Creme Brulee Cupcakes

July 19, 2008 at 11:05 PM | Posted in cupcakes | 42 Comments

I was in the mood to bake. Do you ever get those moments? I am not sure what brought it on. Maybe its b/c I haven’t bake anything in 2 weeks! (At least not for human consumption. More for the honey bunny persuasion.) I was definitely overdue! Wouldn’t you agree?

I’ve had Cassie’s Creme Brulee Cupcakes on my must-bake list ever since she posted about them. So today I decided to break in my birthday gift torch by baking up a batch of creme brulee cupcake as promised in my previous post.

These were a heck of a lot of fun to bake! Who knew setting sugar on fire could be such a blast!?? (Pun intended. LOL)

(Recipe adapted from HowToEatACupcake | photos from me!)

Makes about 24 cupcakes (I halved the recipe and barely got 12)


For cupcakes
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus a pinch for the egg whites
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 cup milk (I used half and half)
3 tablespoons caramel syrup (I used Hershey ice cream topping)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For brown sugar swiss meringue buttercream
1 cup light brown sugar
4 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature


To make cupcakes—
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Alternately beat in dry ingredients and milk.

[NOTES: I always like to end with the dry ingredient.]

Add caramel syrup and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff but not dry. Gently fold whites into batter.

Spoon batter into cupcake papers, filling cups about 2/3 full. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool.

[NOTES: I baked for 20 minutes.]

To make meringue buttercream—
Put sugar, egg whites and salt into the top of a double boiler over a pan of simmering water. Whisking constantly, cook until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm (about 160 degrees). Pour heated egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg white mixture on high speed until it forms stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until fluffy and cooled, about 7 minutes total.

Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low, add butter two tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Increase speed to medium-high; continue beating until frosting appears thick, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and continue beating 1 minute to reduce air bubbles.

EXTRA-EXTRA! I thought it would be useful to see step-by-step instructions to make swiss meringue buttercream for other SMB newbies like me. Click here and here for how-to videos!

To assemble cupcakes—
Remove center of cupcake using the cone method. Fill cupcake with buttercream. Sprinkle brown sugar on top and caramelize with creme brulee torch.


Husband rating: A+
He raved about how much it really tasted like a creme brulee.

Wifey rating: A+
I absolutely loved this cupcake! My favorite part of a real creme brulee is the caramelized sugar layer on top. Its fabulous on this cupcake too! I think I have a new favorite now. Definitely will make again!

Other rating: A+
My little brother ate 3 of them. I know that means something since he’s really not a desserts person.



  1. mmmm! yeah. definitely overdue!
    torch looks totally wicked ;)
    any idea what cupcake design for a girl who loves to run?

  2. oh and i do understand what you mean by having the ‘mood to bake!’
    it really makes a big difference of how the cupcakes turn out aye?
    good job btw (:

  3. I can’t wait to try these! And I get in moods to bake all the time!

  4. Oh my gosh! I love, love, love creme brulee! I will be making these cupcake very soon, thank you so much for posting them!

  5. KHOO, Wicked is definitely the word I would use! Design for a girl who likes to run? Does she wear any name brand? Nike? The swoosh would be easy to make out of fondant, melted chocolate or piped buttercream. Maybe some running shoes? or ipod? out of fondant. Let me know if those ideas are on the right track. (I am so good at puns, no? HAHA)

    CHERIE and MELISSA, Definitely let me know what you think if you try it!

  6. omg. you’re a genius! i love the ipod idea.
    didnt think of that! THANKS!
    i should be baking them by this weekend.
    will show you how it went!
    and yes! you’re a natural at puns :P
    nice one. haha!

  7. I definitely understand the mood to bake. But it’s really silly hot here, so no baking going on. Actually I’m trying to think what to make that doesn’t require heat.

  8. MARY, Hmmm… ice cream maker? ;)

  9. I love creme brulee, and what better way to eat them, but in cupcake form! YUM!!

  10. How wonderful! And you adapted the recipe from one of my favorite sites, so double triple wonderful!

  11. APRIL, if you love creme brulee, then you totally dig this recipe! I swear it tasted just like one!

    CAKESPY, double triple indeed! haha.

  12. These look AWESOME! I love creme brulee! Send me some, mmmkay? Thaaaanks!

  13. What a great idea! They looked like they turned out great!

  14. APRIL, haha will do!

    SWEET&SAUCY, Best cupcake ever. Seriously.

  15. Oh. My. I love creme brulee and these cupcakes are seriously making my mouth water! I’m like one of Pavlov’s dogs!!!! Yummy!!!!

  16. GINA, Pavlov’s dog. HAHA. I hope you give the recipe a try! Its definitely mouthwatering. :)

  17. Ok these I HAVE to try. We love creme brulee. But I am having a brain fart. After taking out the cone of cake and putting in the buttercream and sprinkling with sugar, I then torch it right? What about the extra cone of cake?

  18. KRISTEN, Yup. bake, cone, fill with buttercream, sprinkle with sugar and torch. Uh cones? I eat them. HAHA. Probably a good reason why I don’t do the cone method much. I don’t have the heart to throw the innards away so they end up in my belly!

  19. These sound incredible! I am totally impressed with your torching abilities. :) I just unpacked my torch this weekend and hubby sure does love some creme brulee….hmmmm….

  20. JANNA, I got skillz! ;)

  21. Hello

    We’re inviting you to join our blogroll!

    The Key Ingredient blogroll features a growing list of food blogs that focus on baking and cooking a combination of sweet and savory foods.

    Please contact for more details on how to join the blogroll or sign up at

    Warm Regards,
    KI’s Chief Blogger

  22. SOPHIE, thanks for the invite. I’ll have to check out your website! :)

  23. Oh YUM!! I’ll have to give this one a try at some point!

  24. STEFANI, Trust me. Its absolutely scrumptious!

  25. I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for your wonderful blog! I featured you on my last entry on my blog. Have a magical weekend!

  26. MARIANNE, aawww thanks for the shoutout. You’re so sweet!

  27. Dude no fair! Your idea of filling them and torching the brown sugar is genius! Why didn’t I think of that????????

  28. CASSIE, … and your recipe was BRIL! Why couldn’t I think of that?? I think we make a great team. :)

  29. […] like cheesecake, tiramisu and the best of all, creme brulee! When I saw Clara make these over at I *Heart* Cuppycakes, I was beyond excited. I love creme brulee, but it is kind of a pain to make and you have all those […]

  30. I made these to bring to a Xmas party and they were PHENOM!!!!!! The only change i made was to use white granulated sugar, then you don’t get that black burny stuff on them (i tried the brown sugar first and got that too), the white sugar was perfecto! Thank you for such a yummo recipe! xo

  31. LAUREN, Way to substitute. Honestly I prefer the black burny brown sugar myself but you can definitely use the white sugar if you like it better. Glad to hear it was a success!

  32. I just made these a few days ago. To. Die. For. Hands down, the BEST cupcake I have ever eaten. I love Creme Brulee and these taste just like it. I especially like the meltiness of the frosting after it’s torched. MMMM

  33. SUPERCRACKERS, So glad you loved it! Honestly one of my FAVORITE cupcakes to date. Thanks for letting me know :)

  34. No, you can’t DO this to me!!! Creme brulee is my favourite of favourite desserts and now you’ve made it into a cupcake (my newest fetish)? Pure evilness (rushes off to go buy the ingredients…)

  35. LENNONGIRL, HA HA! Sorry sorry! But if you like creme brulee half as much as I do then you MUST make these cupcakes. You won’t regret it! (Well maybe your waistline will…)

  36. anyone know a sneaky macgyver trick for caramelizing the brown sugar if i have no torch???

  37. SHANNON, You can put it under your broiler but don’t walk away b/c it will brulee really fast!

  38. I made these for a 40th Anniversary party this past weekend and EVERYONE loved them! My mother-in-law LOVES creme brulee so when I was asked to create something special for a surprise anniversary party, I immediately did some research and testing, which is where I came across your post!

    As I brought out the desserts, and party-goers flocked to the table, there were tons of oohhs and ahhhs and then Yummms.

    Thanks for the step-by-step instructions and pics! I’m sure I’ll be making these again and again!

  39. This sounds SO amazing..I am going to the store right now to buy the ingredients~~

  40. I just made these tonight! My buttercream isn’t come out really smooth, was kind of wet. Not sure If I beat it for too long. Taste was good, cupcakes were a little dry, might have needed to take a little more of the center out but will definitely try again!! Thanks for the recipe :)

  41. Are you able to make these the night before a party? Will they hold up well overnight?

  42. You can make the cupcake portion and maybe even the filling, but would wait to add the brownsugar and “fire it” as close to the time of the event as possible — otherwise, the top gets soggy. They are delicious and one of my most often requested!

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Create a free website or blog at
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: