Pastry Cream for Genoise Layer Cake

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

Use this recipe to make our Genoise Layer Cake.


  • 2 cups whole milk

  • ½ cup sugar

  • ½ vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved

  • Pinch of salt

  • 4 large egg yolks

  • ¼ cup cornstarch

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces


  1. Bring milk, 1/4 cup sugar, the vanilla bean and seeds, and salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

  2. Whisk egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk in cornstarch, 1 tablespoon at a time. Ladle 1/2 cup hot milk mixture into yolk mixture, whisking. Add remaining milk mixture, 1/2 cup at a time. Pour mixture into pan; heat, whisking constantly, until mixture comes to a simmer and has thickened, about 2 minutes. Discard vanilla bean.

  3. Transfer mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add butter; mix on medium speed until butter has melted and mixture has cooled, about 5 minutes. Remove bowl; place plastic wrap directly on surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours (up to 2 days).

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