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Classic Crème Caramel

Ben Fink

Servings: six.


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 eggs
  • Pinch salt

For the caramel:

  • 1/2 cup sugar

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 480
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 310
  • Fat (g): 35
  • Saturated Fat (g): 20
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 11
  • Cholesterol (mg): 290
  • Sodium (mg): 125
  • Carbohydrates (g): 38
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 6


For the custard:

  • Heat the oven to 325°F. Heat the cream and milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat until scalded (you’ll see small bubbles on the sides of the pan). Split the vanilla bean in half, if using, and scrape the seeds into the cream. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, slowly whisk 1/2 cup of the sugar into the egg yolks and eggs. Slowly whisk the hot cream/milk into the sugar/yolk mixture. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a pitcher or measuring cup. Stir in the salt and vanilla extract, if using.

For the caramel:

  • Arrange six 6-oz. ramekins in a baking dish with deep sides and set aside. Put remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a clean saucepan. Carefully add just enough water to dissolve the sugar, and set the pot over high heat.
  • After a few minutes, the mixture will come to a furious boil; several minutes later, as more water evaporates, it will boil more viscously, and finally it will start to color. Swirl the pan around to even out the caramelization. Once the sugar has started to caramelize, watch it carefully. It takes just seconds for caramel to go from great to burnt.

    The mixture will come to a furious boil.

  • When the caramel is an even dark brown, carefully pour it into the ramekins. Caramel at this stage is over 300°F, so be extremely careful when handling it. Divide it evenly so that each ramekin is covered with a thin layer of dark brown caramel.

    Each ramekin is covered with a thin layer of dark brown caramel.

To bake:

  • Pour the custard into the caramel-lined ramekins, fill the baking dish with water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins and cover the dish with foil. Bake until just set, 25 to 50 minutes. Remember to start checking early; baking time will depend on the thickness and depth of your ramekins and baking dish. Carefully remove the baking dish from the oven and let the ramekins cool in the water bath. Remove, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
  •  Run a thin knife around the edge of the custard and invert onto a dessert plate, scraping any caramel from the ramekin onto the custard.

Espresso custard
Omit the vanilla. Crush 1/2 cup espresso beans into coarse pieces, add to the cream/milk, and heat to a simmer. Remove from the heat; infuse for 5 minutes. Strain and proceed.

Ginger custard
Omit the vanilla. Cut a 3-inch piece of fresh ginger into very thin slices, add to the cream/milk, and heat to a simmer. Remove from the heat; infuse for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain, bring back to a simmer, and proceed.


Rate or Review

Reviews (9 reviews)

  • VHRanch | 02/16/2021

    Made it as per the recipe. Problem: the caramel at the bottom of the ramekin never melted or liquified again, even after being placed in the oven. Give me a solution for this, because the rest of the créme was very tasty. I just wish I had more 'caramel'.

  • princessbubzz | 10/05/2019

    So the ingredient list, which has a section for the caramel, which implies the other section is for the custard and not the whole recipe, says 1 cup sugar. I already know how to make custard so I went ahead and put 1 cup in there. But then if you read on the instructions say to only put 1/2 cup in the custard. So now my custard is way too sweet and the whole thing is ruined. Very poor recipe. Really misleading and not clear at all. Complete waste of food as well.

  • User avater
    JenniferERamsey | 02/14/2019


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