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Creme Diplomate (Diplomat Cream)

Diplomat cream in a white bowl with a spoon and towel in the background.

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Diplomat Cream, or Crème Diplomate in French, is one of the classic creams of French origin used for filling cream puffs, cakes, puff pastries, etc. Made with French pastry cream, gelatine, and whipped cream, it is easy and delicious.


  • 1 cup + 1/2 tablespoon (250 ml) whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 40 g egg yolks (see note #1)
  • 1/3 cup + 2 teaspoons (75 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons (25 g) cornstarch
  • 2 gelatin sheets, 200 bloom (see note #2) 
  • 2/3 cup + 3 tablespoons (200 ml) cold heavy cream, 30% fat


*This amount of cream is enough to decorate a "number cake" of letter-sized paper (or A4) composed of 2 layers of cream. Also, it is enough to pipe 12 cupcakes.

**For a cake 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter and about 1.5 inches (6 cm) high, multiply the ingredients by 1.5.


  1. To make the pastry cream, place gelatine sheets to soften in a large bowl with cold water for 10 minutes. In a mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks with icing (powdered) sugar with a hand whisk until whitish. Then add cornstarch and whisk again.

  2. Split the vanilla pod in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds using a knife.  Pour milk into a heavy-bottomed saucepan and add the vanilla pod split in half and vanilla bean seeds. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat.

  3. Pour the hot milk mixture over the egg yolk/sugar mixture, stirring vigorously with the whisk. Pour everything back into the saucepan, and cook over low heat, constantly stirring, until the cream thickens (30 seconds to a minute).

    Expert tip: Don't stop stirring while cooking the cream to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

  4. Pour the pastry cream into a clean, shallow dish and remove the vanilla pod. If you see cream lumps, pass the cream through a fine-mesh sieve, or use an immersion blender. Otherwise, omit this step.

  5. Add the softened and well-drained gelatin and mix well. Gelatin must be added with the pastry cream off the heat.

  6. Cover the dish with plastic film on contact. The film must touch the surface of the cream to prevent skin formation. Leave it to cool to room temperature without refrigerating it.

  7. To make the whipped cream, place the bowl of a stand mixer or bol du robot and the whisk attachment in the freezer for 10 minutes. Remove the chilled bowl and beater from the freezer, and pour a very cold cream. Whip it at medium speed into soft peaks; you can use an electric hand mixer if desired.

  8. To make the Diplomat cream, transfer the pastry cream to a clean mixing bowl and whip it for a few moments. Gently fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the pastry cream with a rubber spatula. Then add the remaining whipped cream and gently mix, working in the same direction and lifting the cream from the bottom of the bowl.

  9. Transfer the ready Diplomat cream to a pastry bag with a decorating tip and use it immediately. Or keep it in a closed piping bag in the refrigerator. 


  1. 40 g egg yolks, approximately equal to 2 raw fresh egg yolks from extra large size chicken eggs.
  2. 2 gelatin sheets equal 1 1/4 teaspoon (4 g) of powdered gelatin.
  3. To prevent milk from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan, add a bit of sugar to the empty pan, then pour the milk.
  4. Ensure to cook the pastry cream over low heat, stirring it constantly to prevent burning.
  5. Using the gelatine powder, follow the package instruction for the amount of water needed and the time required to bloom. Then, add the gelatin mixture to the warm pastry cream.
  6. Cover the cream with plastic wrap in contact to prevent skin formation on the surface of the cream.
  7. If the final cream seems soft, refrigerate it for about 1-2 hours before using it.


Keywords: diplomat cream, creme diplomate




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