How to Make Pastry Cream (Video), and a Giveaway
Homemade pastry cream is so versatile! Every good baker should have a go-to recipe. Learn how to whip up this creamy, egg-y filling like a pro, with this easy video tutorial! (Gluten and dairy free.)
Good morning, friends! How was your holiday weekend? Ours was very busy, with birthday festivities, holiday celebrations, and lots of time with family. Plus I am still in the process of getting everything back in order, after the big kitchen paint project. I thought I would have been able to share lots of gorgeous pics with you by now, but it’s funny how these things always seem to take longer than we expect them to. Look for something from me by the end of this week though, for sure!
For today’s post I’m sharing a basic recipe that every good baker should have in her back pocket.
Pastry cream is a “building block recipe” that can be used in so many ways. As a filling for cakes, eclairs, layered into parfaits, or as a base for a cream pie, you will never run out of uses for this versatile item.
I think any time we hear about tempering eggs we tend to get a bit nervous, but this is truly so easy you could practically do it in your sleep. To prove just how do-able homemade pastry cream can be, I made you a little video! You can find it in the recipe card below.
Hopefully this shows how easy homemade pastry cream is to make. If you’ve never tasted it before, it’s sort of like a cross between creme brulee and vanilla pudding. I used to make huge hotel pans of it every week, back in my days in the professional kitchen, and we always used regular dairy milk. But now, in my home kitchen, it’s just small batches, and lately I’ve really been loving coconut milk pastry cream, for a dairy-free option. And it’s also naturally gluten-free, so this is a really great thing if you or someone you love has food allergies or sensitivities.
Some tools/ingredients you may need for this recipe:
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Homemade Pastry Cream
- 6 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (32 g) cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups (366 ml) milk, (dairy, nut, soy, or coconut milk)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Place the yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
- Heat the milk in a small pot until small bubbles form around the edge, and wisps of steam are rising from the surface.
- Add the hot milk to the egg mixture, a little at a time, whisking to combine.
- When all the milk has been added, transfer the mixture back to the pot and place over medium-low heat. Cook the pastry cream, whisking, until thickened.
- Stir in the vanilla, and pour the pastry cream through a fine mesh strainer, into a heat-safe bowl.
- Use the back of a ladle to press the mixture through the sieve.
- Press a layer of plastic wrap directly onto the surface, and refrigerate.
Please wat is the shelf life of pastry cream wen used as fillings for cakes doughnuts
I’d say around 4 days in the refrigerator.
Hi – I am trying to recreate a turnover we would always buy from a bakery that has now closed. Would this pastry cream work in your puff pastry recipe?
On the pastry cream why do you press it thru a sieve?
To remove any lumps.
I add some fresh whipped nondairy whip cream to the pastry cream which makes it so creamy
and sometimes i add sliced bananas to this mixture .also i take sliced bananas and freeze the slices
then dip them in melted chocolate let them set and use them as a garnish on top of the cake
How far in advance can you make the cream if you are using it to fill a cake? Thank you!
Hey Katie! You could easily do 3 or 4 days ahead, just be sure to keep it refrigerated! Good luck!
Hi, I have few queries.
1. For Making vanilla Pastry Cream, we don’t get vanilla bean paste in any shops here. Can I use just vanilla extract (one Tablespoon) or vanilla bean pod (ONLY ONE).
2. I am also unable to find cake and pastry flour for making cake. I searched in net and there’s only one option is to use 1 cup All Purpose flour – 2 Tablespoons AP flour + 2 Tablespoons cornstarch = 1 cup cake flour
Your response will be really helpful
Thanks for the great questions, Sunitha! Yes you can absolutely substitute extract for paste, but a vanilla bean pod would be even better! And I have also seen that formula for making your own cake flour. I haven’t tried it myself, but I know lots of bakers who have, and they’ve reported decent results. I would go ahead and give it a try! Hope that helps. Thanks so much for reading!
Hi, I loved the pastry cream video, Would love to try it. I have few queries.
1. Can I prepare in advance and keep it in ziplock bag and keep it in Fridge?
2. If yes then after I remove should I bring in room temperature or should I use it immediately?
3. For how many days can I keep it in fridge or freezer?
Hey thanks so much! I would recommend storing it in just the same way I’ve shown in the video: heat-safe bowl with plastic film pressed directly onto the surface. It can be served cold or at room temp- that’s entirely up to you! Probably best to use it within 7-10 days. Hope that answers all your questions! Thanks so much for reading and I hope you enjoy!
Hi Allie, I am grateful for your reply. One more question and it would be a great help..
I have to bake a Cake next week. I am planning to make (mandarin cake or chocolate or vanilla cake). Can I fill the pastry cream in the cake and top it up with buttercream icing or frosting. Would that work if I do it? Can u please help me? It would be a great help.
Absolutely Sunita I can’t imagine any reason why that wouldn’t work. Good luck and I hope you enjoy!
Hi There, I have a brand spanking new Kitchen Aid Artisan on the way to my home. I love things like baklava and other treats and meals made with puff pastry dough. I’d like to make my own home-made puff pastry dough. Do you have a recipe you would share for it?
Hey Timi! Congrats on your new KitchenAid! I’m sorry I don’t have a puff pastry recipe on the blog at the moment, but I am currently working on a post for homemade Danish pastry, which is very similar to puff only it also has yeast in it. So stay tuned for that!
Thanks Allie! We love Lakanto, it is a blend of Monk Fruit and erythritol. It is a zero calorie, zero glycemic sweeter and tastes like sugar so it’s perfect for diabetics or people with candida. My kids love it!
Thank you so much for the explanation! I have some erythritol in my cupboard and I thought it was pretty good- although it does give that “cold” sensation. I will have to look out for the Monkfruit/erythritol combo! Sounds like a really great option for my husband!
Love the video and the recipe! So well done!
Thanks sweetie! I had a lot of fun putting it together. Hope you’re having a great day so far!
Wow Allie! This recipe is amazing!!! I was just telling my son that I was going to make him some vanilla pudding. I will do some substitutions for his allergies like substitute arrowroot for cornstarch and Lakanto for sugar. I can wait to see the results! I may even add some fresh vanilla bean!! You are always inspiring me!!!
Fresh vanilla bean is such a great idea! I hope your son enjoys. Now I’m off to look up what Lakanto is, lol! Thanks for the tip, btw 😉
Love the video! I always put any pudding or pastry cream through the sieve. It makes such a difference in texture. I’ve never tried it with coconut milk. What a great idea!
Thank you Lindsey! Lately I’ve been loving it with that subtly sweet coconut flavor 😉
Great video! Pastry cream has always been a problem for me. As for the Tieks, I can’t help it-I love the Ballerina Pink, although I think I would get more use out of the Chestnut.
Ballerina Pink sounds lovely! And versatile to boot. But then Chestnut would be too! Thanks Samantha!
I do love pastry cream. I haven’t made any in ages! As for the Tieks… I’m torn between silver lake and metallic pewter!
Thank you so much! I love metallics too and both those colors sound gorgeous!