Bursting with true vanilla flavor, this Instant Pot Vanilla Creme Brulee recipe is going to put every restaurant version you've ever had to shame with its delicate, floral vanilla flavor and ultra-creamy texture. Easier, faster, and better tasting than any oven-baked version I've ever experienced, the pressure cooker shines in this recipe!
At some point in my 30s, I lost all patience for dealing with 3 layered cakes and other time-intensive desserts.
Could have something to do with 3 kids, two years old and under running around wreaking havoc throughout my house – if I had to guess. That destroys love for any activity that needs your attention for more than 30 seconds.
I positively adore desserts that require a few simple ingredients, can be whipped up in no time, and decorated as fancy or not fancy as you please.
Does this Instant Pot Vanilla Creme Brulee ever deliver on all accounts!
A whole vanilla bean gets steeped in warm cream to extract the most incredible floral vanilla flavor you could imagine to really distinguish this creme brulee from all other versions you've ever had.
If you're one who swoons passionately over this famous dessert, you're gonna wanna try this ASAP.
Or if you're someone, like my children, who've never even heard of this dessert before, get ready for the ride of a lifetime. My kids were literally cheering, squealing, and doing cartwheels in the living room (no joke) over this one. You would have thought I'd handed them tickets to Disneyland, haha!
WHY YOU WILL LOVE INSTANT POT VANILLA CREME BRULEE
- PRESSURE COOKER MAGIC: No annoying water baths here. If you've made creme brulee the traditional oven method way, you know what I'm talking about. The pressure cooker is its own “water bath” making it the perfect moist environment for cooking this dessert.
- EASY: Only a few, non-finicky steps needed here to create a truly memorable dessert.
- CREAMY LIKE YOU WON'T BELIEVE: Every person I served this to commented on the texture. When they weren't gushing about the strong vanilla flavor, they were jumping up and down about the silky texture.
- IN YOUR FACE VANILLA FLAVOR: If you've ever considered vanilla to be boring, watch out. Your tune is about to change. Using a real vanilla bean makes this dessert sing with strong, aromatic, floral tones that only the real deal can give you.
- STUNNER: Nothing excites a crowd like breaking out a mini torch and burning sugar into a golden-brown crust.
- CRISPY SUGAR SHELL: Few things are more satisfying than busting through that crispy sugar topping. Whoever came up with the idea of a sugar shell on top of pudding is a genius.
HOW TO MAKE VANILLA CREME BRULEE IN THE PRESSURE COOKER
- Add cream, sugar, salt, vanilla seeds, and scraped vanilla bean in a pan on the stovetop and bring to a simmer; let cool
- Whisk cream into egg yolks
- Pour mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a different bowl
- Divide into ramekins and cover with foil
- Stack ramekins on top of the edges of each other inside the pot; pressure cook
- Remove foil, let cool on a cooling rack, then refrigerate covered until cold
SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR DETAILED COOKING INSTRUCTIONS
Once the pudding is chilled through (at least four hours or up to two days), sprinkle sugar over top and use a kitchen torch to melt the sugar until it's deeply caramelized, but not black/burnt.
All there is to do now is use a spoon to tap the burnt sugar and watch it crack into delicious sweet shards of glass-like candy. Man, I love doing that.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
- VANILLA BEAN: If you can get a vanilla bean for a decent price, it is well worth it. I buy mine in bulk from Beanilla (use the code TIDBITS for 7% off anything on their site). The flavor is off the charts. But if the only bean you can find is $8 a pop, then go ahead and swap it for 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, or, even better, Vanilla Bean Paste.
- SCRAPE THE POD: If you've never cut open a vanilla bean and scraped out the seeds, here is a great visual on how to do that. Those pretty black speckles in the pudding are everything.
- VANILLA BEAN TOO DRY?: If your vanilla bean is dry and brittle, place it in a container with a slice of bread overnight. This will soften it so you can easily slice it in half and scrape out the seeds.
- WATCH THE CREAM CAREFULLY: Speaking from experience, when you're bringing the cream to a simmer, it'll go from doing nothing to boiling over the pan in seconds if you're not watching. I've got a burnt stovetop to prove it . . .
- DON'T SKIP THE STRAIN STEP: For ultra-smooth pudding, be sure to pour the hot cream through a fine-mesh strainer before dividing it into ramekins. It is 100% worth it.
- COVER THE RAMEKINS: I don't often take the extra step of covering anything with foil inside the pressure cooker (for example, cheesecake, I never bother to cover it), but in this case, it will affect the texture of the pudding if you have extra water droplets in it.
- TIPS TO EVENLY DISTRIBUTE THE VANILLA BEAN SEEDS: While dividing the batter into the ramekins, give it a whisk before pouring it into the ramekins to keep the vanilla bean seeds evenly distributed. I will then give the batter a quick whisk inside the ramekins before I cover them with foil to make sure I don't have a clump of seeds. But honestly, the clumps of seeds don't bother me, in fact, that's the prize bite! So you decide if you want to remember to do this or not.
- HOW TO PROPERLY CARAMELIZE THE SUGAR: The sugar can go from brown to black in 2 seconds while caramelizing the sugar if you're not careful. To prevent this, hold the torch about 2 inches from the sugar and move in a constant circular motion to melt the sugar until deeply brown.
- HOW TO CARAMELIZE WITHOUT A TORCH: If you don't own a kitchen torch, preheat the oven broiler on high for 5 minutes. Place the sugar-coated pudding on a sheet pan and place directly under the broiler. Watch closely for the sugar to caramelize. To prevent heating the pudding while caramelizing the sugar, make sure the ramekins are very close to the heating elements so they can brown quickly.
MAKE AHEAD TIPS
The creme brulee is much better if you caramelize it right before eating it. Store the pudding without the topping in the fridge, covered, for up to 3 days. Top it with sugar and caramelize right before serving.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH VANILLA CREME BRULEE
- FRUIT: Top it with raspberries, strawberries, or blackberries. Ripe, sweet mangos are also delightful. My daughter likes to make a quick compote of blueberries and strawberries for a sweet, tart topping – it's quite remarkable actually! Very similar to this Instant Pot Triple Berry Chia Jam.
- CREAM: Whipped cream is the best, but I'm sure a scoop of vanilla ice cream would also be amazing.
- POWDERED SUGAR: Make it pretty with a dusting of powdered sugar.
- CHOCOLATE SHAVINGS: Also unique and amazing – a quick shave of chocolate over top.
If you're in the mood for a fancy sweet treat, but don't want to slave over it for hours, this Instant Pot Vanilla Creme Brulee is your ticket!
Now that I've got the basic recipe down, I'm so excited to try different flavors! Chocolate? Peppermint? Butterscotch? What should we try next?!
I'm excited for you to fall in love with this one! Post a picture on Instagram, #marcitidbits so I can see your creation.
MORE INSTANT POT DESSERT RECIPES
- Instant Pot Funfetti Cheesecake
- Instant Pot Lava Cake
- Instant Pot Angel Food Cake
- Instant Pot Coconut Tres Leches Cake
TOOLS/INGREDIENTS USED TO MAKE INSTANT POT VANILLA CREME BRULEEPrint
Instant Pot Vanilla Creme Brulee
Sweet Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee made quick and easy in the Instant Pot!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 6 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: American
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 vanilla bean, pod split, seeds scraped (may substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- 6 egg yolks
- 6 tablespoons superfine sugar or Turbinado, divided
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, sugar, salt, vanilla bean pod, and vanilla seeds. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Remove from the heat and let it cool for 15 minutes.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Add ¼ cup of the warm cream mixture and whisk to temper the eggs. Continue to whisk while pouring the remaining warm cream into the bowl. Stir until combined.
- Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a large container with a pour spout. Divide the mixture among six 6 ounce ramekins and cover each with foil.
- Add 1 cup of water to the pressure cooker pot and place a trivet in the bottom. Place 3 ramekins on the trivet. Stack the remaining 3 ramekins on the rims of the bottom ramekins.
- Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position. Cook at high pressure for 6 minutes.
- When pressure cooking is complete, unplug the pressure cooker. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure.
- Carefully transfer the ramekins to a wire rack to cool, uncovered, to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to 2 days.
- When ready to serve, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar to cover the entire surface of each custard. Working with one at a time, hold a kitchen torch about 2 inches above the surface of each custard and move in a circular motion to melt the sugar and form a crisp, caramelized topping. Serve immediately.
- Some of the vanilla seeds may sink to the bottom of the ramekins while dividing the batter into the 6 ramekins. If this bothers you, give each ramekin a stir before placing the foil on top and pressure cooking.
- Vanilla extract can be used in place of the vanilla bean. The vanilla flavor won’t be as strong, but it will still taste amazing.
- Sugar can be caramelized without a kitchen torch by placing the ramekins under a preheated oven broiler. Watch closely, they will brown quickly.
Keywords: Instant Pot Creme Brulee, Easy Creme Brulee, Vanilla Creme Brulee
Welcome! I’m Marci, wife to my motorcycle dream man and mother of 3. I have a passion for creating and cooking delicious masterpieces in my kitchen and am ecstatic to share my discoveries on TIDBITS! I like my food tasty, wholesome, memorable, and always, ALWAYS followed by dark, salty chocolate.