Master Pastry Cream Filling Recipe


My go-to master pastry cream filling recipe is made with just 6 ingredients! All you need to make this recipe is egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, whole milk, butter, and vanilla bean paste. It’s super simple, versatile, and delicious! The egg yolks give it a gorgeous natural yellow color and the vanilla paste adds those beautiful vanilla bean specks! Pastry cream goes with just about anything – use it as a filling for a fruit tart, as the base for a german buttercream.


4 egg yolks
100g (½ cup) granulated sugar
16g (2 tbsp) cornstarch
227g ( 1 cup) whole milk
28g (2 tbsp) unsalted butter (room temp)
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch together for 2-3 minutes until light in color.
  2. Heat the milk in a saucepan, and bring to a simmer or about 200 degrees F.
  3. Once the milk is simmering, slowly pour half into the egg-sugar mixture, whisking at the same time to temper the eggs.
  4. Pour everything back into the saucepan and heat over medium heat, whisking constantly as it thickens.
  5. Once the pastry cream is thick and a few big bubbles come to the surface, continue whisking for one more minute, then remove from heat.
  6. Immediately stir in the butter and vanilla.
  7. Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and press plastic wrap up against the surface to prevent a skin from forming.
  8. Chill in the fridge (preferably) overnight or until ready to use.


  • It can be difficult to tell when milk is simmering sometimes, so it’s best to go by temperature (200 degrees F).
  • If you’re in a rush and cannot chill the pastry cream overnight, you can place the bowl of pastry cream in a large bowl with ice water and whisk constantly until it has come to room temperature.


  • Serving Size: 1 tbsp
  • Calories: 69
  • Sugar: 8.2 g
  • Sodium: 9.5 mg
  • Fat: 2.9 g
  • Trans Fat:
  • Carbohydrates: 9.4 g
  • Protein: 1.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 57.3 mg

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