Crème Brûlée Cake (as seen on The Great Kiwi Bake Off)


The incredible Eli who manages The Caker helped develop this extremely luscious recipe. It’s one I asked the contestants on The Great Kiwi Bake Off to make for an early technical bake. It’s important to read through the entire recipe before starting, and note you will need a blowtorch to get that bruleed top. A candy thermometer is optional but it will come in handy when getting your crème pâtissière to silky perfection.

For the crème pâtissière

500g whole milk

1 vanilla bean split, seeds scraped out

50g salted butter

65g caster sugar

120g egg yolks

65g caster sugar

20g plain flour

20g cornflour

For the cake

150 salted butter, room temperature

150g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 free-range eggs, room temperature

75g ground almonds

125g plain flour

Pinch sea salt

2 tsp baking powder

140g plain, unsweetened yoghurt at room temperature

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat bring the milk, vanilla bean and seeds, butter and the first 65g of caster sugar to the boil.
  2. While the milk mixture is heating, in a large bowl whisk together the 120g of egg yolks, the other 65g of caster sugar and both of the flours until pale.
  3. When the milk mixture begins to boil, very slowly pour this into your egg yolk mixture, all the while whisking rapidly. Transferring this to a large jug can help.
  4. Pour everything back into the pot and heat over medium heat, whisking constantly until well thickened and, if tasted, it shouldn’t have a raw flour taste. If you have a thermometer it should read 81C.
  5. Pass the mixture through a sieve to remove any cooked bits of egg yolk.
  6. Pour into a heatproof container and press cling wrap to the top to stop a skin forming. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  7. Meanwhile, make the cake, preheat the oven to 170C fan bake. Line a 20cm cake tin with baking paper.
  8. To make the cake: in the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla until pale, light and fluffy.
  9. Beat in the eggs one by one, mixing well before adding in the next.
  10. In two parts, fold in the ground almonds, flour, salt and baking powder and mix until just combined. Finally fold through the yoghurt.
  11. Scrape the batter into the tin and spread out to the sides.
  12. Bake for approximately 30 minutes. The cake is ready when golden in colour, springy to the touch, and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  13. Allow the cake to cool for around 10 minutes in the pans before turning out onto a cooling rack.
  14. Once the cake is completely cool, transfer the layer to a serving plate.
  15. Place a 17cm plate in the centre of the top of the cake and using a sharp knife, cut down roughly 2.5cm into the cake around the plate. Scoop out excess cake and reserve for snacking.
  16. Scrape the crème pâtissière into a piping bag and fill the cavity with it. Pipe a ring around the edge of the top of your cake and fill it in. You want another 2.5cm of crème pâtissière on top. Smooth this out until it looks neat. You might not need all your crème pâtissière.
  17. Sprinkle the ¼ cup of sugar evenly on top of the creme patisserie.
  18. Hold a blowtorch about 15cm from the top of the cake so the flame is just touching the surface, you want to move the flame around constantly so the sugar melts evenly over the top. You’re after an even, dark-amber colour.
  19. Serve right away! The caramel should shatter when cutting. However you can refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.