milk&honey cafe

Thursday, December 02, 2010


I'm really grateful I have a blog. Otherwise, I'd be blabbing to poor Andrew all day (and trust me, he's an extraordinary listener too) or, to the particles in the air. I wasn't always this chatty, but at some point, I really started love talking about lots of different things. I most likely get it after my dad, who's an amazing father that loves to converse about everything with us, especially the "deep" stuff. "Life" is one of my favourite topics. I love thinking about why we are a certain way and what we could do to make our lives more meaningful. And it's not like I live like a saint or anything. I just love to think about it, talk about it, and then hope that some day it'll become an action and a lifestyle. But anyways, the point I'm trying to make is that I'm grateful that I have this space where I can just ramble on about things I'm experiencing and learning — whether or not someone's listening. It's really just an intimate time for me as I sit down to write. :)

creme brulee cupcakes

I don't mind if you're coming to simply check out the recipes and pictures. And I'm surprised that there are people who even read my stories!! I don't want to burden you with my boring personal stuff! So, in light of this, today I will — without adornment or agenda – just talk to you about a new recipe! Say hello to the crème brûlée cupcake.

creme brulee cupcakes

A few days ago, I decided to visit the studio I was working at before. My coworker jokingly threatened to "defriend" me if I didn't bring cupcakes when I visited, and I told him that I dare not. Plus, what would a visit be without treats to come along with? Anyways, I really wanted to do something different and original, since they've tried a number of treats I've baked. Also, they're aren't crazy about extremely sweet things so I had to do my brain-racking for a delicious but humble treat. I was trying to figure out something festive too, so a good place to start getting inspiration was the different holiday-themed beverages at starbucks. (haha! funny how the mind works.) And then I thought their crème brûlée latté was just the thing! A toasty, creamy, custardy cupcake. Perfect!!

creme brulee cupcakes

I began my research by googling "crème brûlée cupcakes" and found that there weren't that many options. A lot of them were cupcakes "inspired" by the crème brûlée flavour. Caramel swirled into the cake, meringue topped, or sugar flamed frosting. None of it sounded that appealing to me, so then I thought, why not just make real crème brûlée and incorporate it with the cake? So that's what I did. And it was a trés trés good idea.

creme brulee cupcakes

I made my crème brûlée in a larger pan, made a simple yellow buttermilk cake and then filled it. No frosting needed, just a nice adornment on top. I originally thought of buying a kitchen blow torch, sprinkling sugar on the cupcake and burning it, but it was just all too much work to get set up with a blow torch. That will be for next time. Instead, I made candied (and slightly burnt) sugar decorations to carry on the theme.

creme brulee cupcakes

Making crème brûlée is surprisingly easy. I don't know why I was also so intimidated by those smooth, pudding-y desserts, but now I've totally overcome it. With the help of joepastry (who also happens my new baking hero: his blog is simply amazing. smart, funny, practical and super helpful), I made crème brûlée really easily and had it ready the day before I made the cupcakes. I really want to try to make it just on its' own as the real thing. I think crème brûlée is such a romantic dessert and it's got so many different layers of deliciousness.

creme brulee cupcakes

I also used a new recipe for my vanilla cake and might I say, I think I found the one. I mean, the one. It's from smittenkitchen, and she even said that this is that special, indispensable cake for her. I'm thoroughly impressed and now will switch it with every yellow cake I've made.

creme brulee cupcakes

As for reviews of my new found combination of french delicacy and good ol' American staple? My friends absolutely LOVED it. They even said that it was be the BEST of what I've brought in all this time and that's saying a lot!! Not too sweet, but with lots of flavour and great textures. They're both great recipes on their own, but an even greater marriage together!!

creme brulee cupcakes

Crème Brûlée Cupcakes

crème brûlée recipe from joe pastry and yellow layer cake recipe from smitten kitchen

makes about 12 cupcakes


for cake
2 cups plus 1 tablespoon cake flour (not self-rising)
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large egg, at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk, well-shaken

for crème brûlée
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
4 large egg yolks
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

for sugar decoration
1 cup of granulated sugar


make crème brûlée
1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, set a small saucepan of water (or a teapot) over low heat.

2. Pour the cream into a small saucepan, along with the vanilla extract and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Immediately remove the cream from the heat and allow it to steep for 10-20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, whisk the sugar and yolks together in a medium bowl until they're light in color. Add the cream in a steady stream, whisking all the while. Pour the mixture into four 6-ounce ramekins, (OR in my case, in a small pan.) Place the ramekins into a roasting pan or baking dish.

4. When ready to bake, put on an oven mitt and open the oven door. Slide a middle rack half way out and gently place the baking dish containing the ramekins on it. Carefully pour in enough hot water to come half way up the sides of the ramekins. Slide the rack back into the oven and close the door.

5. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or (40-45 minutes for a larger pan like mine) until the custard is just set (firm but slightly jiggly in the middle). Cool on a wire rack, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or up to three days.

For just the crème brûlée on its own: Half an hour before you want to serve, remove the ramekins from the refrigerator. Take off the plastic wrap and spread a healthy tablespoon of sugar evenly over the top of each custard. Using a salamander or a blow torch, melt and lightly brown the sugar. Let the crème brûlée sit for 5 minutes, and serve.

make cake
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pans with cups.

2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture will look curdled). Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until each addition is just Incorporated.

3. Spread batter evenly in cupcake pan. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely before filling or decorating.

make sugar decoration and assemble cupcakes
1. In a small sauce pan with a heavy bottom, pour a cup of sugar on medium-high heat. Without using a spatula, simply swirl the pan itself often in order to ensure even heating. Slowly but surely, the sugar will start to caramelize. When the colour starts to darken, and it will smoke just a bit, immediately take off heat. When sugar passes its melting point, it will burn very very quickly. It's also useful to use a sugar thermometer to ensure the perfect amount of melting. (300-310°F for hard candy).

2. Quickly pour onto silpat or non-stick surface and let it spread into a thin layer. After it cools to room temperature, place it in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Once completely harden, break into funky pieces for decoration.

3. Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, make a cone-shaped hole in each cupcake about the size of a loonie (for Canadians) or a silver dollar (for Americans). Fill it up with a tablespoon of cold crème brûlée (I used my small ice-cream scoop for cookies). Place sugar decoration on top and it's ready to serve!


  1. YUM! Your friends are a lucky bunch!

  2. sis. you're the sweetest person ever. i know why you commented. heehee. i love you.

  3. That looks delish! Way to go, Sarah! I tried Green Tea Creme Brulee in Vancouver and it was something I've been meaning to try, except I always get turned off by the sugar. What you've created is very clever!

  4. sorry try as in trying to bake it. ha!

  5. i made creme brulee cupcakes too but yours look much much prettier with the glass shards! i must, must make this :) great job

  6. Oh my goodness gracious-Cupcake nirvana-creme brulee, really ? Thank you a zillion times over for sharing this recipe...your photos are sending me straight to the kitchen to try these immediately.

  7. Where do you get those boxes?! They're so perfect for cupcakes--where do you buy them?

    And the cupcakes are incredible. I'd never thought of combing the amazing French creme brulee with the take-and-go cupcake! Great idea! And the shards of glass top em off perfectly!

  8. To be honest, I actually wish more food blogs would be more story/essay-driven. Don't get my wrong, I love gorgeous food photos and recipes as much as the next person, but the blogs that tend to stay on my reader are the ones where I can follow along in the story, if that makes any sense. All that is just to say that I'm glad you tell stories and they're not boring. Oh and these cupcakes look lovely. :)

  9. That is very tasty, thanks for sharing the recipe in here...

    Minneapolis Bankruptcy

  10. Hey Sarah! That's weird, I tried to comment on your post like forever ago, and it didn't show up. Anyway it was great meeting/seeing you again, and your cupcakes were honestly the best I've EVER had! OMG! Seriously!

    Also thanks for stopping by my silly blog... and honestly the 50mm 1.4 is a better lens than the 1.8... i would have gotten the 1.4 but it was twice the price! So you got yourself a good lens there! :) Your photos are lovely and so is your blog, i'm sure I'll be coming back. :) Have a good one!

  11. Hello there! I have good news!…you’ve been awarded the Stylish Blogger Award!!! Congrats!

    So this is what's up, I really love your blog and decided to give you this award, now you:

    1. Make a post and link back to the person who awarded you this award
    2. Share 7 things about yourself
    3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers so we can share the love
    4. Contact these bloggers and tell them they’ve won!

    Always the best,
    Amalia, from ButterSweetMelody

  12. My brother's name is Andrew, and his fiancé's name is Sarah. I checked out your pofile and saw your're not my fture sis-in-law. LOL

  13. These look so yummy! Your photography is so lovely!

  14. I love creme brulee and in a cupcake - how unique! they look like little works of art. very nice...and some of us do read the intro as well as the recipe!

  15. I haven't tried it yet, but looks gorgeous, especially the glass-effect decoration :). and I love the way you put the recipes.

  16. thanks everyone for your kind comments!! i do apologize for not blogging for the past few months, though.. thanks for your patience. :)

  17. Sarah, I just found out your answer on my blog, for the lemon cream tart! It had been ages since i last used it, i kind of use it as a personal journal =P. Thank you so much for posting the recipe, you are the sweetest. And i miss you posting on your blog so much! I hope you are doing very well, and that sometime soon you get some free time and inspiration to post something again! Even if it's not food. I just loved reading your posts and looking at the pictures =)
    have a great day!!


  18. Oh my God cupcakes.
    Did you know that I have seen about a thousand cupcake pictures today, and yours are the most dainty and delicate looking!

  19. Please keep on posting as this was a quality is rare to find these days. Generic Paxil Online always looking for articles online, Generic Valsartan can help. looking forward to another great blog. Good luck to the author! All the best!