Contrary to its name, pastry cream -- a classic custard filling for cakes, tarts, pastries, and other baked goods -- contains no cream, only milk. Be sure to bring the mixture to a full boil to activate the cornstarch and ensure proper thickening. This recipe is from " Martha Stewart's Cupcakes."



Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Whisk egg yolks until smooth in a large bowl. Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan, and heat over medium. Stirring constantly, gradually add milk in a slow, steady stream, and cook until mixture thickens and begins to bubble, about 5 minutes.

  • Whisking constantly, slowly pour one third of the milk mixture into egg yolks (this step is called tempering, which keeps the yolks from curdling). Pour mixture into remaining milk mixture in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture comes to a full boil and is thick enough to hold its shape when lifted with a spoon, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.

  • Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl. Cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap, pressing it directly on surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 2 hours (or up to 2 days).

Reviews (2)

64 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 16
  • 4 star values: 11
  • 3 star values: 21
  • 2 star values: 11
  • 1 star values: 5
Rating: Unrated
I just watched the video of Thomas Joseph on Martha Stewart website here: for the "No fuss Pastry Cream" recipe. He added butter, at 2:12 mins., directly after he whisked the milk and yolks into the corn starch while over heat source. He didn't say the amount of butter. Is BUTTER missing from the above Pastry Cream recipe? Please advise.
Rating: 5 stars
Absolutely wonderful! Rich but soft flavor with a great texture. I mix mine on low speed for a minute after it has set up over night as it sets up very thick. I've filled Eclairs and cupcakes with this pastry cream and plan on using it for much more!