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vanilla pastry cream in pot

Vanilla Pastry Cream Recipe

Vanilla pastry cream is delicious on its own, as a filling for a tart or pie crust, or sandwiching layers of cake! It's smooth, creamy, and silky.
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2 cups of pastry cream (approx.)


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 & ½ cups milk
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • cup granulated sugar
  • cup cornstarch


  • Place your butter and vanilla in a medium sized, heat proof bowl. Set aside. Pour your milk into a medium sized saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring up to a light simmer.
  • In a medium bowl, combine your egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch. Whisk together until you get a smooth and pale mixture. The mixture will be a bit thick when you start whisking, but as the sugar dissolves, the mixture will become liquid.
  • Gradually pour the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to avoid scrambling the eggs. Wipe out your saucepan if there's any residue on the bottom. Place a strainer over your saucepan, and strain your milk and egg mix back into the pan.
  • Return the saucepan back to medium heat. Cook the pastry cream, whisking constantly, until it starts boiling gently and thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Pour the pastry cream over your butter and vanilla extract. Whisk together until the butter melts and everything is incorporated.
  • Cover the pastry cream with plastic wrap touching the surface of the cream. Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours, or until the pastry cream chills and firms up.
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