Cinn-a-Spiced Crème Brûlée

December 30, 2018

In partnership with ThermoWorks, I’m going to walk you through the entire Crème Brulee process with helpful tips to make it successful. All opinions expressed here are my own.


I LOVE hosting a good dinner party– bonus points if it’s themed! Anytime I want to wow the crowd, I know to pull out my Cinna-Spiced Crème Brûlée for dessert. It’s a family favorite and feels restaurant worthy, even at home. The secret to perfectly cooked creme brûlée at home is making sure you don’t undercook or overcook your custard.


Crème brûlée feels like a special occasion dessert, typically one that you might order in a restaurant when you’re celebrating something special. This smooth-as-silk custard is packed with flavor using one of my favorite spice combos – cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Also, this is one dessert where I never skimp on the vanilla bean. Remember that visible pods mean big flavor.


Proper temperature control will guarantee that silky smooth texture. While you may feel intimidated by this, it’s much easier than you might think! With simple ingredients and simple steps, your crème brûlée will knock everyone’s socks off. An instant-read thermometer like a ThermoPop or Thermapen is what you’ll need to execute this recipe with ease.

Custards require gentle cooking. It’s the coagulation of egg protein that allows them to gain their structure. Gentle heat is critical throughout the entire cooking process. If the heat is too intense, the egg protein can quickly curdle over the stovetop, or may become too firm after baking in the oven. Maintaining gentle cooking can make or break crème brûlée. There’s no rush here, low and slow should be the name of the game!


When it comes to crème brûlée the custards should bake until the center internal temperature reads 170-175°F — about 25-30 minutes. In addition to a low-temperature oven, I also bake mine in a water bath, also known as a bain-marie where the ramekins are placed in a pan filled with water. Because the water never reaches a temperature higher than that of boiling water, or 212°F, the water helps to slow down the cooking process in these desserts even more.


Finish the custards right before serving after they’ve set up completely. Here’s a tip for that perfectly crisp sugar topping – use a paper towel to blot the surface of the custard to absorb any condensation that may have collected. If you skip this step the sugar will absorb the moisture and require more heat to caramelize the sugar and the burned crust won’t be nearly as crisp.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Cinn-a-Spiced Crème Brulee

  • Author: Kelsey Nixon
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


Creme Brûlée with a twist of cinnamon sugar is my favorite classic dessert to help ring in the new year!



Kelsey’s Cinn-a-Spice Blend:

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt


Crème Brulee:

  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • ¾ cup sugar, divided


For Kelsey’s Cinn-a-Spice Blend:

Combine the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt in a small bowl and mix well.

For the Crème Brulee:

Preheat the oven to 325ºF.

Pour the cream into a heavy bottomed medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Split and scrape the vanilla bean into the cream and add the Cinn-a-Spice blend. Bring to a boil, cover and remove from heat. Allow the vanilla bean and spices to steep in the cream for 10 minutes. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and ½ cup sugar until pale yellow. Remove the vanilla bean from the spiced cream and whisk the spiced cream into the egg mixture slowly until fully combined.

Evenly divide the mixture among six 8-ounce ramekins. Carefully transfer the ramekins to a 9- inch by 13-inch baking dish. Pour hot water at about 200°F into the baking dish until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the center internal temperature reads 170-175°F yet slightly loose in the center, about 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours. Top each custard with 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar. Using a kitchen blowtorch or the broiler caramelize the sugar evenly just before serving.


Special Equipment:

  • 6 (8-ounce) ramekins
  • Kitchen Torch
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours

Looking for more simple weeknight recipes? Check out Recipe Club.

Learn More