Lavender Creme Brulee

September 03rd, 2007  | Category: Puddings and Custards

Lavender Creme Brulee

A close friend of mine came back from her vacation with a huge bouquet of lavender and the most delicious apricot jam I have ever tasted in my life. I baked my first brioche to enjoy with the apricot jam (more on that later) and finally got around to trying one of the recipes with a “must-try” sticker from Dorie’s book.

Lavender Creme Brulee 1

I absolutely love using lavender in custard-based desserts. The Creme Brulee recipe in Dorie’s book does not call for the usual water bath treatment (while the custards bake in the oven), and I was intrigued to try this new method.

Lavender Creme Brulee 3

Even tough I had to extend the baking time much more than recommended, the result was absolutely fantastic.

Dorie – Thanks again for yet another killer recipe!

Lavender Creme Brulee 4


recipe from Dorie Greenspan‘s “Baking: From My Home to Yours”


  • 1+1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3 tbsp lavender
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • About 6 tbsp sugar for topping


  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 200 F (100 C).
  2. Put six shallow (an inch high and 4 inches in diameter) baking dishes on a baking sheet.
  3. Bring cream, milk and lavender to a boil, remove from heat, cover and let infuse for 30 mins.
  4. In a 1- or 2-quart glass measuring cup (works much better) or medium bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar and vanilla together until well blended.
  5. Still whisking, drizzle in one quarter of the hot liquid (you might want to rewarm the liquid after infusion) and temper the yolks. Pour in the rest of the liquid, mix and strain it into the baking dishes.
  6. Bake the custards for 60 – 90 minutes (Note: Even though the original recipe states 50-60 minutes, mine were not set. You might want to check every ten minutes after an hour to make sure they are set), or until the centers are set. Tap the sides of the dishes and the custards should hold firm.
  7. Let the custards cool until they reach room temperature. Cover each with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours. Sprinkle each custard evenly with 1 tbsp sugar, then brown the sugar with a blowtorch until it bubbles and colors.
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  1. 1 - selin on September 3rd, 2007

    Another great recipe. I guess I will try this one this weekend when I have TIME. It seems it takes forever to bake 🙂

    Worth it though.

    Thanks for sharing 😉

    Selin. (

  2. 2 - Filiz Arıcan on September 3rd, 2007

    Lavantanın kokusunu pek sevmiyorum ama genede tatlıya verdiği tadı merak ettim.

  3. 3 - Dolly on September 3rd, 2007

    Hey Cenk,
    This looks amazing. I am a sucker for desserts with lavender and I have to try this. My current favorite is a dense chocolate lavender cake from a local baker. I want to marry that cake! If you ever take requests, please make a chocolate-lavender cupcake for me 🙂

  4. 4 - Cenk on September 3rd, 2007

    Thanks Selin. It is definitely worth it. Hope you like it.

    Filiz – Lavantanın kokusunu sevmiyorsan bu tatlıyı maalesef öneremeyeceğim. Uğradığın için teşekkürler.

    Dolly – Anything for you, love! Hang in there.

  5. 5 - Sylvia on September 3rd, 2007

    What a awesome recipe,delicate and tasty..I definitely must try this.

  6. 6 - brilynn on September 4th, 2007

    That topping looks fabulous! Perfect crunch!

  7. 7 - adina on September 4th, 2007

    I really do love your pictures! And the recipes sound always so good…

  8. 8 - Cenk on September 4th, 2007

    Sylvia, Brilynn, Adina – thanks for stopping by. Glad you liked it.

  9. 9 - Shaun on September 4th, 2007

    Cenk, honey – This is a beautiful creme brulee. I suppose a bain marie is not required on account of the oven temperature being so low? I love the inclusion of lavender. I, too, have some brought over from Provence, but I have not yet used them. This might be just the recipe for it.

  10. 10 - Sil Bs.As on September 4th, 2007

    Made your poppy seed cake and everybody is asking for the recipe, now I must try this even though I would put a little less lavender, I like it, but seems too invasive for me.
    Thanks Cenk!

  11. 11 - Cenk on September 4th, 2007

    Shaun – Thank you! Yes, no need for a bain marie. Looking forward to reading about your lavender dessert.

    Sil Bs.As – I am very glad you liked the lemon poppy seed cake recipe. Hope you like this one, too.

  12. 12 - gizem de bruxelles on September 5th, 2007

    ALthough I didn`t the same recipe I tried lavender for the dessert I alreay had made! Perfect!
    Thank you for the good tip.

  13. 13 - Patricia Scarpin on September 5th, 2007

    Your photos are taking my breath away, Cenk – I wish I could deep a large spoon and have some of this delicious dessert!

  14. 14 - dilayra on September 5th, 2007

    another great recipe again and breathtaking photos:)
    you are my hero in the kitchen:))

  15. 15 - Zeynep Seda on September 6th, 2007

    Very nice looking dessert, Cenk. I am not a big fan of crème brule, may be I’ll like it if I try it with some lavender! I bought a pack and a small bottle of extract from Kew Gardens and so far used it in ice creams and raspberry muffin. Both of them were divine 🙂

  16. 16 - eni on September 6th, 2007

    amazing atmosphere and photos as always!

  17. 17 - B5 on September 6th, 2007

    After my last experience with “Matcha-Crème Brûlée”, I said: “I swear I’ll never eat Crème Brûlée again and stay away from green desserts”… It was an Zen-Francaise restaurant in Paris :(…

    But lavander? It inspires me. Combination of food and flower scents. I am curious. Maybe I can try for one more time…

  18. 18 - Preyanka on September 7th, 2007

    Lovely photos! I had this at a restaurant in Liege, Belgium. I’ll never forget it because my boyfriend and I walked in expecting an Indian restaurant (which happened to be next door) and sat confused for a good five minutes due to the lack of Indian decor and Indian food on the menu until we realized we had walked into a beautiful, romantic Provençal restaurant!

  19. 19 - joey on September 7th, 2007

    Another round of mouthwatering pictures! Your creme brulee looks marvellous!

  20. 20 - Cenk on September 7th, 2007

    Gizem de bruxelles – Glad you liked it.

    Patricia, Dilayra, Zeynep Seda, eni, Joey – Thank you all for your nice comments!!!

    B5 – Definitely give it a try.

    Preyanka – That’s a funny story!

  21. 21 - Hillary on September 7th, 2007

    I don’t cook very much but one of the things I do like to make is creme brulee! This one looks fantastic. I’m always looking for new ways to make creme brulee so thanks for sharing this and for the pictures!

  22. 22 - Tartelette on September 11th, 2007

    Wow! Just gorgeous! I bet it was silky smooth and the lavander must have really put it over the top. I made her lavender madeleines last year and they were amazing.

  23. 23 - Cenk on September 11th, 2007

    Thank you Hillary. I hope you like it.

    Tartelette – It was definitely silky smooth. Her recipes rock!

  24. 24 - evinrude on September 15th, 2007

    Hey! It’s my first time over here at your site and I’m loving it! ^_^

    I just baked a batch of lavender cookies and it just is so interesting how lavender flavours the food! I can’t wait to try this creme brulee~

  25. 25 - steamy kitchen on October 31st, 2007

    i planted a small lavender plant to make this recipe…but sadly, my plant didn’t make it! ugh!

  26. 26 - chuck on December 10th, 2007

    my wife make a fantastic cream, more egg yolks though!
    Crème Brûlée recipe
    • 2 quarts Heavy cream
    • 1 cup Granulated white sugar
    • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
    • 16 Egg yolks
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Before doing so, place a large flat pan with sides on the middle shelf and fill it with 3/4″ to 1″ water.
    2. In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly mix the dry ingredients, egg yolks, and vanilla extract.
    3. In a saucepan, heat the cream until it is piping hot (stir constantly), but be careful to not let it boil.
    4. Slowly (about a cup a time) pour the hot cream into the mixing bowl with the other ingredients, while whisking briskly. If you add the cream too quickly, it will cook the eggs — a big no no!
    5. After all the ingredients are well-mixed, pour the mixture into eight individual serving dishes (traditionally ramekins).
    6. Place the ramekins in the water bath in the oven, and bake until “solid” (like Jell-O). The time depends on the size and depth of the dishes you use, as well as the material of which they’re made. Usual time ranges from 25 to 50 minutes.
    7. Remove the dishes from the oven and allow them to cool. Refrigerate for at least four hours; then cover with Saran wrap and refrigerate until ready for serving.
    8. When ready to serve, remove the brûlées from the refrigerator and place them on a fire-proof surface. Sprinkle a moderately thin coating of granulated white sugar on the top of each brûlée.
    9. Using a propane blow-torch, carefully melt the sugar topping so that it forms a solid caramel sheet. Take care to not burn the sugar, or the custard beneath it. It is very important that this step not be done with an oven, toaster oven, broiler rack, etc., as doing so will invariably cause the custard to overheat and dry out or burn before the sugar layer on top is properly melted.

    • Without a torch the sugar may also be caramelized in these ways:
    • After spreading the sugar over the ramekins, place them as close as you can
    under a very hot broiler. Watch them closely because this method tends to be uneven and burn. Works best with fine granulated sugar.
    • Heat the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat without stirring
    until it starts to melt, then stir with a wooden spoon until caramelization occurs (this is easier to tell with white sugar than Turbinado) and spoon over the ramekins, tilting and rotating them to cover with an even layer.
    • Alternately, combine the sugar with half as much water by
    volume, bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, and cook without stirring 3 to 5 minutes, tilting the pan as required to ensure even caramelization.

  27. 27 - Julie on January 30th, 2008

    wow. lavender.. looks awesome!

  28. 28 - Okko on February 10th, 2008

    Sounds wonderful. I’ll have to try a lavender crème brûlée one as soon as lavender is in season.

  29. 29 - Kirsten on June 12th, 2009

    I loved this recipe so much I have included a link to it on my recent post (which is all about lavender).
    Do have a look if you get a spare moment.

  30. 30 - rex kepford on April 15th, 2015

    i used dried lavender buds 3 T ended up tasting like pine, came out terrible. perhaps i should have used 3 t.

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