Corner Café

April 15, 2008

Crème Pâtissière / French Pastry Cream

Strawberry_Sponge_Cake 02
Chiffon Sponge Cake filled with Crème Pâtissière and strawberries.

French_Pastry_Cream 02

Crème Pâtissière is the French pastry cream (or custard) used in all sorts of desserts, tarts and cakes. Traditionally only egg yolks and no egg whites are used to make this French custard. In this homemade version, I compromise and use 2 whole eggs so there are not too much leftover egg whites. In doing this, I usually use 1 tablespoon custard powder for some added golden colour in the custard.

Makes approx. 2 cups (500ml), or about 800g pastry cream

500ml (2 cups) milk
2 whole eggs *
2 egg yolks *
110g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
40g (4 tablespoons) cornflour (cornstarch) **, or 30g cornflour and 10g custard powder
pinch salt (only if not adding butter, or using unsalted butter)
50g butter (optional), for additional shine and firmness

* The 2 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks may be substituted with 4-6 egg yolks. If using 4-6 egg yolks, then no need to use any custard powder in the ingredients.
** The 40g cornflour may be substituted with 40g (4 scant tablespoons) cake flour.
1. Whisk together whole eggs, egg yolks, 60ml (1/4 cup) milk, sugar and vanilla. Mix in flour, cornflour and salt if using.
2. Bring the remaining milk just to the boil in a saucepan. Pour the hot milk in small stream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly with a balloon whisk as you pour (very important). Once incorporated, pour everything back into the saucepan.
3. Whisk the mixture over medium heat until it thickens and firms up. Remove from heat and whisk in butter if using.
4. Pour the hot custard into a bowl and plunge the bottom of the bowl into another larger bowl of iced-water to cool, give it a whisk occasionally. Once it reaches room temperature, cover the surface of the Crème Pâtissière with cling film to prevent a skin layer forming. Alternatively, fill the Crème Pâtissière into a piping bag fixed with a star or round nozzle, twist the open end to seal up the cream. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.
French_Pastry_Cream 01
Use a piece of cling film to cover the surface of Crème Pâtissière if not used immediately (the cling film has just been removed in the picture).

Texture: Smooth, creamy and luscious
Consume: Best within 24 hours
Storage: Cover surface with cling film and chill in the refrigerator
Recipe References:



  1. SD!!!!! Blame it on my lao hua yen, I just spotted that you starts to blog again. I am soooo happy. Welcome back mate.

    Comment by Small cookie — April 16, 2008 @ 10:09 am | Reply

  2. SD, welcome back!!!! I am so thrilled!!!

    But I may withdraw from the blog world soon. Haven’t decided yet, but I have been under so much pressure from work lately. 😦

    Comment by Anh — April 18, 2008 @ 2:16 pm | Reply

  3. Edith,
    Thanks, it’s good to be back 🙂

    Thanks! I think sometimes blogging can become addictive.

    Oh, what a shame if you decide to stop blogging. However I do understand how work pressure can have the effect to hobbies like blogging.

    Comment by SeaDragon — April 18, 2008 @ 6:38 pm | Reply

  4. Hi SeaDragon

    I made a Peach Tart today using your Creme Patissiere recipe. It turned out really well and I just want to thank you for sharing.


    Comment by The Little Teochew — June 2, 2009 @ 1:56 am | Reply

  5. […] gorgeous takes shape instantly. Baking simply isn’t that forgiving. And neither is a creme patissiere, the gooey chocolate, cream and egg yolk mixture that I made to slather in between the […]

    Pingback by Nigella’s Gooey Chocolate Stack — December 20, 2009 @ 11:31 pm | Reply

  6. I love love love your pastry cream recipe! It is the only one I use now. A half recipe of this, plus about a half cup of jelly, is perfect filling for a jelly roll.

    Comment by anna — May 13, 2010 @ 1:43 pm | Reply

    • Glad you like the recipe. It is always heartwarming to hear feedback like yours 🙂

      Comment by SeaDragon — May 16, 2010 @ 4:32 pm | Reply

  7. Is it sturdy enough to fill and layer on a wedding cake?

    Comment by Erica — May 29, 2010 @ 3:59 am | Reply

    • This is a custard! It needs refrigeration so don’t think it will be suitable for wedding cake.

      Comment by SeaDragon — May 29, 2010 @ 11:10 am | Reply

  8. I have just made it for the second time (last time I accidentally scrambled it) and it turned out really lovely! I will never cook normal custard ever again!

    Comment by Melanie — August 15, 2010 @ 8:19 pm | Reply

    • Glad to hear you have had success this second time around.

      Comment by SeaDragon — August 22, 2010 @ 11:34 am | Reply

  9. […] Crème Pâtissière / French Pastry Cream « Corner CaféI made a Peach Tart today using your Creme Patissiere recipe. It turned out really well and I just want to thank you for sharing. … And neither is a creme patissiere, the gooey chocolate, cream and egg yolk mixture that I made to slather in between the […] […]

    Pingback by Creme patissier | Alldogthings — May 30, 2011 @ 5:04 pm | Reply

  10. Hi, can this pastry cream be used in custard pau?

    Comment by Carol — November 5, 2012 @ 1:30 am | Reply

    • Yes, I don’t see why not, although strictly speaking the authentic custard filling for the Chinese pau is different from this.

      Comment by SeaDragon — November 6, 2012 @ 12:12 pm | Reply

  11. waaaaaaaw i love the patisserie de france !! yaaaammmy

    Comment by films dvdrip — March 3, 2013 @ 9:18 am | Reply

  12. […] For the Crème Pâtissière (recipe largely adapted from Corner Cafe) […]

    Pingback by My Blog — May 2, 2013 @ 2:32 am | Reply

  13. Simple but chic, easy but effective.

    Comment by Bông Hoa Sen — May 21, 2013 @ 7:01 pm | Reply

  14. […] Crème Pâtissière/French Pastry Cream Recipe (Adapted from Corner Cafe) […]

    Pingback by Mini Fruit Tarts – just because! | P.S. — June 19, 2013 @ 11:23 pm | Reply

  15. Hi SD
    I made a patch of this custard yesterday and was very pleased to let you know that it was very well received by my family. 🙂
    One question: is this custard suitable for making egg tarts? Thank you for your time.

    Comment by MH — October 9, 2013 @ 12:05 am | Reply

    • Well, strictly speaking, the filling for the authentic egg tart is different and it is baked together with the pastry case. This pastry cream however is popularly used for fruit tartlets, but you bake the pastry case first, cool, then pour in this pastry cream and top with fruit, so I don’t see why you can’t use this pastry cream as a filling for a mock egg tart without the fruit.

      Comment by SeaDragon — October 9, 2013 @ 1:31 pm | Reply

  16. This is delicious not sure there will be any left for the trifle x

    Comment by linda wright — December 24, 2013 @ 3:07 am | Reply

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