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. 

Pastry cream in a small glass cup.

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. We love it so much that most of our favorite desserts use pastry cream! Cream puffs, eclairs, Boston cream pie, and more! We love it all, and know you will too.

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.

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.

Overhead view of pastry cream.

Storage Instructions:

Pastry 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.

If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other delicious dessert recipes: