Pumpkin Crème Brûlée with Maple Sugar | Cupcake Project

Pumpkin Crème Brûlée with Maple Sugar

Pumpkin Crème Brûlée

Pumpkin crème brûlée is dangerously easy to make.  Pumpkin crème brûlée is a one-bowl recipe that takes five minutes – tops –  to put together and requires only four main ingredients plus some spice.  The only time-consuming element in preparing pumpkin crème brûlée is waiting for the brûlée to bake and then waiting for it to chill.

Perhaps some of you are like me and have enjoyed crème brûlée as a restaurant-only dessert.  Although I’ve owned a culinary torch for years and have used it liberally when making meringue frosting, I had never tackled crème brûlée.  With its layer of crackly sugar and the hidden creamy surprise underneath, it always felt like a dessert best left to a trained pastry chef.  It was just such a person who introduced me to pumpkin crème brûlée and inspired me to make crème brûlée for the first time.

A few weeks ago, I did a short demo as part of an event called Dueling Desserts at Highland, Illinois’s annual art fair, Art in The Park.  While the event is billed as a sword fight, it’s actually an extremely friendly competition. One of the best parts about it is meeting the other chefs who show up.

The woman who you can see in the back left of the photo is Leslie Gillette, the pastry chef from esteemed St. Louis restaurant Salt.  Leslie prepared two pastries for the event. The first was this gorgeous cake:

Leslie talked about decorating the cake with marshmallows cut in half and dipped in sugar.  This technique is often used on cupcakes and you can read about it in Hello, Cupcake!.

Leslie also brought along pumpkin crème brûlée that she baked in a pumpkin.  I HAD to sample that one!  I love anything pumpkin and her pumpkin twist on a classic crème brûlée won me over.  When she offered to send me the recipe, I knew that this would end my crème brûlée baking virginity.

How To Make Pumpkin Crème Brûlée

Pumpkin Crème Brûlée 02

The pumpkin crème brûlée below is Leslie’s recipe with my notes.  The only major change that I made was to use maple sugar for the brûléeing.  I adore the taste of maple sugar and it went supremely well with the pumpkin.  However, the maple sugar didn’t brûlée as well as plain granulated sugar would have.  I was a bit bothered aesthetically by some of the dark bubbles that formed – but, man, did they taste good!!

Pumpkin Crème Brûlée with Maple Sugar

Yield: 6 ramekins of crème brûlée

Pumpkin Crème Brûlée with Maple Sugar


  • 10 egg yolks
  • 1 quart heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • fine maple sugar (you can use a food processor to make yours fine) or granulated sugar for brûléeing


  1. Preheat oven to 300 F.
  2. Whisk all ingredients together.
  3. Divide evenly between the ramekins.
  4. Place the filled ramekins into a deep roasting pan or whatever pan you would use to make something like lasagna.
  5. Fill the pan with water to halfway up the dishes.
  6. Bake 45-50 minutes or until the crème brûlée no longer jiggles when you move it.
  7. Refrigerate the crème brûlée for at least three hours.
  8. Top each ramekin with a thin layer of sifted maple sugar or granulated sugar. If you are using maple sugar and yours isn't fine grain, put it in the food processor first to make it finer.
  9. Just before serving, use a culinary torch to brûlée the tops of the ramekins. If you'd like a thicker layer of sugar on top of the ramekins, add more sugar and brûlée a second time.

Pumpkin Crème Brûlée Cupcakes

Check out the crème brûlée cupcakes that I made with the pumpkin crème brûlée!

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18 Responses to Pumpkin Crème Brûlée with Maple Sugar

  1. Stacy A October 24, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    I love crème brûlée and I love pumpkin. This might just be a recipe that forces me to finally cave and by a culinary torch.

  2. Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie October 24, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

    Holy cow I want these in my life.

  3. Sara October 24, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

    Oh, that looks so, so good! Delicious – especially that maple sugar on top! :)

  4. Priya October 25, 2011 at 12:22 am #

    Super delicious creme brulee..marvellous.

  5. Closet Cake Gobbler October 25, 2011 at 4:44 am #

    Wow what a brilliant blog! I want to try all the recipes, but definitely gotta have a go at the pumpkin ones – yummy!!

  6. Natalie October 25, 2011 at 5:00 am #

    You are so right–I totally think of creme brulee as a restaurant dessert! This looks divine–I need to try it this fall!

  7. Tricia October 25, 2011 at 5:01 am #

    I have had a torch for over two years… and there it sits in the back of the cabinet, still in its package. Like you, brulee has overwhelmed me a bit… but now?! Wow! And yum! I’ll probably post this on my blog (all things pumpkin) when I give it a go… so thank you!

  8. ~~louise~~ October 25, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

    I’ve never “torched” a thing in my life. However, if I need to learn quick to have a taste of your “Pumpkin Crème Brûlée, I’ll learn!!! Gorgeous, Stef! That cake “ain’t” too shabby either:)

    Thank you so much for sharing…And to think, tomorrow is National Pumpkin Day!!!

  9. catering services in charlotte nc October 26, 2011 at 10:09 am #

    Creme brûlé is my favorite desert! I have tried many recipes before but yours is one of the best I have ever tried for sure!
    I will do it again, thanks you very much!

  10. Rachel @ Bakerita October 26, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

    Yummm! I love creme brulee and have made a few times, but never pumpkin flavored. Sounds amazing…I’ll definitely be tackling this soon.

  11. Joy October 26, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

    The brulee looks great. I wish I was able to attend. It sounds like a great event.

  12. Johnny October 26, 2011 at 10:51 pm #

    12 egg yolks….that’s pretty scary!
    But great recipe!

  13. kokolikes.com November 8, 2011 at 10:31 pm #

    YUM! I love this idea and love your pots!

  14. Heidi Szczepanski October 2, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    Great recipe. Looks really tasty. Thanks for posting.

    Buy Here Pay Here

  15. CaitlinMarie November 30, 2012 at 7:44 am #

    Is there a way to brulee without a culinary torch?

    • Anonymous February 20, 2013 at 7:39 am #

      Put under broiler but watch closely!!


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