The Best French Vanilla Pastry Cream

We’re a couple who thrives on simplicity, both in life and in the kitchen. Our shared love for pastries, especially those oozing with sweet vanilla pastry cream, inspired us to craft a no-nonsense recipe that we’re eager to share.

On a mission to recreate our favorite treat, we found joy in the straightforward process. Starting with whole milk gently heated with a vanilla bean, the foundation was set. Mixing egg yolks and sugar until just right, we then whisked in cornstarch for smoothness. The real magic happened on the stove, where the mixture thickened beautifully, hinting at the creamy delight to come.

Adding butter was the final touch, enriching the cream to perfection. We poured it into a bowl, covered it to prevent a skin from forming, and let it chill. This wasn’t just about making pastry cream; it was about creating moments together, simple and sweet.

Our recipe is a reflection of us: easy to follow, rich in taste, and without any unnecessary fluff. It’s for those who love to cook, love to eat, and appreciate the beauty in simplicity.



  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, or 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. Heat Milk: In a saucepan, combine milk and vanilla bean (scrape seeds into milk). Heat until steaming, not boiling. If using extract, don’t add it yet.
  2. Mix Yolks & Sugar: In a bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until light. Whisk in cornstarch until smooth.
  3. Combine: Gradually whisk hot milk into yolk mixture. Return all to saucepan. Remove vanilla bean if used.
  4. Thicken Cream: Over medium heat, stir constantly until mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Boil for 1 minute.
  5. Finish: Remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla extract (if not using a bean). Strain if necessary.
  6. Chill: Pour into a bowl. Cover surface with plastic wrap. Chill until set.

That’s our straightforward recipe to the tastiest, most tantalizing french vanilla sweet pastry cream. We hope you enjoy yours as much as we enjoyed ours!

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