one…lol. Wish we were neighbors and could swap brulees – I love them too! San

    • Sandra says

      Becky, There are some great deals after the holiday on torches. I got mine at a local shop, so wasn’t the best deal. But I noticed this last week Target $30 and Walmart $18. You should totally get one. So happy you stopped by! xoxo San

  2. says

    Oh my goodness these look AMAZING! Creme Brulee is my most favorite dessert so I just know I’d love these! I’m not sure if I could pull off making these but I just might have to give it a try! Pinning these for sure…and make sure you link this post up to That’s Fresh Friday the SGBC linkup every other Friday…it’ll be live on this Thursday night! Thanks for sharing :)


  1. […] are the features from last week! 1. Anthropologie Inspired Pillows by View from the Fridge 2. Vanilla Bean Creme Brûlée Cupcake by A Dash of Sanity 3. Buttermilk Belgian Waffles by Jenn’s Random Scraps 4. Dark […]

  2. […] Smart // The Easiest Pretzel Bites Safety Pin Bracelet // 10 Amazing Sewing Projects Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee Cupcakes // Cajun Chicken Pasta // German Chocolate Cake Cookies Don’t forget to grab the […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *