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Vanilla Cream

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Vanilla cream has become a summer ritual for me…it just wouldn’t be summer if I didn’t make my Fresh Fruit Tart filled with this vanilla cream. So when I started my blog I made this gluten free version of vanilla cream.

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Organize for Success – Vanilla Cream

The first step of this dessert does not require a trip to the store. This is a bonus for me if I decide to make it late in the evening. My pantry always has cornstarch and rice flour so I can get started and then refrigerate the custard base overnight.

Step two requires a trip to the store for real whipping cream. The addition of fresh whipping cream, beaten to soft peaks then folded into the custard base, lightens the final dish making it heavenly. The best part is that it is ready to serve as soon as that step is done.

Custard vs Pudding

Everything has a definition but as an everyday cook it’s not too important to me. You can call this pudding if you like. Technically custard is made with eggs and pudding isn’t. This old recipe of mine was called Vanilla Cream which sounds better to me than pudding so I kept the name. Either way pudding, custard and cream all have a silky smooth texture.

Custard and pudding recipes are often thickened with wheat flour so adjustments are required to make them gluten free. I substituted sweet rice flour in my old recipe and this vanilla cream works for me. 

From Everyday to Gourmet for Vanilla Cream

For a gourmet presentation pull out the stem ware. Spoon this creamy dessert over fresh berries in a wine glass or martini glass and voila. You have a beautiful but simple summer dessert when the weather is so hot that baking pastry doesn’t sound like fun.

Of course filling a pre-baked pastry shell with this cream is another obvious gourmet presentation. Covered with fresh fruit and glazed with melted jelly gives you that came-from-a-bakery look. For a more casual dessert try this Fresh Fruit Pizza with your choice of the vanilla cream or the more typical cream cheese filling.

Fresh Fruit Tart
Fresh Fruit Tart
Glazed Fresh Fruit Pizza
Glazed Fresh Fruit Pizza -photo credit Jim Little

But don’t wait, get your kids to help and taste test this vanilla cream right in the kitchen. As soon as it’s finished, served with or without fruit. These are the moments kids remember, eating something they made themselves. Adults can do this too.

Let me know in the comments below if you made this vanilla cream and how it turned out.


1 cup sugar
6 Tbsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp sweet rice flour
3/4 tsp salt
3 cups milk (1%, 2% or homo)
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 cup whipping cream


Combine sugar, cornstarch, sweet rice flour and salt in a medium saucepan.
Stir in milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat whisking as it begins to thicken. Don't over whisk!
Reduce heat and stir until thick, 1-2 minutes.
Cool slightly. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Beat custard until smooth, add vanilla.
In another bowl beat whipping cream to stiff peaks. Fold into custard and refrigerate until ready to serve. Can be served immediately.
Spoon over seasonal fresh fruit or use to fill a tart crust.


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