Vanilla Rum Crème Brûlée

An easier way to make crème brûlée in just a few steps plus tips & tricks to get that perfect crust

Vanilla Rum Crème Brûlée | URBAN BAKES

Believe me when I tell you, never in my life did I imagine I would make any French dessert, ever!  I always thought the desserts’ with pretty little French names with its fancy accents and pristine plating was all too elegant for my style.  But don’t get me wrong; I would love to sit in front of a beautifully plated dessert any day.  Problem was, I had paired “elegant” with being difficult and for the longest time I couldn’t see beyond that.

Here’s the thing, it doesn’t have to be difficult.  There’s no fancy plating going on here.  I could have added some berries, thrown in a nice cloth and jazzed it up in other ways but I didn’t.  I wanted the focus or the point I’m trying to convey is that you don’t need all of that.  Crème brûlée is beautiful all on its own.  To us (non-French speaking people), the name says it all despite it literal translation, “burnt cream” but we can ignore that for now because that changes the sound of everything.

One point to remember is, crème brûlée is just a custard.  That’s it.  A custard with a crusty top.  Easy, right?  Say yes, because it is.

Vanilla Rum Crème Brûlée | URBAN BAKES

I bet, if you were to make this for a party or even a small get-together your guests would be blown away!  They’d probably ask how you did it and if you used a kitchen blow torch.  Here’s another point to remember, you don’t need a torch.  The broiler does magic all on its own PLUS it burns the sugar much more evenly than a torch.

Maybe you already knew that.  But did you know, this is a much simpler recipe?  There’s no stove top cooking or straining of liquid going on here (unless you want to).  One bowl, stir everything together, pour into ramekins, bake and you’ve pretty much did most of the work!  Just like that!

Vanilla Rum Crème Brûlée | URBAN BAKES

Now for the last trick on getting that perfectly brûléed top: use dried brown sugar.  Yea-yea, some recipes call for Demerara or Turbinado sugar which will work but honestly, how many of you really have a handful of different types of sugar in your pantry?  Not I.  Brown sugar is far too common that if you don’t have the other two, no problem.  When possible, avoid using granulated white sugar above the baked crème because it’s difficult to see it sprinkled on which may result in overly burned spots.

And that’s it!  Let’s getting our French baking on!  Next stop for me, a dacquoise.  Ha! Who am I kidding?!

Vanilla Rum Crème Brûlée | URBAN BAKES
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Vanilla Rum Crème Brûlée | URBAN BAKES

Vanilla Rum Crème Brûlée

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An easier way to make crème brûlée in just a few steps plus tips & tricks to get that perfect crust


Units Scale
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon rum extract
  • boiling water
  • 816 teaspoons brown sugar


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Position ramekins in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan that is about 2 inches deep.
  2. In a large bowl, lightly beat eggs yolks. Whisk in cream, granulated sugar and extracts until blended. Avoid over mixing to reduce bubbles. Bubbles produces air pocket which will affect the uniform texture of the custard.
  3. Evenly pour cream mixture into ramekins about 1/4-inch from the rim. Gently spoon boiling water into the pan until it reached about 2/3 up the sides of the ramekins. Avoid splattering water into ramekins.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes. Check for doneness. If the center remains slightly giggly but the outer edges are firm, it’s ready. If not, bake for an additional 5-15 minutes dependent on the size of ramekins used.
  5. Carefully remove ramekins from baking pan and set aside to cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Once cooled to the touch, place ramekins back into the dried baking pan, cover with paper towel and the baking pan cover or aluminum foil to seal closed. Refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 3 days.
  6. Remove ramekins and using a new clean, dry paper towel, carefully blot any condensation from the top of the custards. Avoid piercing.
  7. Adjust oven rack to highest position and set broil on Hi. Evenly sprinkle 1-2 teaspoons of dried brown sugar over custards. Broil for 2-3 minutes rotating pan half way through. ENJOY!


Ramekins or any porcelain dish can be used under a broiler. Avoid glass as it cannot withstand the heat from a broiler or torch.

Drying Brown Sugar: once custards are baked, place brown sugar on a baking sheet and place inside the oven. The oven should be off but the remnant heat is enough to “dry out” the brown sugar in about an hour.

Texture is best when served immediately. Keep in mind crust should have a hard sheen finish and is ready when the back of a spoon can produce a hallow sound when tapped lightly.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Cuisine: French

Vanilla Rum Crème Brulee recipe was adapted from (p.225) Betty Crocker Cookbook.

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