This recipe for Low-Carb Orange Pots de Crème makes rich orange-vanilla custards. These custards make an easy, elegant, and delicious dessert for those on low-carb, keto, Atkins, grain-free, and gluten-free diets.


Low-Carb Orange Pots de Crème-garnished with sweetener and orange slice.

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The recipe for Low-Carb Orange Pots de Crème

Our recipe for Low-Carb Orange Pots de Crème makes a thick, delicious custard that tastes like a creamsicle.


These custards make a wonderful holiday dessert.  I love them for this because you can make a day or two ahead and spend more time with your family on the holiday. This recipe is on my menu for Christmas this year for sure!


Be sure to hide these custards in the back of the fridge, otherwise they will disappear before you plan to serve them. 


This custard style dessert is super easy to make and takes only a few ingredients. I love to create recipes for you that you can make with ingredients you can get from your own grocery store.


This recipe gets its orange flavor from real orange zest. While the inside of oranges have lots of sugar in the form of fructose, the zest has very few carbs.


In this case, we steep the zest in the cream to release the flavor, then strain out the zest so only the flavor is left in the final custard.


Be sure to allow time for this custard to chill before serving. The custard needs this time to thicken. Usually 2-3 hours is enough time, but I generally make it the day before.


Low-Carb Orange Pots de Crème-scooping some out.


The inspiration 

Like many of my recipes, this recipe was inspired by a recipe for orange crème brûlée in an old issue of Bon Appetit magazine. This recipe used a lot of orange juice and, of course, a lot of sugar. 


The recipe itself is based off of my recipe for Low-Carb Caramel Crème Brûlée. Of course, I had to make some major changes to create this new recipe.


I wanted to keep the recipe simple, so I decided to make this recipe for pots de crème rather than crème brûlée.

What is the difference between pots de crème and crème brûlée?

Both pots de crème and crème brûlée are custard desserts and traditionally made with egg yolks, heavy cream, and sugar. 


They are also baked using a bain marie, which simply means that the custard dishes are placed in a baking pan. Hot water is then added to the baking pan until it is halfway up the sides of the ramekins. 


The thing that sets them apart is that crème brûlée has an additional step. After the custard has completely chilled, we put a bit of sugar (or sweetener that will brown) on top and place them under the broiler to melt and brown the sugar.


The top sugar layer becomes crispy and brown. In fact, crème brûlée means “burned cream”.


In this recipe, I chose to keep it simple and go with pots de crème. Sometimes, I just don’t need one more step in my life and I know many of my followers like to keep it simple as well.


Low-Carb Orange Pots de Crème-bite shot.


Does sugar-free custard have carbs?

Custards are typically thickened with eggs rather than starches. Custard dishes include crème brûlée, pots de crème, Bavarian creme, and crème caramel.


While sugar-free custard desserts may not have sugar, they do have some carbohydrate. This is because there are naturally a few carbs in eggs and heavy whipping cream. Some custard recipes may include cows milk which increases the carbohydrate content. 


Sugar-free puddings  (in the American sense of the word) may have even more carbohydrates than custards. This is because puddings are typically made with milk. Cow’s milk contains the natural sugar, lactose. Lactose increases the amount of carbohydrates in pudding.


In addition to lactose increasing the carbs in puddings, they are typically thickened with starches such as cornstarch or arrowroot starch. 


You can find recipes for low-carb, keto-friendly puddings. I have some on the blog that use a combination of heavy whipping cream and almond milk as the base and some alternative, lower carbohydrate thickeners.


This banana pudding recipe uses banana flavoring instead of real bananas and xanthan gum as a thickener. I also have a recipe for chocolate pudding that uses  glucomannan as a thickener. 


Low-Carb Orange Pots de Crème-ready for eating.


Ways to customize this recipe for pots de crème

This recipe can be altered to fit your taste. you can use coconut flakes instead of the orange zest to impart a coconut flavor. You would probably want to leave them in rather than strain them out. 


You could sprinkle in a few sugar free chocolate chips to make an orange custard with pockets of rich chocolate.


Another option would include adding your favorite flavoring instead of using the orange zest. Options might include almond extract, banana flavoring, or lemon extract.


You could also leave out the orange zest to make a traditional, vanilla pot de crème.


Low-Carb Orange Pots de Crème-close up of custard.


Final words

This recipe for Low-Carb Orange Pots de Crème makes an easy, tasty, and keto-friendly dessert. I hope you love it as much as I do! Enjoy!



This recipe for Low-Carb Orange Pots de Crème makes rich orange-vanilla custards. These custards make an easy, elegant, and delicious dessert for those on low-carb, keto, Atkins, grain-free, and gluten-free diets.

Three bowls of Low-Carb Orange Pots de Crème with a slice of orange on top.
5 from 1 vote

Low-Carb Orange Pots de Crème

This recipe for Low-Carb Orange Pots de Crème makes rich orange-vanilla custards. These custards make an easy, elegant, and delicious dessert for those on low-carb, keto, Atkins, grain-free, and gluten-free diets.

Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Keyword keto custard, keto orange pots de creme, keto pots de creme, keto pudding, low carb custard, low carb orange pots de creme, low carb pots de creme
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 36 minutes
chilling time 2 hours
Total Time 51 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 313 kcal
Author Annissa Slusher



  1. Preheat oven to 350º Fahrenheit. You will need 6 ramekins (1/2 cup size) and a baking dish or pan the ramekins will fit in, such as a 9" X 11" baking dish. 

  2. Add the heavy whipping cream, orange zest, and about half of the sweetener to a medium sauce pan. Heat gently over low heat, stirring frequently, to a temperature of about 140º Fahrenheit.

    Heating cream and orange peel in a pot.
  3. Strain the cream into a large bowl or measuring cup or other bowl that you can pour from. 

    Straining the cream through a sieve.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the other half of the sweetener together. 

    Whisking egg yolks in a bowl.
  5. While continuing to whisk the egg yolk mixture, slowly pour in the cream mixture, a little at a time. Make sure each addition is incorporated before adding more. Stir until all sweetener is dissolved.

    Whisking cream into beaten egg yolks.
  6. Stir vanilla extract into the egg and cream mixture. At this point, I find it easier to pour the mixture back into the large measuring cup or pourable bowl. 

    Adding vanilla into the mixture.
  7. Pour the custard into the ramekins, distributing the liquid equally among the six ramekins. Place ramekins in the large baking dish. Pour hot water in the baking dish until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins. 

    Orange Pots de Crème ready for the oven.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes. Custards should be set, but will still wobble if the baking dish is wiggled gently. Remove custards immediately from the baking pan and place them on a cooling rack. Allow them to cool for 10-15 minutes, then place them in the refrigerator. When custards are completely cool, cover.

  9. Refrigerate custards until completely set, about 2 hours. Dust with powdered sweetener before serving, if desired.

    Dusting Low-Carb Orange Pots de Crème with sweetener.
Nutrition Facts
Low-Carb Orange Pots de Crème
Amount Per Serving (1 ramekin)
Calories 313 Calories from Fat 288
% Daily Value*
Fat 32g49%
Saturated Fat 19g119%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 10g
Cholesterol 232mg77%
Sodium 36mg2%
Potassium 74mg2%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Fiber 0g0%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 1350%27%
Vitamin C 0.8%1%
Calcium 70%7%
Iron 0.4%2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.