When you want to serve a treat that will knock their socks off, but also one you can make ahead of time and assemble later, this recipe for Eggnog Pastry Cream Croissants is for you!
I've made and served these delicious eggnog pastry cream croissants for both brunches, and as dessert.
When you want to impress but not stress, then this recipe for pillowy-soft eggnog pastry cream-filled croissants are the perfect solution!
**Please Note - The printable recipe card with detailed instructions, complete ingredient measurements, and nutritional information for making Eggnog Pastry Cream Croissants is available near the end of this post. Or click on the "jump to recipe" button (found above) to be taken directly to the recipe.
The easy ingredient list:
- eggnog (store-bought or homemade)
- whole milk
- egg yolks
- granulated sugar
- pure vanilla extract
- heavy whipping cream
- sliced strawberries
- store-bought croissants
- red and green candied cherries (optional)
- confectioners sugar
Kitchen tools and equipment needed:
- 3-quart heavy bottom saucepan
- mixing bowls (large, medium, small)
- serrated knife (for slicing croissants)
- 13 x 9 baking dish
- measuring cups and spoons
- nutmeg grater (if using the whole nutmeg)
- stand mixer or hand mixer (if making homemade whipped cream)
- paring knife (for cutting the candied cherries and strawberries)
- confectioner's sugar shaker (optional)
Why this recipe works:
If you've never made your own pastry cream because you think it may be difficult, I hope I can take away your misconceptions and show you just how simple it really is to make.
In addition to it being easy, you can even prepare it up to 2 days in advance. and then store it in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it.
Really. It could not be easier!
Can eggnog pastry cream be made in advance?
Yes, you can make it in advance and keep it well covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Can the entire dish be made in advance?
I wouldn't advise it.
I feel as though this recipe for eggnog pastry cream croissants is best assembled only shortly (no more than 3 hours) before serving so the croissants don't get soggy.
Can eggnog pastry cream be frozen?
No. The likely hood of it splitting once thawed is a risk too great to take.
How to make the eggnog pastry cream:
Store-bought eggnog works just fine as long as you doctor it up with a light touch of nutmeg, and maybe a little splash of vanilla.
- Divide 4 eggs, saving the egg whites for another use.
- Place the yolks in a medium bowl along with the sugar.
- Meanwhile, heat the eggnog and milk to a simmer in a saucepan over medium/high heat.
- Whisk the flour and cornstarch into the egg yolk and sugar mixture.
- Add the nutmeg, salt, and vanilla to the egg yolks.
- Stir the egg yolk mixture well to combine.
- Slowly pour approximately 1 cup of the heated eggnog/milk mixture into the egg yolks, stirring constantly.
- Once the 1 cup of the heated milk mixture is combined with the egg yolk mixture, slowly pour the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining heated milk/egg yolk mixture.
- *Note - this is called "tempering" so the egg yolks can slowly increase in temperature, making sure they do not scramble when added to the warm milk mixture.
- Cook the pastry cream over a low heat, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens into a thick cream.
- Remove the pastry cream from the heat and cool slightly before passing the eggnog pastry cream through a sieve to strain out any lumps.
- Once the pastry cream has completely cooled, place a bit of plastic wrap directly on the top of the pastry cream (so a skin doesn't form) and refrigerate for up to two days.
The next steps for filling the croissants with the eggnog pastry cream is a no-brainer.
You can either use store-bought whipped topping to mix with the eggnog pastry cream, or you can make your own whipped cream using heavy whipping cream, a little sugar, and some vanilla extract.
How to assemble the eggnog pastry cream croissants:
- Cut approximately twelve strawberries into ¼" slices.
- Add cold, heavy whipping cream to the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer), and whip on high speed until soft peaks form.
- Add 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla to the whipped cream and stir to combine.
- Add the eggnog pastry cream to the whipped cream and fold gently to combine.
- Use a serrated knife to slice 6 large croissants in half, lengthwise.
- Place the croissant bottoms in a 9" x 13" pan.
- Top the croissant bottoms with the eggnog pastry cream mixture.
- Top evenly with the sliced strawberries.
- Use a paring knife to cut the glazed candied cherries in half.
- Place the top half of the croissants on the pastry cream and strawberry filling and place the halved candied cherries on top.
- Sprinkle the entire top evenly with confectioners sugar and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Have you ever made homemade Croissants?
Years and years ago(back when I was new to blogging) I actually did make my own puff pastry to make this recipe for Pretzel Croissants.
Now before you get too excited, let me warn you that the post is as "old as dirt" and it needs A LOT of work!
However, if you'd like to have a look at the recipe (because it's a good one), I urge you co check it out.
Prepared pastry dough is delicious and a timesaver:
One of these days, I promise, I'm going to attempt making my own puff pastry again and make homemade French croissants.
It's going to have to be when I have plenty of time on my hands, plenty of patience, and plenty of BUTTER!
Impressive (yet easy) recipes using prepared pastry dough:
- BLT PUFF PASTRY TART (not shown)
- Puff Pastry Apple Squares (shown below)
When it's time for dessert, and you want to impress but not spend hours in the kitchen preparing, then these rustic Apple Puff Pastry Squares are just what the dessert doctor ordered.
- SHRIMP COCKTAIL APPETIZER BITES (shown below)
This festive and easy Shrimp Cocktail Appetizer Bites recipe takes only minutes to make, but they look like you slaved for hours. Plus they’re cheap and cheerful which makes them perfect for this (or any) holiday gathering.
- PERFECTLY SWEET LEMON MERINGUE TARTLETS (shown below)
These Perfectly Sweet Lemon Meringue Tartlets are just the right bite when you want just a little something sweet, and a little something sour.
- Eggnog Pastry Cream Croissants (shown below) THIS IS THE PLACE!!
Below is the printable recipe card along with the exact ingredient measurements and nutritional information for making today's easy and delicious holiday eggnog pastry cream croissants.
If you've made this recipe, or are excited to make this recipe, I'd appreciate it if you'd take a moment to leave it a star rating on the recipe card, along with a comment if you're so inclined. Thank you. 🙂
Eggnog Pastry Cream Croissants
To make the eggnog pastry cream;
- 1 cup eggnog store-bought or homemade
- 1 cup milk not skim
- 4 egg yolks
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ¼ cup flour
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the whipped cream: (or use store-bought whipped topping)
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
The remaining ingredients;
- 6 large butter croissants sliced in half
- 12 - 14 large strawberries sliced into ¼" slices
- ¼ cup red and green candied glazed cherries optional
- ¼ cup confectioners sugar
To make the eggnog pastry cream:
- In a medium saucepan, bring the eggnog and milk to a simmer over medium heat.
- Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and sugar. Whisk in the flour, cornstarch nutmeg, salt, and vanilla.
- Slowly pour approximately 1 cup of the heated eggnog mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly.
- Once the cup of heated eggnog is incorporated into the egg yolk mixture, slowly pour the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining heated eggnog mixture.
- Continue cooking the mixture in the saucepan over medium/low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
- Remove the pan from the stovetop and allow to cool slightly before straining the pastry cream through a sieve to remove any lumps.
- Allow the pastry cream to cool completely on the counter and then place a piece of plastic directly on top of the pastry cream before refrigerating. *Note - This pastry cream may be made up to two days in advance of assembling the recipe.
To make the whipped cream:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, whip the heavy cream on high speed until soft peaks form.
- Stir in the granulated sugar and vanilla.
- Using a light hand, gently fold the eggnog pastry cream in with the heavy whipping cream making sure to keep the mixture as light and fluffy as possible.
To assemble the dish:
- Place the bottom of the sliced croissants in a 9" x 13" dish.
- Top the bottom layer of the croissants evenly with the eggnog pastry cream and layer with the sliced strawberries.
- Place the tops of the croissants in place over the pastry cream and garnish with the sliced candied cherries (optional).
- Sprinkle the top evenly with a light dusting of confectioners sugar.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
9" x 13" casserole dish
I sincerely hope you've enjoyed this easy yet festive and delicious no-bake holiday recipe as I've enjoyed bringing it to you.