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Creme Patissiere (Pastry Cream) | prettysimplesweet.com

Creme Patissiere (Pastry Cream)

This classic thick and creamy custard is commonly used as a filling for cakes, tarts, and pastries. It's simple to make and tastes amazing!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 3 large (60g) egg yolks
  • 5 tablespoons (65g) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (15g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (15g) cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cups (300 ml) whole milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeded, or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar just until pale yellow and creamy, then whisk in cornstarch and flour. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat milk, vanilla pod, and vanilla seeds on medium heat just to a boil. Remove from heat and remove vanilla bean. Gradually pour the hot milk into the egg mixture while simultaneously whisking constantly until smooth.
  3. Transfer mixture back into saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly and vigorously so that the eggs won’t curdle, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and strain using a fine mesh strainer. Transfer to a medium heatproof bowl and add butter, if using. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the creme patisserie to prevent it from creating a ‘skin’. Cool using a water bath.* Let cool to room temperature, then store in the refrigerator.

  4. Creme patissiere can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Whisk before using to get rid of any lumps.

Recipe Notes

*Using a water bath helps cool the pastry cream quicker and stops the cooking process to prevent any more egg from curdling. To create a water bath, fill a large bowl with a bit of water and ice cubes. Place your bowl of pastry cream inside the larger one so the cold water surrounds the bowl, but does not get inside.