Custard cream or pastry cream in a round white dish with a spoon stick out wiht a bamboo tray of desserts behind on a grey cloth all on a wooden surface (with logo overlay)

Homemade Custard Cream or Pastry Cream

Whether you call it custard cream or pastry cream, this sweet vanilla filling is perfect for decadent desserts and treats.

Jump to Recipe

One of the things I miss from Florida that isn’t available in the Houston area are Boston Cream Doughnuts. They are my favorite and I can’t find them here. So we set out to make our own dessert with similar flavors. But first, I had to figure out the cream that’s on the inside. When I looked it up online, many things said it’s filled with a “custard cream”. So, I started looking at recipes for custard cream to get an idea then went from there.

The custard cream is very smooth, with a sweet vanilla flavor. The yellow color comes from an egg yolk and melted butter. There’s nothing artificial in it when you make it homemade. Pastry cream can also be made with lemon, lime, or chocolate flavors.

You can use this for all types of desserts and pastries. We made some Boston Cream Puff Pastries and used the custard cream for the filling. But you can use it in a variety of desserts.

What’s the Difference between Custard Cream and Pastry Cream?

Custard is actually any tart with a crust. So the custard is the actual dessert in many cases. Pastry cream is the filling. We have actually made pastry cream here.

But, in America, the two terms are often mistaken. If you ask someone for custard cream in the US, they will be thinking of pastry cream.

Src: https://www.leaf.tv/articles/types-of-desserts/

Step by Step

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the sugar, salt, and flour.

Dry ingredients for custard cream in a stainless steel bowl with a wire whisk on a wooden surface

Slowly whisk in the milk, a little at a time. You want to make sure it all is incorporated really well before adding more to the mix. Slowly adding the milk helps prevent lumps.

Dry ingredients for pastry cream with milk in a stainless steel bowl with a wire whisk on a wooden surface

Beat the egg yolk and add to the mixture. By beating the egg yolk first, you can make sure it is distributed throughout the pastry cream.

Pastry cream mixture in a stainless steel bowl with a wire whisk on a wooden surface

Transfer to a small saucepan. Slowly bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often, until thickened, about 8-10 minutes. Don’t rush this step as you don’t want the custard cream to seize up from being heated too quickly. Add the butter and stir until it melts.

Custard cream mixture cooked in a saucepan with a nylon whisk on a wooden surface

Remove from the heat and transfer to a heat-resistant bowl. Refrigerate for about 1 hour, until cooled.

Add the heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract, and whiskey. Mix with an electric mixer on high for 1-2 minutes.

Cooled and mixed custard cream in a stainless steel bowl on a wooden surface

As it should be cool, use the custard cream or pastry cream immediately.

Custard cream or pastry cream in a round white dish with a spoon stick out wiht a bamboo tray of desserts behind on a grey cloth all on a wooden surface (vertical)

Leftovers

Refrigerate extra custard cream in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Make sure to put a piece of plastic wrap tight against the pastry cream before adding the lid. You want to keep as much air as possible off the top of the cream. If it starts to separate, whisk it really well before using.

Recipe

Originally Published On: January 27, 2021

Custard cream or pastry cream in a round white dish with a spoon stick out wiht a bamboo tray of desserts behind on a grey cloth all on a wooden surface

Homemade Custard Cream or Pastry Cream

Whether you call it custard cream or pastry cream, this sweet vanilla filling is perfect for decadent desserts and treats.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course:
Homemade Staple
Cuisine:
American
Keyword:
cream
|
custard cream
|
homemade
|
pastry cream
|
vanilla extract
Dietary Needs:
Nut-Free
Servings: 16 tbsp
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp whiskey
  • 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk the sugar, salt, and flour
  • Slowly whisk in the milk, a little at a time
  • Beat the egg yolk and add to the mixture
  • Transfer to a small saucepan
  • Slowly bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often, until thickened, about 8-10 minutes
  • Add the butter and stir until it melts
  • Remove from the heat and transfer to a heat-resistant bowl
  • Refrigerate for about 1 hour, until cooled
  • Add the heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract, and whiskey
  • Mix with an electric mixer on high for 1-2 minutes
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Nutrition Facts
Homemade Custard Cream or Pastry Cream
Amount Per Serving (1 tbsp)
Calories 36 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Cholesterol 16mg5%
Sodium 25mg1%
Potassium 7mg0%
Carbohydrates 4g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 64IU1%
Calcium 9mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

6 thoughts on “Homemade Custard Cream or Pastry Cream”

  1. I have made homemade custard before and did not find it too difficult. I am good with pretty much anything that has directions.

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