Our Best Custard and Crème Brûlée Recipes

Caramel Flans
All custard or crème brûlée recipes start with the same ingredients—eggs, sugar, cream (or milk), and vanilla. From there, the variations are endless! We’ll show you how to make custard and crème brûlée in all kinds of flavors, such as a simple fruit custard recipe to something more extravagant like a white chocolate crème brûlée.

Maple Crème Brûlée with Hazelnuts

Intensely flavored toasted hazelnuts give this maple-infused crème brûlée a scrumptiously nutty crunch. And if someone at your table isn’t a fan of nuts, don’t worry. The recipe is served in individual dishes, so your guests can add as many nuts as they want—or skip them entirely. PS: With a four-and-a-half-star rating, this is the best crème brûlée recipe on our site, according to our readers.

Snickerdoodle Custard Pie

No custard cups in your cupboard? Make a pie! Flavored with chocolate, cinnamon, and nutmeg, this clever dessert has all the qualities of a great custard recipe but calls on a dish you probably already have. It’s also low in fat and calories, so you can enjoy a slice without having it count as an all-out splurge.

Pumpkin Custards with Cardamom Crumble

Pumpkin pie is great, but if you want to make something your guests will really remember, make this pumpkin custard instead. The classic autumn spice trio of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom makes these desserts taste like a cup of fall. Equally irresistible is the brown sugar and pecan crumble topping.

White Chocolate Crème Brûlée

We'll never say no to chocolate for dessert—especially when it's baked into a chocolate crème brûlée! To keep the dessert’s classic pale yellow color, we used white chocolate instead of dark or milk chocolate. Consider it a crème brûlée recipe with a little something extra!

Creamy Flan

Flan is a classic Spanish dessert that’s very similar to a custard recipe, except that it’s coated in a layer of caramel. Latin American versions sometimes use sweetened condensed milk in the vanilla custard ingredients. Our version also includes a little cream cheese to make it extra rich. The result is a luscious, sweet, and indulgent dessert that’s impossible to resist.

Crème Brûlée Pie

Here’s how to make crème brûlée without investing in those fancy individual crème brûlée dishes! Simply bake the rich vanilla custard into a pie! And never mind if you’re all thumbs when it comes to making pie pastry—this one starts with a purchased crust.

Coffee Shop Custard

If you can't get enough espresso in the morning, try having some for dessert! Top each serving of this flavored no-bake custard with a spoonful of whipped topping and a sprinkle of cinnamon to make it just like your morning latte. As a bonus, this coffee custard has only 177 calories and 3 grams of fat per serving.

Berries with Custard Sauce

The next time the market is brimming with fresh summer berries, try this recipe! The 20-minute sauce turns 2 cups of fresh berries into a fruit custard dessert. Just be sure to give it time to chill. Why not make the simple custard recipe the night before you head to the farmers market?

Apple Crème Brûlée

This Apple Crème Brûlée recipe is not only satisfying, but also low-fat. We start by using fat-free milk and low-fat Greek yogurt to replace the cream. We also trade in a touch of cornstarch to replace some of the egg yolks that traditionally thicken a classic crème brûlée. Apples and autumn-spice flavors add extra warmth for a dessert you can feel good about enjoying!

Salted Caramel Pots de Crème

You probably figured it out, but pot de crème is French for “pot of cream,” and it refers specifically to an indulgent dessert that’s as rich as a crème brûlée recipe (because it’s made with egg yolks and cream), but slightly different in that it’s served in deep pots or cups instead of shallow crème brûlée dishes. Also, pot de crème recipes don’t generally call for the glazed sugar topping. (Which means they’re a bit less tricky to make.)

Dark Chocolate Flan

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that just six ingredients can add up to such a sumptuous dessert. That’s the magic of this flan-style chocolate custard recipe. If you're not feeling quite so splashy, the edible gold flakes are entirely optional. The drape of caramelized sugar sauce alone brings its own kind of opulence to the dessert.

Aunt June's Boiled Custard

How about a vanilla custard recipe that you sip rather than spoon? Serve this rich, thick drink as an old-fashioned after-dinner drink. One recipe makes 16 servings, so it’s a lovely party beverage. Present it on your dessert buffet next to a selection of flaky pastries.

Mocha Custards

When you’re looking for an easy dessert, custard is always a great option. Case in point: This dinner party-worthy custard recipe takes just 20 minutes of hands-on prep time. The make-ahead angle is fabulous, too—you can prep the smooth mocha custard up to 24 hours in advance.

Vanilla Flan with Butterscotch Sauce

It's hard to believe such a simple custard recipe could be packed with so much flavor. Vanilla-infused cream adds richness, while dark brown sugar melts into a divine caramel sauce over this smooth, rich flan. (FYI: It’s the sauce that turns a custard recipe into a flan recipe.)

Baked Raspberry Custards

This dreamy fruit and custard recipe gets its flavor from vanilla beans and fresh raspberries. It's a great dessert to make when raspberries are in peak season from May to September. If peak-quality raspberries aren’t available, strawberries also make a fine substitute for the fruit custard.

White Chocolate and Cranberry Pots de Crème

For New Year’s Eve or other grand and glamorous holiday gatherings, serve these elegant miniatures as part of a dessert spread. The base tastes like white chocolate crème brûlée, but instead of using a glazed sugar topping, we capped the recipe with a refreshing cranberry topper for a bright contrast.

Caramel Flans

Sometimes a simple vanilla custard will do. Other time, you want something with a little more “wow.” This recipe will do the trick! By taking the straightforward step of caramelizing sugar, you’ll turn a simple custard recipe into a stunning flan. Sit back and enjoy the raves!

Citrus-Pumpkin Flans

Think of this flan as a cross between a custard recipe and a pumpkin pie—but with a bonus caramel sauce. Or think of it as a great way to enjoy pumpkin spice in something other than a latte! Either way, this simple custard recipe offers autumn’s best flavors in every spoonful.

Tiny Vanilla Crème Brûlée

Following an ample meal, just a few bites of dessert will do. This easy crème brûlée recipe (it uses only 5 ingredients) flecked with vanilla bean seeds fills the bill perfectly. The tiny 2-ounce serving is still indulgent but won't leave you feeling like you have to waddle away from the table.

Panna Cotta with Peaches and Lime Syrup

If it’s an intense vanilla flavor you’re after, panna cotta might be the custard recipe for you. Because panna cotta contains no egg yolks, the vanilla flavor really shines through. The base is made from rich dairy products, so you get dreamy, creamy effects. Top it with lime-sparked peaches for a terrific fruit custard to serve in summer. 

Chocolate-Ancho Crème Brûlée

Surprise dinner guests with this Mexican-style chocolate crème brûlée recipe, and see if anyone can guess the secret ingredient! They’ll easily detect the chocolate and cinnamon flavors, but the ancho chile—which tastes more spicy-warm than spicy-hot—might just stump them.

Boozy Orange Crème Brûlée

What’s the secret to that beyond-beautiful topping? An assortment of mandarin oranges and kumquats is all it takes. We also love the depth of flavor that a touch of whiskey brings to the classic crème brûlée recipe. And here’s an idea: Why not make it a whiskey-and-orange-theme party? Kick off the night with Old Fashioned cocktails and end it with this head-turner.

Coffee Crème Brûlée

Take classic crème brûlée recipe ingredients (cream, sugar, egg yolks) and add splash of coffee liqueur and a tablespoon of espresso powder. This is the kind of irresistible coffee crème brûlée you’d expect to pay handsomely for at a trendy restaurant—but it can be made at a fraction of the price at home. PS: Look for airline-size bottles of the coffee liqueur at liquor stores so you can buy just the amount you need.

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