Dusky, spicy, sweet — Instant Pot Cinnamon Creme Brulee is the easy recipe you’ll love to make!
Creme Brûlée is one of my favorite desserts. Silky, creamy custard. A crackly, sugary shell. Thwack! The perfect end to any meal!
Adding bold and unexpected flavors makes it even more special. In this case, a long steep with Saigon Cinnamon creates an unbelievably delicious and unexpected dessert. All that dusky, spicy cinnamon is irresistible!
Why Instant Pot Creme Brûlée?
An Instant Pot or pressure cooker is the perfect tool to cook Creme Brûlée. Essentially, it’s a custard. The rich custard is “steamed” to silky-smooth, luscious perfection.
Traditionally, Creme Brûlée requires a water bath. But a water bath can be tricky and also take a long time, about 30-40 minutes.
Enter the Instant Pot. A quick cook time (only 4 minutes!). No water bath! So easy and simple!
I will never go back to using a traditional water bath for creme brulee again!
- Saigon Cinnamon Sticks. Also known as Vietnamese cinnamon, the flavor is intensely spicy, sweet, and aromatic. A stronger, more potent flavor + aroma than regular ceylon cinnamon.
- Ground Cinnamon. Adds more cinnamon flavor.
- Vanilla. Use the best you can find!
- Egg Yolks + Heavy Cream. The easy combo for a decadently rich creme brûlée recipe.
- Sugar. To lightly sweeten the custard. My recipe is “not-too-sweet.” Also, to create that crisp, sugary shell!
- Instant Pot. I use my 6L Instant Pot which can fit 3-4 ramekins, depending on the shape. Although you could stack ramekins on top of each other and steam all at once, I prefer to steam separately. It only takes 4 minutes after all!
- Steam trivet. Comes with the Instant Pot and creates space between the water and ramekins for a more even steam.
Watch how to make it:
- Steep the cream + cinnamon sticks. For deep cinnamon flavor, steeping is the way to go.
- Temper the egg yolks. Add heated cream in a slow and steady stream to ensure the yolks do not scramble.
- Briefly torch custard before cooking. An easy baker’s trick to remove those pesky air bubbles from the surface. Once cooked, the air bubbles cannot be removed.
- Remove creme brulee IMMEDIATELY! Once the timer rings, release air pressure manually and remove from the Instapot ASAP!
- Chill in the fridge. Minimum 2 hours to chill.
- Use ultra-fine sugar for the top. Regular sugar also works. But ultra-fine sugar melts more evenly into a super crackly shell.
- Blow torch right before serving. Otherwise, the shell will melt and dissolve, losing that crackly texture.
I don’t have a blow torch. How else can I get that crisp, sugary shell?
A kitchen torch is ideal for melting the sugar until hard and crisp. But if you don’t own one, the oven broiler also works. But the sugary top won’t get as hard and crackly!
Can I make this ahead of time?
Yes, the custard can be made ahead of time. Chill in the fridge, tightly covered, for up to 2-3 days. However, blow torch the sugar right before serving. It will not keep its texture otherwise.
Other easy desserts you may enjoy:
Instant Pot Cinnamon Creme Brulee
- 6 6-ounce ramekins
- kitchen torch (to brulee sugar)
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 saigon cinnamon sticks
- 6 egg yolks (organic, large)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- pinch salt
To brulee sugar:
- 1 tsp ultra-fine sugar (per ramekin)
- In a small saucepan, add heavy cream, sugar, and cinnamon sticks. Heat until slightly steaming and sugar dissolves. Cover and remove from heat. Steep for 1 hour.
- In a large bowl, add egg yolks, ground cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until thick and well combined.
- Remove cinnamon sticks from the heavy cream. Briefly reheat until slightly steaming. (Do not boil!)
- Whisking constantly, add heavy cream to the yolk mixture. Make sure to add in a slow and steady stream. This will ensure the yolks do not scramble.
- Transfer to a large measuring cup for easy pouring. (2 cups will be very full; 4 cups is ideal). Divide evenly among 6 ramekins.
- Place a steamer trivet in the instant pot. Add 1 cup of water. Add ramekins in a single layer, slightly touching each other. Depending on ramekin size, you'll be able to fit anywhere from 2-4.
- Lock lid in place. Set Instant Pot to pressure cook at high heat for 4 minutes. Or normal heat for 4 minutes for a slightly creamier, softer creme brulee. Make sure to turn off "Keep Warm" function.
- When the timer beeps, manually release the steam. Do this immediately to prevent overcooking! Remove the lid and transfer ramekins to the kitchen counter. The ramekins will be hot so handle carefully! Rest for 10 minutes at room temperature. Repeat with remaining creme brûlée until all 6 are cooked.
- Chill for at least 2 hours or overnight in the fridge, uncovered.
- To serve: add 1 tsp of ultra-fine sugar to each ramekin. Gently shake and swirl sugar so that the top is evenly coated with sugar granules. Using a kitchen torch, melt sugar until bubbly and caramelized. Wait 5 minutes for the sugar to set into a crispy shell. Enjoy immediately!