Go Back
+ servings
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée Cupcakes

These Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée Cupcakes are decadent moist vanilla cupcakes topped with a delicious caramelized sugar custard.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time3 hrs
Course: Dessert
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Calories: 371kcal
Author: Sandra


Pastry Cream

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter


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


  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • whipped cream
  • 12 fresh raspberries


Pastry Cream

  • Heat heavy cream, milk, 6 tablespoons sugar, salt, and vanilla bean with half of the seeds in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat as necessary if it starts to boil.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks and 2 tablespoons sugar until well blended. Add cornstarch and mix until very well combined and fluffy.
  • Take about 1/2 cup hot cream mixture and slowly pour hot cream mixture while vigorously whisking into the egg yolk mixture. Replace back on heat and reduce temp to medium-low. Whisk the remaining cream mixture and slowly pour in the egg yolk mixture. 
  • Cook mixture, whisking constantly until thickened. Allow it to boil for about 30 seconds after it has started to cook out the starchy flavor. I had to go back and do this again after my cream did not reach desired consistency after refrigeration. NOTE: You can boil this mixture again after you have refrigerated it. I did and it still worked. Although it was a bit more like a custard than a cream.
  • Immediately force mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Mix in 1 tablespoon of butter. Cover with plastic wrap pressing directly against surface of custard. Chill thoroughly, about 2 hours.


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt for seconds, 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 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.


  • 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 then heat with a kitchen torch until sugar begins to melt and caramelize. While I torched one cupcake, I would keep the rest in the refrigerator.
  • One of the best suggestions from this recipe was the coating of the sugar on the cream: First coat the edges of pastry cream while rotating the cupcake, then sprinkle tops. Torch it and add another layer of sugar, if you would like. I personally did 2 layers on all the cupcakes, using about 1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons of sugar per cupcake. Allow topping to cool.
  • Garnish with whipped cream and a blackberry or raspberry if desired. Serve immediately or put in the refrigerator for 30 – 60 minutes before serving. I found that keeping them in the fridge helped the cream keeps it form and for the caramelized sugar to stay hardened. We didn’t test it past an hour…as we ate them all.


Total time for these cupcakes is 3 hours, this includes the 2 hours that the custard topping needs to refrigerate.
Recipe from Cooking Classy http://www.cookingclassy.com/


Calories: 371kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 130mg | Sodium: 109mg | Potassium: 121mg | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 705IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 1mg