Instant Pot Creme Brulee

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This Instant Pot Creme Brulee is a rich, creamy custard with a brittle caramelized layer on top that makes an elegant but easy dessert for entertaining.

three ramekins of creme brulee with sugar crust

❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe: This is the easiest way to make thick, custardy creme brulee. It’s simple, comes together quickly, and it’s made from just six ingredients that I almost always have on hand.

Update: This is my go-to recipe for a sophisticated dessert, so I’ve updated the recipe, post and photos to help you make it like a pro. 

How to Make Instant Pot Crème Brûlée

Even though this dish is easy to make, the textures are wonderfully complex. The rich, silky-smooth custard is a perfect contrast to the crunchy, caramelized sugar topping. 

The creme brulee “bakes” in the pressure cooker in 6-ounce custard cups, then goes into the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours or overnight. 

You don’t make the caramelized crust on top of each custard until shortly before serving. The key to making the crack-worthy crust is to use superfine sugar (it’s sometimes labeled baker’s sugar). This fine sugar melts faster than normal granulated sugar. 

Tip: If you don’t want to buy baker’s sugar, you can pulse regular granulated sugar in a blender to make superfine sugar.

ingredients for instant pot creme brulee

Can I Make Custard in an Instant Pot?

Yes! In fact, desserts that require a water bath, like cheesecakes, flan, and custards, are perfect for making in the pressure cooker’s moist environment.

straining custard for instant pot creme brulee

Ingredient Notes

Since there are only six ingredients in pressure cooker creme brulee, it’s really important to use high-quality ingredients. 

In particular, choose a fresh heavy cream (local if possible) and high-quality vanilla extract. If you’re looking for suggestions, I really love Lágrima‘s premium artisan vanilla extract or Nielsen-Massey’s Pure vanilla extract. It’s also a wonderful gift to give for the holidays.

If you want to try homemade, my friend Marci has an awesome tutorial about how to make your own vanilla in an Instant Pot

Note: I often use Costco vanilla extract for cookies and cakes, but for desserts like these where the vanilla flavor is the centerpiece, it’s worth it to me to use a premium vanilla.

filled creme brulee ramekins

Making the Sugar Crust

When you’re ready to serve your dessert, it’s time to make the hard-shell sugar crust on top. 

Most recipes call for using a kitchen torch because it gives you full control over how the sugar melts and caramelizes. However, you don’t have to use a kitchen torch! 

Until I was gifted a kitchen torch for Christmas, I used to borrow my husband’s welding torch to finish creme brulee. (It works great for brulees and fireworks, for the record!) 

If you don’t have access to a torch, you can just use your oven broiler. To do so, place the creme brulee cups on a baking sheet and place the sheet on your oven rack a few inches below the broiler. Broil until the sugar is brown and caramelized, rotating the baking sheet frequently to help the cups brown evenly. Make sure you keep a close eye on things, since it can burn quickly. 

Tip: Make sure the custard cups or ramekins you’re using are broiler-safe before using the broiler!

cooked creme brulees in ramekins

Make-Ahead Creme Brulee

Feel free to make the Instant Pot Creme Brulee ahead of time. The finished custards will last in the fridge for 2 to 3 days wrapped in plastic wrap, just make the sugar crust right before serving since the crisp texture doesn’t last in the fridge. 

creme brulee with sugar crust

Serving Suggestions

To add some extra flavor, texture, and a pop of color to your custards, serve them with fresh raspberries or strawberries. You could also add a dollop of homemade whipped cream for yet another texture. 

scooping instant pot creme brulee with sugar crust

More Instant Pot Dessert Recipes

If you love making desserts like creme brulee in your Instant Pot / pressure cooker, you’ll have to try these sweet treats next:

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Instant Pot Creme Brulee

Instant Pot Creme Brulee

Yield: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 26 minutes

This Instant Pot Creme Brulee is an easy 6-ingredient dessert to make ahead topped with a hard caramelized sugar crust. 


  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 6 tablespoons superfine sugar


  1. Add 1 1/2 cups of water to the pressure cooking pot and place the trivet in the bottom.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs yolks, 1/3 cup granulated sugar and a pinch of salt. Add cream and vanilla and whisk until blended.
  3. Strain into a large measuring bowl with a pour spout or a pitcher. Pour mixture into six 6-ounce custard cups, cover with foil, and place on a trivet in the pressure cooking pot. Stack the cups in a second layer. (I used a second trivet between the layers.)
  4. Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and a 6 minute cook time. When the cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker and use a natural pressure release for 10 minutes and then finish with a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid.
  5. Carefully remove the cups to a wire rack to cool uncovered. When cool, refrigerate covered with plastic wrap for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
  6. When ready to serve, sprinkle about a tablespoon of sugar to cover the entire surface of each custard. Working with one at a time, move the flame of the torch 2 inches above the surface of each custard in a circular motion to melt the sugar and form a crispy, caramelized topping.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 655Total Fat: 52gSaturated Fat: 31gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 503mgSodium: 82mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 0gSugar: 39gProtein: 9g

Nutrition information is calculated by Nutritionix and may not always be accurate.


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