Homemade Pastry Cream


A pastry cream with vanilla is a great recipe to have in your repertoire. It is used in many types of cakes and the homemade version just tastes better.

Normally, making pastry cream can be a bit tricky, as you must be careful that the cream doesn’t burn or curdles. When you cook with temperature control, this isn’t an issue.

Use the pastry cream as a filling in cakes, fruit tarts, cream puffs and éclairs.

You can also whisk 1/4 l heavy cream to soft peaks, fold it into the pastry cream. This way you get an airy and rich cream, which just like the classic pastry cream can be used as a filling in cakes, tarts, trifles etc.

The recipe makes one portion of pastry cream, which is enough to fill one layer cake.


Vanilla Pastry Cream

80 gram Sugar

25 gram Corn starch

1 tsp. Vanilla paste or the seeds form 1 vanilla pod

4 pcs. Egg yolk

5 dl Whole milk, 3.5 % fat


Mix all ingredients

Add sugar and cornstarch to a saucepan and whisk briefly to remove any lumps from the cornstarch.

Add vanilla paste, egg yolk and whole milk and whisk thoroughly.

Cook the pastry cream

Turn the heat to 103 ºC.

Heat the cream while gently whisking.

When the cream starts to bubble slightly, cook for another 2-3 minutes until thick and smooth.

Cool down

Take the pot off the heat and pour the pastry cream into a bowl to cool. Put cling film over, all the way down so it touches the surface of the cream. This is to prevent the cream from forming any skin.

Place the cream in the fridge until completely cold, 4-5 hours or overnight.

Use in cakes

Whisk the chilled cream with a hand mixer. Make sure to remove all lumps, so that the cream is smooth and delicious.

Use the cream as a filling in e.g., layer cakes, fruit tarts, cream puffs or other baked goods.


If you want a slightly less firm pastry cream, simply reduce the amount of cornstarch to 20 g. If you want a firmer cream that is stable when baked, then add 35-40 g. When using pastry cream as a filling in baked goods, such as pastries or tarts, it's best to make a thicker custard with extra cornstarch, as this reduces the risk of the custard spilling out during baking. You can also make the pastry cream with 2 whole eggs instead of 4 egg yolks, but then it won't be as smooth and creamy. You can also make the cream with 2 whole eggs instead of 4 yolks, but this makes the cream less creamy and smooth.