How To Make Custard Cream (Pastry Cream) | Easy Japanese Recipes at

Custard Cream (Pastry Cream)

Course: Dessert, How to
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: custard, homemade
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 1 cup
Learn how to make homemade custard cream (pastry cream) and use it as a delicious filling for popular Japanese street snacks such as Dorayaki, Taiyaki, and Imagawayaki (Obanyaki)!


  • ½ vanilla bean (or ½ tsp vanilla extract - See Notes)
  • 200 ml whole milk (200 ml = scant 1 cup)
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 50 g sugar (50 g = ¼ cup)
  • 20 g cake flour (20 g = 2 Tbsp) (or all purpose flour)
  • 15 g unsalted butter (15 g = 1 Tbsp) (optional)


  1. Gather all the ingredients.
    How To Make Custard Cream Ingredients
  2. Cut the vanilla bean in half (we only use ½). Make a slit lengthwise on the vanilla bean and scrape off the vanilla bean with a knife.
    How To Make Custard Cream 1
  3. In a medium saucepan (preferably a heavy saucepan for equal heat distribution), combine the milk and vanilla bean and bring it to ALMOST boil (It should not actually be boiling). Remove from the heat and set aside.
    How To Make Custard Cream 2
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, add egg yolks and beat gently. Add granulated sugar and whisk until the mixture turns pale yellow.
    How To Make Custard Cream 3
  5. Add the cake flour and whisk until combine.
    How To Make Custard Cream 4
  6. Pour small amount of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture and quickly whisk to combine. Slowly add the rest of milk while whisking.
    How To Make Custard Cream 5
  7. Set a fine mesh strainer over the saucepan and pour everything back into the saucepan. Cook the mixture over medium heat while CONSTANTLY mixing with a silicone spatula. It starts as thin and frothy mixture and it will start to thicken. It’ll take 20-25 minutes for the custard cream to thicken.
    How To Make Custard Cream 6
  8. Stir constantly, making sure to scrape off the custard on the entire bottom and the corners of the pan, prevents scorching and ensures that the mixture heats evenly. Lift the spatula up occasionally to check if any large bubbles are bursting at the top of the mixture. Keep cooking and stirring until large bobbles appear. Then boil and stir for 1 minute. The custard should be shiny and drops intermittently when you lift up the silicone spatula. Add the butter to combine, if you are using it. Remove the saucepan from the heat.

    How To Make Custard Cream 7
  9. Transfer the custard to a tray (or flat container) and cover with plastic wrap to prevent a film from forming on top of the custard. Put the tray over ice cubes and put the ice pack on top of the custard to cool immediately. The key is to cool quickly so the custard won’t get spoiled.
    How To Make Custard Cream 8
  10. When it’s cool, put the custard back into a bowl and whisk until nice and smooth. The custard is now ready to use.
    How To Make Custard Cream 9
  11. You can keep the homemade custard for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. To prevent a film from forming on top of the custard as it cools, press a piece of plastic wrap on top of the custard.
    How To Make Custard Cream 10

Recipe Notes

Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.