Maple Creme Brulee

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I love to experiment with creme brulee flavors so of course I’m going to try my perfect creme brulee flavor – a Maple Crème Brulee, because I love maple desserts! And I love making crème brulee because they feel really fancy, but they’re actually really easy to make! This creme brulee for 4 takes just about 20 minutes of prep work – most of the time commitment is baking and chilling!

top down view of 3 maple creme brulee on a wooden circle. Above the creme brulee is a red patterned napkin with a rose gold spoon on top going out of frame. The whole scene is set on a white marbled surface.

Why this recipe works

Crème brulee is such a versatile dessert because almost everything works in a crème brulee, including maple syrup! This is a maple syrup custard topped with sugar and caramelized with a blow torch. It’s best if you have a blow torch for creme brulee, but if you don’t, you can still caramelize the sugar topping with the broiler in your oven!

Ingredients and notes

Heavy Cream – The heavy cream contributes to the texture of creme brulee. You can use a substitute, but it will result in a lighter custard. For a rich, dense custard, heavy cream is definitely the way to go!

Maple Syrup – It’s not a maple creme brulee if you don’t have maple syrup! Or is it a maple syrup creme brulee? Either way, this is the most important element for the maple flavor!

Egg Yolks – Egg yolks thicken the custard and help it to set. They are key for the texture and consistency of the creme brulee.

How to make this recipe

Custard

Step 1

In a saucepan, combine the heavy cream and maple syrup, and cook over medium heat just until hot.

Step 2

In a mixing bowl, beat the yolks and sugar together until light.

Step 3

Stir about a quarter of the cream into the egg mixture, then pour the egg mixture into the saucepan of heavy cream and stir.

Step 4

Pour the mixture into four ramekins and place ramekins in a baking dish. Fill the baking dish with boiling water halfway up the sides of the ramekins to create a water bath.

Step 5

Bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until the centers of the creme brulees are barely set.

Step 6

Cool, then refrigerate for several hours.

Topping

Step 7

Once the custard has set, sprinkle the tops of the custard with sugar and torch till the sugar is browned.

Step 8

Refrigerate for 30 more minutes, then crack and enjoy!

close up view of a maple creme brulee with a spoon cracking through the top. the white ramekin filled with maple creme brulee is on a wooden surface and next to a red and white napkin.

Recipe FAQs

How do you caramelize sugar without a blowtorch?

You can use a broiler to caramelize the sugar, but keep a very close eye on it. The sugar will melt very quickly and you don’t want it to burn!

What does Creme Brulee taste like?

Creme brulee is a custard topped with torched sugar, giving it a hard top that you crack through to get to the custard. There is nothing better than cracking creme brulee!

What can go wrong with Creme Brulee?

I’ve seen two common mistakes. One is getting water into the custard. The ramekins are placed in a water bath, and it’s important to avoid getting water into the ramekins. Another is using brown sugar or powdered sugar for the topping. The topping only works with white granulated sugar.

What should Creme Brulee look like out of the oven?

When creme brulee is done, it should look mostly set. It will still be a little bit jiggly in the middle, but should otherwise look like it mostly is holding its shape.

Can you reheat creme brulee?

Creme brulee should be enjoyed cold so there is no need to reheat.

angled view of three maple creme brulees on a wooden surface. to the left of the creme brulees is a red and white napkin and a rose gold spoon

Tips & Tricks

  • Putting a little bit of the hot mixture into the egg mixture before adding the egg mixture to the saucepan allows the eggs to heat slowly. If you add the eggs directly to the saucepan, they will likely heat too quickly and you’ll end up with scrambled eggs in your creme brulee! This Maple Creme Brulee recipe does not call for scrambled eggs!
  • Adding the water to the baking dish after the ramekins have been placed in the dish prevents too much water from being poured into the dish and overflowing into the ramekins. A kettle helps control the pour.
  • When the creme brulee comes out of the oven, it will cool faster outside of the water bath. Silicone pot holders are best for removing the ramekins from the hot water as water should not seep through them and they can get wet.
  • Cool the creme brulee before placing it in the fridge to chill. If you place a hot ramekin in a cold fridge, the ramekin could crack.

Related Recipes

Maple Rice Krispie Treats
Maple Marshmallows
Cold Brew Creme Brulee
Cotton Candy Creme Brulee
Red Wine Chocolate Creme Brulee

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Maple Creme Brulee

Creme brulee flavored with maple syrup and brown sugar.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Chill time4 hrs
Total Time5 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, French
Keyword: cozy, easy, fall, five ingredients
Servings: 4 creme brulees

Equipment

  • Saucepan
  • small heat-proof bowl
  • Four ramekins
  • 9×13 baking pan
  • silicone spatula

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • sugar for topping

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 F.
  • In a saucepan, combine cream and maple syrup, and cook over medium heat just until hot.
  • In a mixing bowl, beat yolks and sugar together until light. Stir about a quarter of the cream into this mixture, then pour egg mixture into cream and stir.
  • Pour into four ramekins and place ramekins in a baking dish; fill baking dish with boiling water halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  • Bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until centers are barely set. Cool, then refrigerate for several hours.
  • Once the custard has set, sprinkle the tops of the custard with sugar and torch till the sugar is browned. If you dont have a torch, place the creme brulees back into the oven set to broil for just a minute or two to caramelize the sugar topping.
  • Refrigerate for 30 more minutes, then crack and enjoy!

Notes

Putting a little bit of the hot mixture into the egg mixture before adding the egg mixture to the saucepan allows the eggs to heat slowly. If you add the eggs directly to the saucepan, they will likely heat too quickly and you’ll end up with scrambled eggs in your creme brulee! 
Cool the creme brulee before placing it in the fridge to chill. If you place a hot ramekin in a cold fridge, the ramekin could crack.

This post was updated in November 2020 with an improved recipe and new photos, and in September 2021 with additional information about the recipe.

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