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5 from 5 votes
Pastry Cream, or Crème Pâtissière, thickened in a bowl.
Simple Pastry Cream (Crème Pâtissière)
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
10 mins

My Simple Pastry Cream recipe, or Crème Pâtissière, comes together in no time and can be used to fill eclairs, donuts, cream puffs, & more!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Servings: 2 cups
Author: Gemma Stafford
  • 2 cups (480 milliliters) whole milk
  • ½ vanilla pod (split lengthwise, seeds scraped out)
  • ½ cup (4oz/115g) granulated sugar (divided)
  • 4 large egg yolks (room temperature)
  • 4 level tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons (1oz/28g) butter (cut into small pieces)
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine milk, vanilla pod, and seeds and ½ the sugar. Place over medium-low heat until mixture comes to a simmer.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, cornstarch, and remaining sugar.

  3. While whisking constantly, slowly pour ⅓ of the hot milk mixture into the egg-yolk mixture, until it has been incorporated. Pour mixture back into the saucepan, and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, for roughly 2-3 minutes or until it thickens.

  4. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Pass the mixture through a sieve to remove the vanilla pod and any lumps.

  5. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the pastry cream to prevent skin from forming and allow it to cool down before refrigerating for a minimum of 4 hours or up to 4 days. Use to fill cream puffs, profiteroles, or pastry tarts.