Homemade Vanilla Pastry Cream

While I am waiting for the Diploma in Pastry & Bakery course to start in end April, I continue baking and practising my pastry skills at home. Today, I prepare a few batches of pastry cream (also called Crème Pâtissière), a delicious, creamy, and multi-purpose custard suitable as fillings for many desserts and pastries. Pastry cream is basically prepared with milk, egg yolk (or whole egg), sugar and corn starch. By cooking and whisking the cream on low heat, it boils and thickens, forming a smooth custard-like cream.

Pastry Cream 1

Apart from the classic vanilla flavour, I like to experiment and substitute part of the liquid components (e.g. milk and cream) in the recipe with other types of liquid. For instance, adding orange juice and orange zest will make refreshing and citrusy pastry cream. My favourite pastry cream is pandan and coconut pastry cream, by substituting dairy cream with thick coconut cream and adding about 1/2 tsp  of pandan paste. Perhaps I should try to make kaya next time. Kaya is a popular pandan coconut custardy jam in Malaysia and Singapore, which goes very well with a piece of toast.

Watch how to make vanilla pastry cream


Milk 110g
Dairy cream 100g
Sugar 40g
Salt 1/4 tsp
Corn starch 25g
Egg yolk 1 no.
Milk 40g
Vanilla paste or any other flavouring 1 tsp
Rum 1 tsp


  1. Weigh 110g of milk and 100g of dairy cream in a small saucepan. Bring them to a gentle boil.
  2. Meanwhile, combine corn starch, sugar and salt to remove lumps in the corn starch.
  3. Add egg yolk and 40g milk to the starch mixture. Whisk to combine.
  4. Once the milk is boiling, slowly add it to the egg mixture while whisking.
  5. Return the entire mixture to the saucepan, and bring to a boil at low-to-medium heat. Continue to whisk until the cream thickens, taking care to reach all parts of the saucepan to avoid burning.
  6. Once the cream thickens and “burps”, whisk vigorously for one minute. Ensure the cream is smooth.
  7. Add vanilla paste and rum or flavourings of your choice.
  8. Pour the pastry cream into a bowl and cover with cling film. Set aside to cool before using.

As pastry cream consists a high percentage of egg and dairy products, I always store it in the refrigerator up to maximum of 3 days.

With this multi-purpose homemade pastry cream, I made custard buns. More recipes of yummy cakes and pastry using pastry cream are coming up. Stay tuned! 🙂

Custard bun



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