This vegan microwave pastry cream comes together in less than 10 minutes in one bowl! Fill your donuts, éclairs, mille-feuilles—even cakes or tiramisu with this simple dairy-free & egg-free crème pâtissière.
🍦 Vegan Microwave Pastry Cream
This may be the easiest recipe I've shared on this website since its inception. You can make it with a few accessible ingredients in one microwave-safe bowl within a couple of minutes.
The other day I ran into an intriguing detail in the Quaint Kitchen's article on pastry cream. Tatyana, a trained pastry chef, made hers in the microwave... genius!
It's safe to say I will never use a stove to make pastry cream again.
- Sugar: For 100% vegan pastry cream, pay attention to the kind of sugar you're using. Many refined sugars are processed with bone char to take on a bright white color. In the U.S., the sugar will definitely be vegan if it's organic, “unrefined”, or made from beets.
- Cornstarch: We're using just enough cornstarch for the custard to set while still being creamy.
- Nutritional Yeast: Yes, this sounds weird. But trust me, its flavor really makes up for the lack of eggs. I promise you won't taste it in the custard at all.
- Vegan Butter: My favorite butter plant-based butter for baking projects is Earth Balance. If using unsalted, make sure to add another pinch of salt.
- Vanilla Extract: We need vanilla for its flavor. You may also use a scraped vanilla bean or vanilla bean paste instead.
- Plant Milk: I like to use unsweetened, unflavored soy or cashew milk in most baking projects. They are creamy without imparting too much flavor (looking at you, coconut). If using sweetened milk, make sure to adjust the amount of sugar.
- (optional) Ground Turmeric: This is only to color the custard a bit yellow/orange. Be careful not to go overboard because turmeric has a really strong flavor! Alternatively, you may use a vegan food dye.
Add all dry ingredients into a microwave-safe bowl and whisk.
Gradually add the soymilk then add the vanilla extract and whisk again.
Add the vegan butter, then microwave in 30-second increments, thoroughly whisking each time. Continue until the mixture is thickened and smooth, about 6-7 minutes.
Transfer to a wide container and cover with cling wrap, pressing it over the surface to prevent skin from forming. Let cool at room temperature until lukewarm, then pour into a piping bag to use.
If using the pastry cream later, refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. Once out of the fridge, it will be much firmer. Smooth it out by vigorously whisking, or by using an immersion blender.
This custard won't have a good texture if frozen and thawed.
You'll notice how there are no fancy photos of the process this time. I really wanted to convey how incredibly easy it is to make this pastry cream!
❓ Pastry Cream FAQs
Make sure to heat the cornstarch to its gelling temperature (180°F/80°C). If it still isn't setting, you may have used too little starch—so add another tablespoon and repeat.
Weighing your ingredients will ensure you don't run into this problem.
If you didn't whisk the dry ingredients adequately or didn't thoroughly mix the custard at appropriate intervals, the pastry cream may have come out lumpy.
An immersion blender will get rid of the lumps in your custard without compromising on flavor.
If your custard is runny, you likely haven't used enough starch or haven't heated the mixture to gelling temperature.
Yes, pastry cream can be overcooked. Too much heat will weaken the bonds provided by starch and make the mixture runny again.
You may have used too much starch, especially if you haven't weighed the ingredients. Add a bit of liquid and reheat.
Pastry cream will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for about 3-4 days.
It is not recommended to freeze pastry cream made with cornstarch. Upon thawing, the custard will seep out liquid and split.
If you haven't used cornstarch, follow these directions to thaw frozen custard.
Yes, you absolutely can make pastry cream without using eggs. Just use cornstarch instead—this is how many of the classic custard recipes are made anyway.
Yes, making pastry cream in the microwave is the easiest method.
Did you make this vegan microwave pastry cream recipe? I'd love to hear about it! Please comment and leave a star🌟 rating below. This helps me run Aegean Delight and I always appreciate it 🙂Print
Many thanks to Tatyana of the Quaint Kitchen for sharing this recipe and cooking method!