How to Torch Crème Brulee Without a Torch


If you are looking for a classic, phenomenon, and easy to bake dessert, crème brulee is the best one out there. You will surely fall in love with the crisp and caramelized top under the vanilla-scented custard. For ages, it has been an emblem of valentine. So, why not bake it at home? Making a custard in a cup is pretty simple, but that caramel of sugar-coated on top of custard is where the art lies. The easiest way is to use a torch. However, in case you do not have one, how can you torch crème brulee without a torch?

Ways to Torch Crème Brulee without a Torch

If you fell utterly addictive to crème brulee, maybe eating it in a restaurant, you should try making it at home. Every recipe will recommend you to use a torch to make it. But, no need to worry in case you have no butane torch to caramelize the sugar.

 To torch a crème brulee you do not need any blowtorch or strong baking skills. Torching crème brulee without a torch is every bit possible and requires only a few preparations beforehand.

There are several ways you can make a crème brulee at home, and you will not need a torch. The most practical method is to broil the dessert. Additionally, you can also use a spoon to caramelize the sugar. Finally, the most surprising way is to use a candle or grill lighter to torch crème brulee.

Using the Broiler to Torch Crème Brulee

Broiling the crème brulee is a convenient approach in torching the sugar on top. All you need for this is an oven with broiler mode, and you are good to go.

To make the custard first, you will need egg yolks, granulated sugar, whipped cream, vanilla extract, and a bit salt. Before initiating the baking process, preheat the oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

While the oven is preheating, you will need to whisk the egg yolks with sugar in a bowl. You will know the batter is ready when it has a creamy texture with lemon color. Next, add the whipped cream, vanilla, and salt until it is smooth and combined.

After that, pout the whole batter in a ramekin filling a quarter of it. Now, place a baking pan inside the preheated oven filling it with water, but not completely. Next, place the ramekin on the baking pan and start the baking. It will take about an hour to complete, while you check it every 5 minutes after the 40-minute mark.

Once the custard has been baked, set it in a refrigerator or cool environment for about an hour. After the custard has been completely set, you are now ready to torch it in the oven. First, set the oven in broiling mode. Again place the ramekin on a baking pan, this time without any water. Just before you put the baking pan inside the oven, sprinkle some sugar on top. Now let the baked custard broil in oven for about 3 to 5 minutes. After hearing the ting sound of the oven, you will see the sugar has turned into brown, crispy, and caramelly crust.

Using Spoon to Torch Crème Brulee

You can also use a spoon to create the crisp on top of the crème brulee. This may look surprising, but it is quite popular and gets the job done.

You will need the same ingredients to make the custard. These are egg yolks, sugar, whipped cream, vanilla beans or extracts, and a bit salt. Additionally, you can use mascarpone as well.

At first, split the vanilla beans with a knife vertically and place them with whipped cream on a saucepan. Boil the mixture in medium heat for a few minutes and then set aside.

Now, take a bowl and whisk the egg yolks and sugar until the batter is smooth, creamy and lemony in color. You can add some cream here as well. After that, pour all the mixture on the saucepan and keep on whisking slowly.

Now you can add the mascarpone and remove the vanilla beans. Let them settle for an hour on their own while the oven is being preheated at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, pour the mixture in a ramekin and place the ramekin inside the oven on a baking pan half-filled with water. Bake it for an hour, by repeating the previous procedure. Thus, the custard is ready.

After removing the custard, cool it down by keeping it in the refrigerator for an hour. Following this, you are now ready to make the caramelized topping. Sprinkle some sugar on top of the custard. Take a spoon that is not so favored by you and hold it on stove flame until it looks red. Remove the spoon from the stove and immediately place it on top of the crème brulee to burn the sugar on top of it. After a few moments, the top layer is crisp and caramelized, just like you desired it to be.

Using Candle or Grill Lighter

While this may be quite surprising and unexpected, using a candle or lighter to torch crème brulee is quite effective.

You may not have an oven to prepare your custard, but you can definitely make it on the stove. You can make custard with the same ingredient and almost the same process as mentioned above, only instead of using an oven, you can use a pressure cooker. If you do not have a blowtorch or do not want to use a spoon, you can easily use other fire resources.

What you need to do is, light the sugar on fire with the lighter immediately after sprinkling sugar on top of the custard. However, there are some setbacks. The process takes a lot of time, and you will have to wait forever for a small amount of sugar to melt. So, this may be a good option when the sprinkled sugar has a thin layer, and the surface area is small. You would also need a pretty powerful lighter.


Having the best caramel topping on the crème brulee is imperative as it carries the most impressive experience of the dessert. Although using a blowtorch would be the best option, these 3 methods are very effective and save a lot of trouble. The primary purpose is to let the sugar caramel set on top of the custard. So, you can choose any method to torch the crème brulee without a torch to create the crisp, brown, and caramelly topping.


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