Creme mousseline is a traditional French pastry cream with added butter than is often used on fresh fruit tarts and in pastries. My dairy free version is just as rich and decadent and surprisingly easy to make. If you are looking for an alternative to buttercream for your cakes and cupcakes or a simple filling for pastries, this dairy free creme mousseline cream recipe is for you.
Why I Made this Recipe
I tried this cream for the first time in 2021, as part of the Great British Bake Off challenge which I took part in to replicate the challenges from Season 12 of the show. I used it in my dairy free Sable Breton recipe and we all agreed that this cream is so amazing that it deserves its own post. To watch a step by step tutorial for this cream, check out my Sable Breton bake along video.
Why You Should Make It
This is an excellent filling to use in pastries and also as a topping for fruit tarts or in light sponge cakes and cupcakes when you don’t want to use a traditional buttercream. Firm yet silky, sweet and decadent, this recipe will not disappoint. You can even just serve it in a bowl with fresh fruit. Sublime! If you love custard based desserts, you have probably tried this before and will love how easy it is to make.
A little bit about Creme Mousseline
Simply put, this is crème pâtissière with butter whisked into it to add extra creaminess. It is a pipeable airy cream that will hold its shape, although I should mention that it will soften when exposed to heat or direct sunlight. Bear that in mind if you are wanting to serve it outside on a hot summer’s day. For some common questions about this recipe, check out my FAQ section.
Ingredients and Substitutions
This dairy free creme mousseline cream is also a soy free and nut free recipe. Check out my guide for an easy gluten free option.
Milk: I usually use almond milk as my go-to dairy substitute in baking but to ensure this is nut free, I used oat milk. Rice milk, soy milk and nut based milks work equally as well.
Vanilla: I am using my favourite vanilla bean paste in this recipe for an extra pop of flavour. Sub with vanilla extract if you prefer.
Egg: this recipe requires 4 egg yolks. I have not experimented with a vegan alternative for this recipe.
Sugar: I am using fine granulated sugar. If your sugar has a larger grain, I recommend pulsing in a food processor a few times to reduce the size of the granules so that it does not affect the consistency of the cream.
Flour: all purpose flour helps to stabilise and thicken the cream. Sub with gluten free all purpose flour if required.
Butter: the key component of creme mousseline is the addition of butter. I recommend using unsalted plant based butter, preferably from a block, rather than a tub (due to the water content).
How to Make Creme Mousseline Cream
Before starting to make the cream, separate the eggs, saving the egg white for another time, and ensure that the egg yolks and butter are at room temperature.
Making the Custard Base
Add 250 ml milk and 1 tsp vanilla bean paste into a saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Whilst that is heating up, whisk together 4 egg yolks and 50 grams sugar until the mixture is lightened.
Add 35g of all purpose flour to the egg mixture and continue to whisk until smooth.
As soon as the milk has come to the boil, pour it over the egg mixture and whisk it continuously. Do not stop mixing until it is fully combined – otherwise you’ll end up with scrambled egg!
Quickly pour it back into the saucepan and heat through until it boils again. The mixture is already very hot so it will boil very quickly. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes. The creme will thicken as it simmers. Stir occasionally to avoid a skim forming.
At this stage, we have made crème pâtissière, a lovely smooth pastry cream. But we’re not done just yet. We now need to pour the cream back into another bowl to cool it down quickly.
As soon as it’s in the bowl, cover it with cling film. It needs to touch the cream completely to prevent skin from forming on it while it cools. Let it sit on the counter for a few minutes to cool and then transfer it to the fridge where it will chill for an hour until it is set.
Final stage of Creme Mousseline
The main difference between crème pâtissière and creme mousseline is the addition of whipped butter. As soon as the mousseline has set, add the chilled mixture to your stand mixer bowl. I highly recommend using a stand mixer for this stage so that you can easily add the butter while the mixture continues to whip. Add a little bit of butter at a time until the full 100 grams of butter has been incorporated.
Whip it until it forms a really nice airy consistency that is similar to whipped (whipping) cream. And that’s it. Our dairy free creme mousseline cream is ready to use. To watch my tutorial for this cream, check out my Sable Breton bake along video.
Piping Creme Mousseline Cream
For some desserts, you may want to pipe the creme. Here are my top tips to ensure that you can pipe it easily. I recommend bagging up the creme and popping the piping bag in the fridge before you start piping. Chilling the creme allows the butter to firm up again which will make it easier to pipe. I like to use tipless bags for this.
It pipes beautifully and will hold its shape really well. If you do find that the creme is getting a bit soft, pop the piping bag back in the fridge to cool it down again before continuing to pipe. Look how gorgeous it looks on my Sable Breton base. For more on this dessert, check out this recipe post.
Creme Mousseline Questions
The only difference between these two french creams is that creme mousseline has butter whipped into it to create the light and airy consistency.
This recipe makes enough creme mousseline to top an 8 inch fresh fruit tart, with a little bit left over to serve on the side. You could also easily ice 12 cupcakes with it or fill and top a two layer sponge cake.
Absolutely. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Allow to defrost at room temperature before opening and then re-whip it once it has fully defrosted.
If you are not using all of the creme mousseline once it is made, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. It will lose some of its airiness so I recommend re-whipping before using.
For sure! Simply substitute the all purpose flour for a gluten-free all-purpose flour (I recommend Bob’s Red Mill).
Dairy Free Creme Mousseline Cream
One last look at this wonderful pastry cream fresh from the mixer. Can you just imagine eating spoonfuls of this with fresh fruit? Go on, try it. You won’t regret it.
Cream mousseline is a wonderful buttercream alternative that pairs well with the following recipes:
- A wonderful pastry creme to use on a Summer Fruits Sable Breton tart
- Pipe some on my easy vanilla cupcakes
- Use as a decadent filling for my mini Victoria sponge cakes
Dairy Free Creme Mousseline Cream
- 250 ml Plant Based Milk
- 1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
- 4 Egg Yolks (room temperature)
- 50 grams White Sugar
- 35 grams All Purpose Flour
- 100 grams Plant Based Butter (unsalted) (room temperature)
- Gather all equipment and ingredients.
- Separate the eggs, saving the egg white for another time, and ensure that the egg yolks and butter are at room temperature.
- Add 250ml milk and 1 tsp vanilla bean paste to a saucepan. Bring to a boil over a medium heat.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together 4 egg yolks and 50g sugar until the mixture is lightened. Add 35g of all purpose flour and continue to whisk until smooth.
- Pour the vanilla milk in to the bowl with the egg yolk mixture and whisk together until fully combined.
- Quickly pour it back into the saucepan and heat through until it boils again. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes. The creme will thicken. Stir occasionally to avoid a skim forming. At this stage we have made crème pâtissière.
- Transfer the creme into a bowl and lay cling film directly on top of the creme to avoid a skin forming. Allow to cool on the counter then transfer to the fridge for 1 hour until set.
- Once set, transfer the creme base to a stand mixer bowl. Whip with the whisk attachment and add small amounts of butter until the 100 grams of butter is fully combined. The creme mousseline will have a similar consistency to whipped cream.
- NOTE – if you will be piping the creme, add some to a piping bag then chill the bag until needed. This will help the creme hold its shape.
- This recipe makes enough creme mousseline to top an 8 inch fresh fruit tart, with a little bit left over to serve on the side. It is also perfect to use as a buttercream substitute for cakes and cupcakes. See the full blog post for more ideas.
- If you are not using all of the creme mousseline once it is made, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. It will lose some of its airiness so I recommend rewhipping before using.
- Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Allow to defrost at room temperature before opening and then rewhip it once it has fully defrosted.
- For a gluten free option, simply substitute the all purpose flour for a gluten free all purpose flour (I recommend Bob’s Red Mill).
- To watch a step by step tutorial for this recipe, check out my Sable Breton bake along video.
- Nutritional information for individual servings has not been provided for this recipe as there is no specific serving size. Please refer to my individual recipes that use this cream for more accurate information.