Homemade Custard Creams are delightful sugar cookies filled with a custard flavoured buttercream.
These custard creams are a recreation of a favourite sweet biscuit and a favouite childhood treat.
As a general rule, I like making everything from scratch. I’m not a packet-mix snob or anything and I get that packet-mixes can be extremely convenient but I just prefer making things myself. I mean, cooking is my hobby, so I derive enjoyment from it.
Plus, I know exactly what is in the food I make from scratch which is kind of empowering.
All that said, there are some packet-mixes that I’m more than happy to have on hand. I have a grand total of 3 in my pantry – I checked, ha!
- All purpose seasoning (my fave on steaks)
- Custard powder
The last 2, I grew up with and though I could make gravy or custard from scratch (and all purpose seasoning for that matter) sometimes I just want something easy with a flavour I know I love.
(Update: I’ve had a few readers ask “What is custard powder?” It’s literally custard in powder form and you just add milk and sugar, then heat. Voila, you have custard. Maybe it’s just an Aussie thing, but never fear. In the event you can’t find it look for Instant Custard (I found this one on Amazon). Otherwise, I’m fairly confident that a shop bought shelf-stable thick pre-made custard would do the trick. Just use that in place of the custard powder / milk combo. You may need to adjust the amount of sugar in the recipe to taste, as the pre-made custard already contains sugar)
Bring on the custard
I was craving some flavour from my childhood just lately – Custard. I’d never thought until now to add it to buttercream. Oh my, you guys. Custard Flavoured Buttercream. ? It’s genius! The recipe worked perfectly first time.
You may or may not know my favourite type of frosting is Ermine frosting (if you use the little search tool, you’ll find it all over this website). It’s made with a milk and flour base but stick with me, the flour and milk get cooked together to a thick paste then cooled. When this mix is beaten up with butter and sugar the result is soft, luxurious smooth frosting that isn’t so sweet it makes your teeth ache and your belly sore.
See where I’m going with this story. I replaced all of the flour with custard powder.
I meant to take a photo of it but in my excitement to put the cookies together, I might have, maybe forgot to do that. Oops. ?
All you need to know is it is perfect, smooth, custardy buttercream. Sandwiched between two simple sugar cookies, it’s delish.
I baked the cookies for 8 minutes which means they are still just a little soft when cooled. If you would prefer them crispier just cook them a little longer.
Homemade Custard Creams
For the sugar cookies
- 390 g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 115 g butter, room temp
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup icing (powdered / confectioners) sugar
For the custard cream
- 1 ½ tablespoons custard powder (notes 1 and 2)
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup sugar
- 115 g 1/2 cup / 1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon cream or milk (note 1)
For the cookies:
- Preheat the oven to 160C (320F) and line 2-3 large cookie sheets with baking paper.
- Sift together flour & baking powder.
- Beat the butter and sugar until lightened. Scrape sides of bowl. Add the egg and vanilla. Beat well, scraping down the bowl a couple of times until well mixed. Add flour in 3 parts. Keep mixer on low and mix until it comes together as a dough. If it looks too crumbly and isn't coming together, add 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of water until it starts to form big clumps of dough. Be patient. Don't add more water than necessary.
- Bring the dough into a smooth ball and roll out between 2 sheets of baking paper (I cut the dough in half as I find it more manageable to do half at a time). Roll it to about 2-3mm thick. Use a 4cm fluted cookie cutter (or cutter of choice) to cut cookies. Reroll the dough as required but get as many out of each rolled batch of dough as possible.
- Space the uncooked cookies at least an inch (2.5cm) apart and bake for 8 minutes until just starting to turn gold on edges. Remove from the oven and carefully transfer to a cooling rack to cool.
For the custard buttercream:
- In a small saucepan, stir together the custard powder and a little milk until you have a paste. Add the rest of the milk and whisk well until smooth. Add ½ of the sugar and mix well.
- Heat over low heat while stirring constantly to prevent lumps, for around 7 minutes until you have a very thick custard (it should drop off the spoon in dollops). Transfer to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap pressed right onto the surface to stop a skin forming and place in the fridge until cool.
- Once the custard is cool, place the butter and the remaining ¼ cup of sugar in a bowl and beat well, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary until very light and creamy. Add the salt and the cold custard (which should be like a big blob of firm custard) and beat well. Add half the milk or cream and beat until the buttercream is smooth and there are no more sugar grains (this may take around 5 minutes). Add a little more milk or cream as needed to loosen the mix up a little so that you can pipe it.
- Pipe about a teaspoon of buttercream onto the back of one cookie, then sandwich with a second cookie, pressing lightly to spread the buttercream to the edges. Repeat for remaining cookies.
- Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve.
- I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (4 teaspoons = 1 Aussie tablespoon)
- (Update: I've had a few readers ask "What is custard powder?" It's literally custard in powder form and you just add milk and sugar, then heat. Voila, you have custard. Maybe it's just an Aussie thing, but never fear. In the event you can't find it look for Instant Custard (I found this one on Amazon). Otherwise, I'm fairly confident that a shop bought shelf-stable thick pre-made custard would do the trick. Just use that in place of the custard powder / milk combo. You may need to adjust the amount of sugar in the recipe to taste, as the pre-made custard already contains sugar)
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