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Perfect Pastry Cream is easy to make at home and is used in the most delicious pastries, cakes, and other desserts. You’ll love this recipe for perfect French Creme Patissiere every single time. 

Bird's eye view of pastry cream swirled into a white bowl.

Pastry Cream is known as the mother of all creams. It’s found in pastry shops around the world, particularly those of a French culinary basis. It has a wide variety of uses and also goes by the name Creme Patissiere.

What can you do with pastry cream?

Pastry cream can be used in a variety of ways. It can be eaten plain like a pudding, but it is commonly used to fill eclairs, cream puffs, pastries, donuts, and tarts. It’s also commonly found as a cake filling, particularly in Boston Cream Pie. The possibilities are endless really. You can also change the texture of pastry cream for different uses by making it into diplomat cream or mousseline cream.

What is a diplomat cream?

A diplomat cream is a combination of 1 part pastry cream to 1 part whipped cream. It has the same flavor as pastry cream, but a much lighter, fluffier texture. Be sure to fold the two together gently with a rubber spatula when making diplomat cream.

What is mousseline cream?

Mousseline cream is a combination of 2 parts pastry cream to 1 part softened butter. It is also known as German Buttercream and has a silky texture. It can be used as a filling or as a frosting. When making, be sure to use very soft butter so that it can easily be mixed together with the pastry cream into a smooth consistency.

 Bird's eye view of pastry cream swirled into a white bowl with a whisk in front of the bowl and eggs behind the bowl.

How long can you keep pastry cream in the fridge?

Pasty cream can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Use the freshest milk you can for extended life. Milk that is near its expiration date may not produce a pastry cream that can last for 7 days.

PRO TIP: The only tricky part in making pastry cream is tempering the egg mixture. If you pour your egg mixture straight into a hot liquid, you’ll most likely end up with small cooked pieces of egg which is very unpleasant. To avoid this, you temper your eggs by pouring a small amount of the hot liquid in with the egg mixture while whisking vigorously. Then immediately pour this mixture back into the main mixture while switching to whisking the main mixture vigorously. Prep yourself for this so you can work quickly. Place your mixing bowl with the egg mixture near your saucepan and have everything ready to go.

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTubeFacebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Pastry cream in a small glass cup.
Perfect Pastry Cream is easy to make at home and is used in the most delicious pastries, cakes, and other desserts. You'll love this recipe for perfect French Creme Patissiere every single time.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ¼ cup + ⅓ cup granulated sugar divided
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • In a large sauce pan, stir together milk and ¼ cup sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together egg, egg yolks, cornstarch, and ⅓ cup sugar.
  • Once the milk has reached a simmer, work quickly and carefully pour half of the hot milk in a steady stream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to avoid curdling or cooking the eggs. Immediately pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan, whisking constantly. Return to a medium heat and whisk constantly until mixture thickens.
  • Remove from heat once thickened and stir in butter and vanilla until melted. Pour into a clean mixing bowl and 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 completely in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before using.


Calories: 334kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 221mg | Sodium: 164mg | Potassium: 248mg | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 750IU | Calcium: 207mg | Iron: 0.6mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pastry Cream
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