This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This pastry cream recipe is a classic recipe used to fill cakes, pies, and many baked goods. Easy to make in just a few minutes for delicious pastry cream every time!
Pastry cream makes one of those classic, essential recipes that once you make it you’ll find infinite uses for it when making desserts. Even though it uses only six ingredients and takes less than 30 minutes to make, homemade pastry cream requires a close eye and constant attention as it is being prepared.
Through the years of making it, I’ve learned a few tricks for making a fail proof classic pastry cream every single time. It begins with patience, which I have very little of by the way, and ends without distraction, which I can easily be distracted at any given second. Thankfully, the end result is so worth the care and attention required to make it. Otherwise, we’d just be having whipped cream with all of our desserts!
Here’s how I make my Classic Pastry Cream recipe. I think you’ll love it, too!
Pastry Cream Recipe
- 2 cups milk or half and half or heavy cream
- 1 cup granulated sugar divided
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Whisk together milk and ¼ cup granulated sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium heat bringing to a simmer. Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, remaining sugar and cornstarch in a medium bowl and slowly drizzle the egg mixture in a very thin stream into the milk mixture, whisking continuously to prevent the eggs from curdling. Continue to whisk until the mixture thickens, then remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla, stirring until the butter is completely dissolved and well combined.
- Pour the pastry cream through a wire mesh strainer into a heat-proof, airtight container. Top with a piece of plastic wrap, pressing it onto the top of the pastry cream and refrigerate overnight or up to a few days.