This Instant Pot Creme Brulee is a rich, creamy custard with a brittle caramelized layer on top that makes an elegant but easy dessert for entertaining.
❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe: This is the easiest way to make thick, custardy creme brulee. It’s simple, comes together quickly, and it’s made from just six ingredients that I almost always have on hand.
Update: This is my go-to recipe for a sophisticated dessert, so I’ve updated the recipe, post and photos to help you make it like a pro.
How to Make Instant Pot Crème Brûlée
Even though this dish is easy to make, the textures are wonderfully complex. The rich, silky-smooth custard is a perfect contrast to the crunchy, caramelized sugar topping.
The creme brulee “bakes” in the pressure cooker in 6-ounce custard cups, then goes into the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
You don’t make the caramelized crust on top of each custard until shortly before serving. The key to making the crack-worthy crust is to use superfine sugar (it’s sometimes labeled baker’s sugar). This fine sugar melts faster than normal granulated sugar.
Tip: If you don’t want to buy baker’s sugar, you can pulse regular granulated sugar in a blender to make superfine sugar.
Can I Make Custard in an Instant Pot?
Yes! In fact, desserts that require a water bath, like cheesecakes, flan, and custards, are perfect for making in the pressure cooker’s moist environment.
Since there are only six ingredients in pressure cooker creme brulee, it’s really important to use high-quality ingredients.
In particular, choose a fresh heavy cream (local if possible) and high-quality vanilla extract. If you’re looking for suggestions, I really love Lágrima‘s premium artisan vanilla extract or Nielsen-Massey’s Pure vanilla extract. It’s also a wonderful gift to give for the holidays.
Note: I often use Costco vanilla extract for cookies and cakes, but for desserts like these where the vanilla flavor is the centerpiece, it’s worth it to me to use a premium vanilla.
Making the Sugar Crust
When you’re ready to serve your dessert, it’s time to make the hard-shell sugar crust on top.
Most recipes call for using a kitchen torch because it gives you full control over how the sugar melts and caramelizes. However, you don’t have to use a kitchen torch!
Until I was gifted a kitchen torch for Christmas, I used to borrow my husband’s welding torch to finish creme brulee. (It works great for brulees and fireworks, for the record!)
If you don’t have access to a torch, you can just use your oven broiler. To do so, place the creme brulee cups on a baking sheet and place the sheet on your oven rack a few inches below the broiler. Broil until the sugar is brown and caramelized, rotating the baking sheet frequently to help the cups brown evenly. Make sure you keep a close eye on things, since it can burn quickly.
Tip: Make sure the custard cups or ramekins you’re using are broiler-safe before using the broiler!
Make-Ahead Creme Brulee
Feel free to make the Instant Pot Creme Brulee ahead of time. The finished custards will last in the fridge for 2 to 3 days wrapped in plastic wrap, just make the sugar crust right before serving since the crisp texture doesn’t last in the fridge.
To add some extra flavor, texture, and a pop of color to your custards, serve them with fresh raspberries or strawberries. You could also add a dollop of homemade whipped cream for yet another texture.
More Instant Pot Dessert Recipes
If you love making desserts like creme brulee in your Instant Pot / pressure cooker, you’ll have to try these sweet treats next:
- Layered Instant Pot Strawberry Cheesecake has stunning pink and white layers and summery fruit flavors.
- Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Chocolate Pots de Crème are adorable and richly chocolate-flavored custard.
- Chocolate Cake for Two in the Instant Pot is a rich, dense and decadent dessert that’s perfect for two to share.
Do you LOVE this recipe?
Leave us a review below to tell us why!
- 8 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 6 tablespoons superfine sugar
- Add 1 1/2 cups of water to the pressure cooking pot and place the trivet in the bottom.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs yolks, 1/3 cup granulated sugar and a pinch of salt. Add cream and vanilla and whisk until blended.
- Strain into a large measuring bowl with a pour spout or a pitcher. Pour mixture into six 6-ounce custard cups, cover with foil, and place on a trivet in the pressure cooking pot. Stack the cups in a second layer. (I used a second trivet between the layers.)
- Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and a 6 minute cook time. When the cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker and use a natural pressure release for 10 minutes and then finish with a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid.
- Carefully remove the cups to a wire rack to cool uncovered. When cool, refrigerate covered with plastic wrap for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
- When ready to serve, sprinkle about a tablespoon of sugar to cover the entire surface of each custard. Working with one at a time, move the flame of the torch 2 inches above the surface of each custard in a circular motion to melt the sugar and form a crispy, caramelized topping.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 655Total Fat: 52gSaturated Fat: 31gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 503mgSodium: 82mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 0gSugar: 39gProtein: 9g
Nutrition information is calculated by Nutritionix and may not always be accurate.
FOR MORE FROM PRESSURE COOKING TODAY
🥘 Browse our collection of the best pressure cooker / Instant Pot recipes.
💬 Follow Pressure Cooking Today on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates.
👥 Join our Electric Pressure Cooker Facebook Group. Our positive community of pressure cooking fans use all brands of electric pressure cookers, so it’s a great resource if you have questions about your particular brand.
🥧 If you’re interested in more than just Instant Pot recipes, follow us at Barbara Bakes. There we post amazing breakfasts, breads, and the best dessert recipes!