Creme brulee cheesecake recipe

Pumpkin Brulee Cheesecake

  1. Position the oven racks in center and lower third of your oven. Fill a roasting pan about half full of water and place on the lower rack. This will create a moist environment for the cheesecake and help prevent cracking. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Put the graham crackers and 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar in the bowl of a food processor and grind until fine. Add the butter and two tablespoons of water and pulse until moistened. Press into the bottom of the prepared springform pan. Bake until set and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Cool completely.
  3. Combine the cream cheese, brown sugar, 1/3 cup granulated sugar and salt in a large bowl. Beat, with an electric mixer on medium speed, until smooth and fluffy. Add the yogurt, egg and egg whites, reduce the mixer speed to low, and continue to beat until blended. Add the pumpkin, flour, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat until just combined. Stir with a spatula a few times to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated and to release any air bubbles in the batter that could cause the cheesecake to crack.
  4. Pour the batter over the crust and rap the pan against the countertop a few times to bring any trapped air bubbles to the surface. Place the cheesecake on the center rack in the oven. Bake until just set and the center wiggles slightly, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes. Turn the oven off and crack the door open. Let sit in the oven for 15 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Run a thin sharp knife between the cheesecake and then pan to release the sides. Cool completely and then chill until cold, at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  5. Before serving, remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator and release the sides of the pan. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over the top of the cheesecake and brulee the sugar with a kitchen torch or under the broiler for a few seconds.

Crème Brûlée Cheesecake


  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.In a medium bowl, stir together the vanilla wafer crumbs and 3 Tbs. granulated sugar. Mix in the melted butter until the crumbs are evenly moist and clump together slightly. Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch springform pan and press evenly onto the bottom and about 2 inches up the sides of the pan (to press, use plastic wrap or a flat-bottom measuring cup). Bake until the crust is fragrant and slightly darkened, 9 to 12 minutes. Let the pan cool on a rack. Lower the oven temperature to 300°F.In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, mascarpone, flour, and a pinch of table salt on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl and the paddle frequently, until very smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Make sure the cheese has no lumps. Add the 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar and continue beating until well blended and smooth.

    Add the vanilla and beat until blended, about 30 seconds. Add the eggs one at a time, beating just until blended. (Don’t overbeat once the eggs have been added or the cheesecake will puff too much and crack as it cools.) Pour the filling into the cooled crust and smooth the top.

    Bake at 300°F until the center jiggles like Jell-O when nudged, 55 to 65 minutes. The cake will be slightly puffed around the edges, and the center will still look moist. Set on a rack and cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hours and up to 3 days. The cake can also be frozen at this point for up to 1 month (see make-ahead tip, below).

    Unclasp and remove the side of the springform pan and run a long, thin metal spatula under the bottom crust of the cheesecake. Carefully slide the cake onto a flat serving plate. Sprinkle the 2 Tbs. granulated sugar evenly over the top of the cheesecake and slowly pass a hand-held kitchen torch over the sugar until melted and caramelized.

    To cut, run a thin knife under hot water, wipe it dry, and cut the cake into slices, heating and wiping the knife after every slice.

Make Ahead Tips

To freeze, put the unmolded, cooled cake on a rimmed baking sheet in the freezer, uncovered, until the top is cold and firm; then wrap it in two layers of plastic and one layer of foil. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Crème Brûlée Cheesecake divvied up into perfect portions. Served with fresh berries, they’re impossible to resist.

At first glance these little individual crème brûlée cheesecakes with fresh berries look like crème brûlée instead, right? I mean exactly like it! But it’s not. I was making these cute little single serving desserts and thought why not?

I love the crunch of a traditional crème brûlée. Brûlée in French means “burnt” because… well, it is. That crunchy, sweet, burned sugar that tops the classic dessert in amazing. A crème brûlée is also very often served with fresh berries on top. But underneath the crunchy topping of these desserts is a simple cheesecake batter instead.

I am a big fan of the individual dessert. There’s little to no serving mess and they can make the cutest presentation. These Meyer lemon pudding cakes are one of my absolute faves! Even savory dishes are perfect made into individual servings. This fresh tomato and feta salad is a perfect example, and so perfect for this time of year, especially with all the heirloom tomatoes at the market right now! Yum!

But… getting back to these cute little buggers. These individual crème brûlée cheesecakes with fresh berries were so easy to make. I used a super simple crust. Not even a crust, really. I just crushed some graham crackers and added a little sugar and sprinkled them in the bottom of my small ramekins. Mixed up a quick cheesecake batter and baked them off.

Small things like this take less time to bake so they were so fast! Once they were done I sprinkled the top with a heavy coating of sugar and pulled out my torch.

I LOVE using my culinary torch! It’s just so much fun. If you don’t have a torch, don’t sweat it. You could easily just broil the tops when you’re ready to serve. Although it’s a great tool to have and they really are relatively inexpensive.

Top the individual cakes with fresh berries of your choice and serve. Don’t skip the berries though. They add such a great freshness that I think is needed.

Your family and friends will love these. I guarantee it!

Mini desserts are definitely where it’s at! Try our mini banoffee pavlovas and brownie brittle no bake mini cheesecakes too.

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Cheesecake is a favorite dessert in my family. I mean, what’s not to love about a dessert made of cheese?

This cheesecake is a classic version of a vanilla cheesecake, only I combined it with the best part of classic crème brûlée—the brittle sugar top. There’s just something about tapping the sugar shell and listening for that crack of brittle, caramelized sugar. The satiny filling is speckled with vanilla bean seeds, and the whole thing comes together when you scoop up the crunchy, buttery base.


For your cheesecake to turn out rich, creamy, and crack-free, follow a few simple steps.

  • Always beat your cheesecake batter on low speed. Cheesecakes often crack because too much air is beaten into them—either by whipping or beating on high. Slow and steady wins the race.
  • Use room temperature cream cheese and scrape down the bowl often. Fat (aka cheese) likes to stick to the sides and bottom of the bowl. For a creamy, silky cheesecake without lumps, get comfortable with your spatula, and let your cream cheese sit out for a couple of hours. All this low beating and scraping down the bowl might seem tedious, but it makes a big difference in the end result.
  • Use a water bath. I know they feel a little risky, but you’ve got this. Water baths really do create the creamiest cakes with the most level tops.


A water bath, also known as a bain-marie, is simply a pan with water in which another pan, dish, or pot is set.

In the case of cheesecake, triple wrap the springform pan in foil, add the cheesecake filling, and set the cake in the center of a roasting pan. If you don’t have a roasting pan, a large, wide bottomed Dutch oven will also work. Fill the roasting pan with water halfway up the sides of the springform pan and place it in the oven.


  1. Wrap it well using three layers of extra-long, heavy duty aluminum foil. I use a 9-inch springform pan, and a standard roll of foil isn’t long enough to go up all sides of the pan.
  2. Sara Bir, one of the recipe developers for Simply Recipes, has a great trick. Skip the foil and use the oven safe nylon bags used to brine turkeys. The good news is, you can wash and reuse the bag, and keep it as your cheesecake pan bag.


If you don’t have sour cream for this cheesecake, you can leave it out. The cake won’t be quite as fluffy, but it will still be rich and delicious. You can also replace the 1/2 cup sour cream with 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream.


Cheesecake is basically a custard. It likes slow, even cooking, and time. All ovens are different, so it’s best to peek in on your cheesecake every now and then to make sure baking is going according to plan. Your cake is done when it looks smooth across the top and has a slight jiggle, but not a slosh in the center.


Once the cheesecake has baked and chilled, it’s time to brûlée the top. This involves sprinkling the surface of the chilled custard with a little sugar and using a creme brûlée torch to melt the sugar into a solid, brittle crust.

If there’s too much sugar, the crust will start to burn before it melts evenly. Too little, and you will toast the top of the cheesecake.

I’ve found that sprinkling the sugar in two steps leads to a more uniform melting of the sugar granules and a nice even caramel color. It also lowers the risk of overheating the sugar as it caramelizes, which can lead to bitter, burnt sugar.

Culinary torches are really the best route. They are easy to use, affordable, and take up little space in your kitchen. It’s worth the investment. The one I like is this Micro Butane Torch from JB Culinary.


Once you’ve baked the cheesecake, but before you’ve torched the top, it will keep uncovered in the refrigerator for 24 hours (after you’ve cooled it for 24 hours).

Once you’ve brûléed the sugar topping, cheesecake is at its best served within 20 minutes. If you wait longer, you risk the sugar absorbing moisture and the brittle top softening. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work well to torch the top again to try crisping it back up.

If you’ve waited longer than 20 minutes, all is not lost! The top will still be hard, just not quite as hard as it was, and the brûléed sugar will have a quieter crack when tapped with a fork.


Cheesecake lasts about 3.7 seconds after you cut the first slice. Kidding!

I find that the crust begins to weep after about day three. It’s still fine to eat, but the crust isn’t what it used to be.

Just make sure you keep it in the fridge.


You absolutely can freeze cheesecake. I prefer to freeze it whole, but you can freeze individual slices and enjoy them as needed. You can read all about how to freeze cheesecake here:

  • How to Freeze Cheesecake

For this cake, freeze it before you brûlée the top. When it’s completely thawed and you’re almost ready to serve it, add the sugar, and torch it.


  • Perfect Cheesecake
  • No-Bake Cheesecake
  • Lemon Cheesecake
  • Pressure Cooker Pumpkin Cheesecake
  • Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars


Two dessert favorites join forces in this easy recipe for Crème Brûlée Cheesecakes starring a tangy cream cheese custard with sweet and crunchy torched topping.

Eons ago (after my N*SYNC days but before my HGTV days), I attended culinary school in New York City at The Institute of Culinary Education. It was one of the best experiences of my life and affirmed that my career would absolutely be a career in food. Along the way I met many inspiring chef instructors, and one of them was Melanie Underwood, an incredibly talented chef, teacher and author.

And we have Melanie to thank for this incredibly easy and creamy Crème Brûlée Cheesecakes recipe, courtesy of her new cookbook, Making Artisan Cheesecake (Quarry Books, 2015).

In addition to a whole host of classic and creative cheesecake recipes (plus options for gluten-free, nut-free and vegan varieties) Melanie shares her expert insights for ensuring perfect homemade cheesecake, including a few of my favorite tips:

  • Always start with cream cheese that’s at room temperature.
  • Always opt for full-fat cream cheese for the best flavor and texture.
  • Always use a water bath to prevent a cracked top on your cheesecake.

If you’re a fan of cheesecake, check out the recipe below then pick up a copy of Melanie’s book for more tasty recipes like Black-Bottom Cheesecake Bars, Carrot Cake Cheesecake, Salted Caramel Mini Cheesecakes and many more cheesecake-inspired favorites.

Craving more? Subscribe to Just a Taste to get new recipes and a weekly newsletter delivered straight to your inbox! And stay in touch on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for all of the latest updates.

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Easy Crème Brûlée Cheesecakes

Prep: 3 hours Cook: 50 minutes Yield: 6 servings


  • 12 ounces cream cheese, at room temp
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar


Preheat the oven to 325°F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until it’s smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides frequently, about 2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup sugar and continue beating the mixture and scraping down the sides until there are no visible lumps.

With the mixer on a low speed, slowly stream in the heavy cream and mix just until combined. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, mixing between each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract.

Place six crème brûlée molds on a baking sheet. Pour the mixture evenly among the molds. Place the baking sheet in the oven then pour enough almost boiling water into the baking sheet until it comes up halfway around the molds. Bake the cheesecakes for about 50 minutes, or just until they are set.

Remove the cheesecakes from the oven and allow them to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, cover each with plastic wrap and refrigerate them for a minimum of 2 hours.

When ready to serve, remove the cheesecakes from the fridge and discard the plastic wrap. Sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon of the remaining sugar. Using a butane torch, caramelize the sugar until it’s golden brown. (Alternatively, place the molds under a preheated broiler until the sugar is caramelized.) Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts Easy Crème Brûlée Cheesecakes Amount Per Serving Calories 494 Calories from Fat 414 % Daily Value* Fat 46g71% Saturated Fat 26g163% Cholesterol 339mg113% Sodium 213mg9% Potassium 142mg4% Carbohydrates 13g4% Sugar 10g11% Protein 7g14% Vitamin A 1895IU38% Vitamin C 0.3mg0% Calcium 117mg12% Iron 0.7mg4% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. ×

Creme Brûlée Cheesecake

posted by Lindsay on January 16, 2020 687shares

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This Creme Brûlée Cheesecake is made with a creamy brown sugar filling, pastry cream and caramelized sugar on top! It’s a fun twist on traditional creme brûlée with lots of flavor!

For more tasty creme brûlée treats, check out my Creme Brûlée Cupcakes and Strawberries Brûlée.

So life has been a little crazy around here for the last few months. We just can’t seem to all stay healthy. I hear it’s a crazy flu season out there so I’m sure we aren’t alone in this.

The boys had their first colds (and an ear infection for Ashton) in November. While trying to care for them, I also got sick and ended up with a sinus infection and bronchitis. My first time ever with bronchitis and boy do I not wish that on anyone. Brutal.

We all finally got through it by the time Thanksgiving had passed.

Then the boys were getting in their two year molars. Basically that means disrupted sleep for all.

And then, two days after Christmas, Ashton got the flu. His fever shot up to 103.9 and we ended up in the ER. Brooks got it a couple days later.

So after a couple weeks of that, the boys finally were on the mend. We all had flu shots and even though it didn’t keep the boys from getting it, the hubs and I so far have been in the clear from the flu. Fingers crossed it stays that way!

However, these last two weeks, the woman that helps take care of the boys for me a few days a week so I can get work done has been fighting bronchitis and the flu. Talk about brutal! I feel like we need a quarantine around our house! Beware of entering!

We are all just ready for everyone to get and stay healthy. I’m also ready for some decent sleep that lasts more than a few days.

At the end of some of these sleepless nights and crazy days, all I really want is to enjoy something tasty like this Creme Brûlée Cheesecake. Doesn’t it just make you feel better?

I totally fell in love with this cheesecake. The flavor is kind of simple, like creme brûlée itself, and yet it’s so classic and delicious.

The best part of anything that’s brûléed is the caramelized sugar on top, so I carried the caramel-y flavor through to the cheesecake as much as I could. I used brown sugar in both the crust and the filling and it adds such a nice flavor. It bakes up thick and creamy and so darn yummy!

To the top the cheesecake, I added some pastry cream that’s very much like eating actual creme brûlée. To finish it off, there’s the caramelized sugar top. It adds the perfect crunch and flavor!

How to make Creme Brûlée Cheesecake

This cheesecake starts with a tasty crust made with vanilla wafer cookies. Crush them in a food processor to get crumbs, then combine it with some butter and brown sugar. Bake the crust and set it aside.

To make the filling, you’ll start by combining the cream cheese, brown sugar and flour until they are nice and smooth. Be sure to mix on a low speed so you aren’t adding a bunch of air bubbles to the filling that could cause cracks later when it bakes.

Next you’ll add the sour cream and vanilla extract. Finally you’ll add the eggs. The eggs should be added one at a time so that they incorporate evenly, and again – be sure to use a lower speed.

The cheesecake is baked in a water bath and then cooled slowly in the oven.

Pastry Cream

About 30 minutes prior to the cheesecake being done, you’ll want to make the pastry cream. Add the egg yolks to a bowl and set them aside.

Add the sugar, cornstarch and milk to a saucepan and heat until it begins to thicken and bubble. Don’t try to speed up the heating process, just let it slowly heat up. Let it simmer for about 2 minutes.

At this point, you’ll want to temper the eggs, which basically means bringing them to temperature slowly without scrambling them. To do that, you’ll slowly add some of the hot milk mixture to the egg yolks, while whisking quickly and constantly. Once the hot milk mixture incorporates into the eggs, add the eggs to the milk mixture and continue heating it.

Bring the milk and egg mixture to a boil for about 2 minutes, then remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla extract. Stir it all together until the butter is melted and combined.

Add the pastry cream to the top of the cheesecake when it comes out of the oven, cover it with clear wrap that’s touching the cream and refrigerate it until cool and firm.

Caramelized Sugar

Shortly before serving the cheesecake, you’ll want to remove it from the springform pan and then sprinkle it with two to three tablespoons of sugar. Use a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar and it’s ready to serve!

You want to be sure not to caramelize the sugar too long before serving and you don’t want to refrigerate it. The cheesecake will end up with condensation in the fridge and the caramelized sugar will soften and lose the crackly texture that really makes it so much like creme brûlée.

The final cheesecake is seriously like eating little bites of heaven. Thick, creamy, caramel-y, with a wonderful pastry cream on top and a crunchy caramelized top. The combination of textures is such a treat! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

More great cheesecakes to enjoy:

Easy Classic Cheesecake Recipe
Salted Caramel Cheesecake
Boston Cream Pie Cheesecake
Caramel Chocolate Chip Cheesecake
Loaded Butterscotch Cheesecake

This Creme Brûlée Cheesecake is made with a creamy brown sugar cheesecake, pastry cream and caramelized sugar on top! It’s a fun twist on traditional creme brûlée with lots of flavor!

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 12-14 slices 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


  • 2 1/4 cups (302g) vanilla wafer crumbs
  • 1/2 cup (112g) salted butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp (39g) brown sugar


  • 24 ounces (678g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup (225g) packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp (24g) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (230g) sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature


  • 2 egg yolks
  • 6 tbsp (78g) sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup (240ml) milk
  • 1 tbsp (14g) salted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • 2–3 tbsp sugar

1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line a 9-inch (23cm) springform pan with parchment paper in the bottom and grease the sides.
2. Combine the crust ingredients in a small bowl. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan.
3. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.
4. Cover the outsides of the pan with aluminum foil so that water from the water bath cannot get in (see how I prepare my pan for a water bath). Set prepared pan aside.

5. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F (148°C).
6. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, brown sugar and flour on low speed until well combined and smooth. Be sure to use low speed to reduce the amount of air added to the batter, which can cause cracks. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
7. Add the sour cream and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until well combined.
8. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly to combine after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
9. Pour the cheesecake batter into the crust.
10. Place the springform pan inside another larger pan. Fill the outside pan with enough warm water to go about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. The water should not go above the top edge of the aluminum foil on the springform pan.
11. Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes. The center should be set, but still jiggly.
12. Turn off the oven and leave the door closed for 30 minutes. The cheesecake will continue to cook, but slowly begin to cool as well.
13. Crack the door of the oven for 30 minutes to allow the cheesecake to continue to cool slowly. This process helps prevent cracking. At this point, go ahead and make the pastry cream.

14. To make the pastry cream, put the egg yolks in a medium sized bowl and gently beat them together. Set aside.
15. Add the sugar, cornstarch and milk to a large saucepan and mix until smooth.
16. Cook, stirring continuously, over medium heat until mixture begins to thicken and bubble.
17. Simmer for 2 minutes, then remove from heat.
18. Add a little bit of milk mixture to the egg yolks and whisk together, then add egg mixture to milk mixture. This process ensures that you temper the egg yolks and slowly bring them to temperature, rather than scrambling them.
19. Place the pan back on the heat and bring to a light boil. Allow to boil for 2 minutes, stirring continuously.
20. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla extract. Stir until melted and smooth.
21. When the cheesecake comes out of the oven, spread the pastry cream evenly on top of the cheesecake and cover with clear wrap that’s touching the top of the cream.
22. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath wrapping and refrigerate until firm, 5-6 hours or overnight.


23. When you’re ready to serve the cheesecake, remove it from the springform pan and place on a serving dish.
24. Sprinkle the additional sugar over the top of the cheesecake and use a butane kitchen torch to cook/caramelize it.

Keywords: creme brulee cheesecake