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.
Step by Step
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the sugar, salt, and flour.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As it should be cool, use the custard cream or pastry cream immediately.
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.
Originally Published On: January 27, 2021
Homemade Custard Cream or Pastry Cream
- 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
- 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
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutrition content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.
22 thoughts on “Homemade Custard Cream or Pastry Cream”
I have made homemade custard before and did not find it too difficult. I am good with pretty much anything that has directions.
You’re right, it’s not too difficult, and tastes so much better homemade!
Ooh, that sounds delicious! I’m going to give your recipe a try next time I need a pastry filling.
It was fairly easy, and so much better when you make it from scratch than buying it from the store.
Thank you for the recipe! Custard-filled pastries are so common here in Japan, but no one really makes them at home. I want to try to make this!
I wonder why they aren’t homemade? It’s fairly easy to put this custard cream together and make so many delicious desserts 🙂
I’ve always been afraid to try to make my own custard. But this doesn’t look like such a hard recipe!
The hardest part is all the stirring. It’ll start to wear your arm out after a while!
I’ve not made this in ages. It’s so yummy and goes with various types of desserts which is great.
I agree, I like how versatile this one cream can be.
I don’t think I’ve ever had a boston cream donut but it sounds very tasty and the cream sounds quite easy to make x
Oh my goodness, they are my absolute favorite!! The cream inside is delicious and this recipe tastes just like it.
I love making pastry cream as we often use it for fruit tarts especially during summer when we have locally grown berries. This recipe looks equally delish
I bet this is great with fresh berries! I’ll have to try that next time I make it again.
I recently had a doughnut which had this filling! Now, I know it was custard cream 🙂 I am going to make this soon, thanks for sharing the recipe ❤️
I think that’s my favorite, having the custard cream in a doughnut 🙂
Nothing beats homemade custard once you get the recipe down. I remember the first time I made my own…so delicious! Yours looks creamy and wonderful!
Yes! It took a few tries to get this one how I wanted it. But now I have it down and it’s pretty easy!
What a lovely recipe – I love homemade custard and was looking for one to follow!
I hope you get a chance to try this one and it lives up to that expectation!
Oooo this custard cream looks so good. I definitely want to try this out for myself. I just know it’ll be tasty.
It’s so yummy! And not very hard to make, either.