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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.

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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 when 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 this 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.

TIP – Over whisking any sauce made with cornstarch can result in a watery mess, so just don’t over whisk it. Allow the heat to thicken the sauce.

From Everyday to Gourmet – Vanilla Cream

For a gourmet presentation when the weather is so hot that baking pastry doesn’t sound like fun pull out the stem ware. Here are a few serving ideas:

Then there are some occasions that require a WOW dessert. That’s when I fill a pre-baked pastry shell (homemade or store bought) with this vanilla cream. I cover it with fresh fruit and glaze it with melted jelly to get that came-from-a-bakery look. In the summer I also garnish my desserts with edible flowers from my garden. If that interests you check out this post, How To Use Edible Flowers in the Kitchen.

Fresh Fruit Tart
Fresh Fruit Tart

But don’t wait for the special occasion. 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.

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

More Creamy Dessert Recipes

If you are looking for a custard type recipe that uses egg yolks this Crepe Cake includes a recipe for French pastry cream made with six yolks. It is delicious served in individual glasses with fresh fruit.

Crepe Cake Filled With Pastry Cream
Crepe Cake Filled With Pastry Cream -photo credit Jim Little

When I was a kid we made ‘lemon pie filling’ and it is this luscious Lemon Curd.

Little dishes of fresh berries topped with homemade lemon curd.
Homemade Lemon Curd -photo credit Jim Little

A popular gluten free dessert on restaurant menus is Creme Brulee. If you like it then I think it is the best excuse to buy a fun toy, the kitchen blowtorch.

A spoonful of Creme Brulee
Creme Brulee -photo credit Jim Little

For a more casual dessert try this Fresh Fruit Pizza with a cookie type crust. It is typically served with a stiffer cream cheese filling since there are no sides to hold in a filling like this vanilla cream. But it is a fun dessert and if you like messy then you can try anything on top of it.

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



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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