chocolate pastry cream recipe – Rich, Creamy, and Perfect for Pastries

Indulge your sweet tooth with this easy yet decadent chocolate pastry cream recipe. Also known as crème pâtissière, this velvety, vanilla-infused pastry cream gets a chocolate makeover that takes it to the next level. Luxurious dark cocoa powder adds a hint of bitterness to balance the sweetness.

chocolate pastry cream recipe |

Use this chocolate cream filling as a pie filling, tart filling, to fill donuts, cannolis, éclairs and profiteroles, as a cake filling layered in between cake layers, or eat it straight out of the bowl with a spoon!

How to Make chocolate pastry cream recipe Recipe

Making homemade chocolate pastry cream is simple—scald milk and cream to infuse it with flavor. Whisk eggs and sugar to create a rich, airy base.

Temper the eggs, then add the hot dairy while whisking constantly. Please return it to the stove and cook while stirring until thickened. Stir in chocolate and vanilla for flavor. Chill to set, then use however you like!

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Serving Size: Makes 3 cups


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
  • 1⁄2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1⁄4 cup cornstarch
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Step-By-Step Directions

  1. In a saucepan, combine the milk, heavy cream, 1⁄4 cup of sugar, and cocoa powder. Heat over medium, stirring often, until steaming and scalded, about 5 minutes.
  2. While the milk mixture heats, whisk together the remaining 1⁄4 cup sugar, cornstarch, egg yolks, and salt in a bowl until smooth.
  3. Once the milk mixture has scalded, slowly pour about half of the hot liquid into the egg yolk mixture while whisking constantly. This tempers the yolks so they don’t scramble.
  4. Pour the tempered yolk mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining hot dairy mixture. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thick and bubbling, about 5 minutes more.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface and chill thoroughly in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  6. Use as desired in pastries, desserts, and other sweet treats!

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

  • Calories: 152
  • Fat: 8g
  • Carbohydrates: 16g
  • Protein: 4g

Tips and Tricks

  • For the creamiest texture, strain the pastry cream after chilling.
  • Adjust the amount of cocoa powder to make it more or less chocolatey.
  • Swap out the vanilla for other extracts like almond.
  • Make it dairy-free by using coconut milk and vegan chocolate chips.
  • Leftovers will keep covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Common Questions

What can I use chocolate pastry cream for?

Use this decadent cream as a filling for pastries like éclairs, profiteroles, coffee cake, brioche, pancakes and waffles. It also makes an amazing pie filling for chocolate tart or custard pie. Layer it into cakes before frosting for added indulgence.

Can I make it ahead of time?

Yes, prepare the pastry cream completely then refrigerate for up to 4 days before using or freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using.

Can I swap out the heavy cream?

Sure, you can use all whole milk instead of the combo of milk and cream. It will still set up nicely and be delicious, just a little less rich and silky.


This chocolate pastry cream recipe is easy to whip up and endlessly versatile! Made from simple pantry ingredients, it comes together quickly then chills in the fridge to develop its ultra creamy, scoopable texture.

Infused with deep dark chocolate flavor and smooth vanilla notes, this filling can transform pastries, tarts, cakes and other desserts from basic to spectacular.

Whip up a batch and enjoy this chocolate cream’s lush, pudding-like goodness in all your baking creations or straight off a spoon. It’s so perfect and delicious, you’ll wish you had made more!