Creme Brulee: Creamy, Decadent and … Healthy!

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist Gluten Free, Grain Free, Recipes, Snacks and TreatsComments: 37

creme brulee

It’s Friday afternoon.  You’ve just looked at the calendar and suddenly realized that your good friends of many years are coming over to dinner and they are (gasp) vegetarian!

No worries.  Just serve a nice veggie stir fry cooked in ghee or expeller pressed coconut oil and whip up creme brulee for dessert. You won’t miss having meat with the main meal at all because creme brulee is loaded with healthy fats that will satiate you and your guests completely without an overload of sugar that will leave you groggy the next morning.

Even better, you can use up that quart of raw cream in the back of the fridge that is just a bit too sour to use for making ice cream!

Creme brulee made the traditional way with full fat cream and loads of egg yolks is nothing short of creamy decadence, but you can serve it knowing that it is a very healthy ending to your dinner party too.

How so?

Egg yolks and the butterfat in cream are high in the important omega 6 fat called arachidonic acid. Liver and butter also contain significant amounts.   Ironic but true:  Westerners who are so inflammation ridden from the excessive omega 6 fats in their diet from the rancid vegetable oils in processed foods are actually typically deficient in arachidonic acid – possibly the most critical omega 6 fat of them all!

11% of the brain is composed of this vital fatty acid which is also of great importance for healthy, beautiful and sag-resistant skin as it ensures strong cell to cell junctures. Arachidonic acid is also critical for proper development and maintenance of the intestinal tract.

So eat up and enjoy that decadent creme brulee and don’t dare even think about using egg replacer or fake cream in this recipe!

Creme Brulee

Serves 8
creme brulee

1 quart heavy, fresh or slightly soured raw cream
8 medium egg yolks
1/2 cup (low glycemic) coconut sugar (sustainable sources)
1 Tbl vanilla extract
8 tsp coconut sugar or sucanat


Heat cream gently with vanilla but do not let it boil. Beat egg yolks with coconut sugar (sucanat may be substituted if desired) until smooth and well blended. Beat vanilla and hot cream into yolk mixture.

Pour into 8 4-inch ramekins (about 3/4 cup per ramekin). Set dishes in very shallow pans of warm water. Bake 45-60 minutes in a 300-degree oven until custard sets and forms a a crust on top.

Let custards cool, cover lightly with waxed paper and chill 4 hours in the refrigerator. To serve, sprinkle 1 rounded teaspoon Rapadura or Sucanat over the top of each. Place under the broiler until the sugar melts, being careful not to burn (it melts very quickly!). Let the casseroles cool and then return to refrigerator until melted sugar forms a crust. Serve very cold.

What to do with all the leftover egg whites from making this fabulous dish?  Click here for an easy high protein cookie recipe complete with video how-to!

Other yummy egg dessert dishes:  traditional egg custard or thai custard (dairy free).


Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Picture Credit1, Picture Credit2

Comments (37)

  • Sarah

    Looks delicious! Do you think it would work to 1/2 the recipe and make in a 9 by 13″ cake pan?

    November 6th, 2012 10:40 am Reply
    • Danielle @ More Than Four Walls

      I was going to as a similar question!

      November 6th, 2012 11:18 am Reply
      • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

        Probably .. haven’t tried this myself. Let us know how it turns out :)

        November 6th, 2012 11:19 am Reply
    • Lorice

      Have you tried this? Any updates?

      March 22nd, 2013 9:12 am Reply
  • Dawn

    Would anything substitute for the cream for someone with a dairy allergy?

    November 6th, 2012 11:17 am Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Dawn, I haven’t tried this myself but I do think it would turn out lovely using coconut cream.

      November 6th, 2012 11:18 am Reply
  • Fawn

    Does the cream have to be sour? I wanted to make this tonight…..

    Thanks, this and flan have always been my favorite dessert :)

    November 6th, 2012 11:22 am Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      You can absolutely make this with fresh cream! It’s just a great dessert to have in your back pocket if you need to use up some slightly sour cream.

      November 6th, 2012 11:25 am Reply
  • April Kenison Richard via Facebook

    This looks great! I see you use sucanat, have you ever tried rapadura? I think it dissolves better. I’ve never tried coconut sugar.

    November 6th, 2012 11:35 am Reply
  • Kathryn Storms Neithercutt via Facebook


    November 6th, 2012 11:35 am Reply
  • Andrea

    I love creme brûlée and flan! Thank you for this recipe! Now if I could find a flan recipe that turns out like the one from el pollo loco, I’d be set

    November 6th, 2012 11:39 am Reply
  • Sara James via Facebook

    Sarah, how in the world do people promote an 80/10/10 diet with 80 being carbs? There is a crazy lady on FB touting this ratio. I could just scream. For anyone interested, look at Freelee Frugivore. I’m just appalled at the stupidity and the sheep that think eating tons of fructose is a good thing. Sorry, I know, unrelated, but I had to find solace here :)

    November 6th, 2012 12:06 pm Reply
  • Jenna Darby Laughter via Facebook

    My all-time favorite dessert…Classic vanilla bean is great, and I also love to add a bit of orange or tangerine zest to it for a creamsicle kind of flavor. Mmmmm!

    November 6th, 2012 12:07 pm Reply
  • Cindy A. Krueger

    Sounds and looks yummy!!! I can’t wait to make it!

    November 6th, 2012 12:07 pm Reply
  • Helen Kyriacou Rainey via Facebook

    Again, THANK YOU Healthyhomeeconomist!! I actually have a quart of recently soured heavy cream (raw) and a supply of both coconut sugar AND sucanat! I will make this wonderful recipe you post here today for creme brûlée! This posting of yours couldn’t have been more timely for me! (My kids thank you too!) 😀

    November 6th, 2012 12:16 pm Reply
  • Susan

    Any thoughts on using erythritol or stevia in place of sugar? My young son has Early Childhood Tooth Decay and cannot have sugar, but we love the idea of yolks and raw cream!

    November 6th, 2012 12:17 pm Reply
  • Lisa

    Hello Healthy Home Economist, I am enjoying your posts and really appreciate the breadth and depth of your focus. Creme brulee is joyfully received any night of the week here. I am intrigued by coconut sugar and will check it out. Thanks for the idea. Blessings!

    November 6th, 2012 12:22 pm Reply
  • Stanley Fishman

    Love the cream and egg yolks in this recipe!

    November 6th, 2012 12:31 pm Reply
  • Candace Box via Facebook


    November 6th, 2012 12:31 pm Reply
  • Konrad Mayer via Facebook


    November 6th, 2012 12:35 pm Reply
  • Julie Gerasimenko via Facebook

    This looks soo good!!

    November 6th, 2012 2:21 pm Reply
  • Gina

    What if they’re vegan? Or allergic to dairy and eggs? My daughter dis to both. You mentioned coconut milk earlier. Nut cream might work too. But what about the eggs? I’ve made tapioca pudding with coconut milk and while good it’s not the same without eggs.

    We used to do raw milk. But she developed allergies to a ton of stuff including the raw milk. Pasteurized organic milk used to give her diarrhea. We switched to raw and she was fine. Bur raw was not pasture raised. Cows given alfalfa and oats and enzymes. Then a year ago she developed full blown allergies, massive hives, with milk, beef, eggs, yeast, wheat and soy. Also gums and other related foods but those are the biggies.

    November 6th, 2012 2:24 pm Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    One of my very favorite desserts!

    November 6th, 2012 2:35 pm Reply
  • Melissa Henig

    Awesome! I will try it in raw version!

    November 6th, 2012 3:17 pm Reply
  • Desiree

    Does anyone know where to get or how to make heavy, sour raw cream???

    November 6th, 2012 4:05 pm Reply
  • Sabrina

    This will be a perfect dessert to bring to an open house I’m going to this weekend! Thank you!!! The most fun will be telling people that it is healthy!

    November 6th, 2012 6:06 pm Reply
  • lara

    oh Yum! will be making tonight as it is dessert night on Wednesday.

    Would love to know your vegi stir fry recipe as mine never is great!

    November 6th, 2012 8:55 pm Reply
  • Megan

    how about coconut cream for cream? as I can’t do milk. casin probelm.

    November 7th, 2012 9:58 am Reply
  • Oana Rusu Tomai via Facebook

    Made it a bunch of time with great success

    November 7th, 2012 1:39 pm Reply
  • Elle

    I love this possibility, but I don’t understand why a person would use raw cream, and then bake it at 300 degrees. Wouldn’t that essentially pasteurize it, thereby killing the enzymes and oxidizing the cholesterol? Also, my understanding is that cooking egg yolk creates oxidized cholesterol as well. Yes, if a person is using grass-fed cream and pastured eggs, there are still some nutritional benefits even after cooking in the manner described by the recipe, but calling this dessert “very healthy” seems to be a stretch.

    November 7th, 2012 1:58 pm Reply
    • Renee N.

      I was thinking the same thing. Why not use low temp pasteurized, organic, pastured cream for this recipe? (There are brands that have the only ingredient as 100% organic pastured cream) It’s a heck of a lot cheaper than raw cream…

      If you’ve got soured raw cream, why not just make some awesome raw butter with it?

      Or if you insist on something with raw cream and egg yolks, why not have egg nog?

      November 7th, 2012 7:53 pm Reply
  • HheFan

    Love creme brûlée! Looks delicious. Thanks, Sarah!

    November 11th, 2012 4:39 pm Reply
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  • Fruitful

    Why the Tide Pods ad on your page? Seems to go against what you teach.

    February 20th, 2013 1:35 pm Reply
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  • Christine

    This was absolutely fantastic!! I’m right now making it for the second time in a week. Healthy, right? I’ve added cinnamon to see how that turns out. I also half the recipe and put it in a 9″ pie dish. Turns out great at about 40 min.

    One thing I will say is that, given the almost hour baking time, plus a four hour chill, this won’t be something you make on a Friday afternoon for a Friday evening dinner. Unless it’s really early Friday afternoon or you are having a late dessert!

    July 1st, 2013 10:56 pm Reply
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