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Pastry Cream (Creme Patissiere)
How to Make

Pastry Cream (Creme Patissiere)

Pastry Cream or Creme Patissiere is a rich, thick vanilla cream used for cake fillings, doughnuts fillings, cream puffs and tarts too.

Pastry Cream (Creme Patissiere)
Pastry Cream or Creme Patissiere is one of those recipes that you don’t necessarily need everyday - well, if you work in a pastry business you probably do. However, for us, that only bake once or twice a week or even less, it’s just good to have a pastry cream recipe in your back pocket. For the time you decide to make a cake at home, or when you want to fill your beautiful homemade brioche doughnuts with a nice, rich, vanilla cream. This Pastry cream is also great for sandwich cookies and cream puffs, profiteroles. Made in just 15 minutes from start to finish and it’s honestly a super easy recipe to make. You can store it in a fridge for up to three days or in a freezer for up to three weeks (only if you are using flour in the recipe). You can also upgrade this recipe and add different additions to it, like instant espresso powder, chocolate, or even different spices and chai. Quick, Easy, Simple and super useful.


How to make pastry cream or creme patissiere at home?

Milk - Use full fat milk. If you would like an even richer flavor, you can substitute half of the milk with heavy cream.

Egg yolks - Use only egg yolk, for a nice, glossy and rich cream.

Sugar - Use white sugar in this recipe to get that beautiful pale yellow color. Using brown sugar would change the color.

Flour - Use all-purpose flour or plain flour. As a gluten free option you can use corn or potato starch. 

Butter - Use cold butter. You can leave butter out if you want, however we always add it for a nicer, buttery texture and better “shelf life”.

Pastry Cream (Creme Patissiere)

Pastry Cream (Creme Patissiere)

Pastry Cream (Creme Patissiere)

Pastry Cream (Creme Patissiere)

The difference between vanilla cream and vanilla sauce

Vanilla Cream or Creme Patissiere is a thick, rich, pudding like cream perfect for filling those amazing homemade doughnuts, cream puffs, sandwich cookies or for filling different cakes. Vanilla Sauce or Creme Anglaise on the other hand is not as thick and is perfect for pouring over different desserts like apple strudel, apple tart or as a base for chocolate mousse, bavarian cream...

Pastry Cream (Creme Patissiere)

Pastry Cream (Creme Patissiere)

How long can you keep pastry cream?

Always cover your pastry cream with plastic wrap, letting the plastic wrap touch the top of the pastry cream to avoid the creation of any film on top. Store in a fridge for up to three days. You can also freeze the pastry cream for up to three weeks, but only if you are using flour in this recipe.

Pastry Cream (Creme Patissiere)

Pastry Cream Uses

Use pastry cream to fill homemade doughnuts or make cream puffs with choux pastry. It’s also great for making sandwich cookies or as a filling for different cakes and tarts.

Pastry Cream Variations

You can definitely upgrade your pastry cream by for example adding 2 tsp of espresso powder to the milk and so you will get a nice coffee flavored pastry cream, you can also add dark chocolate at the end and get a nice, thick chocolate cream. You can play around with different flavors like spices, caramel or even chai.

Lets get cooking!

  • makes
    g (1.8 lbs)
  • preparation:
  • cook:
  • total time:


  • bring milk with vanilla to a boil

    Place a heavy-bottomed saucepan with milk over medium-high heat. Scrape the seeds from a vanilla pod, add them to the milk along with the empty pod and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, them remove from the heat.

  • combine egg yolks, sugar and flour

    In a large bowl whisk together egg yolks, sugar and flour until you get a nice, glossy, lump free egg mixture.

    Easiest way to separate a large amount of egg yolks and egg whites is by cracking the eggs into a large bowl. Using your hand, transfer each egg yolk to a different clean bowl.
  • Pour vanilla milk over egg mixture

    Pour the hot vanilla milk in a thin stream over egg mixture while constantly whisking with a hand whisk. The mixture should be lump free and glossy.

    By gradually, slowly adding the milk to the mixture you allow the eggs to temper and that way you get a lump free mixture.
  • cook the vanilla egg mixture

    Now pour the vanilla egg mixture back to the heavy-bottomed saucepan and place over medium-high heat. While whisking vigorously and constantly cook the mixture for about 2 - 3 minutes or until it thickens and bubbles appear. The mixture should be glossy, nice and thick as a pudding. Transfer from the heat and pour through a sieve to a clean bowl.

    Stir using a figure-eight motion and make sure to stir at the bottom of the saucepan as well.
  • Pastry Cream (Creme Patissiere)

    Stir small pieces of cold butter into the mixture, while the mixture is still warm. Stir well into the mixture to get a nice, glossy mixture. Cover with plastic wrap, letting the plastic wrap touch the top of the pastry cream to avoid the creation of any film on top. Cool to room temperature then use or store in a fridge for up to three days.


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