Pumpkin Spice Creme Brulee Recipe

Warm, fragrant, and cozy, this pumpkin spice creme brulee recipe is just what you need for a chilly day in autumn or winter. This is the perfect Autumn or Christmas creme brulee because of the spices. Learn how to make this easy recipe below.

a spoon scooping out a bite of pumpkin spice cream brulee from the white ramekin

What’s in Pumpkin Spice Crême Brulée?

This pumpkin spice creme brulee recipe includes heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, kosher salt, egg yolks, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice.

Because of the flavor profile I wanted to create, I chose cinnamon, allspice, and ginger. You can also use nutmeg or cloves, but as a note, changing the spices will change the flavor.

If you want another great autumn creme brulee recipe, try this pumpkin version with pumpkin puree.

When I develop a recipe, I always think through what the experience will be like when people bake and eat my recipes at home.

One thing I was really careful of was the amount of spice. It could be easy to go overboard with spices. Too much spice equals a creme brulee that is too rich, so I tested various amounts to get it just right.

And now it’s heavenly!

How Long Does it Take to Make This Recipe?

Making the pumpkin spice creme brulee is quick. It takes about 10 minutes to prepare and around 25-35 minutes to bake.

Allow the creme brulee to chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Chilling allows the custard to set so it’s not jiggly anymore.

At this point, you can add the sugar and brulee the tops.

As always, baking time is affected by your oven, what type of baking pan you’re using, and the types of ramekins. So, while I’ve given you a standard amount of time, it may differ in your oven.

a torch bruleeing the sugar on pumpkin spice creme brulee

How to Make Pumpkin Spice Creme Brulee

  1. Combine the cream and half of the sugar in a pot and bring to a simmer.
  2. Remove from heat and spices, salt, and vanilla.
  3. Combine the egg yolks and remaining sugar in a bowl.
  4. Slowly whisk the heavy cream into the egg mixture.
  5. Place ramekins on a half sheet pan lined with paper towels or a kitchen towel.
  6. Fill the ramekins almost full, and place the sheet pan in the oven at 325 F. Add boiling water to the pan so the water comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  7. Bake 25-35 minutes, or until the custard reaches 165-170 F. Remove from oven and cool for one hour. Then chill in the fridge.
  8. Add sugar on top and brulee the tops with a torch.
a spoon of pumpkin spice creme brulee hovering above the ramekin with the remaining custard

How to Know When the Custard is Done

Getting the consistency of the crême brulée right is the most important part of making this French dessert.

But have no fear; there are 2 ways to test for doneness.

One: Use a Thermometer

When the temperature is between 165 -170 F, the crême brulée is ready. But let’s be honest, sometimes we need a lazy way to check without a thermometer. That’s where number two comes in.

If you bake it to 165 F, the center will be slightly creamier. If you want the creme brulee to be completely set, bake to 170 F

Two: Do the Jiggle Test

I often do the jiggle test even if I use a thermometer (because it’s more fun!).

Here’s how: With oven mitts on, gently jiggle a couple of the ramekins (at around 25 minutes of baking time). The tops will be set so they aren’t runny on top. But when you jiggle one, the custard underneath will jiggle and create a ripple.

This is a simple way to test, and no special equipment is needed.

NOTE: The creme brulee will set during the chilling period, so it won’t stay jiggly or ripple anymore.

Christmas creme brulee with warm spices

Pumpkin Spice Creme Brulee Tips

Here are a few additional tips to help you succeed as you make (and eat) this dessert.

Make the Creme Brulee Ahead of Time

You can bake the creme part up to 5 days in advance. After chilling for four hours, carefully wrap or cover each creme brulee so they stay fresh in the fridge.

Of course, you can also make it on the same day as serving. But be sure to make it at least 6 hours ahead so it has time to chill and set properly.

Always Brulée Right Before Serving

If you brulée the top of the custard and then refrigerate for a while, the crunchy sugar top will become soft from the humidity of the fridge.

Yes, you could refrigerate them for 5 or 10 minutes and be fine. For the absolute best results, though, don’t chill after caramelizing the sugar.

Serve the pumpkin spice creme brulee within 10 minutes of caramelizing the sugar so it is nice and cold with a crisp top. It doesn’t need any additional toppings. You can add some berries if you really want a garnish, but otherwise, serve as is and enjoy.

Use the Right Ramekins

For this recipe, I use 5 three-ounce ramekins. You can also use 4 four-ounce ramekins but note that the baking time will be a bit longer because of the bigger size.

The baking temp stays the same for both sizes, but you’ll likely need to add 3-7 minutes of baking time with the four-ounce ramekins.

I also want to mention that it’s best to use ceramic ramekins, not metal ones. The ceramic ramekins promote better, even cooking, so steer clear of metal or tin ramekins.

Use a Water Bath with a Barrier

When you bake the creme brulee, it’s vital to use a water bath so that the custard bakes evenly. In addition, you can add a barrier between the pan and the ramekins that prevents the bottoms from getting too hot right away.

If you are using a metal pan, adding a thin kitchen towel or a few paper towels on the bottom of the pan. You can then add the ramekins and water bath. This is essentially more insurance to help the creme brulee to cook evenly.

If you use a glass baking dish, you do not need to use the towels as a barrier.

Pumpkin spice creme brulee on a tan marble surface with gold spoons

Troubleshooting Pumpkin Spice Creme Brulee

This is one of the best pumpkin spice creme brulee recipes ever (if I do say so!), But if you’ve never made this dessert before, you may need some help with common problems.

So, let’s take a look at some common problems and how to fix them (when possible).

  1. Overbaked Creme Brulee. The dreaded overbaking of cream brulee is not fun. If this happens, the texture is very firm and can be grainy and unpleasant.

If this happens, there’s unfortunately no way to undo the overbaking. Eat them and enjoy the learning process.

Instead of being discouraged, try again. Baking is about learning and growing as much as it’s about the final result.

2. Underbaked Creme Brulee.

To avoid this, use a thermometer to check the temperature of the creme brulee while baking. The thermometer always ensures that it’s cooked properly.

And it’s more accurate than the jiggle method.

If the creme brulee is underbaked, it will still taste delicious.

As a note, you can also rebake the creme brulee at 300 F for a few minutes, but it’s more likely that the edges of the creme brulee will overbake.

3. Creme Brulee is Tough

Overmixing is the culprit here. If you continue to whisk the eggs and cream together longer than is needed, then the eggs can become tough when baked.

Only mix the ingredients until they come together and are smooth.

Become a Creme Brulee Pro

If you want to learn the ins and outs of creme brulee, join The Society where you’ll get access to my live detailed class for creme brulee and madeleines.

Other French Desserts You’ll Love

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Pumpkin Spice Creme Brulee Recipe

a spoon scooping out a bite of pumpkin spice cream brulee from the white ramekin

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Warm, fragrant, and cozy, this pumpkin spice creme brulee recipe is just what you need for a chilly day. Only 15 minutes of prep time, and about 30 minutes to bake. AFter the creme brulee chills, brulee and enjoy!

  • Author: Camille
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Chill Time: 6 hours
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 6 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 5 ramekins 1x
  • Category: Custard
  • Cuisine: French

Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Spiced Creme Brulee

  • 475 ml heavy cream (2 c)
  • 85 g granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp Morton’s kosher salt (coarse)
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • Granulated sugar or caster sugar for bruleeing the tops
  • A small torch
  • 3-ounce or 4-ounce ramekins

Instructions

To Make Pumpkin Spice Creme Brulee

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Add heavy cream and half of sugar to a medium-sized pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  2. Once it starts simmering, immediately remove it from the heat, then add the salt, spices, and vanilla, and stir gently. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks and remaining sugar in a medium bowl and set aside.
  4. Slowly pour the warm cream into the egg/sugar mixture and gently whisk until completely smooth. Don’t whisk longer than is needed, as this can make the creme brulee tough.
  5. Pour the mixture into 5 three-ounce ramekins until almost full.
  6. Line the bottom of a half sheet pan (or a 9×13) with 3 layers of paper towels (or one thin kitchen towel). Place the ramekins on top of the paper towels, and then put the pan in the oven on the middle rack.
  7. Fill the pan with boiling water until the water reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Be careful not to let the water splash into the creme brulee.
  8. Bake for 25-35 minutes**, or until the center of the creme brulee is jiggly but not soupy on top. For more accuracy, the internal temperature should be 165-170 F (see notes above about temps).
  9. Remove from the water bath and cool at room temperature for one hour. Then chill in the fridge for 2 hours. Cover the cooled ramekins tightly with plastic wrap after the 2 hours, and then chill for at least another 4 hours or overnight.
  10. When it’s time to serve the pumpkin spice creme brulee, add 1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons of granulated sugar or caster sugar on top of each one. Use a torch to brulée the sugar until golden brown.
  11. Serve immediately and enjoy. Do not brulee far in advance, or the crackly sugar top will turn soft.

Notes

This is a Baker Street Society original recipe.

** If you use 4-ounce ramekins, the creme brulee will bake longer a few minutes longer to reach the right temp.

4 Comments

  1. Question: if I choose to use the wider, more shallow 4 oz ramekins how do I adjust the baking time? Thanks so much!
    Deb

    • Hi Deb, for more shallow ramekins, bake at 300 F, and start with 20 minutes and go from there. They should reach 165 – 170 F internally when done. Hope this helps!

  2. Where do you add the PUMPKIN????

    • Hi Linda, this is a pumpkin spice creme brulee, not pumpkin puree. Meaning this creme brulee is made with the pumpkin spices. Hope this clarifies for you!

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