Love and Olive Oil

Pumpkin Crème Brûlée

Pumpkin Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee

I finally cracked open a can of pumpkin.

I figure if it’s cold enough to have the heat running, I can stop holding on to the last rays of summer light and finally accept that it’s gone, and subsequently drown my sorrows in canned pumpkin. It’s the only thing that makes fall bearable, in my opinion.

Pumpkin Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee

Pumpkin crème brûlée seemed like an obvious choice, especially now that I finally have a crème brûlée torch to my name (yay, cookbook for giving me an excuse to get one!) Throw in some swoon-worthy Uganda vanilla beans from my Food Blog Forum swag bag (thanks, Beanilla!) and you have yourself one heck of a fall dessert.

Pumpkin Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee

Call it a gateway dessert, if you will, paving the way for many more sweet amber treats to come. I have a feeling there will be a lot of them.

Pumpkin Crème Brûlée

Did you make this recipe?


1 cup heavy cream
1/2 vanilla bean
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup turbinado or granulated sugar


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Bring a pot of water to a gentle boil (this will be used for the water bath later).

Scrape out the seeds of the vanilla bean with a paring knife. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolks, brown sugar, pumpkin, and vanilla until light in color.

Heat cream in a small saucepan until it starts to steam. Gradually pour warm cream into bowl with egg yolks, 1/4 cup at a time, whisking vigorously, until incorporated. Skim off foam. Pour into 4 (4-ounce) shallow ramekins. Arrange ramekins in a baking pan and place pan on oven rack. Carefully pour in just enough boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until just set. Remove from water bath and allow to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Just before serving, sprinkle a generous tablespoon of sugar evenly over the top of each ramekin. Use a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar, moving torch evenly across the tops of the custards to keep the sugar from burning. Alternatively, you place the custards on the top rack of a broiler set to high, and broil until sugar is golden brown and caramelized, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

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  1. Hi

    Please supply the weight of the pumpkin – if using fresh baked pumpkin.


  2. Confused about vanilla bean.  ive never baked with vanilla bean. Do I open the bean up and split the seed open?

    • Correct, you’ll want to split the bean in half lengthwise, then use the back of a knife to scrape all the seeds out of it. You can save the leftover pods and use it to make vanilla extract or vanilla sugar if you want.

  3. Loved your recipe, but the batch I only refrigerated for 5 hours did not set. And was like a ‘sauce’. But the batch that I let set overnight was perfection, so maybe you should revise that bit? Maybe it was just me, but 5 hours wasn’t enough time.

  4. Hello. 
    First I have to say that I love your blog, your recipes, your photos… it’s a very nice site to visit.

    I’ve never made creme brulée, and I love it, maybe because I’ve never used a kitchen torch, or any kind of torch :)  Anyway, this recipe looks fantastic, but I wonder if I could use real pumpkin, instead of can pumpkin.


  5. I’m about to start preparing your wonderful creme brule… What size was your pumpkin puree can? I’m making 8 servings, so I’ll be using the whole can. I’ve got a 30oz can (Libby’s). Help, Lindsay!

    • Standard size (15oz) can is what I used, which usually is about 1 3/4 cup of pumpkin, but you only need 1/2 cup of it for 4 servings as per the recipe.

  6. I made this tonight and it was awesome. We used some in a water bath and others not a water. The one in the water bath turned out awesome. This is an awesome recipe.

  7. Nagyon finom lehetett,nem csoda ha kiürült a tál!!!!

  8. I love classic creme brulee but with the taste of pumpkin it sounds really delish! I have to try this!

  9. Just made this for my family for Thanksgiving and it was a hit! My only problem was that it didn’t set well, and turned out pretty soupy. I allowed it to sit in the fridge overnight and didn’t undercook — any tips?? Thanks!

  10. You know, we’re a small group for Thanksgiving this year and your pumpkin creme burlee will be a much better choice for dessert than an entire pie. Can’t wait to make it!

  11. I’ve been wanting a reason to get a torch as well. Maybe I can use this as an excuse since I’m not writing a cookbook! crème brûlée is awesome so pumpkin crème brûlée must be epic.

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