This recipe for Coffee Pastry Cream is delicious, the perfect filling for napoleons, profiteroles, tarts, cakes and more! You will love this spin on pastry cream, view the step-by-step photos for easy success!
I grew up with my mom hosting dinner parties, one of the signature desserts she served was coffee creme puffs. Most of the time she would make a coffee icing to drizzle on top of cream-filled choux pastry. I wanted to try making a coffee pastry cream, I am so glad I did. This stuff is so good!
Try it in cream puffs, napoleons, thicken it a bit more and pour it into an Oreo crust! Yum! Or in a donut, the options!
Let's get to the recipe.
☕ What ingredients make coffee pastry cream
- Half and Half. You could also use whole milk.
- Espresso Powder. I love to use the Dellalo Instant Espresso powder but you could use instant coffee granules too.
- Granulated Sugar. Also known as caster sugar. Not too much is needed, just enough to slightly sweeten the cream.
- Salt. Just a pinch balances out all the flavors.
- Egg Yolks. The egg yolks provide richness and structure to the cream.
- Cornstarch. Also known as cornflour this helps thicken and stabilize the cream.
- Vanilla Bean Paste. You could use vanilla extract but I love the flecks added to the cream.
- Unsalted Butter. Make sure it's cold this helps cool the pastry cream down as soon as it's done cooking. Adding butter to the custard makes the custard more silky smooth.
📖 How do you make coffee pastry cream
In a large bowl add the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch and whisk to combine, then whisk another minute or so.
If you want a thicker/ sturdier pastry cream use the full 3 tablespoons of cornstarch/ cornflour. If you prefer a looser/ runnier pastry cream use 1 ½ Tablespoons.
In a medium saucepan over low-medium heat cook the half and half, salt, and espresso powder. Continue to cook for a couple of minutes to just warm the mixture up – do not boil the cream.
Once the cream mixture is warmed gently and slowly add a little bit to the egg mixture and immediately whisk to combine. Doing this tempers the eggs, which prevents them from scrambling! If your eggs scramble then you need to start over 🙁
Add all of the warmed cream and whisk to combine everything.
Add all of the liquid back to the pot. Then cook over low-medium heat whisking constantly for another few minutes. Don't be tempted to turn the heat up, it will happen.
The mixture will slowly, then quickly thicken up. Watch for the mixture to “burp” bubbles- they will pop on the surface. Once this happens take the pot off the heat immediately.
Whisk in the cold cubed butter to help cool the mixture and stop the cooking process. Next, add the vanilla paste, whisk vigorously to combine.
Pour into an air-tight container and place plastic wrap on top and push directly on top of the cream- this helps prevent a thick skin from forming.
Place the container in the refrigerator to chill and set for at least three hours or up to three days.
When you are ready to serve the cream make sure you whisk the cream to smooth it out.
More coffee recipes
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The most iconic dessert with coffee is Tiramisu! An Italian favorite we serve at so many family parties!
★★★★★ Please let me know if you make this recipe by leaving a star rating and comment below!Print
- In a medium saucepan over low-medium heat add the half and half and espresso powder. Let cook for a couple of minutes to warm it up - do not boil the cream.
- While half and half is warming, in a medium bowl whisk together the egg yolks, corn starch, salt, and sugar. Whisk for two minutes, the mixture should be much lighter in color.
- Once the liquid mixture is warmed slowly add a little bit to the egg mixture and whisk to combine. Then add all of the cream slowly and whisk to combine. (If you do this all at once, fast, you will scramble the eggs)
- Add all of the mixture back to the pot and cook over low-medium heat for another couple of minutes, whisking constantly. The mixture will thicken up. You want it quite thick, the mixture will "burp" bubbles will pop on the surface- this shows it is done.
- Take the pot off the heat and immediately add the cold butter and vanilla bean paste whisking vigorously to combine. Then pour into an air-tight container, place plastic wrap on top and push directly on top this helps prevent a thick skin from forming. Let chill in the fridge for at least three hours or up to three days. Rewhisk the pastry cream before serving.
*Depending on how strong you like the coffee flavor you can use up to 3 teaspoons. In the photos I used 1 ½ teaspoons.
**If you want a thicker pastry cream increase the cornstarch to 3 tablespoons
- Prep Time: 15
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Cook
- Cuisine: French
Keywords: espresso pastry cream, coffee pastry cream recipe, coffee creme patissiere