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Chocolate Pastry Cream

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This silky smooth and dreamy Chocolate Pastry Cream recipe is decadent, rich in chocolate flavor and is so easy to make. My favorite thing is how perfectly pipeable it is. Making it perfect for filling cakes, cupcakes or even thew classic éclair!

Chocolate Pastry Cream - being taken out by a spoon in a cup

This recipe uses both corn starch and all-purpose flour to make it slightly thicker than most pastry creams so that it’s able to hold it’s shape making it super versatile.

By the way, if you’re looking for a great vanilla pastry cream recipe, give my recipe here a go!

What is Pastry Cream?

It’s a French custard that is made using good quality, simple ingredients. This one is dressed up with chocolate which makes it the perfect chocolate lovers treat! Let’s break down what makes it amazing!

  • Rich chocolate flavor – this pastry cream has a really rich chocolate flavor and that because we use cocoa powder and chopped semi-sweet (dark) chocolate. It results in a chocolate flavor that is not overly sweet and helps compliment whatever dessert you add this pastry cream to. Whilst at the same time working well on it’s own.
  • Silky smooth texture – the pastry cream thick enough to pipe but also soft and silky when eating it. That’s because I use flour and corn starch, also known as corn flour. This pastry cream can also be thinned out by taking out the flour.

Ingredients You Need To Make Chocolate Pastry Cream

Chocolate Pastry Cream - ingredients image
  • Milk – use whole milk for this recipe. I used cows milk. You can use plant based milk like almond or oat to make this recipe.
  • Vanilla ExtractAlways use good quality vanilla extract when baking, it makes a huge difference. I have a great recipe here for it if you’d like to try your own!
  • Flour – I used all-purpose flour. This helps thicken the pastry cream enough to the point where it’s pipeable. If you want a thinner pastry cream, leave out the flour. If you want to make this gluten free but thick enough to pipe, leave out the flour and add 1 tablespoon of corn starch.
  • Corn starch – also known as corn flour this helps thicken the pastry cream.
  • Sugar – I used granulated white sugar. I only used 2 tbsp of sugar which means this pastry cream isn’t too thick.
  • Cocoa powder – I used a good quality cocoa powder. Dutch or regular will work.
  • Salt – I used fine salt. It helps elevate the chocolate flavor.
  • Egg yolks – I used large eggs for this recipe. You will only need the egg yolks. Separating your eggs when they’re cold is much easier to do.
  • Dark chocolate – Using good quality chocolate is important in this recipe. I used semi-sweet chocolate with at least 70% cocoa. You can find cooking chocolate in the baking isle of your supermarket.
  • Butter – I used unsalted butter for this recipe. You want to make sure the butter is cold.

How to Make Chocolate Pastry Cream!

Chocolate Pastry Cream - instructional image 01
  1. Gently warm milk and vanilla extract
  2. Add dry ingredients to a bowl and mix
Chocolate Pastry Cream - instructional image 02
  1. Add egg yolks and mix
  2. Slowly add milk and whisk
Chocolate Pastry Cream - instructional image 03
  1. Add back to pot
  2. Add chocolate
Chocolate Pastry Cream - instructional image 04
  1. Mix until thickened
  2. Add butter and mix
Chocolate Pastry Cream - instructional image 05
  1. Cover and chill
  2. Mix and use!
Chocolate Pastry Cream - top down in a bowl

Troubleshooting: How to avoid disaster!

Go slow! You’re cooking eggs and they need a slow and low heat.

  • Lumpy – ingredients not measured properly or not sieved at the end before chilling.
  • Split – butter added too quickly, keep whisking, ti will eventually come together!
  • Too runny – ingredients not measured properly, not cooked long enough. If you’re 100% sure you measured properly, put it back on the stove and cook until it thickens. If this doesn’t work, you haven’t measured properly.
  • Eggs curdled – there’s no fixing this! This happened because the milk was either too hot or added too quickly to the egg mixture.

Tips and Tricks For Recipe Success!

  • Make this thinner by adding a little extra milk!
  • Make sure you add the warm milk into the egg paste mixture slowly to avoid it cooking the eggs too quickly.
  • You can flavor this using fruit reductions.
  • Run the mixture through a sieve to make sure you get rid of any lumps that may be in the pastry cream.
  • Using cold butter is key in this recipe means It melts slower in the hot custard slower, preventing your pastry cream from splitting as you mix it in.

Frequently Asked Questions about Chocolate Pastry Cream

What does it taste like?

This Chocolate Pastry Cream is silky smooth, decadent, and perfectly pipeable. It has a rich chocolate flavor and it simply superb!

How do I store this?

You can store this in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 7 days.

How much pastry cream does this recipe make?

I’m going to call this one batch of Chocolate Pastry Cream. It makes 2 1/2 cups of pastry cream. So if you see me refer to this referenced in other recipes as 1/2 a batch, you’ll need to make half of this recipe.

Can I make this gluten free?

Yep! Simply leave out to the all-purpose flour and replace it with an extra tablespoon of corn starch.

How can I make this thinner?

This pastry cream can be turned into a sauce like substance for pouring on all kind of desserts. Simply leave out the flour in the ingredients. Make it as thin as you like by adding a little extra milk.

Why is my pastry cream rubbery after chilling?

Totally normal. Once chilled, your pastry cream sets. You can bring it back to a smooth and delicious consistency.

What do I do with leftover egg whites?

I have some great recipe options to use up left over egg whites. Give these a go!

Gave this a go? Don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! Hungry for more? Join me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and TikTok for more great recipes!

If you loved this recipe, check these out!

Chocolate Pastry Cream - square thumbnail

Easy French Chocolate Pastry Cream Recipe

This rich and perfectly smooth Chocolate Pastry Cream Recipe, also known as crème pâtissière is easy to make, perfectly pipeable and not overly sweet!

Serves 2

4.4 from 10 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep: 2 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Cooling: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 15 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Calories: 1.518kcal


Chocolate Pasty Cream Recipe

  • 500 g whole milk, not skim
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste, Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 30 g corn starch, corn flour
  • 40 g caster sugar, superfine sugar
  • 20 g Dutch processed cocoa powder, see notes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 200 g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 125 g unsalted butter, cubed and cold

Learn How To Make it! [VIDEO]


Chocolate Pasty Cream Recipe

  • Heat milk and vanilla – Add the milk and vanilla in a saucepan and heat on medium heat, stirring continuously until bubbles begin forming around the sides. Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  • Combine dry ingredients and eggs – To a large heat proof bowl add the corn starch, sugar, cocoa powder and salt and whisk to combine. Add the egg yolks and whisk until smooth.
  • Add the milk – Slowly add the milk, about 1/4 cup at a time and stir each time until half the milk is in there. Whisk to combine.
  • Heat custard – Place back in the saucepan and cook on medium heat, stirring continuously.
  • Add chocolate – After a couple minutes of stirring, add the chopped chocolate and continue stirring until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  • Add butter – When bubbles start making their way through the thickened pastry cream turn the heat off and add 1/2 the cold butter. Whisk until well combined. Then add the remaining butter and repeat. You want to do this slowly, so the custard doesn’t split.
  • Get rid of lumps – Pour through the sieve into a large bowl to ensure no lumps are in it. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for a couple hours or overnight. Use a whisk to mix until smooth before using.


Dutch processed cocoa powder – is an unsweetened cocoa powder which has been treated with alkaline and potassium carbonate to neutralize the acidity that is naturally found in cocoa powder. It’s darker in color and strong in chocolate flavor.
Storage – This Chocolate Pastry cream can be stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
Nutrition – This recipe makes about 2 cups of pastry cream. Nutrition is based on per cup (250ml).
How to make dairy free: To make this pastry cream dairy free, simply replace the milk with plant-based milk and the butter with dairy free butter, not margarine.
A note on measurements – this recipe is offered in weight measurements. This is in an effort to offer the most accurate way to get the best results. Cup measurements simply aren’t accurate enough for a recipe that needs precision and cup sizes differ depending on where you are in the world. Here is where you can learn more about how to measure ingredients using digital kitchen scales!


Calories : 1.518kcal
Carbonhydrates: 83g
Protein: 27g
Fat: 117g
Saturated Fat: 67g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g
Monounsaturated Fat : 34g
Trans Fat : 2g
Cholesterol: 751mg
Sodium: 444mg
Potassium : 1.346mg
Fiber: 15g
Sugar : 41g
Vitamin A: 2.785IU
Calcium: 481mg
Iron: 15mg
Nutrition Disclosure
Gave this recipe a go?Mention @thescranline or tag #thescranline!


Miza November 12, 2022 - 11:47 pm

Can these be frozen?

Nick Makrides November 26, 2022 - 6:33 am

No, sorry. N x

Maria Tasakou May 3, 2023 - 3:24 am

Hello! I really want to try this recipe. Seems so yummy! Could I use it as cake filling?

Nick Makrides May 13, 2023 - 2:46 am

Yes! But make sure it’s not a multi-layered cake as the weight of the cake would not be supported I think.

Anita May 23, 2023 - 10:54 pm

How can I make this vegan by not using eggs? Can I use Aquafina? Egg replacer powder? Flaxseed egg? What would be my best option? Thank you for your help. Recipe looks great for tiramisu
Rewriting because the email was wrong on previous comment

Nick Makrides June 24, 2023 - 2:23 am

But… This isn’t a vegan recipe??? lol

David January 29, 2024 - 11:05 pm

Why would you sieve milk? Then how the heck do you sieve batter? You can’t sieve maracapone cheese and flour ect….

Nick Makrides February 15, 2024 - 6:32 am

Just to make sure you dont have any lumps from any potential skin in the milk. The second time is to make sure there are no flour lumps. Hope that helps! N x

4.41 from 10 votes (10 ratings without comment)

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