image of raspberries and vegan gluten free vanilla pastry cream
Home RecipesGluten Free Vegan Vanilla Pastry Cream

Vegan Vanilla Pastry Cream- A delicious and creamy filling for tarts with rich vanilla flavor and a hint of lemon. Plus it’s gluten free!

This vegan vanilla pastry cream was used to make these delicious berry tarts.

What is Pastry Cream?

Pastry cream, or creme patisserie in French cuisine, is a kind of thick pudding or custard. It is traditionally made with milk and eggs, this vegan version uses plant based milk and starch instead. I have also omitted the use of flour in order to make it gluten free. This vegan vanilla pastry cream is a staple in my recipe book. It is so versatile and I find it much easier to make than traditional pastry cream.

Uses for Vegan Vanilla Pastry Cream

  • A filling for fruit tarts
  • Spread between cake layers like for a Boston cream pie
  • A filling for cream puffs and eclairs
  • Used in many classic French desserts such as Mille-feuille or Paris-brest
  • You could even eat it straight from the bowl if you wish. I won’t judge! Its delicious.

If you make this recipe then be sure to take a picture, tag me in it on Instagram or Facebook @bakingtherapyemily, and hashtag it with #bakingtherapy. I would love to see that you are enjoying my recipe!

Perfect Vegan Gluten Free Vanilla Pastry Cream
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Why Vegan?

Well… I have a confession to make… I am not vegan. *gasp* So scandalous right? Okay maybe not scandalous but I’m sure you’re wondering why I would post vegan recipes. There’s a simple explanation, I have many friends who are vegan. When the thing I enjoy most is cooking for my friends, why would I make something that half of my guests can’t eat? I respect my friends and their choice to be vegan. For this reason I have begun developing recipes that vegans and non-vegans can both enjoy. This is one of those recipes and I hope you like it.

To find out more about Baking Therapy you can go here.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • A plant-based milk is the main ingredient. You can use any you prefer. I like using Unsweetened Almond Milk for cooking.
  • A powdered starch, such as cornstarch or potato starch. This will be our thickener.
  • The zest of one lemon.
  • Sugar, you can use granulated or raw sugar. Adjust amount if you are using a sweetened plant-based milk.
  • Real vanilla bean sliced in half lengthwise or vanilla bean paste. Vanilla extract can also be used but I would avoid any type of imitation vanilla. Imitation vanilla is called Vanillin, it leaves a telling chemical aftertaste in your mouth.
  • Plant-based margarine or butter. I like to use a sunflower oil margarine. This will be used at the end of the recipe to add some richness and shine.

You probably have all the ingredients to make it in your kitchen already. A lot of people think that cooking vegan requires shelling out a lot of money at an expensive organic market, but this is a false assumption. You can find these ingredients at any grocery store. My recipe making philosophy is to keep things simple and accessible for everyone no matter the cuisine.

Tools Needed for Recipe

  • Kitchen scale for measuring ingredients
  • A tablespoon
  • A small mixing bowl
  • A medium saucepan
  • Whisk
  • A wire mesh strainer
  • A fine grater for zesting the lemon
  • A large heat resistant bowl to strain the hot pastry cream into
  • Some plastic wrap for storage

Scroll down to see the full printable recipe!

6 Ingredient Vanilla Pastry Cream
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Watch how to make the recipe here!

image of raspberries and vegan gluten free vanilla pastry cream

Vegan Gluten Free Vanilla Pastry Cream

Vegan Vanilla Pastry Cream- A delicious and creamy filling for tarts with rich vanilla flavor and a hint of lemon. Plus it’s… Recipes vanilla, pastry cream, pudding, vegan, gluten free, plant based, dairy free, egg free, vegetarian, dessert, quick, easy, pie, tart, pies, tarts, fruit, fresh, berries, brunch, simple Vegan Print
Makes: 4 to 6 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat


600 ml plant-based milk of choice, for example soy, almond, or rice

50 g cornstarch

Zest of 1 lemon (about a tablespoon)

100 g sugar

1 tbsp vanilla bean paste or 1 real vanilla bean split lengthwise

80 g plant-based butter or margarine


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together 200 ml plant-based milk of choice and 50 g cornstarch. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine 400 ml plant-based milk of choice, zest of 1 lemon, 100 g sugar, and 1 tbsp vanilla. 
  3. While stirring gently, cook on stove over medium-low heat until the mixture begins to steam. Do not let mixture come to a boil.
  4. Slowly pour in the cornstarch mixture while whisking constantly. 
  5. Continue to heat and whisk until the pastry cream is thickened.
  6. Carefully strain the pastry cream through a fine mesh sieve into a heat resistant bowl. 
  7. Stir 80 g plant-based butter or margarine into the pastry cream.
  8. Place plastic wrap directly on the pastry cream otherwise it will form a skin on any part exposed to air. Allow pastry cream to cool in the fridge for at least an hour before using as a filling. 

*Be sure to use the pastry cream within 24 hours and consume it within 3 days. The pastry cream will begin to breakdown and release moisture if left uneaten. 

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