Classic Crème Pâtissière (Pastry Cream) Recipe

by Jan Vasil
Classic Crème Pâtissière (Pastry Cream) Recipe

Crème Pâtissière, commonly known as Pastry Cream, is a rich, creamy custard used as a filling for numerous pastries and desserts. It’s a fundamental component in the world of pastry, admired for its smooth texture and delicate vanilla flavor.

Most Popular Ways of Serving of Crème Pâtissière (Pastry Cream)

  • As a filling for eclairs, cream puffs, and tartlets.
  • Layered in trifles, mille-feuille, or fruit tarts.
  • Spooned over fresh berries or other fruits.
  • As a base for fruit or chocolate mousses.

My Tips to Make Crème Pâtissière (Pastry Cream)

  • Use fresh, high-quality ingredients for the best flavor and texture.
  • Whisk the mixture continuously while cooking to prevent lumps.
  • Strain the cream through a fine-mesh sieve to achieve a silky texture.
  • Allow the cream to cool completely before using it as a filling.

Combinations of Crème Pâtissière (Pastry Cream)

  • Mix with whipped cream for a lighter, fluffier filling.
  • Blend with chocolate, coffee, or fruit purees for flavored variations.
  • Combine with nuts or fruit pieces for added texture.

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Classic Crème Pâtissière (Pastry Cream) Recipe

5 from 2 votes
Recipe by Jan Vasil Course: Recipe book


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Cooking time


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  • 2 cups 2 (500ml) whole milk

  • 1 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 6 large 6 egg yolks

  • 2/3 cup 2/3 (135g) granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 (30g) all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 (30g) cornstarch

  • A pinch of salt


  • Prepare the Milk:
  • In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and vanilla (bean and seeds or extract) over medium heat until it reaches a simmer.
  • Mix Egg Yolks and Sugar:
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until it becomes pale and slightly thickened.
  • Add Flour and Cornstarch:
  • Sift in the flour, cornstarch, and salt, and whisk well to combine.
  • Combine and Cook:
  • Gradually pour the warm milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly.
  • Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking continuously until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil.
  • Strain and Cool:
  • Strain the pastry cream through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl.
  • Cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming, and allow it to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until chilled before using.

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Can I use a different type of milk?

Whole milk is preferred for its richness, but you can use 2% milk. Avoid using skim milk as it may result in a less creamy texture.

Can I use a different type of sweetener?

Yes, you can replace granulated sugar with other sweeteners like honey or maple syrup, adjusting to taste.

How should I store the crème pâtissière?

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Can crème pâtissière be frozen?

It’s not recommended as the texture may become grainy upon thawing.

How can I fix lumpy crème pâtissière?

If lumps form, simply strain the cream through a fine-mesh sieve to remove lumps and achieve a smooth texture.

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