Lemon Crème Brûlée

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Lemon Crème Brûlée – A luscious and creamy lemon custard with a caramelized sugar topping.  A show stopping dessert that is easier to make than you think!

This post is sponsored by Imperial Sugar. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

When you think of a fancy restaurant quality dessert, crème brûlée ranks right up there.  It is one of those desserts that not only looks fancy, but seems like it would be impossible to do at home.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.  It is actually relatively easy to make!  

lemon flavored creme brulee in white bowl with slice of lemon


Click HERE for the full recipe.

One thing you will notice at high end restaurants is they make creme brulee in a ton of different flavors; raspberry, espresso, green tea, chocolate, orange etc.  The possibilities really are endless.  Well I recently had a lemon variety and immediately fell in love.  It is so bright and fresh with both the lemon juice and zest in there, if you are a lemon fan this is a must! 

What Can I Use If I Don’t Have A Brulee Torch

The hardest part about making creme brulee is the bruleed sugar on top.  It is the signature part that makes creme brulee what it is.  You can purchase a torch on Amazon for around $15. 

  1. Broiler – if you get your broiler nice and hot, you can place the ramekin under the boiler and the sugar will caramelize.
  2. A metal spoon – I have NOT tried this one, but have been researching options and this comes up often.  What you do is find a metal spoon that you don’t care if it is ruined.  Then you heat the back of the spoon using an open flame or the stove top (use a hot pad or something to protect your hands so you don’t burn yourself) and then touch the spoon to the sugar, and it should caramelize.  Repeat as necessary to caramelize the entire top. 
creme brulee with bite taken out of it

Traditional Crème Brûlée has long been my husband’s favorite dessert.  So I knew it was going to be the starting point when I wanted to recreate a lemon flavored version.  It could not have come out more perfect!  There are a few steps involved, but everything is easy!  And there are only a few ingredients in the recipe, so trust me, you really can do this! 

How To Make Lemon Creme Brulee

  1. Set up a large baking dish or roasting pan with a washcloth in the bottom. This helps to keep the dishes in one place and not slide around when you are taking them in and out of the oven. Arrange the ramekins in the pan. 
  2. In a large saucepan bring heavy cream, sugar, salt, lemon zest to a simmer over medium heat.  
  3. While the cream is heating beat the egg yolks until they are an even pale color. 
  4. Once the cream is hot, slowly add 1 cup to the egg yolks, whisking constantly so the eggs don’t scramble.  Continue with another cup of the cream mixture.  
  5. Once 2 cups of the cream are mixed with the eggs, mix everything together and add the lemon juice and vanilla extract.  
  6. Strain the mixture through a fine strainer and discard any solids that are in the strainer.
  7. Divide evenly into the ramekins and place into the center of the oven.  
  8. Pour hot water into the baking dish until it comes about 2/3rd up the side of the ramekins. Be careful not to get any liquid in the dishes. 
  9. Bake for 20-35 minutes, depending on the size and depth of your ramekins. The center should just barely be set, almost like jello. A thermometer should read 180 degrees F.
  10. Remove from the oven, and carefully transfer the ramekins to a wire rack to cool for 2 hours. Then cover and set in the fridge until cold, 4-6 hours.
  11. When it is time to serve, sprinkle about 1 1/2 tsp of sugar over the custard. Rotate the dish to evenly distribute the sugar. Ignite the torch and caramelize the sugar.
  12. I like to re-chill for 20-30 minutes before serving so the custard is not warm from the torch.
bowl of creme brulee with lemon slice

This lemon creme brulee recipe is a show stopping dessert that everyone will rave about.  Plus the really nice thing is you can make creme brulee ahead of time.  Have it in the fridge the day before you are serving it, and then you can show off your torching skills to your friends and family.  

More Lemon Dessert Recipes 

Lemon Crème Brûlée - A luscious and creamy lemon custard with a caramelized sugar topping.  A show stopping dessert that is easier to make than you think!


I am sharing this recipe over at Imperial Sugar today.  Click on Lemon Crème Brûlée to get the full recipe

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About Erin S

Welcome to Dinners, Dishes, & Desserts where my love of food meets my busy life. My name is Erin and I’m a casual home cook who loves to feed people. On this blog, you’ll find hundreds of quick and easy recipes made mostly from scratch. My days are spent in the kitchen, creating new recipes to share with family and friends.

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  1. Yum! My daughter and I love anything lemon! This looks out of this world delicious! I can’t wait to make this! So excited!

  2. This looks so, so good! I’ve never had a lemon creme brulee, but imagine how nice it would be! Look forward to trying this!

  3. I love the lemon flavor! I have tried traditional creme brulee and chocolate! I have to try this lemon next! Yum!