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Cinnamon Pastry Cream

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  • 1 pint whole milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean (split lengthwise)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 ounces sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs


  1. Place milk, vanilla bean, cinnamon stick and ground cinnamon in a saucepan and heat to a boil.
  2. While the milk is heating, mix the cornstarch, sugar and salt.
  3. Gradually add the eggs to the dry mixture and mix until smooth.
  4. Slowly add 1/3 of the hot milk while whisking constantly (this is tempering the eggs). Then, pour the tempered eggs back into the saucepan and return to the heat, stirring constantly (now with a wooden spoon) until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens.
  5. Remove the vanilla bean (you can rinse the bean and air dry it then add it to a canister of sugar to make vanilla sugar) and the cinnamon stick.
  6. Pour into a large shallow bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap or parchment to prevent a skin. Cool down a bit before putting in the refrigerator.
  7. Pastry Cream should keep about 4 days in a cold fridge but it's best within 2 days.

Makes about 1 pound 8 ounces pastry cream.