Take Your Next Cake To Gourmet Status With A Crème Brûlée Topping

slice of crème brûlée cake on plate
slice of crème brûlée cake on plate - Javier Volcan/Shutterstock

The name "crème brûlée" rolls off your tongue almost as nicely as the creamy custard slides off the spoon into your mouth. Nothing screams "fancy" quite like this sweet French custard with a mouthwatering caramelized sugar topping. The only thing more elegant than crème brûlée itself just might be a crème brûlée cake. To elevate your next layer cake, try making it with a brûléed topping that both looks and tastes amazing.

A crème brûlée-inspired topping can seriously amp up the elegance of a plain cake. Whether it's for a birthday, wedding, baby shower, anniversary, or any other occasion, the stunning visual effect and delicious sugary taste will impress your friends and family with its gourmet quality. Traditional crème brûlée is fairly simple to make, consisting mainly of sugar, eggs, cream, and vanilla, and that signature browned sugar topping. Adding that tasty caramelized sugar shell on top of a cake creates a satisfying crunch in contrast to the soft crumb and frosting.

To pull this off, all you have to do is memorize the rotation technique to properly torch crème brûlée, as well as follow a few assembly tips to make the most show-stopping cake possible.

Read more: Cake Hacks Every Baker Will Wish They Knew Sooner

Tips For Making The Yummiest Crème Brûlée Cake

layer cake with crème brûlée topping
layer cake with crème brûlée topping - Edvard Nalbantjan/Shutterstock

Adding a brûléed topping to a cake is fairly simple. Once your cake is baked, assembled, and frosted, stick it in the refrigerator or freezer to cool. As with traditional crème brûlée, your cake needs to be cool before it's torched to achieve the best caramelized, hardened sugar shell (and in this case, to prevent your frosting from melting everywhere!).

Once the cake is chilled, remove it from the fridge and sprinkle a thin layer of sugar on top, ensuring that it covers the entire top surface. Then, using a kitchen torch, heat up the sugar evenly using the aforementioned rotation technique. Work your way around the cake with the torch until the sugar layer is perfectly browned. A rotating cake stand can help you spin the cake slowly so you can torch the sugar more efficiently.

While you could caramelize sugar on top of any type of cake, why not fully embrace the crème brûlée inspiration and make your whole cake taste like the famed custard? Vanilla cake makes a great base to start with. If you're making a layered cake, try using vanilla custard for your filling. To go the extra mile, add a hardened sugar shell on top of each layer of the cake before stacking the next layer on top. Frost the cake with vanilla buttercream to fully evoke the flavor of classic crème brûlée.

Can You Make A Crème Brûlée Cake Topping Without A Torch?

cook torching crème brûlée
cook torching crème brûlée - Brandon Koykka/Shutterstock

Kitchen torches are useful for crème brûlée and a handful of other recipes, but they're not the most versatile tool you can buy. For those of us with smaller kitchens or tighter budgets, it is possible to finish crème brûlée without a torch by broiling it in the oven. But would this work for crème brûlée cake?

Unfortunately, putting a frosted cake in the oven to broil will create a huge melted mess, but the good news is that you can make a crème brûlée sheet cake that can be broiled with no ill effects. Bake a vanilla sheet cake and allow it to cool. Skip out on the frosting and instead spread vanilla pudding or custard on top, sprinkle on a layer of sugar (use white sugar instead of brown, which tends to burn more easily), and stick the whole thing in the oven to broil.

Keep an eye on the cake to avoid burning the sugar, and try to use a thicker custard that won't run as easily (or broil your cake in a sturdy, form-fitting pan to give it structure). Broil until the top is a golden, caramel color. This is convenient and works well, but you don't have as much control as you would with a torch, so don't take your eyes off the oven for more than a few minutes.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.