These creme brulee cookies are the perfect choice if you're looking for a soft frosted cookie. The vanilla bean cookie and cream cheese topping make a winning combination, but the bruleed sugar on top of the cookie is what really sets them apart. Imagine your favorite classic creme brulee in cookie form!
There is no question that Christmas is the best time to bake cookies. We're talking holiday spiced cutout cookies, thick and chewy drop cookies, and buttery shortbread cookies.
Our chocolate chip pudding cookies are always on top of the list. But I can't get enough of creative cookies including brown butter salted caramel cookies, Taylor Swift chai cookies, and New York cheesecake cookies.
Best Creme Brulee Cookies
These crème brûlée cookies are a little mix of simple and out of the box. It starts with classic soft sugar cookies (with almond extract for the best flavor) as the base, and then a simple cream cheese frosting. But, that's not all— an unexpected golden brown crunchy sugar topping makes these the perfect cookies.
The dairy in this cookie recipe, including heavy cream and butter, makes the cookies so soft they melt in your mouth. Add some cream cheese and butter to the frosting for an ultra rich, perfectly balanced, frosting that will be host to the creme brulee topping.
Balance out all the sweetness with a tall glass of cold milk to add some protein. Serve both to Santa (and your kids) to fuel them for delivering and opening all the presents!
Do I Need A Kitchen Torch?
You're probably wondering..do I really need a kitchen torch for this recipe? And ultimately the answer is yes! You can get one on Amazon for under $20 (just make sure to buy the fuel too).
You can throw them under the oven broiler for a few seconds, but you risk melting the frosting before you achieve the burnt sugar topping. Buy one and store it to make these cookies year after year!
How to Make Creme Brulee Cookies
Here are the basic steps, with images, for these creme brûlée cookies. There's no chilling required! Skip down to the recipe card below for the full printable recipe.
Make the Cookies
Dry ingredients: Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate small bowl.
Wet ingredients: Beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extract then beat well, until the yellow streaks are gone. Add the heavy cream and beat again until it's incorporated.
Finish the cookie dough: Slowly add the dry ingredients and beat on low speed until it's completely combined, stopping to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed. The cookie dough will be wet.
Bake the cookies: Use a medium cookie scoop to drop the dough a few inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. It should resemble a thick muffin batter. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the tops are set and no longer look wet. The cookies will spread out first then start to rise.
Frost and Brulee the Tops
Cream cheese frosting: Beat together the softened butter and cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth and all of the lumps are gone. Add the powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla and beat until smooth.
Frost the cookies: Transfer the frosting to a piping bag, cut of the tip, and swirl it on top of the cooled cookies. Alternately, spread the icing on top of the cookies using the back of a spoon.
Brulee the cookies: Cover the frosting in a generous sprinkling of sugar. Use a blow torch to melt the sugar until you have a crispy caramelized sugar coating. It should take 2-3 seconds! The frosting will become warm from the heat so allow them to cool and set again before serving.
Success tip: get the kitchen blow torch about an inch away from the cookie so it melts and caramelizes the sugar quickly. The frosting can melt quickly!
Tips for Making Crème Brûlée Cookies
- Do I really need a kitchen torch? Use one for best results, just like traditional creme brulee, or you risk the frosting melting under the broiler in the oven.
- You may be wondering, what's the best sugar to use for creme brulee? And that would be regular white sugar! I've seen some use coarse turbinado sugar too, but I have not tested that on these cookies.
- Do not overbake them of they can become dry and crumbly.
- Make sure you have enough powdered sugar in the frosting for it to be firm and hold it's shape. It melts slightly under the torch, so you want it pretty solid to start.
- Keep the kitchen torch close to the sugar while you brulee the top. This gives you the caramelized topping quickly before the frosting melts.
Baked and frosted creme brulee cookies will last up to 2 days in an airtight container at room temperature or up to 5 days in the fridge.
You can also freeze the baked cookies before you frost them. Layer them with parchment paper in a freezer bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and follow the directions to frost and caramelize the top as directed.
This recipe is sponsored by American Dairy Association Mideast . All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to brands like theirs who believe in our mission and recipes so we can continue to share free ones with you. Visit their website for nutrition facts, and cooking tips, and to learn about dairy farming.
If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!
More Holiday Cookies
- Hot Cocoa Cookies
- Chewy Ginger Cookies
- Pistachio Pudding Cookies
- Triple Chocolate Cookies
- White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
- Brown Butter Toffee Cookies
Creme Brulee Cookies
Creme Brulee Cookies
- 1 cup (2 sticks; 226g) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- ¾ teaspoon almond extract
- ½ cup (118ml) heavy cream
- 2 ¼ cups (281g) all-purpose flour gluten-free if needed (Note 1)
Cream Cheese Frosting and Caramelized Sugar Topping
- 6 Tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 4 ounces (113g) full-fat cream cheese softened to room temperature
- 1 Tablespoon (15ml) heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ½ - 3 cups (300-360) powdered sugar sifted
- Granulated sugar for topping the cookies (about 1 teaspoon per cookie)
- Kitchen torch with fuel
- Large Baking Sheets
- Parchment paper
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar. In a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed for 2 minutes.
- Beat the wet ingredients. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extract then beat well, until the yellow streaks are gone. Add the heavy cream and beat again until it's incorporated.
- Add the dry ingredients. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate medium bowl. With the mixer on low, add half of the dry ingredients, then turn the speed up to medium to incorporate it fully. Repeat the process with the second half of the dry ingredients. The cookie dough will be wet, this is what you want!
- Bake the cookies. Use a heaping tablespoon or medium cookie scoop to drop the dough a few inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the tops are set and no longer look wet. The cookies will spread out first then start to rise.
- Cool cookies. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
- Make the frosting. Beat together the softened butter and cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth and all of the lumps are gone. Add 1 cup of the confectioner's sugar and beat on medium speed to incorporate. Add the heavy cream and vanilla extract and beat until combined and the mixture is smooth. Finish by adding the last 2 cups of confectioners' sugar and beat well until smooth.
- Frost the cookies. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag and cut off the tip. Swirl the frosting onto the cooled cookies. Alternately, dollop about 1 Tablespoon of frosting on top and use the back of a spoon to spread it out.
- Top with sugar and brulee. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar on top of each cookie and use a torch to melt and brulee the top of the cookies. Keep the torch close to the cookie (about 1 inch away). This should take 2-3 seconds per cookie. The frosting will melt slightly—this is ok. Allow the frosting to set again before serving.