Coconut Crème Brûlée

by Alli

 Coconut Crème Brûlée is a baked custard cooked in ramekins. The creamy custard is topped with a layer of caramelized sugar. 

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Coconut Crème Brûlée in ramekin topped with berries

 I fell in love with Coconut Crème Brûlée while dining at Rancho in St. Maarten. I did. It was love at first bite.

Coconut Creme Brulee - Love at First Bite

I only order dessert on special occasions.  Of course, every occasion is special in my opinion. And I had a rule to never, ever order Crème Brûlée because of something that happened years ago. You twisted my arm. Of course, I’ll tell you the whole story.

My First Encounter With Crème Brûlée

I did not grow up eating crème brûlée. When I was in my early twenties, close friends invited my hubby and me over for dinner and served – you guessed it -Crème Brûlée for dessert. At that point in time, I had never tasted it.

I gently tapped through the top of the caramelized sugar with my spoon and shoved a big bite into my mouth. I almost gagged. It was the worst thing I had ever put in my mouth. I couldn’t spit it out. That would have been rude. My friend had talked about that dessert like it was the best thing since sliced bread. It wasn’t. 

 I wish I could say it was just me. It wasn’t. Once we arrived home, my child confided in me, telling me that whatever that stuff was, it was yucky. I’m so glad she waited until we were safely within the boundaries of our own home before making her remarks about dessert.

Coconut Crème Brûlée Or Chocolate Brownie?

For decades afterward, I would come painfully close to ordering crème brûlée or making it myself and actually using my collection of little kitchen torches and ramekins. But the horrible memories would not release its grip on me.

Then we vacationed in St. Maarten. It was time to order dessert at a favorite restaurant. We had narrowed it down between two choices:  The Coconut Crème Brûlée or a chocolate brownie/ice cream concoction. I picked the Coconut Crème Brûlée because let’s face it, chocolate brownie desserts are common. I wanted different. 

We (I) made the right decision! The husband is not crazy about coconut. He likes a little bit but not overly done and that dessert delivered. There were no coconut flakes. It had a hint of coconut and was so smooth and creamy with the crunch of that caramelized sugar. It was magnificent!

So I had to recreate it when I got home.  And I could not recreate something without sharing it with you!

How To Make Coconut Crème Brûlée

Coconut Creme Brulee - Heating the Cream

Heat the cream and coconut milk. Slowly add the egg yolks and sugar mixture. the custard is ready to go into the oven, in a water bath. Be sure and add water to the baking pan, about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Closeup Photo of sugar breaking on top of Coconut Crème Brûlée

Every time I taste this dessert, it takes me back to St. Maarten. We have vacationed in St. Maarten several times. I wish I was there now. 

Coconut Crème Brûlée in white ramekin with white spoon

Here’s my version of Coconut Crème Brûlée. It’s just as good, minus the tropical breezes and gorgeous sunsets. I’ll just pretend I’m on an island. Somewhere. Anywhere.

Helpful Hint: For me, a culinary torch works so much better than browning the sugar under the broiler. The torch is faster. My torch was out of butane when I made these a few days ago. My broiler tends to heat the custard base too much before the sugar is browned on top. Try both and see which method you prefer.

Culinary torches are not expensive. You can order one here.

Tips for Making The Best Crème Brûlée

  • Use 6-8 oz. ramekins (I love these ramekins
  • This recipe calls for egg yolks, not the whole eggs. 
  • Always cool the cream mixture before adding the egg yolks. Add a little at a time. You don’t want scrambled eggs. 
  • Be careful not to get water in the pudding when adding the water bath before baking. 
  • Use white granulated sugar when making Créme Brûlée.  

How Do You Eat Crème Brûlée?

This may seem like a silly question. But if you’ve never eaten it before, you need to know. The caramelized sugar on top is hard so lightly crack it with your spoon. Eat small spoonfuls with a little bit of the hardened sugar and the custard. 

You May Also Like These Recipes

Coconut Crème Brûlée in white ramekin with white spoon

Coconut Crème Brûlée

Yield: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours

Coconut Crème Brûlée is a delicious creamy custard topped with caramelized sugar.


  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 quarts hot water


  1. Preheat oven to 325º. Place the coconut milk, cream and vanilla into a medium saucepan over med-low heat and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  2. Whisk together 1/4 cup sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and they begin to lighten in color. Add cooled cream mixture, a little at a time, stirring continually. You don't want scrambled eggs.
  3. Pour liquid into 6 (7-8 oz) ramekins. Place ramekins in a large pan with sides. Carefully add water to the pan.
  4. Bake until set (middle will have a slight jiggle), 40-45 minutes. Cool slightly and place in the fridge for 3 hours (or overnight).
  5. Remove ramekins from the fridge 30 minutes before serving. Divide remaining 1/4 cup of sugar evenly over the top of each ramekin. Using a kitchen torch, melt sugar to form a crispy topping (or place under the broiler for 2 minutes or until browned.)
Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 289Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 12gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 262mgSodium 98mgCarbohydrates 18gFiber 0gSugar 18gProtein 8g

Did you make this recipe?

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Kita April 6, 2016 - 8:23 am

Creme Brulee is one of my favorite desserts ever. I have all the equipment to make it so I may just give this a try. Oh the coconut, so so good. I even have a bag of coconut flakes from TJ in my pantry!

Heather P. April 6, 2016 - 9:18 am

This looks so so good! Drooling at first photo. I have been thinking about investing in a culinary blow torch and I think this post did it for me!!!

Shirley Wood April 6, 2016 - 10:30 am

I share your sentiments exactly as you described your first experience with Creme Brulee. Maybe I need to give it a second chance too. I ordered it in a fancy restaurant so maybe it was them and not the dessert.
Yours looks really good and I must confess we have been known to drive around town in search of creme brulee coffee creamer so I know it’s a flavor we love.

Pam April 6, 2016 - 11:16 am

Good creme brûlée is really good, and bad creme brûlée is REALLY bad. This version looks like it would be delicious! I really like coconut so this would be perfect for me.

NAZMA IQBAL April 6, 2016 - 3:29 pm

Every time I try to make brulee it comes out something : D I guess I will never able to make it.. Yours cream brulee looks yammi

Chris Lewis April 6, 2016 - 3:51 pm

WOW, this looks decadent. We love to make creme brûlée, but I have never tried this type before. I definitely want to try this now!

Lorelai @ Life With Lorelai April 6, 2016 - 3:58 pm

Like your hubs, I am not a fan of coconut, but I do LOVE creme brulee! You have left me craving this luscious dessert. I’ve never made it at home, but have always wanted to. I thought it would be finicky and hard to do, so glad to find out that it is actually easy. Now, I am going to give it a go. 🙂

Life With Lorelai

Kristen from The Road to Domestication April 6, 2016 - 4:12 pm

I LOVE Creme Brulee! It IS gluten-free, of course! But I’ve never had a coconut-flavored one – great idea!

Liz Mays April 6, 2016 - 5:20 pm

I can’t believe your first experience with Creme Brulee was so terrible! It’s great that you ended up trying it again and loving it. It sounds good with the hint of coconut.

Brittany April 6, 2016 - 7:57 pm

Oh yum! It looks so simple too!!

Jenn April 6, 2016 - 8:06 pm

Oh my goodness, this looks and sounds amazing. Something I would love. Though, I don’t cook much, so someone would have to make it for me.

Gwendolyn Mulholland April 6, 2016 - 11:27 pm

I love Creme Brulee and order it whenever I can. I have never attempted it at home but might work up the nerve and try your recipe. I will need to get a torch though because the top is the best part.

Chantal April 6, 2016 - 11:58 pm

I have never attempted to make creme brulee, it just seems so intimidating! I would love to try it with coconut!

Up Run For Life April 7, 2016 - 12:49 am

I haven’t tried coconut creme brulee either. I might give it a try but I’llsample it next ten I see it on a restaurant menu.

Franc Ramon April 7, 2016 - 1:35 am

I love oredeing creme brulee because of its sweet taste and its soft on the bite. The coconut creme brulee looks really delicious.

michele d April 7, 2016 - 10:42 am

This dessert looks absolutely amazing! I will say, I’ve been eyeing that torch and I can not wait to order it.

Mimi Green April 7, 2016 - 10:09 pm

I love coconut and this looks really yummy. I’ve never had creme brulee of any kind. I should give it a try.

Jasmine Watts April 8, 2016 - 12:35 pm

Yumm, this looks so delicious and I would love to try this recipe and hope to make it delicious too!

Adrienne April 10, 2016 - 8:49 am

When I was younger I used to really dislike creme brûlée. Now that I’m older I’ve discovered that I really like it! This recipe looks divine. Thanks for sharing!

Hannah Adkins April 16, 2016 - 12:43 am

Oh man I absolutely LOVE creme brulee. And coconut? Yes please! I’m definitely gonna try this asap!


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