How To Caramelize Creme Brulee with a Torch

Finish Desserts

Few sounds are more satisfying than that of a spoon breaking through the crackly caramelized surface of a perfectly prepared crème brûleé. Follow these step-by-step instructions to prepare a tasty crispy topping.

  • Keep the crème brûleé chilled in the refrigerator prior to torching.
  • The secret to a perfect topping is to distribute the sugar evenly around the surface.
  • Avoid putting too much sugar on top or you’ll get a surface that is too hard and thick.
  • Serve immediately after caramelizing or the crust will become soft.


  1. Remove the crème brûleé from the refrigerator and place it on a fire-proof surface.
  2. Sprinkle granulated sugar over the entire surface of the crème brûleé. Gently shake the container side to side to spread the sugar evenly.
  3. Light your Bernzomatic torch in a safe direction pointed away from food items. Point the torch straight down, two to three inches above the surface of the sugar. Using a slow sweeping motion, focus on the edges first, then move the torch in a circular motion across the center.
  4. When the sugar starts to bubble, carefully pick up the container with the tongs and rotate it while applying the torch with the other hand. The sugar will flow into a glossy brown, bubbling shell.


  • Read our General Safety Precautions before starting your project.
  • Read the instructions that come with your torch before beginning your dish.
  • Always store fuel in an upright position after completing your project.

What You'll Need


Detail Torch

Product Info


  • ST2200T-Detail Torch for Hobby and Household Use
  • Keep a fire extinguisher or water source nearby in case of emergency.
  • Safety glasses
  • Work gloves


  • Bernzomatic 5.5 oz. Butane Cylinder
  • Crème brûleé
  • Fire-proof surface
  • Granulated sugar
  • Teaspoon
  • Tongs