This ultra creamy vegan pastry cream (vegan custard) takes only 5 minutes to make, is coconut free, and tastes just like classic creme patisserie! Perfect for cakes, donuts, eclairs and more!

vegan pastry cream set in a bowl

If you’re looking for the most perfect vegan pastry cream (or vegan custard!) to fill your vegan doughnuts, cakes, and pastries, then you must try this super easy vegan custard recipe.

It’s rich, creamy, decadent, and even easier than making a homemade classic custard (no need to accidentally scramble any eggs here 😉 ). Plus, you only need 6 simple plant based ingredients, and just 5-10 minutes of your time. 

How easy is that? 

I love using this vegan pastry cream as filling for vegan Boston cream pie or as a fun wedding cake filling (like I did for my friend’s wedding cake that I made!). It’s also great for vegan bomboloni doughnuts or even vegan Danish pastries.

What is the difference between custard and pastry cream?

If you’re searching for vegan custard or vegan pastry cream, then you came to the right place. Pastry cream, or creme patisserie, is a type of custard that’s just thickened with cornstarch. However, custard in general (or creme anglaise) is a cream thickened with egg yolks.

Because cornstarch is such a wonderful thickener, the veganized versions of both pastry cream and custard are very similar. 

​Pastry cream is typically a bit more fluid than custard, but there is a way to make vegan pastry cream into more of a vegan custard so that it’s thick enough for cakes. 

vegan pastry cream in a sauce pan

Vegan Custard Ingredients + Substitutions:

  • Vegan heavy cream: I like using Silk or Plant Crock. They’re amazing! This is the substitution that I use for coconut cream. If you’d prefer, you can sub in coconut cream here. I wouldn’t recommend subbing in another dairy free milk as it won’t be thick enough.
  • Dairy free milk: I recommend using soy milk, but you can also use almond milk, oat milk, or cashew milk.
  • Sugar: You can also substitute in maple syrup here for a refined sugar free option.
  • Cornstarch: This is our egg substitute here and replaces the egg yolks typically found in custard recipes (but not in pastry cream!). You can also substitute in arrowroot starch. Tapioca starch will yield too gummy of a texture. 
  • Vegan butter: At the end of making our vegan pastry cream, we’ll stir in vegan butter. I recommend Violife, which is nut-free as well. 
  • Vanilla extract or paste: Vanilla bean paste will give you those gorgeous vanilla bean flecks in the pastry cream, which I really like!

Optional:

For a thicker custard that’s easier to stack multiple cake layers on top, I like to add in 1/2 cup (120 mL) aquafaba (chickpea brine) with 3 tablespoons of chickpea flour. This acts very much like egg yolks and gives a more classic custard texture that’s suitable for cakes, like Boston cream pie.

Overview: How to make vegan pastry cream:

How to use vegan custard/pastry cream:

Vegan pastry cream and vegan custard can be almost enjoyed as a pudding, or you can use it in a few different recipes, like:

vegan doughnuts filled with vegan pastry cream

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6 Ingredient EASY Homemade Vegan Pastry Cream Recipe (Vegan Custard) Pinterest pin

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!

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vegan pastry cream set in a bowl

6 Ingredient EASY Homemade Vegan Pastry Cream Recipe (Vegan Custard)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 1
  • Cook Time: 7
  • Total Time: 8 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: French
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This ultra creamy vegan pastry cream (vegan custard) takes only 5 minutes to make, is coconut free, and tastes just like classic creme patisserie! Perfect for cakes, donuts, eclairs and more!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup (240 mL) vegan heavy cream
  • 1 cup (240 mL) dairy free milk*
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
  • 6 tbsp (60 g) cornstarch
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 6 tbsp vegan butter

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the heavy cream, dairy free milk, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla bean paste, and sea salt.
  2. Turn the stove heat on to medium, and continue whisking the mixture until it thickens and slightly bubbles, about 5-10 minutes. Then remove from heat.
  3. Stir in the vegan butter until completely melted.
  4. Cool the custard in a bowl covered in the fridge for 2-4 hours. Then use in your cake filling, donuts, eclairs, and more!

Notes

For a thicker custard (suitable for cakes): add in 1/2 cup (120 mL) aquafaba with 3 tbsp chickpea flour

Dairy-free milk: I recommend using a soy milk, but you can use a creamy oat milk, almond milk, or cashew milk.