This Slow Cooker Creme Brulee recipe is everyone’s favorite rich and creamy dessert, but made as a small batch in the crock pot instead of the oven!
Slow Cooker Creme Brulee Recipe
Creme Brulee. What’s not to love? Rich, smooth and creamy, with a hard caramel shell. SO GOOD.
It’s one of those desserts that is so elegant, and yet incredibly simple and easy to make. And this slow cooker recipe makes it even easier.
Creme Brulee at its most basic level is really just a pudding-like rich custard that’s baked with a crispy caramelized top which cracks when you break into it with a spoon.
It’s French for “brunt cream”… crème = cream (the custard) and brûlée = burnt (the caramelized sugar shell.)
This custard is made with egg yolks, heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and a pinch of salt.
How to Make Creme Brulee
There are just a few simple steps to making this recipe. My version is for a small batch and involves a crock pot. Here’s a brief rundown.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Combine the ingredients: You’ll whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Then slowing whisk in the cream. Transfer liquid to a 3-cup (or larger) measuring cup for easy pouring.
- Fill the ramekins: Place 4, 4 ounce ramekins in the bottom of a 6-quart oval slow cooker, then fill the crock pot with water so it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins, without getting water in the actual dishes (it’s easiest to do this with a pitcher that has a spout.) Then pour the custard evenly into the ramekins. Drape paper towels over the top of the slow cooker, then cover with the lid (this will help absorb any condensation during cooking.)
- Cook: Cook on low for 2 hours until custard is set, but still slightly jiggly.
- Cool: Using long tongs, carefully transfer the ramekins to a rack to cool completely.
- Chill: Transfer ramekins onto a baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours (ideally overnight.)
- Finish: Sprinkle 1-2 teaspoona of the sugar over each ramekin. Using a kitchen torch, brûlée sugar until desired topping is achieved. NOTE: Cover the entire surface of custard with a thin layer of granulated sugar so that no custard is left exposed, otherwise the custard could curdle when heated.
How to Tell When Creme Brulee is Done
To eyeball it, you’ll be looking for the edges to be set, but the center will still jiggle like jello. To be completely accurate, the internal temperature should register 170 degrees F, which you can determine by using an instant read thermometer.
How to Make Creme Brulee Without a Torch
If you know you’ll be making Creme Brulee repeatedly, I highly recommend buying a kitchen torch. It’s that one tool that you might not use a lot, but when you do, you’ll love having it!
Having said that, if you don’t have one, you can simply use your oven broiler. Make sure your custard is completely set and cold. Heat your broiler up super hot with the rack placed below it. Place the custard cups underneath the broiler and keep a close eye on them for 5-10 minutes, rotating them frequently. It’s much harder to get even coloring and caramelization this way, but it gets the job done.
Video: Creme Brulee
Serving and Storing
- Is Creme Brulee served hot or cold? Creme Brulee needs to chill so the custard can set fully and before the caramelization top is applied to ensure that awesome thick, caramel coating hardens properly. But you can enjoy right after you’ve torched the top, or chill again after torching and then serve. If you will be chilling these for more than 3 hours (overnight is recommended), cover the surface of the custard with plastic wrap to avoid condensation on the top, which could lead to soggy pudding.
- How long does Creme Brulee last? These can be baked and chilled up to 3 days ahead of time.
- Can you freeze Creme Brulee? Yes. Simply make this recipe as directed, preparing and baking the custard in ramekins. Once cooled to room temperature and chilled, cover tightly and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw in the fridge overnight and then proceed with sprinkling with sugar and torching.
More Pudding Recipes:
Slow Cooker Creme Brûlée
- 6 quart oval slow cooker
- 4, 4-ounce ramekins
- paper towels
- kitchen torch (see note in article)
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup plus 4 teaspoons (or more) granulated sugar , divided
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 & 2/3 cups heavy cream
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, 1/4 cup of the sugar, salt, and vanilla. While continuing to whisk, slowly pour in the cream. Transfer liquid to a 3-cup (or larger) measuring cup.
- Place ramekins in the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Fill a large measuring cup or pitcher with water; carefully pour water in the slow cooker so that it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins, being very careful not to get water inside the actual ramekins.
- Pour custard evenly into the ramekins.
- Drape paper towels over the top of the slow cooker, then cover with the lid (this will help absorb any condensation during cooking.)
- Cook on low for 2 hours until custard is set, but still slightly jiggly.
- Using long tongs, carefully transfer the ramekins to a rack to cool completely; about 1 hour.
- Place ramekins on a baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
- Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the sugar over each ramekin. Using a kitchen torch, brûlée sugar until desired topping is achieved. (NOTE: Cover the entire surface of custard with a thin layer of granulated sugar so that no custard is left exposed, otherwise the custard could curdle when heated.)
- Serve and enjoy!