Liza Greis

Do-it-yourself projects and Home Decor

Easy Crème Brûlée

Crème Brûlée is probably my all time favorite dessert. In fact, when we first moved here to Utah, Shane’s first firm he worked for would have their company Christmas party at Deer Valley Ski Resort every year. We would have a private dining room with tables full of the best food. I would head straight to the dessert table and grab five vanilla bean Crème Brûlées.

I probably should have been embarrassed. But I didn’t care. It was the one time a year I got to eat it and I am totally a dessert first kinda girl anyway. If you had tasted it, you would have eaten ten. So really, I had quite a bit of self restraint when you think about it.

I haven’t had it in soooo long. While we were in New Orleans though, I had some at dinner one night. It opened the floodgates of temptation and I have been thinking about it non-stop since.

(I have a giveaway at the end so make sure and read to the bottom and enter!)

recipe for easy creme brulee


I have never made it from scratch before. I ordered a mix online once and it was pretty good. But for some reason the thought of making it intimidated me. When I finally (out of sheer desperation) looked up how to make it, I was surprised that it wasn’t that hard.


creme brulee recipe


I got this recipe from The Food Network site. It was basically the same recipe I saw on a bunch of other sites. There are only 4 ingredients so there really isn’t much room for variation :)

Easy Crème Brûlée


  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar for caramelizing on top


  1. Pour the heavy cream and vanilla into a sauce pan. Bring to a simmer and then let cool for 10 minutes.
  2. While the cream is cooling, add the egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Whisk the eggs and sugar until it is a pale yellow.
  4. Slowly add the cream to the egg mixture and whisk together.
  5. Once mixed, add to the custard dishes.
  6. Place dishes in a large baking dish lined with a towel. Pour boiling water into baking dish so that it comes to half way up the custard dishes. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until custard is firm but still wiggles.
  7. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  8. Add sugar to the top and melt it using a heat gun or cooking torch.

You can see the real vanilla bean specks in the cream!

cream and vanilla simmering


Apparently separating yolks is not my forte since only 3 didn’t break.


egg yokes and sugar


I have heard you need a rag in the bottom of the dish and I have heard that you don’t. I put on in just in case. These square dishes were a little larger than normal ramekins so only two fit per baking dish and I had to bake them longer.


place them in a dish of water to bake


Now when I have made this using the mix I ordered online, the one thing that never turned out was the melting of the sugar. It suggested using the broiler setting in your oven if you didn’t have a torch. I either did it wrong or it is not the best way of doing it. If you are like me, then the crusty sugar is kind of the make it or break it part of a good crème brûlée.

I had an epiphany while I was waiting for them to bake. Why not use my heat gun?

As an ambassador for HomeRight, I had been given a heat gun and I have had all sort of fun with it making an abstract plexiglass bowl, icicle ornaments, and even “knock off” Anthropologie charred bookends. Why not use it to melt some sugar?


caramelizing the sugar with a heat gun


It worked like a charm!


easy creme brulee



Since I work with HomeRight, I also get to giveaway these fun tools of theirs. So today I am giving away a digital HEAT GUN!

You will love it. The uses are endless.

Digital Heat Gun

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter below using the rafflecopter widget. Give it a sec to load. Sometimes the old gal is slow.   *Must be 18 years or older and a resident of the USA at the time of the contest. Giveaway will run from May 23, 2015 until May 30, 2015. The winner will be chosen via and notified by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. HomeRight will be responsible for shipping the prize to the winner.

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  1. Dawn says

    I have a set of dressers I’ve been waiting to strip the paint off of and refinish for over a year now. I was pregnant and am still nursing so I’ve been avoiding heavy chemical peelers, but this would be a great solution!

  2. Janina says

    I am like you…ILOVE CREME BRÛLÉE, I have one of those flame thingies I got for Christmas years ago but it is a pain in the neck to work!your heat gun is a genius idea to use for this. Thanks for the chance to win.

  3. Eden Claire says

    I would take your suggestions, and use them
    to create different things. And I’m so glad you found out the recipe is so simple to make. I make creme brûlée all the time. It’s my go to dessert since it’s fairly simple but delivers a punch. It’s gives other the impression that you’ve been slaving for hours. And I love that you can make it the day ahead and refrigerate it, until you’re ready for dessert. Then it’s time to pull out the big guns and really wow your guests by torching them table side. Guests talk about it for days; it works every time.

  4. Annette says

    I love your recipe! Creme Brulee has been my favorite dessert since I was a child (I always order it when I see it on the menu). I’ve never made it, but would love to try. So yeah, I’d make Creme Brulee with this.

  5. Aisha R. says

    I use Mod Podge in my art and the drying time in between can be a hassle, this would help me so much

  6. Cindy says

    Wow…heat gun….genius!! This looks so yummy. Like you i have been a little intimidated to try it….but you made it sound easy!!

  7. Kate says

    That is so awesome! I have been wanting a torch for creme brûlée but you could do so much more with this!! I wonder if you have to worry about any of the chemicals released from heating the construction stuff would transfer to the food though…??

  8. Tiffany C says

    I heart DIY so I would use it for many things, but I have to say that is such an ORIGINAL idea.

  9. Susan M. says

    Priorities first so I’d break her in with some creme brulee and after satisfying my sweet tooth I’d use it to remove paint. Thanks for the opportunity!

  10. Cmt says

    Dang, DIY and dessert. What a great combo. Love your story about the 5 desserts. For what you and Shane did in NOLA, you both deserve 10 desserts. I used to have a heat gun which I used to scrape the paint off the porch a number of times. Too many times, in fact. It died. I’d love a replacement.

  11. wendy nicholls says

    Oh I would love to win this gun , I LOVE Crème Brûlée so yummy , but my son is a HUGE fan , so I would definitely use the heat gun to make him some Crème Brûlée.

  12. Cassie says

    On. My. Heavens. My mouth is watering right now.
    I LOVE tools that I can do lots of different things with. That heat gun looks awesome.

  13. Rebecca B says

    My first challenge would be to keep it away from my husband. If given half a chance, it would go straight to his work bucket. I don’t even have my own hammer anymore. Then I can find all sorts of projects, that being said, I haven’t had good creme brulee for a long time:)

  14. Becky V says

    My husband loves creme brulee. I’ve made a ‘healthier’ version with evaporated milk that was actually tasty. I always add a few raspberries in the ramekin before I pour the cream mixture in. SO good.

    I’d use the heat gun for the creme brulee, the little torch takes forever, then I’d peel some paint off of our window trim.

  15. Dea says

    Very cool… I mean HOT!! I can think of at least two things I would use this heat gun for besides crème brulee… I’m a scrapbooker, and it would be great for melting embossing powder on metals. A regular scrapbooking heat gun just doesn’t get hot enough for that. And it would be good for removing oil-based paint off all that scrap wood the hubs has accumulated in the back yard. I have PLANS for that stuff, but not with all that cruddy old chipped paint on it.

  16. Micki Poirrier says

    OH MY!!! Creme Brulee is my absolute favorite dessert! I would love to win the heat gun so I could prepare it myself instead of having to wait for a special occasion to enjoy it at a fancy restaurant!

  17. Go Away With Jae says

    I’ve always wanted to try making Crème Brûlée, but was scared about the sugar part. The broiler bit would be convenient, but I’d be afraid the glass would blow up. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  18. Barb says

    I would definitely use it for Creme Brûlée! I cook with my four year old a ton, so I would feel comfortable having her “torch” with this little heat gun! What a great idea!

  19. Meghan says

    I would have look up how to distress furniture with the heat gun. I’m sure I will use it for the creme brûlée too since it’s my fav!!

  20. Jenna Herdman says

    I would use it for exactly what you did above as well as giving my wooden height measuring boards some colored accents.

  21. Crystal says

    I would make lots of creme brulee to eat whilst making shrinky dinks out of broken or scratched albums!

  22. Rachel Blatchford says

    Using your heat gun for creme brulee is brilliant! I’ve also always been intimidated by making creme brulee, and it was honestly because I didn’t have a torch to carmelize he sugar on top. I would love to have one of these so I could make my dream creme brulee!

  23. Marrla says

    I would make this Crème Brulee! It doesn’t look hard at all!
    Short of using a match winning this will be the only way I
    could caramelize
    the top!

  24. Kim Wilson says

    It doesn’t matter the dessert offering at a restaurant… if they offer creme brulee then I order it.!!! To this day, I still think I make the best. ;)

  25. Terry Hirschi says

    Genius! So much easier than a torch. I would use this in so many ways, but on Creme Brule? I can’t wait to try it!

  26. Kaye Newman says

    I would have never thought you could use a heat gun too make creme brûlée. I would definitely use it to make some.

  27. JB Richards says

    I love Creme Brulee. Never thought about using a heat gun to make it. What an awesome idea. I’d give it a try.

  28. Laura says

    I have never made creme brulee- yours looks fabulous!
    Thank you for sharing this at Thoughts of Home. We are so glad you are here.