Pumpkin Créme Brûleé

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Pumpkin Créme Brûleé has creamy pumpkin-spiced custard filling and a caramelized sugar topping. It’s a fun twist on regular crème brûleé!

 Pumpkin Créme Brûleé is the perfect dessert to make ahead of time. You can prepare the custard several days in advance, store in the fridge, and then torch the tops with sugar just before serving.

We’re obsessed with pumpkin in desserts; a few other pumpkin-filled treats to try next: pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin coffee cake, or this pumpkin cheesecake ball.

Overhead image of a Pumpkin Creme brûlée with a spoon on the side, ready to be eaten.

While turkey is good and all, if you’re a sweets lover, the real showstoppers of the day are Thanksgiving desserts!

And while pumpkin pie or pecan pie are both delicious traditional desserts, the favorites of our table are always the les- conventional options. Like these pumpkin cheesecake bars or…*drumroll* Pumpkin Créme Brûleé!*

Not only is Pumpkin Créme Brûleé about a thousand times easier to make than pumpkin pie, it’s also the perfect option for a make-ahead dessert. Créme brûleé is truly one of the easiest desserts to make, and this fun twist is perfect for fall and Thanksgiving.

Process shots-- images of the Pumpkin Créme Brûleé being made.

How to make Pumpkin Créme Brûleé

  1. Combine the yolks and brown sugar (FYI: two of the yolks broke and are under the sugar in this picture!)
  2. Beat with a hand mixer until smooth, creamy, and light, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add in the pumpkin pie spice, pinch of salt, and canned pumpkin. Use high-quality pumpkin that is not watery for best results.
  4. Slowly drizzle in the hot heavy cream while whisking constantly. We want to slowly temper the eggs, not scramble them
  5. Continue to gradually add heavy cream while whisking.
  6. Whisk until ingredients are completely combined and smooth. Then add in the vanilla extract.
  7. (Pictures below) Pour the mixture into ramekins that are placed in a 9×13-inch baking pan. Pour boiling water into the pan until it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. 
  8. Bake until the centers jiggle only very slightly. Let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate until firm, about 2-3 hours.
  9. When ready to eat, sprinkle on the sugar
  10. Torch to caramelize the sugar!

Overhead image of Pumpkin Créme Brûleé being cooked; the sugar topping being added on top; the finished brulee'd topping.

Pumpkin Créme Brûleé tools

 Pumpkin Créme Brûleé does require a few specialty tools, and below are exactly what I use when making Pumpkin Créme Brûleé! (Affiliate links below)

Don’t have a kitchen torch?

The term créme brûleé is French, as you might gather from those fancy accent marks in the spelling. More than 300 years ago, when the basic recipe became popular, the English translation for Créme Brûleé was “burnt cream,” which doesn’t sound nearly as romantic, but brûleé comes from the same root word as broil, so it really does make sense.

While it won’t be exactly the same, you can still make Pumpkin Créme Brûleé without a torch. Here’s how:

  • Move oven rack to the top position.
  • Preheat oven to a high broil and then sprinkle sugar evenly over the custards.
  • Place the filled ramekins on a sheet pan and place in the oven (top rack).
  • Watch CAREFULLY as the crystallization happens quickly.
  • Avoid letting the finished créme brûleés sit in the oven long or the custard’s texture will change and become less pleasant.
  • Remove and enjoy!Overhead image of the pumpkin spice creme brulee recipe
    • Use-room temperature ingredients. Make sure you set the eggs out to come to room temperature before using so they won’t “cook” when the hot heavy cream is added.
      • Tip: warm eggs quickly to room temperature using this method).
    • Don’t over-beat the mixture. Over mixing adds too much air to the cream, which will alter the texture.
    • Season with salt. Adding a touch of salt to the crème brûleé mixture helps balance and intensify the flavors.
    • Cook the créme brûleé in a water bath. Placing the ramekins in a pan with hot water helps to cook the custard evenly and slowly without burning.
    • Use a kitchen torch. Getting that perfect hard-sugar top is much simpler than you’d think when you use a kitchen torch. Hold the torch about 6 centimeters away and don’t stay in any spot too long, to avoid melting the custard beneath. Crystalizing happens for a second after you torched it; that’s important to keep in mind if you don’t want burned sugar on top.

    Topping idea

    Top your caramelized Pumpkin Créme Brûleé with a ginger snap cookie or cinnamon stick. Alternatively, add a crumbled ginger snap cookie on top, after torching with sugar 🙂 

    Use leftover pumpkin in one of these treats

    FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content.

    Pumpkin Créme Brûleé

    0 from 0 votes
    Pumpkin Créme Brûleé has creamy pumpkin-spiced custard filling and a caramelized sugar topping. It's a fun twist on regular créme brûleé!
    Print Recipe

    Pumpkin Créme Brûleé

    0 from 0 votes
    Pumpkin Créme Brûleé has creamy pumpkin-spiced custard filling and a caramelized sugar topping. It's a fun twist on regular créme brûleé!
    Course Dessert
    Cuisine American
    Keyword pumpkin creme brulee
    Prep Time 20 minutes
    Cook Time 30 minutes
    Chilling Time 2 hours
    Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
    Servings 5 5-ounce brulees
    Calories 324kcal

    Ingredients

    • 6 cups water
    • 2 cups heavy cream
    • 4 large egg yolks
    • 1/3 cup dark or light brown sugar, PACKED (I've used both; flavors aren't too dissimilar, so use what you have)
    • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
    • scant 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (just a tiny pinch!)
    • 1/4 cup canned pumpin (not pumpkin pie filling; not an entire can)
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or 1 and 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract)
    • 1/4 cup white sugar (superfine if you have it, regular granulated works too)

    Instructions

    • PREP: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place empty ramekin bowls (See Note 1) in a 9 x 13-inch pan. Place 6 cups of water in a large pot and heat to boiling point. Meanwhile, heat the heavy cream over the stove until the cream is simmering but not boiling. Remove from the stove and set aside to cool slightly.
    • EGGS: In a large bowl, add the egg yolks and brown sugar. Using a hand mixer, beat until the mixture is light, about 1-2 minutes. Once light and creamy, add in the pumpkin pie spice, salt, and pumpkin; beat until just combined. Pour about 2-3 tablespoons of the hot cream into the pumpkin mixture while whisking constantly with a fork or whisk. Continue to gradually add in the hot cream while whisking, until all the cream is in the pumpkin mixture and everything is smooth. Stir in the vanilla.
    • PREP FOR BAKING: Pour the prepared mixture evenly into the ramekins that are in the 9x13-inch pan. Carefully, using a glass liquid measuring cup, scoop out boiling water from your pot on the stovetop and pour into the baking pan (be very careful to avoid getting any water in the ramekins) until the water reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Don't fill above the halfway point.
    • BAKE: Bake for 30-35 minutes at 325 F (my oven takes exactly 30 minutes for 5-ounce ramekins) until the centers are set (with ajust very slight jiggle). Cool completely at room temperature and then remove from the water bath and refrigerate for 2-4 hours before serving. These can be refrigerated for 4-5 days before using; cover tightly with plastic wrap before chilling.
    • SERVING: When ready to serve, add a white sugar on top of each custard in equal portions. (I find it helpful to use a little more sugar than needed and swirl it around on top of the custard to make sure the top is evenly coated with sugar, and then just pour the extra sugar onto the next ramekin.) Use a kitchen torch (See Note 2) to torch the tops until the sugar melts and browns (or even slightly blackens). Enjoy immediately!

    Video

    Recipe Notes

    Note 1: Use either (6) 4-ounce ramekins, (5) 5-ounce ramekins, or (4) 6-ounce ramekins. 
    Note 2: Hold the torch about 6 centimeters away and don’t stay in any spot too long, to avoid melting the custard beneath. Crystalizing continues to happen for a second after you torched it. This is important to keep in mind if you don’t want burned sugar on top.
    If you don't have a kitchen torch, you can use your oven broiler to melt the sugar. To do this, move your oven rack to the top position and heat the oven to a high broil. Once heated, add the sugar-topped custards. It only takes 1-3 minutes, so watch closely to avoid burning the crème brûlées.

    Nutrition Facts

    Calories: 324kcal

    DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

    I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.

    Nutrition facts in Pumpkin Creme brûlée

FREE BONUS

FREE BONUS

EASY MEAL SECRETS:
How to Make Mealtime Hassle Free!

5 secrets to easy, fast and delicious dinners.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Leave a Comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *






0 Comments

Never Miss a Recipe

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.