Crème Brûlée Cheesecake

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This crème brûlée cheesecake is a delight for your taste buds! Imagine a creamy vanilla bean white chocolate cheesecake sitting atop a Nilla Wafer crust, crowned with a rich vanilla pastry cream and caramelized brûléed sugar. It’s a heavenly dessert that’s bound to steal the show!

If you’re craving more cheesecake goodness, don’t miss out on my other tempting creations like salted caramel, coffee, Biscoff, bananas foster, or chocolate cheesecake.

Why You’ll Adore This Crème Brûlée Cheesecake Recipe:

  1. It boasts a silky smooth texture thanks to the perfect blend of cream cheese, sour cream, and white chocolate.
  2. The divine vanilla pastry cream topping is simply irresistible – it’s creamy, vanilla-y, and absolutely lush!
  3. Loaded with the heavenly flavor of vanilla bean paste, this cheesecake is a true vanilla lover’s dream.
  4. And let’s not forget the pièce de résistance – the crispy caramelized sugar topping that adds a delightful crunch!


  • Do I really need to use a water bath to bake the cheesecake? Yes, it’s crucial. The water bath adds moisture to the oven, ensuring your cheesecake bakes evenly. Without it, you won’t get that perfect texture.
  • Can I swap Nilla Wafers with graham crackers? Absolutely! You can use 8 oz (about 240 g) of graham crackers instead of Nilla Wafers for the crust.
  • Do I need a kitchen torch? Yes, you do. While you can’t use an oven broiler (it’ll melt the pastry cream), a kitchen torch is essential for achieving that golden brûléed sugar topping.

Pro Tips:

  1. Ensure your wet ingredients are at room temperature for the best cheesecake texture.
  2. Use a stand mixer for the cheesecake batter, mixing on low/medium speed to avoid overmixing.
  3. Be cautious not to overmix the cheesecake batter, as it can result in a runny texture.
  4. Chill the cheesecake thoroughly before decorating or slicing – overnight chilling works best.
  5. When making the pastry cream, whisk constantly to prevent the eggs from scrambling.
  6. Apply the pastry cream topping and brûlée the sugar only when you’re ready to serve the cheesecake. It’s best enjoyed fresh!

Let’s break down the ingredients for this scrumptious cheesecake!

Crème Brûlée Cheesecake

Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Chill Time 8 hours
Course Dessert
Servings 16 slices


For the Crust:

  • 4 cups of crushed Nilla Wafers about 68 cookies
  • ½ cup of melted unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar

For the Cheesecake:

  • 32 ounces of cream cheese softened
  • ¾ cup of granulated white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla bean paste or extract
  • cup of sour cream
  • 8 ounces of white chocolate melted and slightly cooled
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 3 egg yolks at room temperature

For the Vanilla Pastry Cream:

  • 1 ½ cups of whole milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ¾ cup of granulated white sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter cubed
  • ¼ to 1/3 cup of granulated white sugar for the brûlée topping

For the Brûléed Sugar Shards:

  • ½ cup of granulated sugar


For the Crust:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • Prepare a 9-inch springform pan by wrapping it with foil to prevent water leakage during baking.
  • Crush the Nilla Wafers in a food processor until finely ground.
  • Mix the crushed wafers with melted butter and sugar, then press the mixture into the bottom and sides of the pan.
  • Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then let it cool.

For the Cheesecake:

  • In a mixing bowl, blend the softened cream cheese, sugar, and corn starch until smooth.
  • Add vanilla bean paste, sour cream, and melted white chocolate, mixing until combined.
  • Pour in the eggs and egg yolks one at a time, mixing just until incorporated.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared crust in the pan.
  • Place the pan in a larger roasting pan, then pour boiling water around it.
  • Bake at 350°F for 1 hour, then leave it in the turned-off oven for another hour to cool gradually.
  • Once cooled, refrigerate the cheesecake for 8 hours or overnight.

For the Vanilla Pastry Cream:

  • Heat the milk in a saucepan until steaming, then set aside.
  • Whisk egg yolks, sugar, salt, vanilla, and cornstarch until smooth.
  • Slowly add heated milk while whisking, then transfer the mixture back to the saucepan.
  • Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened.
  • Remove from heat, add butter, and chill until cold.

For the Brûléed Sugar Shards:

  • Heat granulated sugar in a pan until golden, then spread onto parchment paper to cool.
  • Once hardened, break into shards.


  • Spread the chilled pastry cream over the cheesecake.
  • Sprinkle sugar over the cream and brûlée with a kitchen torch until golden.
  • Decorate with the sugar shards and serve immediately.

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