Our Finest Crème Pâtissière / Vanilla Pastry Cream Recipe – Weekend Bakery (2024)

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Our Finest Crème Pâtissière / Vanilla Pastry Cream Recipe – Weekend Bakery (1)

Rich, thick and creamy, this pastry custard works well in all kinds of tarts, puds and puffs!

Klik hier voor de Nederlandse versie
This recipe is our adaptation of the one found in the wonderful book ‘advanced bread and pastry’ by Michel Suas. The method is very similar to a lot of other recipes for crème pâtissière, but there are a few subtle differences that make this our favorite. First of all the ratio between the ingredients seems to be just right. The adding of a bit of sugar to the milk prevents it from boiling over and last but not least the adding of the butter at the end gives it a silky smooth finish.

We use this recipe for all ‘creme pat’ requiring projects. Like the cranberry rondo’s for example, or as filling for Danish pastry and choux buns /cream puffs. And of course we love to use it in the Dutch version of the vanilla slice, our ‘tompoezen’.

Ingredients for the Crème Pâtissière

250 g full fat milk

10 g sugar

quarter piece vanilla pod

20 g cornstarch

50 g sugar

50 g egg yolk (about 3 egg yolks)

20 g butter

Our Finest Crème Pâtissière / Vanilla Pastry Cream Recipe – Weekend Bakery (2)
Making the Crème Pâtissière
In a heavy bottomed saucepan pour the milk and add the 10 g of sugar. Cut a quarter piece from a vanilla pod, slice it open lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Add both seeds and the piece of pod to the milk. Bring this to a gentle boil. To infuse the vanilla further we now turn off the heat and leave the milk to soak up more vanilla flavor for about 15 minutes.

In a bowl combine the cornstarch, 50 g sugar and the egg yolk until well blended. Now add 1/3 of the hot milk to the egg mixture while stirring. Add the mixture to the milk in the saucepan and stir again. Now make sure you have a whisk at hand. Bring the milk mixture to a boil while slowly whisking all the time. As you feel it thickening you need to whisk with a bit more enthusiasm to avoid lumps.

Keep whisking as you boil the mixture for one minute (to make sure the cornstarch is cooked to prevent a ‘flour’ taste). Take from the heat, add the butter and beat it in until smooth.

Important tip!: We now first place the saucepan on a cool surface and leave it to stand for a minute. If you scrape out the pan right away chances are the creme on the bottom of the pan will stick and/or curdle because the pan is still very hot. This will affect the consistency and you will not end up with the silky smooth texture you are aiming for!

After the pan has cooled for a minute you can now safely transfer the creme to a bowl. To avoid skin forming, cover the creme with clingfilm, making sure the clingfilm touches the surface of the creme. Alternatively you can dust the surface with plenty of icing sugar. Leave to cool. If needed you can cool the creme quickly by sitting the bowl in another larger bowl of ice water. When cooled, refrigerate until needed.

Reader Interactions

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  1. Eve says

    I am going to try it looks yummy


  2. Jess S. says


    This looks lovely! I am wondering, I wanted to make this to put it in an apple tart: I want to recreate an apple tart that I had at El Fornet in Barcelona. I believe it was puff pastry, pastry cream, and apples. Do you think, it would work if I bake this cream?


  3. Antia says

    Hi I am wondering if brown butter can be used for the butter.
    Thank you


    • Weekend Bakers says

      Hello Antia,
      We have never tried this, but we think it will be OK and possibly also very nice to give this a try.

      Let us know how it goes!


  4. Pierre-Alain van Griethuysen says

    I may answer my own question, but I made this last night to use in your Sunday cinnamon buns. I made one batch, turned out great, divided it into two tupperwares and added cardamon to one and cinnamon to the other (potential first mistake, doing it last night?) and covered them with clingfilm to stop a skin forming as you suggest and left them to cool at room temp (24 C)

    I then realised that I did not have 400g; I promise I followed your recipe faithfully, but when I weighed the cooked weight, I only had ~300g.

    So I made another batch, also turned out great and added it to the previous batches with more spices. Here is where it started to go wrong. As I mixed the warm and cooler batches, lumps started to form (mistake number 2?). The consistency seemed okay, so left them to cool before putting them in the fridge overnight.

    This morning they were, as we say, a hot mess. The cardamon had gone the consistency of creme anglaise, the cinnamon more like a thick batter. Needless to say, rolling up the dough was not a success and the resulting disaster is proofing now to see if something can be salvaged from the slop!

    Am I correct in where I made the mistakes or is there potentially something else I have missed?




    • Weekend Bakers says

      Hi Pierre,
      Could it be there is something wrong with your scale or something went wrong with the weighing / tare button?
      Together the ingredients are 400 grams and you cannot evaporate 100 grams of liquid with just one minute of boiling. So something must have gone wrong weighing the ingredients.
      The rest that followed was collateral damage unfortunately…
      Hope next time you will be able to make one good batch and the rest of the process will go smooth too 🙂

      Good luck with it.


  5. Nur aishah pey says

    I want to express my utmost delight in using your recipe. I am never a follower of any recipes, but for some reason, I felt compelled to follow yours to a T. This creme turned out so well! Am so glad I stumbled upon your site. God bless.


    • Weekend Bakers says

      Thank you Nur, yes we are glad you followed the recipe. We always recommend to follow our recipes exactly the first time you make it for the (hopefully) best result and only wander off when you know what you are doing and want to achieve.

      Enjoy your baking and pastry cream making!
      Ed & Marieke


  6. Sooz says

    Thank you for the recipe. I’m trying to find a cream filling for something similar to a Vanilla/Custard slice.
    Our local bakery – they used to make a Vanilla/Custard slice and also a similar product – using some sort of filling – a sweet white cream mixture, inbetween 2 sheets of puff pastry. It wasn’t just plain double cream/whipped cream….there was something extra in the cream…I wonder if this is what they used…?
    I will have to try this…Thank you, Sooz, England x


    • Weekend Bakers says

      Hello Sooz,
      Bakers may use extra ingredients to make sure their creme stays a certain consistency. We do not know what your baker used, but it can be something like gelatin or butter or some form of starch, we do not know. There are also combinations of cream and custard possible, a form of Crème chiboust maybe which is crème pâtissière lightened with stiffly beaten egg whites (or whipped cream is also possible). You can combine the crème pâtissière with whipped cream and use one third of the one and two thirds of the other, or the other way around, depending on the consistency you prefer. Then there’s the addition of flavour, using real vanilla or vanilla essence, which can make a difference in how you like and remember a certain baked good.

      Hope this helps you a bit.

      Marieke & Ed


  7. Cathy Eastwick says

    I have just watched the program the Great British Bake Off and the contestants were asked to make a crocembouche , consisting of several shoux buns and what ever they would like to decorate them with. It was interesting to see the different and beautiful creations that were presented before the judges.


    • Weekend Bakers says

      We liked it very much too Cathy, the program and the croquembouche. Very sorry the GBBO will no longer be broadcasted by the BBC which we can watch here in Holland!


      • Cormac says

        You can easily download the GBBO online, I live in Norway, so in a similar situation.


        • Weekend Bakers says

          Thank you Cormac for this info and greetings from Holland to beautiful Norway!


  8. Kylie says

    I am making crocembouche for my sisters birthday. This is the 4th recipe for creme pat I have tried during my ‘practice’ sessions and the best by far. It has a lovely texture, pipes very nicely but the best part is the taste. I do think the butter makes a huge difference to the overall richness. Thanks so much for posting it.


    • Weekend Bakers says

      Hi Kylie,
      Wow, ambitious project, very nice! And very happy with your comment because you seem to have been going the same route as we have and came to the same conclusion!

      Hope it will be a great success and a lovely birthday party!


  9. Amy says

    I am allergic to corn, although I have no problems with gluten. Do you think arrowroot powder can be used in creme pat?


    • Weekend Bakers says

      Hello Amy,
      Arrowroot would not be the best option, because the creme has to be heated and the arrowroot would break down. We would suggest trying potato starch or tapioca.

      Good luck with it!


  10. Newton says


    I would like to know how many grams does this recipe make. I want to make your cherry almond and cream buns and the recipe days 400grams and point to this recipe. So would I be correct to think this recipe make 400g of crème pât?


    • Weekend Bakers says

      Hi Newton,
      Yes, that is correct. Just add up the ingredients and it will make 400 g of crème pât, exactly the amount we use for the cream buns.

      Happy bun making and baking, hope you will find them as delicious as we do!


  11. Jayson says

    i was planning on making moist choco cake and I want to put this creme in between my chocolate batter so when its cooked and I cut the cake, the creme will flow down. will this work though? can i put the creme the same time with the batter while its still cooking?


    • Weekend Bakers says

      Hi Jayson,
      We have no experience using this creme in cake, but it sounds like a good and delicious idea. We do think it could work and hope you will just go for it and let us know you have had success!


  12. Josie says

    How long can you keep the creme patisserie for? And can you whip some cream and then add to it when it’s cooled down or is that yo rich?


    • Weekend Bakers says

      Hello Josie,
      We would recommend using it within one or two days (fresh is best). And yes you can add whipped cream to the creme, this is also called crème légère and it is excellent in open fruit tarts for example (think fresh strawberries or raspberries). We love the (lighter) texture that this combination gives, you can decide the ratio for yourself, based on personal preference.


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