Recipe | Leftover egg yolks means Creme Brulee!


Even though a dozen large eggs cost about $1.50, throwing more than four yolks down the sink makes me cringe with guilt. When I was making batches and batches of macaroons for Father’s Day, I was left with nine egg yolks. I looked at them as if they were little abandoned orphans who needed to be saved from the dark hole that leads to the InSinkErator. Luckily for these cute, yellow buttons I always have the perfect home for them- whisked into the sweet, decadent goodness of creme brulee.


Creme brulee has become the savior of leftover egg yolks. It’s an easy and convenient recipe as long as you have the patience to wait for the custard to chill. Whenever my boyfriend and I are craving something sweet we grab a couple of single-serve ramekins out of the fridge for an instant dessert fix.


The best part has to be burning the sugar with the mini torch. We both like to add more sugar than normal to create an even thicker shell on top.

You can really get creative with the recipe and add all sorts of flavors into the custard mixture. Maybe something rich like chocolate or something more floral like lavender. I often stick to the classic version since I’m usually just trying to save the poor little egg yolks. They’re better off in my appreciative tummy than the dingy sink.

Classic Creme Brulee
Adapted from Mark Bittman via New York Times

2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar, plus more for topping

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Prepare some boiling water to be used later for baking the custard.
3. In a saucepan, heat heavy cream and vanilla extract until the edges begin to bubble.
4. Meanwhile, whisk together egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until light in color.
5. Take about a quarter of the cream mixture and pour into the bowl while stirring with a whisk. Once the eggs have tempered, pour it all back into the saucepan and keep stirring until combined.
6. Divide mixture into six small ramekins. Put them into a baking dish and place in oven.
7. Pour the hot water you prepared earlier into the baking dish until it is halfway up the ramekins.
Note: I like to do this in the oven instead of bringing a baking dish full of ramekins and hot water into the oven. Doesn’t sound safe, does it?
8. Bake for 30 minutes or until the center of the custard is wobbly like jello and the edges are firm.
9. Carefully remove each ramekin from baking dish and let cool. Cover each with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
10. When ready to eat, place about of teaspoon of sugar on top of custard and move the ramekin around to get an even layer.
11. Torch sugar until it browns. Let it sit for about a minute to cool and harden. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

14 thoughts on “Recipe | Leftover egg yolks means Creme Brulee!

  1. I love creme brulee. This looks scrumptious. Nice photos too. I gotta get me one of those mini torch.

  2. Calamity Anne – It’s definitely worth a try and you’ll find out how quick and easy it is!

    Elaine -Oh yes, burning the sugar with the torch is fun. Be careful!

    Carmen – I know this sounds kind of bad but once i started making creme brulee, I stopped ordering them at restaurants (unless it had a special flavor). You should give it a go one day!

  3. Going to try this recipe some time today! I made an egg white and lox frittata yesterday and have been browsing for a way to use my leftover egg yolks, so thank you very much!

    Also, I wanted to say how much I appreciate the printable recipe option!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! so handy, I have always wondered why other food blogs do not do that. Thank You!

  4. Hi, I was wondering if you knew any resources that can help me with my problems of X number of egg yolks to how many grams of sugar to how many milliliters of milk. So far I don’t know the exact terms to use for this method of recipe, I hope to hear a reply soon, thank you!

  5. OK…they are in the oven. Unfortunately, I poured some of the water into one of the ramekins as I was filling the water bath so that should have an interestingly soggy result. :) I’ll let you know how it turns out.

    Thanks so much for the recipe!

  6. They look great. :D

    I also have a few egg yolks left in the fridge. Would really love to make creme brulee but I don’t have the torch. :(

  7. THANK YOU! I googled “recipe 6 egg yolks” after making a ton of macaroons myself! Now I have 8 dozen macaroons, AND crème brulee! I really appreciate the recipe! Thanks!

    • Cool! Glad you made good use of all those eggs! It always pains me to have to throw them away sometimes.

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