Chocolate Pastry Cream – Naturally Gluten Free

Imagine chocolate ganache combined with vanilla pastry cream. That’s exactly what chocolate pastry cream is made of. However, making chocolate pastry cream is easier because you make them together. If you like either of the above, you will enjoy this decadent recipe much more.

Check out the video to see the texture and how to speed up cooling at Chocolate Pastry Cream Video.

Dairy-Free Options:

For a dairy-free pastry cream, make the Dairy-Free Pastry Cream and add 3/4 cup, or to taste, dairy-free chocolate chips (Enjoy Life).

You may also enjoy Vanilla Pastry Cream or with a banana variation. I even have a Keto Banana Pastry Cream Recipe.

This chocolate pastry cream recipe is available to everyone.

Chocolate Pastry Cream

Imagine vanilla pastry cream colliding with chocolate ganache. That's exactly what chocolate pastry cream is! However, they don't need to be made separately.

Course Desserts
Cuisine French
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups gluten-free semi-sweet chocolate chips divided - Nestle's (or high-quality chocolate for soy-free: 60% cocoa, chopped)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/16 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 5 large egg yolks at room temperature
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin KNOX (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons room temperature water (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water (optional)


  1. In a double boiler, bain marie (glass boil over a saucepan of boiling water not touching the bowl), or saucepan, add the milk, 1-1/2 cups chocolate, and salt. Allow the chocolate and sugar to melt, stirring towards the end to speed up the melting process.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch, and vanilla extract until no lumps of cornstarch remain.

  3. Once the milk-chocolate mixture becomes hot, transfer about 1/2 cup of the hot mixture to the egg-cornstarch mixture while constantly whisking. Pour the combination of mixtures back into the saucepan of milk and chocolate, again, whisking constantly.
  4. Cook the entire mixture, whisking constantly until thick, about 15 minutes or more in a bain marie or double boiler; half of that in a saucepan. The chocolate pastry cream won't begin to thicken until it reaches about 145ºF. (Never stop cooking raw eggs until they reach at least 145ºF.) However, you'll need to cook it to a higher temperature. Once the mixture coats the back of a spoon and you can draw a line in the cream and the line remains, it is done, at about 155ºF. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate.

  5. Set the saucepan aside and prepare an ice bath (ice and water). I use my sink. If you used a bain marie or double boiler, transfer the pastry cream to a cold saucepan or large bowl and add to the ice bath, whisking or stirring constantly to speed up cooling. 

  6. If you need a sturdy pastry cream for pies that need slicing, cake fillings, etc., add 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin to 2 tablespoons room temperature water, stir, and allow to rest/bloom for 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons boiling water, stir; set aside to cool. Stir this mixture into the pastry cream.

  7. Transfer to a glass bowl or ramekins, cover with plastic wrap, directly over the pastry cream and refrigerate overnight or until chilled and set.

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