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Crème Brûlée Cupcakes

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  • Author: Bake to the roots
  • Prep Time: 140
  • Cook Time: 24
  • Total Time: 165
  • Yield: 12 1x


Crème Brûlée is a nice french dessert – if you like that one, you should try this cupcake version!



For the pastry cream

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter

For the cupcake

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk

To finish

  • Granulated sugar, about 1/3 cup
  • Whipped cream (optional)


  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks and 2 tbsp sugar until well blended. Add cornstarch to egg yolk mixture and mix until very well combined and and slightly pale and fluffy.
  2. In a medium saucepan mix milk, heavy cream, 6 tbsp sugar and salt. Remove the seeds from the vanilla bean and add along with vanilla bean pod to the milk mix and heat over medium heat. Bring mixture just to a gentle bubble, stirring occasionally.
  3. Take about 1/2 cup of the hot vanilla cream mixture from the saucepan and while vigorously whisking, slowly pour hot vanilla cream mixture (about 1 tbsp at a time) into egg yolk mixture. Reduce burner temperature to medium-low. While whisking hot vanilla cream mixture, slowly pour egg yolk mixture into hot vanilla cream mixture in saucepan. Cook mixture, whisking constantly, until thickened (allow it to boil for about 30 seconds to cook out starchy flavor). Immediately force mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Mix in 1 tbsp butter. Cover with plastic wrap pressing directly against surface of custard. Chill thoroughly, about 2 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy. Mix in the egg then blend in egg whites and vanilla. Add 1/2 of the flour mixture and blend just until combined, then add milk and blend just until combined and finish adding in remaining 1/2 flour mixture and blend just until combined. Divide batter among 12 paper lined muffin cups, filling each cup about 2/3 full. Bake in preheated oven 21 – 24 minutes until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Pipe or spread chilled pastry cream over cooled cupcakes into an even layer. Working with one cupcake at a time, sprinkle entirety of pastry cream with sugar (about 1 – 1 1/2 tsp per cupcake) then heat with a kitchen torch until sugar begins to melt and caramelize. Allow topping to cool then garnish with whipped cream if desired.
  6. Serve immediately, otherwise the sugar will melt. Note: the pastry cream can be made the day before and the cupcakes can be made hours ahead of time but top with sugar and caramelize sugar just before serving.


  • Enjoy baking!