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!
Looking for more cheesecakes? Try my Classic Cheesecake recipe. It’s easy & comes out perfect every time!
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?
Creme Brûlée Cheesecake
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.
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.
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
Creme Brûlée Cheesecake
- Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
- Total Time: 4 hours
- Yield: 12-14 slices
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
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!
- 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.
TO FINISH IT OFF
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.
- Serving Size: 1 slice
- Calories: 466
- Sugar: 31.7 g
- Sodium: 305.6 mg
- Fat: 30.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 40.6 g
- Protein: 8.3 g
- Cholesterol: 156.8 mg
Keywords: creme brulee cheesecake, easy creme brulee cheesecake, best creme brulee cheesecake
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Hi Lindsay love all your recipes made several of them one is better than the next . Is it ok to make the pastry cream ahead of time or you do not suggest that.
That should be fine. If it seems a little firm after sitting in the fridge, you should just be able to give it a good stir to smooth it back out before adding it on top of the cheesecake.
Do I need to add pastry cream?
Does the actual cheesecake taste like creme brulee?
I mean not necessarily. Technically cheesecake is a little bit like a custard and the flavor is there a bit and compliments the topping, but certainly the topping is where most of that true flavor comes in.
Can you substitute the milk for maybe heavy cream or almond milk?
Heavy cream should be fine. I’m not sure about almond milk.
I made this for my niece’s birthday and it was absolutely delicious! I served it with strawberries, blueberries and whipped cream. Thank you for a wonderful recipe! 💜
I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
My BF LOVES Creme Brulee and I would like to make this for her. However, I don’t have a kitchen torch and hate to get another gadget I will probably never use again. Any suggestions of an alternate method? TIA!!
Unfortunately I’m not really sure of another option. The oven broiler isn’t going to apply enough heat to brown the sugar and not heat up the rest of the cheesecake. I suppose if you have one of those grill lighters or some thing, you could try it. It might take a while though and it still may not be strong enough.
YOu can buy lighters that are torch like at menards.
Hello, this sounds & looks delicious! My question is how do you store leftovers if refrigeration changes the texture of the caramelization? Thank you.
Well, ideally maybe you would serve it to a group of people who might finish it, LOL. Obviously leftovers are likely so you would need to refrigerate it. What I did when I wanted to serve it again was add more sugar to the top of it and re-caramelize it with my torch. It worked fine, but the cheesecake was definitely best the first time. It’s just kind of the nature of crème brûlée.
Try carmelizing each individual piece you slice – I did this and my guests loved the interaction!
Your leftovers won’t be compromised.
What a great and fun idea!
I love creme brulee and am so excited to try this recipe!! I notice in your cheesecake recipes you use a 9 inch spring form pan, I have a 10 inch. Do you think i would need to add more to the crust recipe to make it stretch that extra inch?
That depends a little on how you like your crust. You could just make it so that the crust only covers the bottom of the pan and not the sides and then you probably wouldn’t need more. But you could increase it a little if you want to make sure you have that full coverage on the sides.