21 Crème Brûlée and Flavored Custard Recipes You'll Crave

Creme Brulee Cheesecake Bars
Photo: Andy Lyons

These fabulous crème brûlée and custard recipes take inspiration from all over. But whether they're from France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, or the U.S.A., all custard dishes have a few key things in common: Each starts with the same ingredients—sugar, cream (or milk), and often eggs—and each is rich, creamy, and much, much easier than you'd ever imagine.

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Ginger Crème Brûlée

Ginger Creme Brulee
Jason Donnelly

Looking for crème brûlée recipes with a little something unexpected in the mix? Give this ginger-infused beauty a go. You'll love the way fresh grated ginger root imbues the custard with a bright, spicy flavor. To add more ginger-liscious appeal, sprinkle the finished custards with tidbits of candied ginger.

02 of 21

Italian-Style Lemon Custard

Vanilla Panna Cotta
Kritsada Panichgul

If you're on the hunt for a lemon custard recipe that's all about the lemon, check out the Lemon Panna Cotta variation of this silky recipe. With a double-dose of lemon amid the ultra-creamy ingredients, the recipe offers both richness and refreshment in one stellar dessert.

03 of 21

Crème Brûlée Pie

Creme Brulee
Hannah Bigot

Most crème brûlée recipes require investing in some fancy individual gratin dishes. Not this one! Simply bake this 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.

04 of 21

Almond-Tangerine Panna Cotta

Almond-Tangerine Panna Cotta
Jason Donnelly

It's true. Most custard recipes are quite indulgent in fat and calories. Leave it to the pros in our test kitchen to craft an elegant exception. The secret? Greek yogurt adds heft to the skim milk to help bring that rich, silky appeal we all crave in a custard.

05 of 21

Creamy Flan

Creamy Flan
Blaine Moats

Popular in Spain, Mexico, Latin and South America, flan is very similar to other egg custard recipes, except that it's coated in a layer of caramel. 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.

06 of 21

Crème Brûlée Cheesecake Bars

Creme Brulee Cheesecake Bars
Andy Lyons

Crème brûlée for 36, anyone? While it's true that homemade crème brûlée recipes don't generally come top of mind when you're looking for dessert recipes that serve a crowd, here's a fabulous exception. Simply morph the general flavors into a totable (and make-ahead-able) bar cookie.

07 of 21

Coffee Shop Custard

Coffee Shop Custard
Jason Walsmith

If you can't get enough espresso in the morning, try having some for dessert. Top each serving of this flavored custard recipe 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.

08 of 21

Apple Crème Brûlées

Apple Crème Brulees
Kritsada Panichgul

With so many types of crème brûlée out there, it's hard to choose which one to make. Why not take it season by season? Here's one to flag for autumn. Enjoy it knowing that the recipe is a little lighter in fat than most custard recipes. The secret is using fat-free milk and low-fat Greek yogurt to replace the cream.

09 of 21

Salted Caramel Pots de Crème

Salted Caramel Pots de Creme
Jason Donnelly

You probably figured it out, but pot de crème is French for "pot of cream," and it refers specifically to indulgent egg custard recipes that are as rich as crème brûlée recipes (because they're made with egg yolks and cream), but slightly different in that they're 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.)

10 of 21

Dark Chocolate Custard Recipe

Dark Chocolate Flan
Blaine Moats

Sometimes it's hard to believe that just six ingredients can add up to such an incredible dessert. That's the magic of this flan-style homemade 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.

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Mocha Custards

Mocha Custards in white bowls
Mike Dieter

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

12 of 21

Vanilla Custard Recipe with Butterscotch Sauce

Vanilla Flan with Butterscotch Sauce
Andy Lyons

It's hard to believe that such a simple flan-style vanilla-flavored custard recipe could be so wildly good. You'll love the way brown sugar effortlessly melts into a divine caramel sauce over the smooth, rich custard. (FYI: It's the sauce that turns a custard recipe into a flan recipe.)

13 of 21

Baked Raspberry Custards

Marty Baldwin

This dreamy fruit and vanilla custard recipe gets its flavor from vanilla beans and fresh raspberries. It's one of our favorite custard dishes to make when raspberries are in peak season from May to September. If top-quality raspberries aren't available, strawberries also make a fine substitute.

14 of 21

White Chocolate and Cranberry Pots de Crème

If you're looking for crème brûlée recipes for New Year's Eve or other grand and glamorous holiday gatherings, check out these elegant miniatures. 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. Serve alongside other mini desserts for a sweet finale.

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Caramel Flans

Caramel Flans
Scott Little

Sometimes a simple custard or vanilla pudding will do. Other times, 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 vanilla custard recipe into a stunning flan. Sit back and enjoy the raves!

16 of 21

Caramel Pumpkin Custard

Caramel-Pumpkin Flan on white plate with spoon
Carson Downing

Those lovely shards of brittle sugar atop this autumn-perfect pumpkin flan are easier than they look, we promise. To make, you simply set aside some extra caramelized sugar when making the topping. P.S.: You'll likely have some leftover pumpkin after you make this recipe. Stir it into an amazing Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread.

17 of 21

Tiny Vanilla Crème Brûlée

Tiny Vanilla Crème Brûlée
Andy Lyons

Sometimes, after a hearty meal of classic comfort food, just a few bites of dessert will do. Ranking high on our list of easy custard recipes (it uses only five ingredients), this vanilla bean-infused beauty fills the bill perfectly. You'll love the way the 2-ounce serving is plenty indulgent but won't leave you feeling like you have to waddle away from the table.

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Maple Panna Cotta

Maple Panna Cotta
Andy Lyons

From France's pots-de-crème to Mexico's flans, great custard dishes can hail from anywhere. Italy gets in on the act with panna cotta—a rich custard that's made without eggs. In this case, the absence of eggs makes the other flavorings—maple and vanilla—really pop.

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Chocolate-Ancho Crème Brûlée

Chocolate-Ancho Creme Brulee
Blaine Moats

Surprise dinner guests with one of our best crème brûlée recipes ever with this Mexican-style version. Just for fun, see if anyone at your table can guess the secret ingredient. They'll easily detect the chocolate and cinnamon flavors, but the ancho chiles—which taste more spicy-warm than spicy-hot—might just stump them.

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Almond Flan with Golden Caramel

Almond Flan with Golden Caramel
Peter Krumhardt

Almond paste and sweetened condensed milk add flavor and richness to this luscious winner. While we often bake and serve our custard recipes in individual custard cups, when entertaining, it can be more exciting to present the full-size dessert on a platter, as shown here.

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Amazing Crème Caramel

Amazing Crème Caramel
Robert Jacobs

If your menu swings French, go ahead and call this recipe crème caramel. If your menu is more Latin inspired, call it a flan. Either way, everyone at your table will love the way the citrus and cinnamon add extra flavor angles to the classic vanilla custard recipe.

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