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Yes, Chocolate Creme Brulee. No bake, no eggs, no water bath, and you don’t even need a torch if you don’t have one. Amazing chocolate custard in a small batch – for two (or three).

chocolate creme brûlée in a white mug.

Chocolate Crème Brûlée with Cocoa Powder

This is the perfect recipe for Valentine’s Day – an easy chocolate creme brulee recipe with that perfect caramelized sugar top and tons of chocolate flavor!

I almost can’t get over the fact that chocolate creme brulee exists. And, even better than chocolate creme brulee, this recipe is so easy you can do it right now. No fussy recipe here – this is an Easy Creme Brulee recipe – no oven needed.

Not only does this recipe not have egg yolks, but it doesn’t need to be baked, it doesn’t need a water bath, and if you don’t have a kitchen torch? NO PROBLEM.

ingredients in chocolate creme brûlée laid out on a white counter.

Ingredients Needed

  • Cocoa Powder – Use a really good unsweetened cocoa powder. You can even use Dutch Process cocoa if you want for a deeper flavor.
  • Cornstarch – This is what I used to thicken the pudding since we are not using eggs.
  • Milk – I used whole milk but for a thicker custard you could use heavy cream.
  • Chocolate: Use baking chocolate (semi-sweet) not chocolate chips.

How to Make Easy Chocolate Creme Brulee

  • Whisk the sugar, cocoa, and cornstarch in a saucepan or bowl.
  • Add milk and cook until the cream mixture thickens. Add chocolate and vanilla and stir until it’s all combined.
  • Place the pudding mixture in two 6-ounce creme brûlée dishes or 3 smaller ramekins. Cover and let the pudding cool to room temperature. Chill prepared ramekins for at least 4 hours before your brulee.
  • Sprinkle cooled pudding with more granulated sugar. You can caramelize the sugar one of three ways: with a kitchen blowtorch, in the broiler, or by making a sugar syrup (see recipe below for directions).

Click to see the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions!

chocolate creme brûlée in a white mug.

You can brûlée without a torch!

  • If you don’t have a torch, make a simple sugar syrup before serving – you basically just melt sugar in a saucepan – and then pour it over the top. It’ll harden (don’t make it too thick or it’ll be too thick to chew and eat).
  • You can also sprinkle the top with sugar and then place the creme brûlée under the broiler, but it won’t get as melted and burnt as the torch method.
spoon scooping easy chocolate creme brulee with text at top


How do you store Creme Brulee

Put the creme brulee in the fridge and cover it with plastic wrap! They will be good for up to 4 days!

What size ramekins do I need?

This recipe makes two 6-ounce servings (using small creme brûlée dishes) or you can use 3 smaller ramekins (4 ounce).

chocolate creme brûlée in a white mug.

Easy Chocolate Creme Brulee

5 from 2 votes
Easy Chocolate Creme Brulee – this easy recipe is totally foolproof! It’s a no bake creme brulee – no eggs or fuss, just rich chocolate creme brulee! You don’t even need a torch if you don’t have one!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours
Yield 2 -4 servings
Serving Size 1 /2 Creme Brulee
Diet: Vegetarian


  • cup (57g) granulated sugar
  • teaspoon salt
  • 5 teaspoons (8g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 teaspoons (9g) cornstarch
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 1 ounce semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 4-5 tablespoons granulated sugar for topping
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  • Whisk sugar, salt, cocoa, and cornstarch in a medium saucepan. Add milk and whisk over medium low heat until the powder is dissolved. Switch to a wooden spoon or heat safe spatula and stir continuously until the mixture starts to thicken. Once it thickens, stir in the vanilla bean paste then remove the pan from the heat and stir in the baking chocolate. Stir until smooth. Pour into 2 (6oz) creme brûlée dishes or 3 smaller ramekins.
  • Cover and let the pudding cool to room temperature. Chill for at least 4 hours before your brulee.
  • To make the brûlée topping, you can use a torch or the stovetop method. Do this right before serving.
  • To brûlée using a torch: top each creme brûlée with about 2-3 teaspoons granulated sugar. Evenly toast the sugar until it bubbles, then turns translucent, being careful not to burn it.
  • To brûlée using the stovetop method: add 1/4 cup granulated sugar to a small saucepan. Place over low heat and do not touch it, but watch it closely. Once it starts to turn to liquid, stir with a wooden spoon, being careful not to get it on the sides of the pan, until the sugar turns to crystals then to liquid again, and turns a light amber color. Drizzle some onto each chocolate creme brulee. Note: this sugar hardens more than it does with the torch. Err on the light side of adding it to the top – you don’t need the entire amount for the 2 brûlées but it’s hard to make less than 1/4 cup – and be cautious eating it.
  • To brûlée using the broiler: sprinkle each dish with 2-3 teaspoons granulated sugar and cook under the broiler until melted – it won't be as crackly as with the torch method.

Recipe Notes

  • Get yourself some creme brûlée dishes, which are like ramekins but shallower and wider.
  • You can also use ramekins for this.
  • This recipe is designed to make two 6-ounce chocolate creme brûlées but you may get more of them if you use a smaller dish.
  • You can use regular unsweetened cocoa powder or Dutch process.
  • You can use heavy cream in place of milk for a thicker custard.
  • Make these ahead up to 48 hours in advance – store in refrigerator. Don’t top with sugar until right before serving.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1/2 Creme Brulee | Calories: 340kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 2558mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 56g
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
picture of creme brûlée torch


While you don’t have to have a torch, I prefer using one for this recipe.

Creme Brûlée Dishes

These are the dishes I use.

Other Creme Brulee Recipes

Last Updated on February 2, 2024

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I’m absolutely in LOVE with this dessert! Way to take creme brûlée to a whole new level!

  2. Date night for us usually consists of going out to any place that has good chicken wings or cheeseburgers. One of these days I’ll get him to go out for tasty Italian food! I love this chocolate creme brûlée, it seems foolproof but also decadent and delicious. I’ve also been known to scramble an egg instead of tempering…(I’m looking at you, carbonara sauce). I think I might have to go get a torch for these!