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close up of pastry cream

How to Make Pastry Cream

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5 from 9 reviews

Delicious thick and creamy this easy recipe for pastry cream is the perfect filling for pastries and cakes! Vanilla beans make this Creme Patissiere extra special and beautiful!

  • Total Time: 3 Hours 15 Minutes
  • Yield: 2 1/2-3 Cups 1x


Units Scale
  • 5 Large Egg Yolks
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar/ Caster Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoon Cornstarch/ Cornflour
  • 2 cups Whole Milk
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter, cold and diced
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Bean Paste or Pure Vanilla Extract


  1. In a medium saucepan over low-medium heat add the whole milk. Let cook for a couple of minutes to warm it up - do not boil the milk. 
  2. While milk 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.
  3. Once the milk mixture is warmed slowly add a little bit to the egg mixture and whisk to combine. Then add all of the milk slowly and whisk to combine. 
  4. Add 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.
  5. Take off the heat and immediately add the cold butter and vanilla bean paste or extract.  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 two hours or up to three days. Rewhisk the pastry cream before serving.


If you want a thicker/ sturdier pastry cream use the 4 tablespoons of cornstarch/ cornflour. 

  • Author: Elizabeth Waterson I Confessions of a Baking Queen
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Cook
  • Cuisine: French
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