A recipe for Pumpkin Crème Brûlée! This creamy vanilla and pumpkin custard is topped with a layer of caramelized sugar for a fun fall-inspired twist on the classic dessert.
Crème Brûlée is a favorite of mine and I am so excited to share this seasonal version today! This particular Autumn-themed Creme Brulee is flavored with pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice in addition to the vanilla bean.
The dessert is especially perfect for the holidays since it can be prepared a day (or up to three) in advance and refrigerated. Simply caramelize the top immediately before serving.
For garnish, I topped each Pumpkin Creme Brulee with whipped cream, a cinnamon stick, fresh mint, and a sprinkling of additional pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon sugar).
A Few Creme Brulee Tips
This recipe uses pumpkin puree, NOT pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin puree simply contains cooked and pureed pumpkin.
While beating the eggs, add the warm heavy cream in a very thin and light stream to keep the eggs from scrambling. If a few pieces do scramble, strain the mixture before dividing among ramekins.
Carefully pour the water into the baking dish around the ramekins and transfer to the oven. Move gently and slowly so no water splashes into the custard and no custard falls into the water. The water should reach about halfway up the ramekins.
Bake the custards just until set around the edges, but still very lightly wobbly in the center. Deeper ramekins will take longer (about 45-50 minutes) than the wider, more shallow ramekins (closer to 30-35 minutes).
If you don’t have a torch to caramelize the sugar, stick the ramekins under a broiler just until the sugar caramelizes to a deep golden brown. Keep an eye on them and rotate as needed to evenly heat. Make sure the custard is completely chilled before caramelizing the top.
Don’t cover the top with sugar and torch until immediately before serving. It will soften with time and lose that contrasting crisp texture.
If you don’t have vanilla beans available, substitute with about 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste.
Pumpkin pie spice is a spice mixture often comprised of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. It can be found in the spice section of most American grocery stores, particularly in the fall. Savory Thoughts also has a great recipe for making Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice.
Looking for more recipes with pumpkin?
This recipe was originally posted in November 2014 and updated November 2021.
Pumpkin Crème Brûlée Recipe
Adapted from Use Real Butter
Pumpkin Crème Brûlée
- 1 1/2 cups (355 milliliters) heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 5 large egg yolks
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 cup (120 grams) pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- Whipped cream
- Cinnamon sugar or pumpkin pie spice for sprinkling
- Place 4 (6 ounce, 170 milliliter) ramekins in a deep, large baking dish and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, place the heavy cream over medium heat. Scrape in the seeds from the vanilla bean and add the emptied pod. Whisk in the pumpkin pie spice.
- Once the cream begins to steam, but not boil, remove from heat, cover, and steep for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325˚F (160˚C).
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg yolks, and salt until light and thickened.
- Remove the pod from the heavy cream. While whisking the eggs, slowly add the heavy cream in a thin stream, careful not to heat the eggs too quickly or beat too much air into the mixture. If any of the eggs scramble, strain the mixture.
- Whisk in the pumpkin puree.
- Divide the custard evenly among the ramekins. Carefully fill the pan halfway up the ramekins with hot water without splashing any into the ramekins.
- Gently transfer the pan to the preheated oven without splashing any water. Bake until set, but still a little loose in the center, 35-45 minutes.
- Carefully remove the ramekins from the baking dish and allow to cool to room temperature on cooling rack.
- Cover and refrigerate 4 hours to overnight.
- Once ready to serve, top each custard with an even layer of sugar, about 1 tablespoon (12 grams). Move the flame from a culinary torch across the entire surface until the sugar starts to darken and caramelize.
- Serve immediately with whipped cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar or pumpkin pie spice.