Pastry Cream Secret Recipe


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. Heat the Milk:
  • In a medium saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat until it just begins to simmer. Do not let it boil. Remove from heat and set aside.
  1. Mix the Dry Ingredients:
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of the sugar, the salt, and the cornstarch.
  1. Combine the Egg Yolks:
  • In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the egg yolks, whisking constantly until the mixture is thick and smooth.
  1. Temper the Eggs:
  • Slowly pour about 1/2 cup of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to temper the eggs. Gradually add the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining hot milk, whisking constantly.
  1. Cook the Mixture:
  • Return the saucepan to the stove over medium heat. Cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until it thickens and starts to boil. Continue to cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until the pastry cream is thick and smooth.
  1. Add Butter and Vanilla:
  • Remove the saucepan from heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla extract until fully incorporated and smooth.
  1. Cool the Pastry Cream:
  • Pour the pastry cream into a heatproof bowl. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Allow it to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before using.

Tips for Perfect Pastry Cream:

  • Constant Whisking: Ensure you whisk constantly while cooking to prevent lumps and to achieve a smooth texture.
  • Strain if Necessary: If you find any lumps in the cream, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve before cooling.
  • Chill Thoroughly: Allow enough time for the pastry cream to chill and set properly in the refrigerator.

Enjoy your silky smooth and rich pastry cream in tarts, eclairs, or as a filling for cakes and pastries!

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