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Bloody Crème Brûlée

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A Bloody Crème Brûlée starts with a bit of red food coloring, transforming one of my family’s favorite desserts into a creepy Halloween dessert. 

This Halloween Treat is a ghoulish twist on the classic creme brulee recipe!

Bloody Crème Brûlée in a red ramekin

Bloody Crème Brûlée

According to my dear husband, my crème brûlée is the best he’s ever tasted. He’s been disappointed at enough restaurants to swear it off unless it’s made in my kitchen. How’s that for an endorsement? So for Halloween, I wondered whether I could get these custards red enough to become bloody brûlées.

With my first attempt, I added a full bottle of red food coloring to the custard base. One full ounce. Yes, that’s a LOT of food coloring. It was pretty eerie looking, though a little pinker than I preferred. With this second attempt, I added an ample amount of gel food coloring to obtain a richer color. A bloody good show, eh?

Bloody Crème Brûlée | The classic vanilla custard with burnt sugar topping and a ghoulish twist!

Halloween Desserts

Today, the Sunday Supper crew is sharing Halloween desserts featuring Dixie Crystals sugar. Everyone should make at least one ghoulish treat for Halloween. I suggest Bloody Crème Brûlée. Who doesn’t love cracking through the crisp sugar crust into the dreamy vanilla custard? Even if it’s a ghastly bloody red!

Disclaimer: no real blood was sacrificed by these skeletons in order to make this dessert. The picky husband cautiously took his first bite and declared this custard dessert a winner. As rich, silky and creamy as my classic version, just dressed up for Halloween!

More Hallween Treats!

Bloody Creme Brulee in white ramekins

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Bloody Crème Brûlée

Bloody Crème Brûlée

A creepy twist on the classic creme brulee for Halloween.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yield 9 desserts


  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, slit in half lengthwise and seeds scraped
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 7 large egg yolks
  • Red food coloring gel (I used no-taste red and burgundy gels)
  • Turbinado sugar to dust over top of custard


  1. Preheat oven to 300º.
  2. In a saucepan, heat cream, vanilla pod, vanilla seeds, sugar, and salt over medium heat, stirring occasionally, till bubbles form around the perimeter. Do not bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
  3. Whisk eggs in a large glass measuring cup (or bowl). Temper yolks by adding a small amount of hot cream to the yolks while whisking. Repeat a few more times, making sure to add the cream mixture very slowly and to keep whisking so yolks do not cook. Pour tempered yolks back into pan and whisk till smooth. Strain the mixture into a large measuring cup (you may reuse the cup utilized for tempering) to remove the vanilla pod, seeds and any bits of cooked yolk. Mix in food coloring until you get a deep red color.
  4. Place nine 4-ounce ramekins in a roasting pan. Fill the ramekins to the top with custard. Carefully place pan in the oven, and pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up ramekins. Bake until custard is set and jiggles slightly when shaken, about 40-50 minutes.
  5. Remove from water bath and let cool a half hour or so. Chill for at least 2 hours. Before serving, sprinkle with a thin layer of turbinado sugar and broil (approximately 4 inches from element) until sugar caramelizes. Watch carefully as this takes less than a minute. You may also use a kitchen torch to caramelize.


Shallow ramekins take closer to 40 minutes while deeper ramekins can take 50-60 minutes.


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Bloody Crème Brûlée | The classic vanilla custard with burnt sugar topping and a ghoulish twist!


Bloody Crème Brûlée | The classic vanilla custard with burnt sugar topping and a ghoulish twist!

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27 comments on “Bloody Crème Brûlée”

  1. LOL Good to know the red is merely a sacrifice of an ounce of food coloring! Given your description in other posts, I’d say the endorsement from Bill about your brûlée makes your dessert the best in the land!

  2. The perfect dessert for Halloween. Sounds delicious!!

  3. I am a huge creme brullee lover so I am totally in love with this creepy twist 🙂

  4. This is such a fun and creative idea…I can’t wait to try this out if Mr. Fearless Dining agrees to a party.

  5. How fun Liz and such a delicious treat. Makes me almost want to be a Vampire;]

  6. The color is fantastic! Now I have to unearth my mini torch.

  7. Liz

    I love your recipe! What a great spin on a classic dessert!

  8. Very fun! and yes, that is quite an endorsement coming from Bill! I’ll stop back after everyone else gets their posts up:@)

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