Creme Brulee is a classic, elegant treat. This easy keto creme brulee recipe has all the flavour and texture of the original, but low carb & no sugar!
Originally posted April 8, 2022. Updated 2/10/2023.
Often a popular dessert on fancy restaurant menus, it’s often seen as high end and pretentious enough, that there is this assumption that it's difficult or finicky to make... but that couldn't be further from the truth - it’s one of the easiest dessert recipes to make!
I mean really, the name means “burnt cream”.
Anyway, a rich vanilla crème brûlée recipe is one of the easiest low carb desserts to make - a very quick, simple, and creamy custard that is baked at a moderate temperature to set it.
The “Brûlée” is the sugar topping. The finished creamy vanilla custard is sprinkled generously with sugar, then that top layer is torched to caramelize it into a golden sugar crust.
The sugar - well, sugar substitute in this case! - melts, then hardens into a crunchy caramelized top that is SO satisfying to shatter when eating.
This delicious creme brulee actually comes together in just minutes, in terms of actual labour... and it's sure to impress!
Easy Keto Crème Brûlée Recipe
What makes this low-carb dessert an easy recipe?
Well, classic crème brûlée recipes often involve steps and equipment that are largely unnecessary. Cooking the smooth custard in a double boiler, using a fine-mesh sieve or fine mesh strainer, etc.
I wouldn’t blame anyone to find it fussy, when looking at a traditional recipe for the first time.
The thing is... you really don’t need those steps.
My sugar-free crème brûlée recipe takes about 5 minutes of work to get the custards in the oven, then a little to add the crust - very minimal effort!
Serve this low-carb version of the classic on its own, or with some fresh berries for an easy dessert.
Done and done!
Low Carb Creme Brulee Recipe
This dreamy dessert may be perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth - it’s the ideal creamy dessert for dinner parties! - but the best part is that it’s suitable for anyone on a ketogenic diet.
After deducting the sugar alcohol from the low carb sweetener, this low carb dessert clocks in at just 5 grams of net carbs per serving - and that’s for 4 LARGE ones.
Make 6 smaller ones, and it’s under 3.5 grams of net carbs per serving - a wonderfully keto recipe, sure to become a favorite dessert for the whole family - even those NOT on a keto diet!
See the nutritional information in the recipe card for full nutrition details.
Equipment to Make Keto Creme Brûlée
While Crème Brûlée is really easy to make, it does require 3 types of equipment to make them:
You want a baking dish - or dishes - large enough to hold your individual ramekins, leaving a little bit of space between each of them, and the sides.
I like using big, shallow ramekin, so I use a bit, flat bottomed roasting pan.
You’ll be adding water around the ramekins, a process called a bain marie. This is a hot water bath that allows for slow, low heat, even cooking of the custards.
Ramekins come in a variety of styles and sizes. For Crème Brûlée, I like to use shallow ramekins, about 5-6 oz.
Shallow ramekins allow for more surface area, which means more caramelized sugar to custard ratio.
The smaller your ramekin, the more servings you’ll get from this recipe. 4-ounce ramekins will yield about 6 servings, while
6-ounce ramekins / 6-ounce custard cups.
Another item you’ll want for this is a small butane kitchen torch.
This mini blow torch is handy not only for making the caramelized topping on your low carb Crème Brûlée, but also adding a bit of toasty colour to other dishes.
Marshmallows, for instance. It may be a bit “extra”, but toasting marshmallows on top of a mug of hot chocolate can be fun!
Creme Brulee Ingredients
While you can add flavours to customize it (more on that in a bit), creme brulee requires only a few simple ingredients:
* Egg Yolks: I use more than a lot of recipes do, as I like a rich custard base. Feel free to cut back to 6 egg yolks, if you like. (I’ll generally save the egg whites to make meringue cookies or Pavlova!)
* Heavy Cream: AKA heavy whipping cream.
The main difference between this recipe and making traditional creme brulee is that I use two different keto sweeteners - neither one of which is regular white sugar.
It doesn’t brown up in the same way that regular sugar does, though... so I like to use Swerve Brown Sugar Substitute for the topping.
A low-carb creme brulee still needs a golden brown crust on top, IMHO!
How to Make Keto Crème Brûlée
The full recipe follows in the recipe card at the end of this post; this is the pictorial walkthrough, with additional tips
Preheat oven to 325ºF (160°C), with the oven rack in the middle of the oven.
Combine egg yolks and sugar substitute together in a mixing bowl, whisking until the mixture becomes thick and pale yellow.
Add approximately ½ cup of the heavy cream to the egg yolk mixture, whisking until incorporated and smooth.
Slowly drizzle hot cream mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Add vanilla extract, whisk to combine.
Pour custard mixture into 4-6 ramekins or custard cups, and arrange in a large pan or casserole dish.
Carefully add hot water to the large pan, till about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
Keep a close eye on them, as the cooking time will vary wildly based on the size, shape, and depth of the ramekins used.
When ready to serve, sprinkle 2-3 teaspoons brown sugar substitute evenly over each custard.
Use a small, hand held kitchen torch to melt sugar substitute.
Note: Normally, you’d use regular granulated sugar, but I find the white / granulated sugar substitute doesn’t brown up in the same way. If you don’t have brown Swerve, you can use white - just expect more of a clear crust of hard caramel.
Keto Creme Brulee Variations
This recipe is fantastic on its own, as it... but it’s also customizable. Here are a few ideas for you.
Use a Vanilla Bean Pod
Feel free to use real beans instead of - or in addition to - your vanilla beans.
Just split a real vanilla bean or two, and scrape the vanilla bean paste into the egg mixture.
For additional flavour, you can simmer the scraped-out vanilla pod in the heavy cream - just be sure to remove it before adding the cream to the egg.
Dairy Free Keto Creme Brulee
You can swap out the heavy whipping cream for coconut cream to make a dairy free version.
Coconut milk is another option, but it will have a much lighter texture.
Lemon Sugar Free Creme Brulee
Decrease heavy cream by ¼ cup. Add 2-3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice to the egg mixture.
Add the zest of 2 lemons to the heavy cream, allow it to simmer VERY low for 10 minutes to infuse. Strain this into the egg mixture, discard the zest.
Keto Chocolate Creme Brulee
Add 6-8 oz sugar free chocolate chip to the heated heavy cream, stir until the chocolate is completely melted.
Add this chocolate cream to the egg mixture, and proceed with the rest of the recipe.
Keto Brown Sugar Creme Brulee
For a subtle molasses taste, use packed brown sugar substitute instead of granular sugar substitute in your custard.
More Keto Dessert Recipes
Looking to indulge your sweet tooth in a way that won’t spike your blood sugar? Here are some easy keto desserts to try!
Keto Chocolate Cookies
Low Carb Chocolate Chip Cookies
Keto Chewy Lemon Bars
Sugar-Free Chocolate Chip Truffles
Low Carb Raspberry Coconut Bars
Fudgy Keto Brownies
Low Carb Bananas Foster Truffles
Keto Rum Cake
Low Carb Holiday Desserts
Keto Chocolate Mousse
Keto Carrot Cake
... but wait, there's more! Check out our Keto Dessert recipe section for the full list of our recipes!
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Keto Creme Brulee
- 8 Large Egg Yolks
- ¼ cup Sugar Substitute
- 2 cups Heavy Cream
- 2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- ¼ cup Brown Sugar Substitute
- Preheat oven to 325ºF (160°C)
- Combine egg yolks and sugar substitute together in a bowl, whisking until the mixture becomes thick and pale yellow.
- Add approximately ½ cup of the heavy cream, whisking until incorporated and smooth.
- In a small saucepan, heat remaining heavy cream to a simmer. Remove from heat.
- Slowly drizzle hot cream mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Add vanilla extract, whisk to combine.
- Pour into 4-6 ramekins or custard cups, and arrange in a large pan.
- Carefully add water to the large pan, till about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
- Bake until custard is set, but wiggles in the middle – about 45-50 minutes.
- Remove from oven, allow to cool to room temperature, and then chill for at least 2 hours.
- When ready to serve, sprinkle 2-3 teaspoon sugar substitute evenly over each custard.
- Use a small, hand held kitchen torch to melt sugar.