Caramelized honey creme brulee is the most decadent of Valentine’s worthy desserts!
caramelized honey creme brulee

I walked out of my first zumba class yesterday.

In my defense…it was bad.

Also in my defense, if I had stayed I would have felt a strong compulsion to invite the instructor out for coffee afterwards so we could have a nice long chat about her career choices.

And how she should make new ones.


Somehow I think I took the path of least resistance.

And fewer tears.


The real issue is that my normal instructors are so good that when we have a substitute, they just can’t compare.

It’s really not my fault. I’m the victim in all of this!



Not only am I picky about who I shake my booty for, but I’m also picky about my honey.

It is really an excruciating process when I run out because the supermarket never seems to have the same type or brand that I bought last time, so I have to go through the whole selection hemming and hawing process all over again. For a while I was all over tupelo honey, but then my mom started a new job and as it turns out, one of her coworkers keeps bees!! Ummm so cool. When he found out I wrote a food blog, he bestowed on her jars of honey to give me.

Ladies and gentlemen: I think I have a new favorite.


While I normally ingest most of my honey as a drizzle over a big bowl of Greek yogurt for breakfast, I felt like this jar warranted something special.

Something French.

Something fancy.


Call me old school, but there is nothing more fancy than creme brulee in my book.

This particular version is sweetened with honey that has been cooked on the stove until it is a darker, dreamier, more caramelized version of itself, and then baked to form a luscious, silky smooth custard. Top it off with a brief encounter with a kitchen blowtorch to form that characteristic (and so lovely) sugar crust, and you’re golden.

I highly recommend making these for your honey on Valentine’s Day.

Or, if you’re single, they make the perfect chick flick viewing accompaniment. I ate one while watching He’s Just Not That Into You a few nights ago, and it was clutch. Heightened the whole movie watching experience and just made me all around happy. Like a good creme brulee should.


Caramelized Honey Creme Brulee
Caramelized honey creme brulee is the most decadent of Valentine's worthy desserts!
Yield: 8 servings
  • ⅔ cup honey
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  1. Heat oven to 300F.
  2. Put the honey in a medium saucepan along with the vanilla bean paste. Cook over medium-high heat until the honey darkens, swirling pan occasionally, until it smells almost burnt, 5-8 minutes. Slowly stir in the cream, then milk. Stir constantly until combined.
  3. Whisk the salt into the egg yolk and then slowly stir in the honey-caramel mixture, whisking constantly. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Divide evenly among eight 6-oz ramekins.
  4. Place the ramekins in a large baking dish and pour boiling water around the ramekins so that it comes halfway up the sides.
  5. Bake until the edges of the custards are set and the centers are still a bit jiggly, 65-75 minutes. Remove from the water and let cool. Once cool, refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  6. Just before serving, sprinkle the custards evenly with sugar and heat with the torch until the sugar is melted and caramelized.
Adapted slightly from Bon Appetit
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 ramekin

 More decadence:

avocado pistachio creme brulee

Avocado Pistachio Creme Brulee

eclairs with caramelized white chocolate pastry cream 1

Eclairs with Caramelized White Chocolate Pastry Cream

white chocolate raspberry truffle cheesecake

White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake

From Around the Web:

Creme Brulee Cheesecake Bars from Cooking Classy

Salted Caramel Cupcakes from My Baking Addiction

Salted Caramel Chocolate Fudge Cake from Sweetapolita

Coconut Creme Brulee from Tide and Thyme

Caramel Brownies from Annie’s Eats


caramelized honey creme brulee
Share →

65 Responses to Caramelized Honey Creme Brulee

  1. Sune Moolman says:

    Oooh, that honey!
    This would totally make me swoon – I’m sending the recipe to my hubby, he loves using the blowtorch!

  2. How utterly gorgeous!

    Shame about the zumba class. I have never tried it, but the wrong instructor at a gym can make such a difference to the experience!

  3. bellini says:

    Resistance is futile <3

  4. Sues says:

    Perfect Valentine’s Day dessert!

    Also, this post totally made me laugh 🙂

  5. Oh I would get so mad when I hurried myself up to get my butt to the gym and then to find out there was a substitute. Ugh. It’s always disappointing. But this creme brûlée certainly would not disappoint! Looks amazing!

  6. Gym class instructors can completely make or break a workout… I totally would have left, too. And your creme brulee looks so unbelievably creamy!

  7. When good honey is involved, always yes!! I’ll take this creme brûlée on Valentine’s Day…and every other day 🙂

  8. Richard Meyer says:

    Thanks for the recognition Joanne, glad you enjoyed the honey.

  9. Creme brûlée is the best! Love the honey twist!

  10. I want to swim in this! Holy delicious!

  11. OMG this looks unbelievable! You did such a good job on the crispy topping, definitely need to get myself a blowtorch!

  12. sandra says:

    What a great idea – We at the Whitney Museum have bees… or rather we had bees on our Breuer building roof. We are selling the honey and I have to say it is by far the best honey I have ever tasted. I can send you a jar if you’d like to test it out – or has that already been done and I’ve missed the boat? If you want it let me know where to send. Thanks!

  13. This looks incredible, Joanne. All of that honey and the gorgeous sugar crust on top, swoon!

  14. I did zumba once when visiting a friend on Martha’s Vineyard. It was at a country club and the class consisted of us and 40-year-old women with plastic surgery and lulu lemon. One of the more hilarious experiences of my life.

  15. Mira says:

    Love the honey creme brûlée and also these eclairs on the pic! Always wanted to try zumba 🙂

  16. Heather says:

    Mmm. Creme brulee is my favorite decadent dessert. Also, honey from beekeeping friends. I think I’m going to have to learn how to be a beekeeper because I LOVE honey.

  17. OMG I wanna stuff my face into this screen! I am soooo pinning this amazing beast!

  18. I don’t know how many times I have watched “He’s Just Not That Into You” – love that movie! But I don’t think I’ve ever had honeyed creme brulee – am totally fascinated! I think I could watch football with this creme brulee in my hand and be totally entertained (btw, I deplore football)

  19. By far the dessert I order most when we’re out! Beautiful creme brulee!!

  20. I have never made creme brulee, but oh my god I really need to! This looks amazing!

  21. My favorite dessert of all time. Nothing is more fancier. Nothing. Except me dancing in a pair of heels. tehe. I’m saving this one for myself. Took good to share!

  22. Julia says:

    Zumba.. le sigh…I’ve never been able to get on board, either, but at least you can say you’ve tried. I’ve never stepped foot into a Zumba class. Two of my girl friends who used to be Zumba fanatics once played a Zumba CD while we were driving hopped up on….errr….non-alcoholic beverages (wink wink)…they were singing and car-seat-dancing, and that’s the closest to Zumba I will ever be.

    Your Brulee. Give it to me…with extra honey please and thank you 😉

  23. Zainab says:

    Oh that’s how honey should be!! Caramelized and in a silky custard!

  24. I love local honey! What a great gift, and a delicious way to use it 🙂

  25. Kate says:

    So jealous of your homegrown honey!

  26. SallyBR says:

    Sorry about the Zumba… I am also pretty picky about instructors, and one thing that KILLS me is when they cannot match their movements with the beat of the music – or when they insist on talking, not realizing that when they talk, they miss the beat. Another thing I hate – instructors that lose track of how many times they did one particular move on the right side of the body, so when they move to the left they either neglect it or kill it. I like perfection. (you can stop rolling your eyes to the ceiling now)

    I want to make this honey brulee. I really really do. It does use a lot of honey, I might make half the recipe. Will keep you posted. This sounds absolutely amazing to me

  27. Pam says:

    That’s one great dessert for Valentine’s Day! I love Creme brulee and your honey twist on it. I’ve seen the zumba class at the gym and I definitely won’t be joining it. Good luck and thanks for the recipe.

  28. I can’t believe I’ve never made creme brulee. But with your recipe, I will definitely try this out soon. Loving this

  29. Kelly says:

    Oh my goodness, this creme brulee looks heavenly! Love the fresh honey twist!

  30. Nice of you to take the high road with your instructor. 🙂

    I’m picky about my honey too, and eggs, and tortillas, and… When my husband picks something up that I’ve asked for from the grocery store, he always teases me that he just looks for the most expensive version of whatever it is…

    How had I not considered honey for creme brulee? Sounds like a match made in heaven!!

  31. This. looks. so. good. I love honey and have the same issue determining a favorite go-to. Sounds like I need to find someone who keeps bees, because that is awesome!

  32. Susan says:

    Creme Brulee has to be one of my all-time favorite desserts! How cool that your mom just happens to work with a bee keeper. That is so great! This looks luscious.

  33. There is nothing like good local honey!!!

  34. Caramelized honey? You continue to come up with amazing things.

  35. This looks beautiful! I’m especially loving the honey. Pinning for sure 🙂

  36. Your creme brûlée looks so sweet and enticing, delicious 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  37. The best honey will always be the one from bees living as close to you as possible 🙂

  38. Sarah says:

    I love creme brulee, but honey creme brulee? I have got to try this. What a great idea! That toasted creme brulee crust has me thinking NEEDSOMENOW in my apartment right now. And I just ate a cupcake.

  39. I don’t think I’ve ever had creme brulee! But I can still imagine how good this is – far more appealing than zumba too 😉

  40. Meg says:

    Oooh, this looks amazing. An ex-boyfriend made creme brulee for us pretty regularly . . . and I’ve never attempted to make it myself. I don’t miss him, but I sure as heck miss those desserts! 😉

  41. Betty says:

    We have several beekeepers in my area, so I try to always have some local honey on hand. I had bees a couple of years ago, but they absconded and I was so disappointed that I haven’t had the heart to try again. Not going to give up though- my hives are ready and waiting! 🙂 Those brulees are gorgeous!

  42. Love the idea of using honey for this favourite dessert – thanks Joanne.

  43. Monica says:

    Woah – this is so interesting, Joanne. I love the sound of that caramelized honey! What a deep flavor and wonderful texture this creme brulee must have! I’m glad I’ve got my torch!
    PS – your eclairs look great, also!

  44. cheri says:

    Hi Joanne, creme brulee is one of my favorite desserts, love the way your’s looks.

  45. Not too fond of honey but thus caramelised version looks tempting.

  46. These creme brulees look so beautiful – I really love the caramelised honey!

  47. Oh man. I’m super crushing on this creme brulee! I’ll pass on the zumba!

  48. Caroline says:

    This is genius! I LOVE how you use honey in this and getting it so nice and dark…I can just imagine how good that tastes! Creme Brûlée is my hubby’s absolute favorite dessert…I love it too. I am absolutely making this for him for Valentine’s Day!

  49. Foodiewife says:

    A friend of mine, in New York, is also a beekeeper. The honey he sent to me was also a delight. Nothin’ like it. I think you did your beekeeper proud. Crème brûlée is one of my all time fave desserts and that crunchy topping of yours… I’m so there.

  50. What a fantastic creme brulee! It looks so delicious.. and perfect too.

  51. Emma says:

    *swoon* fresh, local honey is like liquid gold… so happy you frenched it up!

  52. Asha says:

    This dessert is surely V worthy or anytime worthy. I am big fan of creme brulee, but never tried honey, how interesting. great one.

  53. I’ve tried an avocado creme brûlée version before. This looks so creamy and decadent 🙂

  54. Hotly Spiced says:

    That’s why I don’t teach zumba. I’d have so many people inviting me out for coffee. How fortunate to be given such beautiful honey – handy! And your brulee looks amazing xx

  55. Agness says:

    Noooooooooooooooo, this is too good to be true!!

  56. I feel ya on the subbie instructors! I used to take spinning and we had this substitute who sounded like she was giving a eulogy while playing country music in the background. Ugh…what a nightmare 1 hour that was.

  57. Creme Brulee is totally fancy, and basically one of my favorite desserts in the entire world. I bet honey just adds an awesome richness. And I’ve been reading up on keeping bees lately, it’s something I really want to do. Not sure if I can manage it in my yard right now (since by regulations they would have to be housed smack dab in the middle of it), but hopefully one day…

  58. Pam says:

    If I am going to a class to work my booty off, they better be awesome instructors.

    Creme brulee is my favorite – the caramelized honey on this makes it over the top amazing.

  59. grace says:

    i used to scoff at creme brulee on a dessert menu–too dainty for me! i feel differently now and i think this one is incredible!

  60. I need a friend who has bees. I go through honey like crazy. And now I need even more to make these.

  61. 1-I’m so jealous of your honey hook uo
    2-THIS CREME BRULEE-it is completely unique yet classic and oh soooo scrumptious! pinning!

  62. I’ve just discovered a local honey I love. It would be perfect for this and I’m all over anytime I have to use a blow torch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.