dessert — gluten-free

Pumpkin Spice Crème Brûlée

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prep time 15 minutes
cook time 45 minutes
yield 4 servings


A crackly crust with creamy custard underneath can only mean one thing: crème brûlée. This fall-ready reboot includes everything you love about the classic French dessert, but with an added pinch of pumpkin spice and a smidge of pumpkin purée. Gently tap the caramelized sugar crust to crack it open, then dig your spoon through the sugar shards and into the rich, golden, silky smooth pumpkin custard for the perfect bite.

BY:Brown Sugar Food Blogger


  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 large Nellie’s Free Range Eggs, yolks only
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1/3 cup sugar or raw cane sugar


  • Preheat oven to 300F. In a medium saucepan, combine heavy cream, milk, and pumpkin pie spice, and bring to a steaming simmer. Remove from heat.
  • In a separate bowl, add the egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar and whisk together immediately. Slowly add the milk mixture to the egg mixture while whisking to temper the yolks. Continue to add the warm milk while constantly whisking until completely combined.
  • Add the vanilla extract and pumpkin purée, then whisk until well combined.
  • Divide the mixture evenly between four oven-safe ramekins. Place the ramekins inside a large shallow baking dish and fill the dish with water about halfway up the ramekins.
  • Place ramekins in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes. The custard should be jiggly, yet firm in the middle when the pan is gently shaken.
  • Carefully remove the pan from the oven, then remove the ramekins from the water bath. Cool custards on a wire rack until almost room temperature before covering with plastic wrap and placing them in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  • Once chilled, sprinkle the custards evenly with the 1/3 cup sugar to completely cover the surface of the custard.
  • Using a culinary torch, torch the sugar until it has dissolved and turned to a dark amber color. If you do not have a torch, turn your oven broiler on high heat and place the custards under the broiler for about 2 minutes. Be sure to stay close to the oven to keep an eye on the custards, as they will caramelize quickly.
  • Once the sugar topping has caramelized, let cool slightly and serve!

Nellie’s Notes:

When tempering the yolks, be sure to keep whisking and only add the hot milk a little bit at a time to avoid scrambling your eggs.

Wondering if the water bath is really necessary? It really is! Using a water bath to bake these delicate custards allows for a gentler bake so you end up with a beautifully smooth and creamy dessert. Without a water bath, your custard may end up dried out and cracked on the surface.

Make sure you don’t place the custards back in the fridge after torching the sugar, because that deliciously caramelized sugar will melt, and the topping will no longer be crunchy.

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Comments Reviews

ShannonNovember 20, 2020

Thank you for the recipe! I tried this last night but when served, the inside was much runnier than a typical creme brulée. Any suggestions?


Hi Shannon, thank you for trying our recipe. We're so sorry to hear it came out a little runny this time. The most likely cause for this is that the creme brulee was slightly undercooked. We'd recommend leaving in the oven a couple minutes longer until edges are set and center is just slightly wobbly. Hope this helps and that you enjoy!

Teri LoeraNovember 08, 2020

Can’t wait to try this!!!!!


We can't wait to hear how it turns out, Teri!

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