Super cute Pumpkin Creme Brulée custard is baked to perfection in a real pumpkin ramekin and topped with caramelized sugar shells. Delicious!!
I'm not normally a big sweets eater, but after I took these completed pumpkin creme brulee pictures, I literally could not stop myself from gobbling one up as fast as I could.
One bite just wasn't enough for me, and I promise, it won't be enough for you either! Good news. Bad news. Right? Trust me. I understand completely! LOL
**Please Note - The printable recipe card with detailed instructions, complete ingredient measurements, and nutritional information for making Pumpkin Creme Brulee is available at the end of this post. OR you can click on the "Jump to Recipe" button (found above) to be taken directly to the recipe.
The ingredient list:
**Note - The following lists of ingredients plus kitchen tools and equipment contain affiliate links for your consideration and shopping convenience.
- Heavy Cream
- Whole Milk
- 100% Pure Pumpkin Puree
- Pure Vanilla Extract
- Ground Cinnamon
- Egg Yolks
- Granulated Sugar
- Ground Cloves
Kitchen tools and equipment:
- 4 -ramekins, OR 4 - 4" mini pumpkins
- Kitchen Torch
- Medium-Size Saucepan
- Nutmeg Grater (optional)
- 9" x 13" Casserole Dish
- Measuring Cup with Pour Spout
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Pumpkin Cleaning Tools (optional)
For all your creative baking needs:
Food Service Equipment & Supplies
How this recipe came to be:
This recipe for pumpkin creme brulee was inspired by these cute little hand-sized pumpkins I found at the grocery store a few weeks ago.
I was enamored by these cuties since I'd never seen this size pumpkin before.
Since I'm a die-hard pumpkin lover adding a few of these little cuties to my cart was something I simply could not resist.
Hand-sized pumpkins are not the tiny decorative size, and they're not the pie size. They're somewhere in-between, and they're adorable!
Now, hang on for a second before you say... "I can't make this pumpkin creme brulee because I don't have access to this size pumpkin!"
The fact of the matter is you CAN make this pumpkin creme brulee, and it will taste every bit as good if you make it in the ramekin dishes you may already have at home.
Is a kitchen torch necessary to make pumpkin creme brulee?
No. Not necessary at all...but read on.
Another fun thing I love about making creme brulée (no matter what the flavor) is I get to use my little culinary brulée torch to caramelize (brulée is the French word for "burned") the crunchy sugar topping.
Using my culinary torch is one of the most exciting things I get to do in my kitchen, and it's the closest thing I have to a power tool that's mine, all mine!
But wait! What if you don't have a kitchen culinary torch and have no desire to purchase one?
No problem! As long as you have a broiler, you can easily caramelize pumpkin creme brulée in a matter of moments under your broiler.
Just make sure to keep a close eye on the creme brulée while they're under the broiler because they can go from sugar to toast (meaning destroyed) in the blink of an eye.
When baking pumpkin creme brulee in a pumpkin shell, don't forget to...
...scoop (and eat) as much of the actual pumpkin shell as you can without digging a hole through the bowl.
Since the pumpkin custard is baked right in the little pumpkin ramekin, the pumpkin flesh will be beautifully roasted, soft and wonderfully full of pumpkin flavor. Just the way Mother Nature intended.
Can I bake my pumpkin creme brulee in ramekins instead?
You sure can!
As you can see from the photos, I made my pumpkin creme brulée both ways (in pumpkins and a ramekin) so you'd be able to see that you'll be successful with this recipe no matter what sort of vessel you use to bake your custard.
The flavor will be fantastic either way and that crisp sugar topping you get to crunch through to get to the creamy custard is to die for!
*Special Note - Once you bake the custard it needs to be cooled and refrigerated for at least four hours (or overnight) before the sugar topping can be applied and bruléed. Please plan accordingly.
How to make rustic pumpkin creme brulee:
- Assemble your four 4-ounce vessels.
- If using real pumpkins (as shown in the photos) cut off the top and scoop out the seeds and pulp.
- Set aside while making the custard.
- Heat the heavy cream, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan to a low simmer.
- Remove the pan from the heat.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar and egg yolks.
- Slowly pour the warmed cream in a thin stream into the sugar and egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly.
- Whisk the canned pumpkin puree and the pure vanilla extract into the custard mixture.
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl with a pour spout (optional) and carefully pour (or ladle) the custard mixture into the pumpkins and/or ramekins.
- Add the ramekins to an oven-safe casserole dish a carefully add enough water to the dish to go halfway up each ramekin to make a water bath (bain-marie).
- Bake the pumpkin creme brulée in a preheated 325-degree oven for 75-90 minutes or until the custard is set, but still slightly jiggly in the center.
- Remove from the oven and cool slightly.
- Remove the ramekins from the dish and set the pumpkin creme brulée on paper towels to dry and cool completely.
- Once the pumpkin creme brulée is completely cool, place plastic wrap directly on top of the custard and place in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
- Once chilled, remove the plastic wrap and use a paper towel to gently dab any moisture that has formed on top of the custard.
- Generously spoon a heaping tablespoon of granulated sugar evenly over the tops of the pumpkin creme brulée.
- Carefully use a kitchen culinary torch to caramelize and melt the sugar over the top of each brulée, OR place each ramekin on an oven-safe dish and broil under the broiler (watching carefully), until the sugar is melted and caramelized.
- Allow the caramelized sugar cool and harden before serving.
Additional pumpkin recipes?
Savory Pumpkin Recipes:
Pumpkin Farrotto from Culinary Adventures with Camilla.
Pumpkin Habanero Salsa from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen.
Pumpkin Quesadilla from Making Miracles.
Sweet Pumpkin Recipes:
Cinnamon Pumpkin Muddy Buddies from Love and Confections.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Macaron from A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures. Pumpkin Cheesecake Truffles from The Crumby Kitchen.
Pumpkin Chip Cookies from Palatable Pastime.
Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting from Daily Dish Recipes.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Danish from It Bakes Me Happy.
Pumpkin Cream Puffs from The Redhead Baker.
Pumpkin Creme Brulee from Kudos Kitchen by Renee.
Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies from A Day in the Life on the Farm.
Pumpkin Struesel Bar from Cookaholic Wife.
Slow Cooker Pumpkin Butter from Mildly Meandering
Spiced Pumpkin Mini Cakes with Mulled Cranberries & Brandy Brown Butter Glaze from Bacon Fatte.
Below is the printable recipe card along with the exact ingredient measurements and nutritional information for making today's pumpkin crème brulée recipe, baked in mini pumpkins.
If you've made this recipe, or are excited to make this recipe, I'd appreciate it if you'd take a moment to leave it a star rating in the recipe card, along with a comment if you're so inclined. I thank you most sincerely! 🙂
Printable Recipe Card
Rustic Pumpkin Creme Brulée
- 4 4 - ounce ramekins or mini pie pumpkins, approximately 4" round (top removed, seeded and pulp removed)
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- ½ cup whole milk
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 4 egg yolks reserve the white for another use
- ½ cup granulated sugar plus additional for topping
- 1 cup pumpkin purée
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325-degrees.
- Heat the heavy cream, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat to a low simmer. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the ½ cup of granulated sugar and egg yolks.
- Very slowly add the heated cream mixture into the egg and sugar mixture in a thin stream, whisking continually.
- Whisk the pumpkin puree and pure vanilla extract to the custard mixture.
- Transfer the custard mixture into a bowl with a pour spout, or use a ladle to carefully fill the prepared pumpkins (or ramekins) by dividing the custard equally between the prepared vessels.
- Place the prepared ramekins into an oven-safe dish and fill the dish with water so each ramekin is halfway submerged in water.
- Carefully add the water bath and pumpkin creme brulée to the preheated oven and bake for approximately 90 minutes, or until the center of the creme brulée are set, but still slightly jiggly.
- Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes.
- Place the ramekins/pumpkins on paper towels to dry and cool completely.
- Once the custard has cooled completely, place plastic wrap directly on the top of each custard and refrigerate at least 4 hours (or overnight).
- When the custard is completely refrigerated, remove the plastic wrap from the top of each custard and dab each with a paper towel to remove any moisture.
- Spoon approximately 1 heaping teaspoon of granulated sugar evenly on top of each custard and either broil them under the broiler (watching carefully so they don't burn) or use a kitchen culinary torch to caramelize and melt the sugar over each custard.
- Allow the caramelized sugar to cool and harden before serving.
- Serve cool or at room temperature.
I sincerely hope you've enjoyed today's recipe for rustic pumpkin creme brulee as much as I've enjoyed bringing it to you!
This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.
Hi! Can’t wait to try this. Question: if I am using pumpkins as the ramekin, do I still fill the tray with water halfway when baking? Thanks!
While it would probably be fine not to add water if using the pumpkins, I still did since I thought it would be a more even bake for the custard.
Thanks for the question. Enjoy the recipe!
Take good care,
These are totally incredible! What a showstopper!
Thanks so much!!
Claudia Lamascolo says
this is so creative I love it this presentation and creme brulee never looked so good!
Thanks, Claudia. Wait until you taste it! YUMMY!
The title makes me think of Mary Poppins - "practically perfect in every way!" -- LOVE THIS DESSERT! So crazy fun and creative
That's exactly what my head was thinking when I'd written this post. I love Mary Poppins and look forward to the remake.
But, back to the recipe...So happy you like it. Thank you!! 🙂
Rebecca Hubbell says
Creme Brulee is one of my favorite indulgences and this pumpkin version is perfection!
It's one of my favorites, too, Rebecca. Since I'm not a huge pumpkin pie fan, this pumpkin creme brulee is what I crave!
Thank you. Glad you like it!
Julie Evink says
The presentation of these are so amazing! Plus, the dessert is just as delicious. Such a great idea for fall entertaining!
Thank you so much, Julie!! I'm glad you like them!
Renee you are a genius!!! Loving this sweet and sassy pumpkin creme brûlée!
I love that these are served in mini pumpkins! Delightful!
They really are a showstopper that way. Thanks so much, Lane!
Amy @ Little Dairy on the Prairie says
These are creative! I love them for the Holidays!
I'm a sucker for creme brûlée but have never had it this way! Can't wait to try this!!
I'm a sucker for it too, but I must say I'm glad it's gone. It's WAY too dangerous to have in the house. LOL
Dorothy Reinhold says
This is so perfect I can't believe I can make this! The presentation is beautiful!
Dorothy, I believe you CAN make this! It's so easy, really. Plus, you can make it in ramekin dishes if you don't want to go the pumpkin route.
What an incredibly beautiful presentation!!! I love using my brulée torch too!
Thanks! The torch is almost the best part! LOL. Well, next to the eating that is.
Allyson Zea says
Oh my!!! These seriously look like the perfect fall desserts! I would love to serve these at a dinner party!
They'd be wonderful for a dinner party! Your guests would be amazed, and only you'd know how easy they are to make!
Wendy Klik says
Love the addition of pumpkin flavor to this creme brulee. I know I can use regular ramekins but I really hope I can find some of those adorable little pumpkins. Great presentation.
The mini pumpkins sure do help with presentation, but not with flavor. I hope you make them either way!