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+ servings
Pastry cream in a baked tart crust.

How to Make Pastry Cream

Take your baking skills to the next level with my recipe for classic French Pastry cream. It's easy to make and so delicious, and you can use it to fill cakes, pastries, tarts, and pies, or even just eat it with a spoon. 
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Chilling time 2 hours
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 192kcal


  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • In a medium non-aluminum saucepan over medium heat, warm milk until tiny bubbles appear on the surface, about 6 to 8 minutes (about 180 degrees Farenheit / 82 degrees Celsius).
  • Meanwhile, In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar. Whisk in cornstarch and salt.
  • While whisking constantly, pour in half of the hot milk. Whisk in remaining hot milk and return to saucepan.
  • Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens to a firm consistency, about 5 to 8 minutes. Whisk in vanilla. Scrape in to a bowl.
  • Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on to the surface of the pastry cream. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 to 3 hours.


To make flavored pastry cream:
  • Flavored with Extract: Add 1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon of flavored extract such as almond, banana, hazelnut, lemon, or maple when adding the vanilla extract.
  • Citrus: Add the zest of one lemon or lime when adding the vanilla extract.
  • Chocolate: Add 1 cup chopped chocolate when adding the vanilla extract, while the pastry cream is still hot.
  • Pistachio: Add 3/4 pistachio paste when adding the vanilla extract.


Calories: 192kcal