Crème brûlée bars

A delicious twist on a favourite dessert!

I have mentally filed this recipe under “things I wish I’d thought of years ago”. With a delicious shortbread-like base, creamy custard and crunchy sugar topping, there are multiple reasons to love this dessert. Best of all, the bars can be made several days in advanced then as few or as many as you like can be torched just before serving.


  • 1 cup (120 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (115 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) melted butter
  • 4 egg yolks *
  • 1/4 cup (57 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups (295 mL) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (57 g) granulated sugar (for topping)

*reserve the whites for another purpose, such as mini Pavlovas or meringues


  • Heat oven to 350F. Line a 9 x 9 inch (22.5 x 22.5 cm) baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In medium bowl, mix together the flour, 1/2 cup (115 g) sugar and melted butter. Press firmly into the prepared baking pan. Bake 20 minutes.
  • While crust is baking, beat egg yolks and 1/4 cup (57 g) sugar in a medium sized bowl until smooth. Heat cream with vanilla in a pot on the stove or in a heatproof container in the microwave until very warm but not boiling. Very slowly whisk the hot cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Let stand to cool slightly.
  • When crust has baked, remove pan from oven and reduce oven temperature to 300F. Let crust cool for 5 minutes. Stir cream and egg yolk mixture once more then pour slowly over the baked crust and return pan to oven. Bake 30 – 35 minutes, until custard is set and no longer jiggles when you wiggle the pan. Let cool 10 minutes on a wire rack then refrigerate until thoroughly chilled (at least one hour). Lift up edges of parchment paper to transfer to an airtight container to continue to store in fridge until serving time.   
  • For bars, cut into 6 rows by 3 rows (each bar should measure 1 1/2 x 3 inches or 3.75 x 7.5 cm). Place bars, slightly separated, on a metal baking tray. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup sugar evenly over the bars then scorch the sugar with a torch (or use your oven’s broiler).
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate torched bars for up to 4 hours, uncovered, before serving. Untorched bars can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Makes 18 bars.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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