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!

Classic Pastry Cream makes an essential recipe for use with cakes, pies, and so many other desserts! //

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.

Homemade pastry cream recipe - quick and easy recipe for use in so many desserts! //

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

5 from 1 vote
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!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 5


  • 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 1/4 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.


Makes about 2 1/2 cups. 
Nutrition information is for 1/2 cup serving. 


Calories: 320kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 120mg | Sodium: 121mg | Potassium: 169mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 441IU | Calcium: 127mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Robyn xo

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About Robyn

Robyn Stone is a cookbook author, wife, mom, and passionate home cook. Her tested and trusted recipes give readers the confidence to cook recipes the whole family will love. Robyn has been featured on Food Network, People, Southern Living, and more.

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Recipe Review


  1. I know this pastry cream is supposed to be used as an ingredient in desserts, but I honestly think I could just put it in a bowl and eat it up with a spoon all by its delicious self! Yum, Robyn! xx