Crème pâtissière (aka pastry cream, custard, creme pat)

Cream for the princess cake

Crème pat with whipped cream folded in… yum!

You’ll find other variations on this recipe for crème pâtissière, but this is the one used for my Swedish princess cake.  You can also find this cream in éclairs, millefeuilles, trifles and many other desserts.

  • 600g/2 and a half cups full-fat milk
  • One vanilla pod (scrape the seeds out to use but keep the pod too)
  • 6 egg yolks – around 114g (freeze the whites or make macaron shells/meringues)
  • 100g/half a cup less 2 and a quarter teaspoons caster sugar (preferably unrefined golden)
  • 50g/third of a cup cornflour (sifted)
  • pinch of salt
  1. Heat the milk, vanilla pod and seeds (optional:  with half a tablespoon of the sugar to prevent the milk from scalding) in a heavy-based saucepan till just simmering.  Remove from heat.  Cover and allow to infuse for around an hour for a more intense vanilla flavour.  Then warm again.DSCF0985
  2. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, cornflour and salt in a medium to large bowl till pale and fluffy.
  3. Pour the warm milk into the bowl and whisk in.
  4. Pour all the mixture back into the saucepan and whisk on a low to medium heat until it thickens.
  5. As soon as it thickens take off heat, keep whisking and check the consistency.  Too liquid and it’ll be like a loose cream on the run, too thick and it’ll be a tad gungy.  Try to get it to that lovely creamy consistency that will hold but not be gooey.  Return to the heat if it needs to thicken.
  6. Take off the heat and if adding butter (an option in some recipes) whisk in now till the cream is smooth and glossy.
  7. Pass through a sieve (optional) or pour into a small-medium glass or metal bowl (or a metal baking tray covered in plastic film) and cover with plastic wrap/cling film on contact with the cream.  Store in the fridge and chill till needed.
    crème patissière

    crème pâtissière


You can use your delicious crème pâtissière in loads of recipes.  It’s lovely with some whipped cream folded in to lighten it, making crème légère.  Or you can make it more creamy by adding butter.   And you can flavour it!  I recently made my first soufflé where the crème pâtissière is flavoured with pistachio paste then beaten egg whites folded in.

So I wish you many lovely adventures with your crème pâtissière!  🙂







4 thoughts on “Crème pâtissière (aka pastry cream, custard, creme pat)”

  1. Pingback: A Swedish princess cake recipe for a birthday! :) | lili's cakes

  2. Pingback: Matcha white chocolate and chestnut millefeuilles recipe (puff pastry) and a cake accident! | lili's cakes

  3. Pingback: Healthier buckwheat pastry kiwi tartlets recipe and baking perfectionitis syndrome? | lili's cakes

  4. Pingback: Crème pâtissière (aka pastry cream, custard, creme pat)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.