Creme Brûlée in Jars : Perfect, simple, deceptively easy

creme brûlée in jars tutorial easy dessert

creme brûlée recipe in jars

Previously, I was not a big creme brûlée fan. No good reason, just meh or I will have the seasonal sorbets please. I also had no idea how simple it is to make. Fancy French dessert? Must be complicated, require stilettos, twelve hours, culinary degree and secret ingredients grown in the shade of the Eiffel Tower. Well, it is not. It is the perfect combination of quality ingredients, topped off with flames! I looked at quite a few recipes as there are many variations and approaches – my version is a mishmash of Joy of Cooking, Ina Gartner, Alton Brown, Martha and Julia. You could certainly make a batch and bake in a single larger dishes (for a little longer) but I love jars and desserts in jars.  The 4 ounce canning jars make the perfect personal sized dessert. My recipe makes about eight or nine of the 4 ounce jars; little ramekins work too but will hold a little more volume.  I easily tripled this recipe to make two dozen for our recent Lunar New Year Celebration. Dessert and a Show!


  • 3 egg yolks; save the whites and make a quick batch of coconut macaroons or freeze for future use.
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 pint of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 (generous) teaspoon vanilla bean paste (I like the kind in the jar, but you could scrape out a bean too)
  • 2 (generous) teaspoons Cointreau (optional)
  • Another 1/2 cup or so sugar for topping and burning after baking
  • Raspberry, mint leaves and other garnishes: I also used coconut chips, sky is the limit
  1. Heat the oven to 325 F. In a baking dish, e.g. 13×9, place the jars in and then fill pan with hot water until it reaches about 60% of the way up the jar.IMG_0116_2
  2. Whisk the egg yolks, whole egg and sugar, vanilla paste and Cointreau in a large mixing bowl using a fork or whisk. I love my large glass measuring bowl with pour spout. IMG_0114_2IMG_0115_2
  3. Scald the cream in a sauce pan. Stirring most of the time. I scald by heating and stirring until tiny bubbles just start forming on the edge.
  4. Pour very slowly the scalded cream into the eggs/sugar stirring constantly until all combined. You don’t want to dump and scramble the eggs.IMG_0118_2
  5. Stir until well combined and then pour into prepped glass jars. I definitely suggest straining/pouring through sieve to remove any lumps.
  6. Put the dish with jars and water into the oven and bake until creme ‘trembles’ but is set in the middle. This was about 35 minutes when using the 4 ounce jars.
  7. When done baking, remove jars from water bath/pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to finish setting. IMG_4331
  8. About 30 minutes before ready to serve, let the jars sit at room temperature. Then cover with a thin layer of sugar and use a torch quickly melt/burn the sugar. You can do this under a broiler preheated to high. This is a little trickier.  Yes, that is me RS babywearing and putting finishing touches on desert. For safety reasons and fun for the hubs – I let him put the “brûlée” in Creme Brûlée.

  9. Add your toppings and serve! IMG_4350_oh

Remember the coconut macaroon recipe!


15 thoughts on “Creme Brûlée in Jars : Perfect, simple, deceptively easy

    1. I have read that too. These have never cracked on me and the heat is not super high and water keeps it consistent so I haven’t worried about it.

    1. great question. I would start with the time in the recipe and maybe check it every five – seven minutes, jiggling slightly to see if setting in the middle or not?

      1. I think about 30-40 minutes at room temp and then when you use the torch to brown/melt sugar is will thaw the rest. Or several hours if thawing in the fridge. If it was me, i would take out of freeze the night before and put in fridge until closer to serving time, then set out about 30-45 minutes before serving. Add sugar and torch right before eating!

  1. The recipe you made for the crime brûlée, I would like to ask how many mason jars did you use? Thank you

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