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Maple Pots de Creme

How many times have you sat down at a restaurant and immediately flipped through the menu to check out the desserts?

Your friends might think you’ve got a screw loose, but hey – you’ve gotta see how tempting the desserts are and decide whether you should “save room.”

There’s one dessert that I always save room for, no matter how delicious the food is.

I’m talking about creme brulee.

If it’s on the menu, I order it. Period.

Luckily it’s really easy to make at home, and since it’s full of healthy egg yolks and cream, it doesn’t give me the typical sugar high that I get from other desserts.

But today I’m not sharing a recipe for creme brulee. Rather, I’m featuring a dessert very similar to creme brulee called pots de creme that happen to take way less skill and taste just as amazing.

Pots de creme are like the bottom of creme brulee – delicious little baked custards minus the burnt sugar crust. These “pots of cream” or “pots of custard” originate from France (no surprise there, right?!)

My recipe for Maple Pots de Creme features 5 (optionally 6) ingredients and is sweetened entirely with maple syrup.

You can even make them dairy-free by subbing full-fat coconut milk for the cream!

I find these so satisfying that I usually split one with my husband and savor every. single. melt-in-your-mouth bite. (Of course, that requires I draw a line down the middle so he doesn’t steal from my side!)


Maple Pots de Creme

yield 4

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream (ideally organic, grass-fed. May substitute full-fat coconut milk for a dairy-free version)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 egg yolks (ideally from pasture-raised hens)*
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon maple extract (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place 4 ramekins in a rimmed baking dish, such as a brownie pan.
  2. Combine the cream, maple syrup, and salt in a small saucepan. Heat until it comes to a simmer. Turn off heat.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and vanilla extract (and, if using, the maple extract).
  4. Temper the egg yolks - Using a small ladle, add some hot cream to the egg yolks a few tablespoons at a time (this prevents the egg yolks from scrambling). Once you’ve added ~1 cup of cream, pour the rest of the cream into the bowl and whisk to combine.
  5. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve.
  6. Using a ladle, pour the mixture into ramekins (8oz wide mouth Mason jars work well if you don’t have ramekins).
  7. Carefully pour enough hot water into the rimmed baking dish to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  8. Bake until the edges are set but the center jiggles slightly, 45-50 minutes.
  9. Remove the ramekins from the water bath and cool to room temperature.
  10. You can either eat at room temperature or refrigerate until cold. (I prefer them cold.)

Recipe Notes

*Save the egg whites for use in other recipes, such as frittatas, scrambles, or coconut macaroons

NOTE: For the fellow creme brulee junkies - you can easily brulee these. All you have to do is add the sugar layer, use a blow torch (or crank up your oven to broil) to evenly caramelize the sugar and wait a wee bit longer to dig in!

I think I’ll stick with the pots de creme and save the fire danger for another day.

*Recipe reference links:  Heavy cream, ideally organic, grass-fed. May substitute full-fat coconut milk for a dairy-free version and egg yolks from pasture-raised hens)*

Maple Pots de Creme

Maple Pots de Creme

Maple Pots de Creme

Maple Pots de Creme

I think these little heart-shaped ramekins are perfect for Valentine’s Day (or just a date night), don’t you?

Now I’d love to here from you in the comments below!

Have you ever made pots de creme or creme brulee before?

If so, how’d it turn out?

Until next week,


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Lily Nichols is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator, researcher, and author with a passion for evidence-based prenatal nutrition and exercise. Her work is known for being research-focused, thorough, and unapologetically critical of outdated dietary guidelines. She is the author of two bestselling books, Real Food for Pregnancy and Real Food for Gestational Diabetes.


Leave a comment
  1. Looks delish! I love creme brulee and thankfully since it’s just the yolks it’s something I can enjoy when dining out. Thanks for taking the guesswork out of dessert for our annual Valentine’s Day “Dine at Home” . My girls are going to love these and will probably beg me to break out the rarely used kitchen torch to brulee them. Instagram photos to follow…hahaha

  2. Wow, this is such an interesting-looking dessert! Sounds good! I’ll probably make it for my family on a special occasion 🙂

    • It’s so melt-in-your-mouth delicious, Cassie. Enjoy!

  3. Sounds yummy and fancy! Never made pots de creme or creme brulee. My kids are into chocolate so not sure they’ll appreciate this but definitely a dessert for adults to try. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I love pots de creme! Or any custard basically! I’ve totally been on a custard kick lately so I’m totally making these!

    • Enjoy ’em, Jennifer!

  5. I am THE SAME about creme brûlée in restaurants! Love, love, LOVE the stuff and will order it EVERY TIME! This recipe looks great — I think have everything on the ingredient list in my kitchen, so I’ll be trying this soon. Thanks for sharing!

    • Oh I hear you, Jen… CAN’T. NOT. ORDER. IT.

  6. Fixed these for my family for Valentines tonight… It was a hit! Thanks!

  7. Just made these and they were seriously delicious – adding it to my recipe collection!

    • Sometimes the simplest ingredients make the best desserts. So glad to hear you enjoyed the maple pots de creme, Lina!

  8. Wow, thank you so much for this recipe! I made a lower carb version by using only 1 tsp of maple syrup and 1/4 cup (minus a tsp) of brown sugar Swerve. I added some cinnamon as well and topped with fresh unsweetened whipped cream, cinnamon, and a couple of raspberries. new favourite recipe!

  9. What size ramekin?

  10. Can this be made without the maple syrup added?

  11. This recipe is amazing! I’ve made it twice now, and although it takes quite a while, it’s a rather simple recipe. We added a sprinkle of sugar on top of the chilled maple pots de creme and then used our brûlée torch to add an extra touch. I love it, and maybe it’s a blessing that it takes so long. If I could whip it up quick, it’d take a lot more self-control not to gorge myself on it!

  12. Do these freeze / store well? So you could make a bunch before delivery and pull them out individually from the freezer? Or should they be made in small batches and eaten fresh?
    Thank you!!

  13. This recipe is a keeper! I had some heavy cream that needed used up, so I decided to make these on a whim. I didn’t have quite enough cream so added about 1/2 cup milk to reach the right amount, and they turned out perfectly! Very subtle maple/vanilla flavor and absolutely luscious.

  14. This is so delicious! I did add about 1/2 tsp sugar on top and brûléed mine and wow my taste buds are in heaven. Thank you for sharing this recipe, Lily!

  15. I’ve been making these since I was pregnant and I LOVE them! I’m still making them postpartum (partly for the nutritional benefits and also because they are delicious). I always need to make more very quickly because my husband loves them too.
    So simple and so yummy! Thank you!

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