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Different Types Of Pastry Creams

There are many different types of cream used in baking. Each has their own unique properties and uses. Some are great for piping in choux buns, while others are best poured over hot pudding! Here is a breakdown of the different types of pastry creams.

Pasty Cream (Creme Patisserie)

Pastry cream, also known as crème pâtissière in French, is a rich and velvety custard that is a staple in baking. The name “pastry cream” comes from the fact that this type of cream is excellent as a filling in pastries. This is because it doesn’t make the pastry soggy. Its thick and sturdy consistency allows it to hold its shape in even the flakiest of pastries.
To make pastry cream, the first step is to whisk egg yolks and sugar together. You then gradually add hot milk to the egg mixture. This is a process called”tempering” to prevent the eggs from scrambling. The mixture is then heated while whisking until it reaches a thick and smooth texture.
The next step is to add the flavouring, which is usually vanilla. Once cooled it’s used as a filling in various desserts. These include choux buns, cakes, pastries, and raisin swirls.

Creme Anglais (Custard)

Creme anglais translates to “English cream”. It is the wonderful custard we all love to pour all over our apple crumbles while it’s steaming hot. Its consistency is slightly thickened but still pourable, unlike pastry cream which is thick and holds its shape. This is because no cornflour or flour is used, with only the egg yolk itself being the thickening agent. The egg, milk and sugar mixture is heated until it coats the back of a spoon, then the flavouring is added. It can used as a base for ice cream, bavarian cream, chocolate mousse, or poured straight onto a dessert!

Types Of Creams

Here is a list of the main different types of creams used in baking and patisserie. It includes their uses as well as their storage times. It’s a handy table that hopefully makes it easier as it can get confusing with all the different types!


Creme Diplomat

Creme patisserie with whipped cream and gelatine
Uses: fillings for cakes, choux buns, tarts
Storage: up to 24 hours
Learn how to make it here

Creme Madame

Creme patisserie mixed with whipped cream
Uses: tarts, cakes, choux buns
Storage: up to 24 hours
Learn how to make it here

Creme Madame

Creme patisserie mixed with whipped cream
Uses: tarts, cakes, choux buns
Storage: up to 24 hours
Learn how to make it here

Creme Mousseline

Creme patisserie mixed with whipped butter
Uses: croquembouche, mousse cakes
Storage: up to 2 days
Learn how to make it here

Chiboust Cream

Pastry cream mixed with Italian meringue
Uses: Saint-Honore cakes, desserts,tarts
Storage: Up to 24 hours
Learn how to make it here

Chantilly Cream

Whipped cream with icing sugar and vanilla
Uses: Napoleons, choux pastries, custards, cakes and pastries
Storage: Up to 24 hours
Learn how to make it here

Almond Cream

A mixture of butter, sugar, eggs, custard powder and almond flour
Uses: Tarts, pithiviers, almond croissants
Storage: Up to 2 days
Learn how to make it here


Half pastry cream and half almond cream
Uses: Bakewell tarts, pear tarts, pithiviers, almond croissants
Storage: Up to 2 days
Learn how to make it here

How To Cool Creams Quickly

When making various creams, you may want to use it right away. Although, you must cool creams before using them otherwise they wont hold it’s shape. The best way to cool them down fast is to first line a baking tray with clingfilm. Then, take your hot cream and spread it in an even, thin layer over it. Cover with more clingfilm and set in the fridge. This step is important as it prevents a skin from forming on the surface. The thin layer of cream will cool a lot quicker than it would in a bowl!

How To Store Creams

When making creams, some store better than others. Whipped creams (such as Chantilly cream) are lighter and have a less stable texture. When whisking creams, bacteria as well as air gets incorporated. This makes it easier to go bad, so it best stored for less time. They also don’t hold up will in heat, so are best kept in the fridge.
All creams should be thoroughly cooled before storing. It is important to cover creams with a layer of clingfilm. This prevents a “skin” forming on the surface which takes away from the smooth, silky texture.
You can them transfer to an airtight container or zip lock bag and store for up to 2 days until ready to use.

Can You Freeze Creams?

Yes! Once put in an airtight container or zip lock bag, you can freeze creams for up to 1 month. Although, it is always preferable to make them fresh when possible.

How Are Creams Thickened?

Some creams need heat to thicken, others need to be whipped. When making pastry cream or custard, you should heat it until it has reached boiling point. It is then boiled for 1-5 minutes depending on the size of the batch. This ensures the starch has cooked out and it has thickened enough. If not heated enough, it will be a runny consistency. It may have a paste-like texture. and you can still taste the starch. You can also overheat creams, causing them to have a scrambled egg consistency.
The most common starch used when making creams is cornstarch, plain flour and custard powder. You can also use potato starch though!
When whipping creams, it is important to continue until as much air as possible is incorporated. Try to keep your utensils, bowls and environment as cool as possible. Whipped creams tend to deflate over time, so make it as close to when you need it as possible.

So there you have it! A breakdown of all the different types of creams, their uses and how to store them. If you liked this post, check out my Coconut Raspberry Cake which goes amazingly well with custard!


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