Sweet Potato Creme Brûlée


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Every now and then I surprise y’all with a short and sweet post, where I don’t go on and on about life, happiness, learning to find joy, or surviving raising kids. Every now and then. If you enjoy those posts or if you just like to get to cooking, today is your lucky day because I’m trying to clean my house for Thanksgiving so I don’t have the time I’d like to visit with you all proper-like.

I just had to bring you this dish though. Diehard Sweet Potato fans will fall in love when their standard dish is topped with a decadent brûlée, and single guys and gals who make this will end the meal with a marriage proposal, possibly more than one!

This recipe is going to seem long and drawn out, especially compared to my usual ones, but it really is simple if you just look at the steps. I make this a day ahead of time and then just sprinkle the topping on and put it under the broiler just before serving, so it’s even easier.

…and don’t ask me how I know this, but if there is just a smidgeon left, it makes a great breakfast eaten cold right from the baking dish. A little birdie told me :) 

You’ll need: Two large sweet baked sweet potatoes, melted butter, vanilla, cinnamon, light brown sugar, whipping cream, sugar, and eggs. 

You won’t need this many eggs but they’d made friends in the fridge and I hated to separate them until I absolutely had to. Some of these eggs spent their last moments together. ~sniff~ 

I bake my sweet potatoes a day or so ahead of time and stick in the fridge. Doing it that way, the skin just pulls right off easily and sweet potatoes that are baked in the oven, in their skins, have more flavor than when you peel and slice them and cook them in water..

Either way, get the skin off and place in a large mixing bowl with cinnamon, sugar, melted butter, and two eggs. 

If you just got done cooking your sweet potatoes before this step, make sure they’re cool because if they are  really hot when you do this, they’ll cook the eggs.

 Mix that up really good with an electric mixer until well combined and no longer lumpy. 

Spread into the bottom of an 8×8 baking dish and set aside. 

 Combine your egg yolks, whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla in a medium heavy sauce pot. 

Note: You’ll have some egg whites left over from this recipe. I just put those in a mason jar and stick it in the fridge because if you’re making Thanksgiving dinner you’re sure to need them to make meringue on a pie :)

I suggest Lemon Meringue Pie or Peanut Butter Pie. 

Whisk your ingredients together really well until combined and smooth.

Place this post over medium low heat and whisk constantly just until warmed and your sugar is dissolved, about five minutes.

Or, as I always say, until you’re tired of fooling with it. 

It will look like this and still be very very runny.

 Using a measuring cup, gently scoop and pour the cream mixture over your sweet potatoes. 

Place your 8×8 in a larger dish and fill it with water until it is at least one inch deep. 

*You can use a metal 9×13 inch pan for the larger dish or any type of oven proof pan that is big enough to accommodate your 8×8 pan and an inch or so of water.

Bake this at 325 for about an hour, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out almost clean. This won’t be set in the center by then, but most of the dish will be set except for the middle, meaning there will just be a little bit of a jiggle in the center. 

Carefully remove from oven and allow to cool by placing dish on heavy dish towels or a wire rack. 

Once cool, cover with foil and refrigerate for several hours, or overnight. 

I make this the day before Thanksgiving.

*I always get compliments when I use these dishes so I’ma go ahead and tell ya that I got them at Sam’s Club for $19.99. The set came with a 9×13, 8×8, and a loaf pan. Some places still have them but mine was sold out last time I went there. They featured them in their Christmas flyer though, so they may be getting more in.

About half an hour before your meal, remove from fridge and let sit on your counter for about 30 minutes. 

Turn your oven to low broil and sprinkle brown sugar over the top. 

Place in oven, about 5 inches from your broiler, for 5-7 minutes, or until most of the sugar is melted. 

Watch this constantly as different ovens cook at different speeds on broil but it will always go faster than you think!

 Allow to sit for five minutes before serving to allow sugar to harden. Enjoy!! I sure do! 

Sweet Potato Creme Brûlée
For Sweet Potatoes:
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, baked at 425 for one hour, or until soft, and completely cooled.
  • ½ cup sugar or splenda
  • ¼ cup margarine or butter, melted
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
For Custard:
  • 2 cups whipping cream (sometimes labeled Heavy Cream, no substitutes)
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks (save whites for a meringue on a Thanksgiving pie!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For Topping:
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  1. Place sweet potato filling ingredients into large mixing bowl and beat with electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Spread into bottom of 8x8 baking dish and set aside.
  2. Place all custard ingredients into medium heavy sauce pot and stir well. Place over medium low heat, whisking constantly, for five minutes, or until just warm. Will be very runny.
  3. Using a measuring cup, gently scoop and pour custard over sweet potatoes.
  4. Place 8x8 baking dish in center of larger baking dish and pour water into larger dish until it is about an inch deep.
  5. Bake at 325° for 1 hour or until knife inserted in center comes out almost clean. Carefully remove from oven and remove baking dish from water. Allow to cool by placing on a heavy dish towel or wire rack. Once cool, cover with foil and refrigerate for several hours, or overnight. Before serving, remove from fridge and allow to sit at room temperature for half an hour. Sprinkle brown sugar over top and turn oven to low broil.
  6. Place dish on a baking sheet and put in oven, about 5 inches from broiler, for 5-7 minutes, or until sugar is mostly melted. Remove from oven and allow to sit for a few minutes before serving to allow sugar to harden. Note: Not all sugar will melt but it will form a thin coat across the top of the dish.
Using Splenda in the sweet potatoes is fine but I suggest using sugar in the custard. While this does not make it a sugar free dish (there is brown sugar on top as well of course), it does cut down the sugar some and a little beats nothing at all in my mind!

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to the Southern Plate family by clicking here.


Every day is a holiday, every meal is a banquet!

~unknown, submitted by John (thanks, John!)

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  1. The Better Baker says

    Oh Christy – OOOO LA LA! My family won’t eat sweet taters unless they’re ‘dressed up’….I have to say this dish is really ‘stylin’….can’t wait to try it. Pinned & printed.
    Thanks so much for sharing. DO LOVE those purty dishes too.

  2. Paula says


    “Place this post over medium low heat and whisk constantly just until warmed and your sugar is dissolved, about five minutes.”

    I’m gonna have a hard time getting my monitor over low heat and I’m not sure how good I’ll do at whisking it, but okay…if you say so… (grin)

    Yes, I read everything and I pay attention, too. Most of the time. :) Have a beauty of a day!

    I just love it here! ~~Paula

  3. Eva says

    Today is the first time I read the post and I noticed the typo, but rarely comment on things like that unless they are terrible like using the wrong to or their.
    However I did notice you saying that baked sweet potatoes were more tasty, I learned to never boil sweet potatoes, because my mother said her mother (whose dad grew sweet potatoes) had told her that there is a fungus that grows on them, that can cause severe intestinal problems, and that if you bake the potatoes the fungus is killed, but peeling and boiling them can leave the toxins on the potatoes. Which sounded reasonable to me as a teen, so I never peel and boil the potatoes.

  4. Kerry says

    Thanks for another favorite recipe!! This was on our Thanksgiving table today. My son-in-law usually brings his family’s sweet potato casserole, but he’s been under the weather this week. I had saved this recipe, thinking what’s not to like with sweet potatoes and creme brulee? Absolutely nothing!! Great stuff :)

    • says

      This isn’t really a casserole so it doesn’t feel that way serving it, I promise :) I’ve never tried cooking a pie crust in a water bath so not sure how it will work, with the extended cooking times as well. Of course, there is a chance it will be perfect but there is also a possibility of going in the opposite direction. If you decide to go your own way with the recipe please report back and tell us how it works out!

  5. Gayle says

    Hey Christy! I’m planning on making this for our Thanksgiving meal and I will make it exactly as you have listed but I have a question. Why do you pour (with your measuring cup) the custard. I would have just poured the whole pot at one time so I’m guessing there’s a reason for this??Lol! Thanks!


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