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Vanilla Pastry Cream

5 from 1 vote

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The best Vanilla Pastry Cream recipe! Perfect for your breakfast pastry and desserts. Use to fill pies, cakes, eclairs, Boston Cream Pie, doughnuts, fruit tarts, and cream puffs. Gluten free.
A piping bag full of Vanilla Pastry Cream and surrounded by cream puffs on a blue and white towel

This classic Vanilla Pastry Cream recipe is a delicious dessert component! Use in your favorite pastries, pies, cakes, doughnuts, and more!

A piping bag full of Vanilla Pastry Cream and surrounded by cream puffs on a blue and white towel

Best Pastry Cream Recipe

Biting into sweet, cold, and rich pastry cream just brings desserts to the next level!

This Vanilla Pastry Cream is a classic and a wonderful neutral flavor that can be used in so many ways.

One batch makes about two cups. Gluten free.

What is the Difference Between Pastry Cream and Custard?

Pastry cream is a type of custard.

A custard is a liquid that has been thickened with eggs. In this case, milk.

Is Pastry Cream the Same as Vanilla Pudding?

They are very similar. They are made with similar ingredients and cooked the same way, however pastry cream is much thicker than pudding.

Vanilla Pastry Cream piped into a white bowl from the top view

What is the Difference Between Chantilly Cream and Pastry Cream?

Chantilly cream normally has more sugar, and also tends to use powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar.

What is the Difference Between Bavarian Cream and Pastry Cream?

Bavarian cream uses gelatin as the thickener and heavy cream, where pastry cream uses cornstarch and milk.

Is Creme Anglaise the Same as Pastry Cream?

Creme anglaise is very similar, made with the same ingredients, except no cornstarch as a thickener. So this makes the sauce thinner.

A cream puff filled with Vanilla Pastry Cream sitting on top of more pastry cream in a bowl

What is the Difference Between Pastry Cream and Boston Cream?

They are the same!

(From everything I can tell, please correct me if I am wrong). The same ingredients and cooking method, just different names.

What is Pastry Cream Made Of?

Here is what you need to make this vanilla pastry cream:

  • Whole Milk
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Egg Yolks
  • Cornstarch

The mixture being pushed through a strainer

How to Make Pastry Cream

In a pot on the stove over medium heat, mix the milk, sugar, and vanilla together. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks and cornstarch in a medium bowl. It will get super thick and light yellow colored!

Add about half a cup of the warm milk mixture to the eggs and whisk to combine until smooth.

Then add the egg mixture into the large pot and whisk again to combine.

Put it back on the heat at medium heat and cook until thickened and coats the back of a spoon, about 2-3 minutes.

Remove from the heat and push through a fine mesh strainer to make it extra smooth and creamy!

Chill completely, covered, before using.

How Do You Use Vanilla Pastry Cream?

There are so many recipes out there that use a pastry cream, but my favorite way is in cream puffs!

Other uses for pastry cream includes as a filling for eclairs, Boston cream pie, doughnuts, and fruit tarts.

Vanilla Pastry Cream in a piping bag surrounded by cream puffs and on a towel
Pin of Vanilla Pastry Cream in a piping bag on a blue towel with title at top
A piping bag full of Vanilla Pastry Cream and surrounded by cream puffs on a blue and white towel

Vanilla Pastry Cream Recipe

The best Vanilla Pastry Cream recipe! Perfect for your breakfast pastry and desserts. Use to fill pies, cakes, eclairs, Boston Cream Pie, doughnuts, fruit tarts, and cream puffs. Gluten free.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French, International
Keyword: Gluten Free, Holiday
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chilling Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 2 cups
Calories: 527kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a medium or large pot over medium heat, mix together the milk, sugar, and vanilla.
  • Simmer until sugar is dissolved, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and cornstarch until a light pale yellow.
  • Add about a half cup of the warm milk mixture into the eggs and whisk constantly until well combined.
  • Add all of the egg mixture into the pot of milk and whisk together. Put back on the heat and cook at medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and sticking to a spoon, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat. Push the pastry cream through a fine mesh strainer with a spoon or spatula to make smooth.
  • Chill pastry cream, covered, in the refrigerator until fully chilled, at least 3 hours, before using.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 527kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 396mg | Sodium: 112mg | Potassium: 413mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 63g | Vitamin A: 886IU | Calcium: 345mg | Iron: 1mg

Cream Puffs and Fillings

By on July 21st, 2022

About Kim

Kim has grown up with a passion for cooking good food! You can find her in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes, making dog treats, and eating Italian food!

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