Freshness Storage Tips for Crème Brûlée Lovers

How Long Does Creme Brulee Last?

For crème brûlée lovers, there’s really nothing that comes close to this unique dessert.

Digging in to that combination of creamy custard and crispy caramelized sugar crust unleashes an explosion of flavors including aromatic nuttiness and delicate notes of vanilla.

Maybe it’s already a favorite of yours or perhaps you’ve decided to make it for friends or family to enjoy during a get together.

But no matter the reason you’ve happened by our site today, you’ve got to be wondering how long it’ll last.

After all, why in the world would you ever want to waste something do heavenly and delightful?

You wouldn’t and of course, that’s the reason you’re here!

In short, crème brûlée will last in the fridge for up to five days (2-3 is ideal) but there are a couple of caveats to this rule of thumb. The first is that you shouldn’t torch your crème brûlée prior to actually serving it (for reasons we’ll discuss later) and second is that you’ll want to be sure it’s properly stored since it can easily absorb any strong odors that might be present in your refrigerator.

One last thing.

This article only discusses refrigerating crème brûlée, not freezing it so please keep that in mind. If you need to freeze your crème brûlée, check out our dedicated article on it.

With that said, let’s dig a little deeper into the best way to store and enjoy your next batch of crème brûlée! 

Can You Refrigerate Crème Brûlée Mix?

Yes, you can place your crème brûlée mix in the fridge overnight.

In fact, there’s a school of thought that refrigerating your crème brûlée mix actually results in a better finished product and if you’ve ever made crème brûlée before, you probably already know why.

You see, it’s not uncommon for a fine layer of air bubbles to accumulate on the surface of crème brûlée mix as it sets. By putting it in the fridge overnight, these bubbles will gather nicely on the surface, allowing you to easily remove them.

An alternate method is to simply lightly pass the torch over the bubbles prior to pouring the mixture into ramekins.

The heat from the torch will eliminate the bubbles quite nicely.

Method Effect on Air Bubbles
Refrigerating crème brûlée mix overnight Air bubbles gather on surface, allowing for easy removal
Lightly passing torch over bubbles before pouring mixture into ramekins Heat from torch eliminates bubbles

Should You Refrigerate Crème Brûlée?

Yes, some refrigeration will be necessary to produce the best possible crème brûlée.

The reason for this is that crème brûlée is traditionally served chilled. The main reason for this is that unless the custard has a chance to set, caramelizing the sugar with your torch will not work.

Instead of a crispy, crunchy crust, the sugar will not fully harden and you’ll be left with a mushy, runny result instead.

Really, this comes down to timing since you’ll want the custard to be wobbly when you remove it from the fridge.

Assuming you’ve just made your dessert and allowed it to cool off to room temperature prior to refrigeration, you’ll need to leave it in for a minimum of thirty minutes to an hour depending on how it takes to achieve the jiggly texture you’ll need.

How Long Does Crème Brûlée Last After Torching?

There are actually two answers to this question depending upon when you’ve torched the dessert.

If you’ve torched it (after allowing it time to set and cool), it’s best to consume it as soon as possible. The main reason is because the dessert is never going to taste better than the moment the crust has hardened. 

Alternatively, if you’ve torched it and put it back in the fridge with the idea that you’ll be serving it later, then you’ll need to eat it within a couple of days and really, the sooner the better.

This is because of the caramelized sugar layer on top of the dessert.

Sugar naturally absorbs moisture and doubly so in a cool or cold environment. When crystallized, it will draw moisture from the air and transfer it to the crème brûlée. In time, the sugar layer will soften and will eventually turn into a runny mess.


So remember that it’s best to torch it as close to serving as possible.

Time of Torching Shelf Life
Torched and consumed immediately Best taste and texture
Torched and stored in the refrigerator 2 days or less, the sooner the better, as the caramelized sugar layer will absorb moisture and turn runny over time

How Far Ahead Can I Make Crème Brûlée?

As stated earlier, crème brûlée will remain quite tasty for a couple of days after you’ve made as long as you store in properly in the fridge.

If you’re on a tight schedule and need to make it ahead of time, just keep this timeframe in mind and you’ll be fine.

How Long Can Crème Brûlée Sit Out?

Part of what makes crème brûlée so delectable are the ingredients used to make it. After all, when you combine cream, eggs and sugar, it’s hard to go wrong!

The downside is that even though these ingredients make one of the tastiest desserts known to man, they can also pose some food safety issues if left out of the refrigerator for too long.

If you’ve just finished making your crème brûlée, you can leave them out long enough to cool down to room temperature – usually between 45 minutes to an hour.

At that point, it’s a good idea to cover (or seal) the ramekins and put them in the fridge.

Can You Eat Leftover Crème Brûlée?

As long as you’re consuming your dessert within a 3-5 days of making it, there shouldn’t be any problem with eating leftover crème brûlée.

Remember, though, that the custard portion remaining edible is only one part of the equation. If you’ll recall, we discussed how the caramelized sugar will deteriorate and turn runny if left in the refrigerator too long.

So this is yet another good reason to make sure that you’re torching only what you plan on consuming right away. Otherwise, you’re likely to be disappointed in the outcome and be forced to toss out your lovely dessert!

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