Easy custard buns with icing and sprinkles

I have made a delicious and easy recipe for these pretty pastry cream filled buns

Besides pastry custard I have filled my pastry Cream filled Buns with raspberry jam and some with dark chocolate chips. I think that it is a great combination with the custard filling.
Fastelavn is a Danish celebration held on the first day of Lent. In the United States, its better known as Mardi Gras. In Denmark it’s only kids who dress up. It is a fantastic tradition where the kids hit on a wooden barrel shaped piñata stuffed with candy and fruit. After this activity it is time for eating these custard filled buns. I like to “dress” my custard buns in beautiful icing and with colorful sprinkles.

In Denmark we have different types of buns for our Fastelavn. This is my take on a recipe! It is very easy to bake together with your kids. I am sure that they will love to add the icing and sprinkles. What kid wouldn’t.

With my recipe for the best custard buns, you will get lovely soft buns tasting soooo delicious. I always use fresh yeast, I think it gives the best and most delicious result.

Easy vanilla custard

If you don’t have the time or feel like making the custard from scratch, you can use a custard powder or perhaps buy a vanilla custard that is already made. Just make sure that you can bake with it. It has to be firm enough or else it will ooze out of your buns.

Ingredients for the best pastry cream filled buns (18 buns)

2/3 cup (150 ml) whole milk
4 tsp active dry yeast (50 g live yeast)
2 eggs
¼ cup (30 g) granulated sugar
4 3/8 cup (550 g) all-purpose flour (fell the dough as you go, it needs to be light sticky and soft)
1 tbsp of vanilla sugar
7/8 cup (7 oz/200 g) butter, room temperature


  • Warm up the milk and transfer it to the stand mixer bowl, mix in the dry yeast and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • Add eggs and sugar.
  • Add vanilla sugar.
  • Attach the dough hook to your stand mixer and add the flour slowly. Sometimes I end up using a little less flour than my recipe says.
  • Cut the butter up into small pieces. Add the butter and mix the dough well until all butter is completely incorporated.
  • Now let the dough rest for 1 hour at a warm cozy place in your kitchen, e.g. oven with only the lights turned on.
  • While the dough is rising it is now time to make the vanilla pastry cream from scratch.

Ingredients for pastry cream

1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
1 tsp vanilla sugar or vanilla bean paste or ½ vanilla pod
3 egg yolks
3/8 cup (75 g) granulated sugar
2 tbsp corn starch


  • If you use a vanilla pod, which should be cut lengthwise and scrape all the vanilla beans out, and mix it with 1 tsp sugar. Warm up the milk in a small sauce pan to a boiling point with both the vanilla pod and vanilla bean.
  • Whisk the egg yolks and sugar white and creamy on your stand mixer. Add the vanilla sugar or vanilla bean paste.
  • Add the corn starch, do not mix.
  • Now add the hot milk while your stand mixer is still whisking.
  • Pour the mixture back into the sauce pan and bring it to a boil while whisking hard with a whisk.
  • Be careful so the pastry cream does not burn in the sauce pan. The pastry cream should not boil too hard but a few bubbles are okay. The pastry cream should begin to thicken.
  • Take the finished pastry cream off the heat and let it cool. It does not need to be completely cold when you are going to use it.

When the dough is done rising

I have chosen to use chocolate chips in my pastry cream filled buns, they will melt when you bake the buns. But you can also use melted chocolate in you buns, it’s up to you. I have also used raspberry jam to give it a bit of freshness.

  • Divide the dough in 2 equal parts. Place one of them back in the bowl.
  • Roll the dough out to one big square, and cut it out to 9 smaller squares.
  • Now take one square and roll it a bit more, since the dough has a tendency to shrink when you cut it. Not too thin though.
  • Put a dollop of jam/chocolate in the middle of each square and 1 tbsp of pastry cream on top. Be aware of you should be able to close off the bun around the filling (see the picture below)
  • Take the 4 corners of each square and pinch them together. The dough is quite soft and sticky so it seals really well. Try to avoid leaks of the filling, though sometimes it happens.
  • Place the bun with the closing downward on a backing sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • The buns should rise for another 30-45 minutes at a warm place.
  • Now prepare the other half of the dough.

 Pastry Cream Filled Buns with raspberry jamPastry Cream filled Buns with dark chocolate

  • Brush the buns with milk or an egg wash.
  • Bake the buns in a preheated oven at 375 F (conventional) for approx. 12 minutes.
  • Let the baked pastry cream filled buns cool completely on a rack.

Have you tried pastry cream filled buns with marzipan ‘remonce’ filling? Mix the shredded marzipan with butter and sugar, place a bit on top of the pastry cream and assemble as described above.

Icing for the custard buns

Make an icing of confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar) and hot water. Using hot water prevents the icing from becoming too runny.


Pour some confectioners’ sugar into a bowl and add the hot water a little at a time. I prefer to use a fork for mixing the icing. Add a bit more hot water if the icing gets too hard. At this step you can add some food color if you like. For icing I use Wilton Icing Colors
The icing colors are liquid and I prefer to use them when I’m going for a lighter color. A liquid icing color can quickly change the consistency of whatever you mix it into, so hold back on the hot water in this case. If you wish a more intense color for your icing I recommend you to use a gel-based food color.

I chose to make both a pretty pink and a cocoa icing for my chocolate pastry cream filled buns. For the cocoa icing you simply

add bit cocoa to your icing. As an icing on the bun I sprinkled some of my favorite Carnival Sprinkles on top. I love all the pretty colours.

Pastry Cream Filled Buns for Mardi Gras

Vanilla cream filled buns

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