Crème Brûlée Cake

Elevate your dessert game with the luxurious Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée Cake. This exquisite treat combines the lightness of sponge cake with the richness of creamy custard, crowned with a tantalizing caramelized sugar crust. Whether you’re hosting a special occasion or simply craving a taste of sophistication, this recipe is sure to impress. Let’s dive into the elegance of dessert and learn how to create this masterpiece.


  • 1 vanilla bean cake (sponge cake base)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for caramelizing
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C) and prepare the vanilla bean cake according to your favorite sponge cake recipe. Allow it to cool completely.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat the heavy cream with the scraped vanilla bean (including the pod) until it begins to simmer. Remove from heat and let it steep for 15 minutes. Then, remove the vanilla bean pod.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
  4. Slowly pour the warm cream into the egg yolk mixture, whisking continuously to prevent curdling. Stir in the vanilla extract until incorporated.
  5. Place the cooled sponge cake in a round cake pan, then pour the custard mixture over it.
  6. Set the cake pan inside a larger baking pan and fill the outer pan with hot water, making sure it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake pan.
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the custard is set but still slightly jiggly in the center.
  8. Once baked, remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool to room temperature. Then, refrigerate it for at least 4 hours to chill and set.
  9. Just before serving, sprinkle a thin, even layer of granulated sugar over the top of the cake. Use a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar until it forms a golden, crunchy crust.

Nutritional Information:

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 6 hours 5 minutes (including chilling)
  • Calories: 390 kcal per serving
  • Servings: 8 servings

Serving and Storage Tips:

  1. Presentation: When serving the Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée Cake, consider garnishing each slice with a fresh sprig of mint or a dusting of powdered sugar for an extra touch of elegance.
  2. Portioning: Use a sharp knife dipped in hot water to achieve clean slices, ensuring that each serving is as visually appealing as it is delicious.
  3. Accompaniments: Complement the richness of the cake with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. Fresh berries or a drizzle of caramel sauce can also add a burst of flavor and contrast.
  4. Storage: Store any leftover cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Be sure to cover it well to prevent the custard from absorbing any unwanted odors.
  5. Reheating: If desired, individual slices can be gently reheated in the microwave for a few seconds to restore the creamy texture of the custard.
  6. Freezing: While it’s best enjoyed fresh, the cake can be frozen for longer-term storage. Wrap individual slices tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before placing them in a freezer-safe container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
  7. Refreshing: Before serving leftover slices, consider re-torching the caramelized sugar crust to restore its crispiness and enhance the presentation.

By following these serving and storage tips, you can ensure that every bite of your Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée Cake is a delightful experience, whether enjoyed immediately or saved for later indulgence.


  1. Fruit Infusion: Add a fruity twist to your Crème Brûlée Cake by incorporating chopped fresh fruit into the custard mixture before baking. Berries such as raspberries, strawberries, or blueberries work particularly well, adding bursts of color and flavor throughout the cake.
  2. Chocolate Indulgence: For chocolate lovers, consider replacing a portion of the heavy cream with melted dark chocolate in the custard mixture. This variation adds a rich, decadent element to the cake, complementing the vanilla bean flavor with hints of cocoa.
  3. Nutty Crunch: Introduce a delightful crunch to your Crème Brûlée Cake by sprinkling chopped nuts, such as almonds, pecans, or hazelnuts, over the caramelized sugar crust before serving. Not only does this add texture, but it also offers a subtle nutty flavor that enhances the overall experience.
  4. Citrus Zest: Infuse your cake with bright, citrusy notes by adding grated lemon or orange zest to the custard mixture. The citrus zest provides a refreshing contrast to the creamy richness of the custard, creating a harmonious balance of flavors.
  5. Spiced Sensation: Elevate the flavor profile of your Crème Brûlée Cake with a hint of warm spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom. Simply add a pinch of your preferred spice to the custard mixture before baking for a delightful aromatic twist.
  6. Coffee Infusion: For a sophisticated twist, infuse the custard mixture with brewed coffee or espresso to create a delectable coffee-flavored Crème Brûlée Cake. The addition of coffee adds depth and complexity to the dessert, making it a perfect after-dinner treat for coffee enthusiasts.
  7. Liqueur Enhancement: For an adult-friendly version, consider incorporating a splash of your favorite liqueur, such as Grand Marnier, Kahlua, or Amaretto, into the custard mixture. The liqueur not only enhances the flavor but also adds a subtle boozy kick to the cake.


  1. Can I use store-bought sponge cake instead of making it from scratch for this recipe?
    • Yes, you can certainly use store-bought sponge cake as a time-saving alternative. Ensure it’s a plain vanilla-flavored sponge cake for the best results.
  2. Can I substitute vanilla extract for the vanilla bean in the custard?
    • Yes, you can substitute 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract for the vanilla bean. However, using a vanilla bean will impart a more intense and aromatic flavor to the custard.
  3. How do I know when the custard is set but still jiggly in the center?
    • The custard is set when the edges are firm, but the center still has a slight jiggle when gently shaken. Avoid over-baking, as it can result in a dense and rubbery texture.
  4. Can I make this cake in advance for a special occasion?
    • Yes, you can prepare the cake a day in advance and refrigerate it overnight. However, it’s best to caramelize the sugar crust just before serving to maintain its crispiness.
  5. What kind of pan should I use for baking the cake in a water bath?
    • Use a round cake pan that is sturdy and has high sides to prevent water from seeping into the custard. Ensure the pan is placed securely inside a larger baking pan to create the water bath.
  6. Can I skip the step of caramelizing the sugar crust with a kitchen torch?
    • While caramelizing the sugar crust with a kitchen torch creates the signature crispy top, you can also achieve a similar effect by placing the cake under the broiler for a few minutes. Keep a close eye to prevent burning.

Indulge in the ultimate dessert experience with this Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée Cake. With its delicate sponge cake base, creamy custard filling, and irresistible caramelized sugar crust, each bite is a symphony of flavors and textures. Whether served at a dinner party or enjoyed as a special treat, this recipe promises to enchant your taste buds and leave a lasting impression. Treat yourself to a slice of elegance and savor the decadence of this delightful dessert.