Almond Pastry Cream Recipe

This almond pastry cream recipe (sometimes called frangipane) is made of five simple ingredients. It can be used as a filling for tarts and other pastries.

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Almond Pastry Cream being spread in a tart shell

What is Almond Pastry Cream?

Almond pastry cream is a simple, creamy mixture for filling tarts and pastries. Originally from France (where it’s called Crème d’Amande or Crème aux Amandes), it is frequently used as a filling for Croissant aux Amandes and in fruit tarts. But perhaps it’s most famous use is in the Gallete des Rois, or King Cakes. King cakes, also nicknamed the Parisienne, are traditionally eaten and served between New Years Eve and Epiphany. But they’re also served throughout all of January–France really has the best seasonal eating calendar, non?

Almond pastry cream has a smooth, fluffy texture and a strong almond flavor that pairs pleasantly with most fruits such as berries, oranges, or stone fruits. While a traditional custard pastry cream is cooked on the stove, almond pastry cream is simply mixed well. However, due to the raw eggs in it, almond cream needs to be baked before it’s consumed. There are several recipes using almond pastry cream linked at the bottom of this post!

Is Frangipane the Same as Almond Pastry Cream?

Frangipane is another popular tart and pastry filling that’s very similar to almond pastry cream. In fact, recipes (particularly by English-speaking authors) will sometimes use the two names interchangeably. However, according to BienManger.com, authentic frangipane is made by mixing almond pastry cream with crème pâtissière, or traditional custard-based pastry cream. So while the recipes are related, they are also distinctly different.

Almond Pastry Cream Long Pin

How to Make Almond Pastry Cream

Almond Pastry Cream is an incredibly simple and easy recipe that’s made and ready to use in about 10 minutes.

The ingredients for almond pastry cream--almond flour, butter, granulated sugar, eggs, and almond extract.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup (165 g) almond flour
  • 11 Tbsp. (155 g) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cups (150 g) white sugar
  • 3 large eggs (150 g)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract (optional)

Directions

  • Begin by placing 11 Tbsp. (or 155 g) of soft, unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (read the notes section if you don’t have a stand mixer).
  • Add in the 3/4 cups (150 g) white sugar to the butter and beat with the paddle attachment on medium-low until the butter and sugar are light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add 1 1/2 cups (165 g) fine almond flour to the butter and sugar mixture and beat until combined
  • Next, mix in the eggs and almond extract (if using) and beat until it is a cohesive, smooth mixture. 
  • The almond paste is now ready to use in a variety of tarts and pastries.
  • Store the almond pastry cream in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
A swirled bowl of fluffy, soft almond cream

Making Almond Pastry Cream with Almond Paste

Almond paste is a premixed paste of almonds and sugar that has a very strong almond flavor that will make your almond cream stand out. It’s a bit of a gourmet ingredient, and I like to use this one from Amoretti in my baking.

If you want to make this almond pastry cream recipe with almond paste, you can substitute 1/2 cup (150 g) of it for the almond flour. The method will change slightly, as you’ll need to cream the almond paste with the butter to break it up and distribute it. Because it is fairly thick, there may be a few stubborn little lumps of almond paste that won’t break down. You can use your fingers or the back of a spoon to smash them and mix them into the butter.

Add the powdered sugar and cream until fluffy, then add the eggs and extract. Your almond cream is now ready to use!

Recipe Notes and Tips

  • You can use blanched or unblanched almond flour for this recipe. Blanched almond flour is white because the skins have been removed from the almonds before grinding. Unblanched almond flour is ground with the skins still on, giving it a brown color. The type of almond flour you use will be reflected in the color of your finished pastry cream.
  • Out of almond flour? You can easily make your own! Simply place 165 grams (about 2 1/2 cups) of sliced almonds in a food processor or blender. Pulse them until they are a very fine, flour-like consistency. Be sure to not grind them too long, since that will create almond butter!
  • If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can definitely make the almond cream recipe with a hand mixer. Follow the same method, but you will want to beat the sugar and butter for an extra minute or two for 5-6 minutes total. Use visual cues to determine when it is fluffy and the sugar is no longer gritty–that means it’s ready for the almond flour.
  • If there is any separation after the almond cream has been in the refrigerator, simply remix it with a hand mixer until smooth and cohesive again.
  • As with any recipe, I recommend measuring your ingredients by weight (with a scale) rather than by volume (with cups/spoons). Measuring with a baking scale (I like this digital scale from Taylor) will give you more consistent, reliable results with your recipes.
  • You can make pastry cream with other nut flours too! Hazelnuts, pistachios, or macadamia flour would all be delicious!

Recipes Using Almond Pastry Cream

  • This almond pastry cream recipe can be used in a variety of dessert, breakfast, or brunch recipes. It’s a great recipe for sparking some creativity in your baking! Here are some recipes using almond cream that you can use as inspiration:

Other Recipes You May Enjoy:

Almond and Fresh Fruit Tart
How to Make Croissants
How to Make Croissants
Baked Chocolate Tart
Baked Chocolate Tart
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Almond Pastry Cream


  • Author: Rebecca Neidhart
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes

Description

This almond pastry cream recipe (sometimes called frangipane) is made of five simple ingredients and works as a filling for tarts and other pastries.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 1/2 cup (165 g) almond flour
  • 11 Tbsp. (155 g) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cups (150 g) white sugar
  • 3 large eggs (150 g)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract (optional)

Instructions

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the soft butter and sugar together until they are well combined and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.

Add in the almond flour and beat until it’s completely combined. Next, mix in the eggs and almond extract, if using, and beat until it is a cohesive, smooth mixture. 

The almond paste is now ready to use in a variety of tarts and pastries. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

  • Category: Dessert and Pastry
  • Method: Mixing

Keywords: almond cream, almond pastry cream, tart filling

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