Making Diplomat Cream

Diplomat cream is what you use when you want the flavor of pastry cream but in a lighter, fluffier package. It makes an outstanding filling for all sorts of things that aren’t baked afterward (or are only finished in the oven or broiler, like brioche polonaise). The whipped cream it contains can’t take heat.

I know what you’re thinking: just how much whipped cream is in this, Joe? Well that’s up to you. Diplomat cream can be as light as 1-1 pastry cream to whipped cream. My ideal is 2-1 pastry cream to whipped cream. But you can go heavier or lighter as you see fit. I generally go with a less-sweet pastry cream and a slightly sweetened whipped cream, so the overall effect isn’t too sweet. If both components are just barely sweet enough, the finished product will be about perfect. Put the two in a bowl:

Fold gently together.

And bingo, you’re done! Use it right away.

21 thoughts on “Making Diplomat Cream”

  1. Somewhere along the way I got the idea this was called chantilly cream but in a web search I hit your site (go figure) and read that that’s just sweetened and flavored whipped cream. I will have to change what I call my blend of pastry cream/whipped cream or curd/whipped cream. Would the curd/whipped cream mix have a different name?

    1. My wife thought the very same thing for a long time. That it at least had some sort of custard component. Very interesting!

      – Joe

      1. I worked with an Italian pastry chef who always called this Chantilly, so maybe it’s a national thing. The Italians also call croissants ‘brioches’ which I found confusing! As far as I can tell, it goes like this:

        Chantilly = lightly whipped cream with sugar and vanilla

        Creme legere = pastry cream with Chantilly added

        Creme Diplomat = pastry cream with Chantilly, gelatine and liqueur/flavourings

        Creme Bavarois = pastry cream, Chantilly, more gelatine and flavourings

        I guess it doesn’t get you anywhere to squabble over the nomenclature though, each ‘cream’ is individual to the pastry it is included in and the textures you are aiming for lie on a continuum.

        1. Hi Simon!

          That’s very interesting. Indeed, different pastry makers use different components just about everywhere you go. Your taxonomy more or less fits with mine, however. Thanks for the email!

          – Joe

    1. Hi Esther!

      I don’t think it can be bought, but you can make it easily by combining pastry cream and whipped cream together!

      Cheers,

      – Joe

  2. Hi Joe,

    My daughter has requested a vanilla cake with strawberry filling and whipped cream frosting for her birthday. I found a recipe for triple layer strawberry cream cake on Cooks Illustrated but it calls for a whipped cream frosting that incorporates cream cheese to fortify the frosting so that it doesn’t all squirt out when sliced. My daughter doesn’t really like cream cheese flavor, so would this diplomat cream be strong enough to stand up to slicing for a 3 layer cake? Or is there another cream that you would recommend? Thanks!

    1. Hi Deb!

      Diplomat cream will work well for that, actually. It’ll still be softer than the cream cheese version, and may squirt out the sides a little, but it’ll have a nicer flavor that the cream cheese version (I also don’t like cream cheese in my frosting…or anywhere else, honestly).

      Another way to go is gelatin reinforced whipped cream, which is under “Stabilized Whipped Cream” in the Pastry Components menu. Wish your daughter happy birthday for me!

      – Joe

      1. Deb, if you run in to this problem again, or found that the diplomat was too soft, try an italian buttercream recipe. There isn’t any egg yolk, so picky eaters won’t detect much more than the taste of butter, and anything you add (peanut butter, extract, etc.) you can add whipped chantilly cream that’s been stabilized with gelatin to the italian buttercream for a smooth, shiny version of whipped cream icing. 🙂 xox

  3. How can i make chocolate pastry cream or diplomat cream? Adding cocoa powder to the whipping cream does not really provide enough chocolate-y flavour

    1. Mia, there are several ways you can tackle this lovely problem. One way to flavor a diplomat cream is to add melted chocolate to the whipped cream portion. You can do that like this. Another route to the same end is to add chocolate to the pastry cream. I’d add about a quarter cup (0.75 ounce) cocoa powder to the milk and sugar mixture and whisk it steadily as it comes to the boil. Proceed as normal, then whisk about another few ounces of bittersweet chocolate into the finished pastry cream when it’s still hot.

      If you want to go nuts and add chocolate to both the whipped cream AND the pastry cream go right ahead. I won’t tell anyone.

  4. How fortuitous I stumbled on this post!
    Today was my first exposure to Diplomat Cream which was exquisite with perfect texture and taste.

    Though I’ve made pastry cream and stabilized whipped cream, this may be my new favorite.

    Tysvm.

    1. Let me know how it goes, Tysvm! I think you’ll find it easy to prepare — and even easier to eat!

      Cheers,

      – Joe

  5. If I wanted to make a pumpkin flavored creme diplomat is adding & missing about 20% canned pumpkin & spice to the pastry cream a good option. Then add in whipped cream?

    1. Hi Pat!

      Yes you’ll want to add the pumpkin puree to the custard ingredients in the mixing step, then once the pastry cream has completely cooled and firmed in the fridge, blend it with the whipped cream (whipped to stiff peaks). Have fun!

      – Joe

    1. Hi Judy!

      Creme legere means “light cream” in French. In the pastry world opinions differ on exactly what it is and how you make it. For many it’s a lighter version of traditional pastry cream. YOu can achieve such a thing in a couple of different ways. On the one hand you can make pastry cream using less yolks and more whole eggs to reduce the fat, or you can take a standard pastry cream and fold in some whipped cream, in which case you’ll have exactly what this post is about: diplomat cream.

      That said, I’ve also seen baked custards called “creme legere”, so don’t take my word as gospel. It all depends on what the use is. Hope this at least helps!

      Cheers,

      – Joe

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