Vanilla Pastry Cream (Crème Patissiere)

Vanilla Pastry Cream (Crème Patissiere)

This simple vanilla pastry cream is the perfect creamy filling for fruit tarts, pies, and cake fillings!

There are no special techniques here – it is a simply a wonderful recipe to have at your fingertips when making desserts in the kitchen!

Crème Patissiere is a rich, creamy, and delicious custard that is beautifully flavoured with vanilla and can also easily be adapted with other flavours as your creativity grows! If you have never made pastry cream before there is no better time to give it a try than the present!

To make this recipe, you will need: 

  • Milk – Preferably 2% or higher for a nice, rich custard!
  • Sugar – Granulated sugar
  • Thickener – Eggs + cornstarch +vanilla pudding mix (or additional cornstarch if you don’t have any!)
  • Vanilla – Vanilla bean or vanilla paste, found at your local grocery/bulk food store

Let’s make some Vanilla Pastry Cream!

In a deep saucepan, heat milk with 1 vanilla bean (of 1 tsp vanilla bean paste). Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. 

While the milk is heating…

In a separate medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks together with sugar, cornstarch and vanilla pudding mix. Whisk until creamy and smooth. The egg yolks will become pale in colour. Set aside. 

Slowly pour half of the boiled milk into the mixing bowl. 

On low heat, transfer mixing bowl contents into the saucepan with the remaining half of the boiled milk. 

Continue to whisk mixture on medium-low heat until thickened (you will feel that the custard is becoming more difficult to mix and will begin clinging to the whisk).

Remove from heat.

Add butter and salt, whisk until butter melts into the custard and you achieve a smooth consistency. 


For full recipe with measurements, see detailed recipe below.

Simple Vanilla Custard (Crème Patissiere)

This simple pastry cream recipe is the perfect creamy, rich filling for fruit tarts, pies, and cake fillings. There are no special techniques here – it is a crowd pleasing staple to have on hand when whipping up desserts in the kitchen! 
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine French


  • 1 Vanilla Bean or 1 tsp of vanilla bean paste
  • 2 cups Milk 2% or higher
  • 1/2 cup Sugar granulated
  • 4 Egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp Vanilla Pudding mix can be replaced with: vanilla cornstarch or cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • Salt a pinch


  • In a saucepan, heat milk and vanilla bean on medium heat. Bring to a gentle boil. 
  • Meanwhile, whisk sugar, egg yolks, cornstarch, and vanilla custard/pudding mix in a small mixing bowl. Whisk until mixture is creamy, pale, and smooth. 
  • Slowly pour half of the boiled milk into the mixing bowl with the eggs. 
  • Reduce heavy saucepan to low heat. Transfer mixing bowl contents into the saucepan with the remaining half of the boiled milk. 
  • Continue to heat mixture on medium-low heat until thickened. Remove from heat.
  • Add butter and whisk until melted. Add a pinch of salt.
  • Remove custard from heat. 


Sofia’s Tips:
  • Combining the milk with the egg mixture too quickly will cause the eggs to scramble! Go slow!
  • In the event that you have some curdled egg pieces in your custard, don’t panic! To get a smoother custard just use a strainer to remove the coarse particles.
  • If you don’t have vanilla bean or vanilla bean paste, you can easily substitute with 2 tsp vanilla extract. Instead of adding the vanilla extract with the milk in the first step, add the vanilla extract once the custard has thickened and it has been removed from the heat
  • More pastry cream adaptations are to come!
Keyword cream, pastry, vanilla
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