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Cambridge Burnt Cream Recipe

Cambridge burnt cream is the British answer to the French crème brûlée (which translates to burnt cream). Rich vanilla custard is baked then topped with sugar and brûléed to crispy perfection. They are sublime individual desserts to cozy up with in the cold winter months.

Also knows as Trinity cream, this dessert is said to derive from the Trinity College, Cambridge in Eastern England as early as the 1600’s. It is said the chefs had a branding tool with the college crest that they would burn into each cream. This is so cool and I would totally do this.

Cambridge Burnt Cream Photo

This dish is also served at the London restaurant Scott’s where they also serve the potted shrimps recipe that was posted recently. I’m thinking on my next trip to London, I need to pay a visit to Scott’s.

Cambridge Burnt Cream Picture

Cambridge burnt cream is a perfect make ahead dessert that can be baked, refrigerated for up to 3 days then simply brûlée the top when ready to serve. They make it the best dessert to serve at dinner parties because all the preparation is done ahead.

Cambridge Burnt Cream Image

This dessert could not be easier to make. If you can whisk egg yolks, heat some cream, combine them (without making scrambled eggs, which can happen if you add the cream too quickly to the eggs) then all you have to do is let the oven and the refrigerator do the rest of the work.

Cambridge Burnt Cream Pic

There is a fun element of browning and crisping the sugary topping. The best part of eating a burnt cream is cracking through the crispy, caramelized sugar topping to get to the creamy custard below.  

File 1 Cambridge Burnt Cream

If you don’t have a culinary blowtorch, broiling will work just fine, but you really have to keep an eye on them. They are burnt cream, but you don’t want them TOO burnt.

Cambridge Burnt Cream Photo

Cambridge Burnt Cream Recipe

Janette Fuschi
Cambridge burnt cream is the British answer to crème brûlée! These rich, creamy desserts are perfect for cozing up in chilly weather.
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Cuisine British
Servings 6
Calories 351.75 kcal


  • 9 Large Egg Yolk
  • 0.75 Granulated Sugar plus more for topping
  • 2.5 Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Vanilla Bean or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 325 F.
  • Place 6, 6-ounce ramekins inside a high sided baking dish. Set aside.
  • Add the egg yolks and sugar to a bowl. Whisk until pale in color and sugar is dissolved, set aside.
  • To a saucepan add the cream and vanilla seeds or extract over medium heat. Bring to a boil and turn off the heat. Pour the hot cream, very slowly in small amounts to the egg yolks while whisking.
  • Return the mix back to the pan and heat over medium heat, stirring until it starts to thicken and coats the back of a spatula, do not boil. Turn off the heat.
  • Pour hot water into the baking dish and fill until it comes 2/3 of the way up the ramekins.
  • Pour the custard into the ramekins and bake for 40 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the water bath.
  • Remove from the water bath and refrigerate for 2 hours, up to 3 days.
  • When ready to serve, sprinkle a fine layer of granulated sugar on top and broil or use a culinary blow torch until brown and bubbly.


Calories: 351.75kcalCarbohydrates: 26.25gProtein: 5.33gFat: 25.83gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 4.5gSodium: 12mgSugar: 24.75g
Keyword Baked, British, Desserts, Eggs, Make Ahead, Vanilla
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