Espresso Creme Brulee
Your guide to making easy espresso creme brûlée at home! Coffee creme brûlée is a decedent dessert that’s actually easy to make with 5 ingredients. Plus learn about what ramekins to use and how to make creme brûlée without a torch.
Let’s pause for a moment. This is a recipe for creme brûlée. I’m posting a recipe for creme brûlée.
Who am I?!
I am going to quote myself from a few weeks earlier because I said, “I’m not into creme brûlée.”
Screeeech! How delusional was I.. I didn’t like creme brûlée?!
I can’t be certain that I like all types of creme brûlée, but I certainly know that I like this espresso creme brûlée. So much so, we’ve made this recipe THREE times since Valentine’s day.
That’s a total of 18 individual creme brûlée ramekins. Don’t worry, we’ve been sharing with friends, but I will admit a lot of them have been devoured by Ryan and I.
If you’re kind of afraid of creme brûlée, like I was, this is a great recipe to try. It’s smooth and pretty much tastes like coffee! It might just change your whole perspective on creme brûlée!
Ramekins for creme brûlée
A ramekin is a glazed ceramic bowl that is used in baking for serving individual portions. For creme brûlée, I recommend using either 4 oz, 5 oz or 6 oz ramekins. I used these 5 oz round shape ramekins for this creme brûlée recipe.
Can creme brûlée be made the day before?
Yes! Creme brûlée needs to be refrigerated to set after it bakes anyway. If you are planning on serving creme brûlée the following day, place the creme brûlée in the fridge for 2 hours, after the creme brûlée has cooled, cover it with plastic wrap and refridgerate until you’re ready to use it. Sprinkle the tops with sugar and crystalize with a kitchen torch before serving.
I do not recommend refrigerating creme brûlée over night if you already added the caramelized sugar topping. The topping will not remain as crunchy over night in the fridge.
What kind of kitchen torch to use for creme brûlée
I own this kitchen torch from amazon. I like this model because it has the option to have a continuous flame, meaning I don’t have to push the button on the back of it the whole time. There’s a little switch that controls that feature. I also like it because it has a lock feature, the lock feature prevents the torch from lighting the flame.
Be sure to buy butane for your torch! To fill your kitchen torch with butane, turn the torch upside down, find the hole on the bottom and insert the nozzle from the butane container into the hole, pressing the nozzle down.
How to caramelize creme brûlée without torch
You can get that caramelized, crispy top on creme brûlée without a kitchen torch. While a kitchen torch is the easist (and most fun) way to achieve a caramelized top, you can use the broil setting in your oven to create a caramelized sugar top for creme brûlée.
Dust each creme brûlée with sugar, place them on a baking sheet and put them in the oven under the broiler. Check them every minute to make sure the sugar isn’t burning, however the process to crystalize the sugar make take a few minutes.
Using your oven broiler to caramelize creme brûlée is easy!
Is creme brûlée gluten free? Is creme brûlée keto?
Creme brûlée is naturally gluten free. The custard consists of egg yolks, sugar, heavy cream, espresso, and vanilla extract. The topping is caramelized sugar.
This espresso creme brûlée is keto approved if you switch the sugar for a keto approved sweetener like erythritol.
When is creme brûlée done?
Creme brûlée is done when the edges are set (they look more firm) and the center of the creme brûlée only jiggles slightly when the pan is moved. If the center looks liquidy, the creme brûlée is not done.
How to make espresso creme brûlée
It’s very easy! Creme brûlée has 2 parts – the custard and the caramelized sugar topping. The custard consists of egg yolks, sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extract and in the case of espresso creme brûlée, brewed espresso.
What can I use in place of brewed espresso
I have a few suggestions of what you can use in place of freshly brewed espresso for this coffee flavored creme brûlée.
Instant espresso powder: Very similar to instant coffee, but instant espresso has a stronger flavor. Follow the directions on the container to brew 6 tbsp of instant espresso.
Instant coffee: Instant coffee won’t produce the exact same flavor and boldness as espresso, but it works in a pinch. Try to brew 6 tbsp of very strong coffee. I cannot guarantee that this will result in very strong espresso tasting creme brûlée however.
More Coffee Desserts
Espresso Creme Brûlée
- 6 large egg yolks
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ½ tbsp vanilla extract
- 6 tbsp brewed espresso
- Sugar, to caramelize the top of each ramekin
- Preheat the oven to 325 F degrees.
- Lightly spray six 5 oz ramekins with non-stick cooking spray. Place the ramekins inside a 9 by 13 inch pan. Carefully fill the pan with water, making sure to not get any water inside the ramekins. The water should be about half way up the side of the ramekins. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks and sugar with a spatula until you have a thick paste. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the heavy cream and vanilla extract, stirring, until the mixture shows a few bubbles. Add in the brewed espresso, stir. Slowly pour this mixture into the egg sugar mixture. Stir with a spatula until everything is combined.
- Evenly divide the creme brûlée mixture among the 6 ramekins, they should be filled almost to the top. Place the creme brûlée in the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes. Creme brûlée is done when the edges are set (they look more firm) and the center of the creme brûlée only jiggles slightly when the pan is moved. If the center looks liquidy, the creme brûlée is not done. .
- Allow the creme brûlée to cool for 30 minutes before moving them into the refrigerator. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. The creme brûlée can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight.
- Remove the creme brûlée from the refrigerator to caramelize the top.
- Evenly sprinkle 1/2 tbsp sugar on top of each creme brûlée. Use a kitchen blow torch to caramelize the sugar. Alternative: Dust each creme brûlée with sugar, place them on a baking sheet and put them in the oven under the broiler. Check them every minute to make sure the sugar isn’t burning, however the process to crystalize the sugar make take a few minutes.
wow! it looks so tempting! I want it, I want it : )
Maybe you should make it! :)
These sound fabulous! I am not much of a creme brulee fan either (though I had an amazing basil one once), but espresso?! I’m in.
Just one thing. I don’t have a kitchen blowtorch either. We do have a run of the mill DIY one though – do you think I could use that?!? I’ll clean it first, I promise!
Wow, basil creme brulee?! I’m not so sure about that! Hahaa.
Oh.My.Delicious. I haven’t made a crème brulee in ages and it was only once. You’re reminding me how good it is here. I love the espresso twist on this. Great job!
I think it’s about time to make it again, nudge nudge :)
Oh. my. This is the creme brulee that I need. I’m up for anything espresso flavored. I also just got a torch for some desserts. I know what I’ll be using it on first! Pinning!
Thanks for pinning Miranda!
Oh thank goodness you tried creme brulee- it is da’ bomb! Can’t wait to try yours with espresso!!
I know, I’m glad I was brave enough to try it!
Oh I am in love. I adore creme brulee and the addition of espresso is pure genius!
I think this is the only way I want to eat creme brulee now!
I need to break out my kitchen torch more often! this looks like a terrific recipe to start with
Kitchen torches are so fun, right?! :)
These sound DE-LI-CIOUS!
Thanks Jaren, they are!
I really want to make these!!! I need a blow torch as well and keep putting it off. My anniversary is this Friday so maybe I will indulge :)
Perfect timing I think Kacey!
Nicely done. I love creme brulee and espresso so how could you possibly go wrong here. Thanks for sharing your experience and recipe.
I hope you get a chance to make it!
This creme brulee sounds incredible, Beth. Now I have another excuse to play with my kitchen torch!
Kitchen blow torches are the best! I get way too excited when I get to pull mine out and use it. These creme brulees look like the perfect excuse to get it out!
Oh gosh. I want to pull my kitchen torch out whenever possible :)
Crème Brûlée is undoubtedly my husband’s favorite dessert, and I cannot think of many things that cannot be made even more delicious by the addition of coffee. I will be making these for sure!
I hope you guys love them!
Well, no chance of that here. I readily admit tha tcreme brulee is basically my favorite dessert…and I’d have a hard time not eating every single one of those! I love that they are infused with espresso, too…sooooo delicious.
I know! What was I thinking not liking creme brulee!
Mmmm espresso and creme brûlée sound perfect together! Have fun with your new blow torch! :)
Hahaa, it’s way too fun Ashlyn!
What a fun version of creme brulee, now I’m anxious to try it – but first I really need one of those torches!
Grab one on Amazon!
I’m dying to try this! It looks so delicious!
It’s definitely one to make!
Hey, I think I just found the dessert for the weekend!!! I LOVE creme brûlée – and you just reminded me about that! Thanks!!
Woohoo!! Enjoy :)
I know what I’m making this weekend! Love the espresso flavor!
I’m coming over :)
This looks so delicious, Beth! I love your tutorial pictures too ;-)
Thanks Olivia! I hope they help when making it!
OMG, This is the creme brulee that I need. I’m up for anything espresso flavored and creme brulee is my favorite dessert. I also just got a torch for some desserts. I know what I’ll be using it on first! Pinning!
Thanks for sharing.
Jane @ NewportButane
I make this A LOT! Who would’ve thought I could make something so fancy?!
Can’t wait to make this for my son in laws birthday today!
One question though, most hot water baths use boiling water. You don’t mention the water temp. Should it be boiling?
Straight from the faucet cold! There is no need to heat it up before it goes in the oven.