ComScore

13 Crème Brûlée Recipes That Are Destined for Valentine’s Day Dessert

You know what’s a million times more impressive than a box of chocolates? Crème brûlée. If you’re thinking this dessert should have been left in the ’90s, know that there are tons of modern riffs on the custardy treat to explore, whether you’re all about chai, caramel or chocolate. Odds are your S.O. will prefer these 13 crème brûlée recipes over a bouquet of roses and molten lava cake on Valentine’s Day. Plus, you’ll look like a regular French pastry chef and score major brownie points for making them something from scratch.

The 40 Best Valentine’s Day Cookies to Make with Your Family


1. Easy Crème Brûlée

  • Time Commitment: 4 hours and 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, beginner-friendly

Let’s start with the O.G. You’ll be shocked by how simple this recipe for vanilla-laced crème brûlée really is. (A dash of espresso powder goes a long way in the flavor department.)

2. Cardamom Crème Brûlée

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, <10 ingredients

Silky on the inside, caramelized on the outside and unbelievably fragrant throughout, this recipe gives crème brûlée the update it deserves. Be sure to steep whole cardamom pods in the cream instead of using ground cardamom for maximum spice.

3. Chai Crème Brûlée

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours
  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, make ahead

Sure, coffee’s cool. But we prefer our caffeine boost in dessert form, thank you very much. Every bite is infused with warm-spiced comfort to help you and your boo wind down.

4. Espresso Crème Brûlée

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly

Speaking of caffeine, this beauty calls for two shots of hot espresso in the custard base. It offers the treat a bold, roasty flavor that pairs beautifully with red wine (or hot cocoa).

5. Blood Orange Crème Brûlée

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, <10 ingredients, gluten free

It’s winter, aka citrus season, and there’s no better way to celebrate February’s bounty than with this dessert. It starts by reducing fresh blood orange juice in a pan to concentrate its sweetness.

6. Dark Chocolate Crème Brûlée with Vanilla Sugar

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, gluten free, kid-friendly

Because V-Day simply demands chocolate—and this treat delivers. The key to this recipe (and any crème brûlée, really) is tempering the egg yolks just right so they blend smoothly with the chocolatey cream.

7. Salted Caramel Crème Brûlée

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: make ahead, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly

A flourish of flaky sea salt can make any dessert look fancy in a flash. Prepare it up to three days in advance so all you need to do on the 14th is torch the sugary topping.

8. Coconut Milk Crème Brûlée

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, make ahead

Top it with candied ginger or toasted coconut flakes to drive the tropical theme home. And if you don’t have a blowtorch for the crunchy topping, place the custard under a preheated broiler until the sugar turns golden.

9. Grapefruit Crème Brûlée

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly

Nutty, decadent coconut cream rounds out the acidity and bitterness of the citrus juice. Finish each ramekin with a few fanned pieces of fresh grapefruit.

10. Crème Brûlée with White Chocolate and Blackberry Jam

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, <10 ingredients, gluten free

Ahh, to be a pool of tart-sweet blackberry jam, hugged by white chocolate custard and salty-sweet sugar topping. Be sure to use chopped white chocolate instead of chocolate chips for the base so it melts evenly and smoothly.

11. Easy Vanilla Earl Grey Crème Brûlée

  • Time Commitment: 5 hours
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, make ahead, special occasion-worthy

We wouldn’t mind trading our usual tea latte for this masterpiece. Might we suggest crowning each crème brûlée with edible rose petals for a touch of romance?

12. Passionfruit Crème Brûlée

  • Time Commitment: 5 hours and 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, make ahead, beginner-friendly

Don’t sweat it if you can’t find fresh passionfruit near you; juice from concentrate will stand in just fine for pulp. (Substitute strawberries or raspberries for a garnish while you’re at it.)

13. Cardamom-Vanilla Coffee Crème Brûlée

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly

Instead of using coffee grounds or brewed drip, crushed dark roast coffee beans are steeped in the cream, then strained for a deeply flavorful base.

The 75 Best Valentine’s Day Desserts Your S.O. Will Swoon Over


Taryn Pire is PureWow’s associate food editor. A former bartender and barista, she’s been writing about all things delicious since 2016, developing recipes, reviewing restaurants and investigating food trends at Food52, New Jersey Family Magazine and Taste Talks. When she isn’t testing TikTok’s latest viral recipe, she’s having popcorn for dinner and posting about it on Instagram @cookingwithpire.