Easter bread with pastry cream

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 90
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 bread 1x
  • Category: Brunch
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian


A sweet bread shaped into a crown and filled with the easiest-to-make pastry cream.



1/2 recipe Easter bread

For the pastry cream:

  • 1 cup (240g) whole milk
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (30g) cornstarch
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) butter, room tº


For the dough:

  1. Have ready a buttered ceramic 8-inch pie plate.
  2. Follow the instructions until the dough has doubled in the greased bowl.
  3. Gently punch the dough down and put it on a lightly floured counter.
  4. Flatten it into a disk as you would a pizza, pushing it gently outwards with your fingers, forming a circle. If it refuses to stretch let it rest for a few minutes and try again.
  5. You should have a circle about 2-3 inches larger than the pie plate you’re using.
  6. Carefully transfer the dough to the pie plate, covering bottom and sides and letting the extra dough hang.
  7. Fold the hanging dough onto the inside of the plate and crimp it a bit so it sticks. It will be rustic and not perfect. At least that’s my experience.
  8. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise until slightly puffy, about 30 minutes.
  9. Have the oven preheated at 350ºF /180ºC
  10. Press your fingertips onto the bottom of the dough, like you would a focaccia dough.
  11. You can brush the sides of the dough with an egg beaten with a tablespoon of milk if you like a shiny dough; I leave it as it is.
  12. Put between 1 and 1 1/2 cups of vanilla pastry cream inside and bake for about 40 minutes, until it turns golden and puffs.
  13. The pastry cream will have cooked a bit but not much.
  14. Let cool completely.

For the pastry cream:

  1. Put all ingredients except butter and vanilla in a large glass bowl.
  2. Mix and heat in the microwave on high for 30 seconds. Whisk it and return another 30 seconds.
  3. The first 2-3 times it is still very liquid.
  4. But then it will have cooked a bit. Whisk it well until no lumps remain. It should be very creamy.
  5. Heat it in spurts of 10-15 seconds now, whisking very well each time.
  6. Stop when the cream has thickened.
  7. Add the butter and vanilla and whisk until it is melted.
  8. Immediately put a piece of plastic wrap on top, touching the entire surface. This prevents a thick layer from forming.
  9. Keep refrigerated. Can be made 2 days ahead.
  10. I like to serve it directly from the pie plate, that’s why I use a ceramic one because I like to add a lot of pastry cream.

See note.


If you're making 2 crowns and using the whole of the Easter bread recipe, be sure to double the amount of pastry cream.

I like to serve it in the pie plate, but if you want to unmold it use a springform pan with a removable bottom and only 1 cup pastry cream. Otherwise, you run the risk of the bottom being too weak to contain the cream when it's unmolded.