Bavarian Cream

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This easy-to-make Bavarian cream is light, airy and delicious and can be flavored with either hazelnut liqueur or served with a fruity raspberry coulis. Both versions make a great dessert that you can easily prepare ahead of time.

Bavarian cream in tall glasses topped with whipped cream and pistachios and Bavarian cream in a small jar topped with raspberry coulis and whipped cream.

This post was originally published on Jan. 06, 2015.

This recipe is adapted from an old cookbook titled The Centennial Collection of Favorite Recipes from Grace Episcopal Church in Paducah KY, Second Edition 1975. The recipe in the book is a Charlotte Russe (a Bavarian cream and ladyfinger cake) and what I did here is take the cream part only and flavor it in two different ways: with hazelnut liqueur and with vanilla and an intensely fruity raspberry coulis.

Both versions taste absolutely amazing and are easy to make.

But let’s start at the beginning:

What is Bavarian cream?

Bavarian cream (also called creme bavaroise) is a light and airy mousse with an egg yolk and sugar base that is set with gelatin.

What makes this dessert light and airy is whipped cream (and in the version here also beaten egg whites) that are folded into the custard.

Because Bavarian cream is thickened with gelatin, no cooking is involved in making it (you do have to heat up the gelatin just a tad, but there is no need to cook the actual custard).

The great thing about Bavarian cream is that you can flavor it with almost anything you can think of and that you can take it into completely different directions, like I did here with the hazelnut and raspberry versions.

But you don’t have to stop there, I actually have more delicious variations of this Bavarian cream recipe here:

Vanilla Cream with Cinnamon-Sugared Cranberries

Almond Orange Mousse with Anise

Lemon Ginger Mousse

Where does Bavarian cream come from and why is it called that?

Bavarian cream has been around for hundreds of years and there are no definite accounts as to who invented it and exactly where and when but the dessert’s origins are most likely (and unsurprisingly) connected to Bavaria. [1]

What is the difference between Boston cream and Bavarian cream?

Boston cream is a cooked custard that is usually thickened with corn starch (or sometimes flour), as opposed to Bavarian cream, which is set with gelatin.

What does Bavarian cream taste like?

In its simplest form, Bavarian cream is a very light and airy vanilla-flavored custard. It can also be flavored with ingredients other than vanilla, such as liqueurs, fruits and fruit juices, nuts, chocolate and more.

Is Bavarian cream gluten-free?

Yes, there is no flour or other gluten-containing ingredient in Bavarian cream.

Is Bavarian cream a custard?

A custard is a mix (sweet or savory) of milk and/or cream and egg yolks that can be thickened in different ways. Bavarian cream is a gelatin-set custard. [2]

Does Bavarian cream contain raw eggs?

Yes, Bavarian cream is not cooked and contains raw egg yolks as well as whipped raw egg whites.

How to make Bavarian cream step by step:

Start this recipe with 1 teaspoon powdered, unflavored gelatin. The gelatin needs to “bloom,” which means that it needs to soak in a liquid for a few minutes. The liquid I used here is simply 3 tablespoons cold water.

A small saucepan with gelatin powder and a small saucepan with gelatin powder and water.

Once the gelatin is sitting in water, you can get to work on the actual custard. Start by whisking 2 egg yolks with 1/3 cup granulated sugar1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (and 2 tablespoons hazelnut liqueur, if you’re making the hazelnut version) by hand. Once the mix is nice and creamy you can set it aside.

Egg yolks, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl and a mixing bowl with those same ingredients being whisked together.

Next, beat the 2 egg whites to stiff peaks, then beat 1/2 cup heavy cream with 1 teaspoon granulated sugar to stiff peaks.

RECIPE TIP: Whip the egg whites first, then use the same beater(s) to whip up the cream. As long as you do the steps in this order, there is no need to clean the beater(s) in between.

Whipped egg whites and whipped cream.

By now the gelatin is bloomed and you can heat it up just enough to dissolve it completely. Whisk the gelatin into the egg mix.

A glass bowl with whisked custard and a saucepan with gelatin dissolved in water.

Quickly whisk in the whipped cream and then the egg whites. Quickly fill the Bavarian cream into individual glasses or a serving bowl and chill it in the fridge for at least one hour.

A large glass bowl with custard and a whisk and two small bowls with whipped egg whites and whipped cream.
Whipped egg whites being whisked into custard in a glass bowl.

How to serve Bavarian cream:

For the hazelnut version, pipe or spoon a small dollop of whipped cream on and sprinkle with chopped pistachios.

For the raspberry version, make the raspberry coulis, drizzle it over the Bavarian cream and top with a dollop of whipped cream and rose petals (if using).

Does Bavarian cream need to be refrigerated?

Yes, Bavarian cream needs to be kept refrigerated.

How to store Bavarian cream:

You have to store Bavarian cream in the refrigerator.

How long does Bavarian cream keep?

You can keep Bavarian cream refrigerated for up to one day.

Is Bavarian cream safe to eat during pregnancy?

No. Bavarian cream contains raw eggs and is therefore not safe to eat during pregnancy.

How to use Bavarian cream:

In addition to making Bavarian cream a stand-alone dessert, you can use it as a filling for cream puffs, donuts and eclairs.

References:

  1. Bavarian Cream, Britannica
  2. Custards, Fine Cooking

Related Post:

Love light and airy mousse desserts? You might also enjoy this White Chocolate Mousse:

Two tall, elegant glasses filled with piped white chocolate mousse.
Bavarian cream in tall glasses topped with whipped cream and pistachios and Bavarian cream in a small jar topped with raspberry coulis and whipped cream.
Print Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Bavarian Cream

This easy-to-make Bavarian cream is light, airy and delicious and can be flavored with either hazelnut liqueur or served with a fruity raspberry coulis. Both versions make a great dessert that you can easily prepare ahead of time.
Prep Time20 mins
Chill Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bavarian cream
Servings: 4
Calories: 330kcal
Author: Recipe adapted from The Centennial Collection of Favorite Recipes from Grace Episcopal Church in Paducah KY, Second Edition 1975

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon powdered, unflavored gelatin
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

For the hazelnut liqueur version:

  • 2 tablespoons hazelnut liqueur, I used Frangelico
  • chopped pistachios as garnish, optional
  • whipped cream as garnish, optional

For the raspberry coulis version:

  • 2 cups frozen raspberries
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • whipped cream as garnish, optional
  • rose petals, optional

Instructions:

  • Put the gelatin along with 3 tablespoons of cold water in a pan. Let sit for 4 minutes.
  • While the gelatin is blooming, whisk the egg yolks with 1/3 cup sugar, vanilla (and hazelnut liqueur, if using) until creamy.
  • Whip the egg whites to stiff peaks, set aside.*
  • In a separate bowl, whip the cream with 1 teaspoon sugar to stiff peaks. Set aside.
  • Heat the bloomed gelatin until just dissolved.
  • Whisk the gelatin into the egg yolk mix.
  • Whisk in the cream.
  • Whisk in the egg whites.
  • Quickly fill the mix into individual glasses or a serving bowl. (Try to work fast, the gelatin will set quickly).

For the hazelnut liqueur version:

  • Garnish with a small dollop of whipped cream and chopped pistachios (optional).

For the raspberry coulis version:

  • Add raspberries, sugar and lemon juice to a saucepan and simmer until the sugar is dissolved and the raspberries are breaking down (about 7 minutes).
  • Strain through a sieve.
  • Let the coulis cool to room temperature, then cover and store in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
  • Drizzle the coulis over the Bavarian cream right before serving. (The coulis will slowly “bleed” into the custard if it sits on it for long, so wait until you serve before drizzling it on).
  • Top with a dollop of whipped cream and a dried or fresh rose petal (optional).

Notes:

*As long as you whip the egg whites before whipping the cream, there is no need to clean the beater(s) in between the two steps.

Nutrition

Calories: 330kcal | Carbohydrates: 38.1g | Protein: 5.6g | Fat: 16.7g | Saturated Fat: 8.5g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 71mg | Potassium: 187mg | Fiber: 4.4g | Sugar: 31.8g | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 0.9mg

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Bavarian cream in tall glasses topped with whipped cream and pistachios.
Bavarian cream in a small jar topped with raspberry coulis and whipped cream.

11 comments

  1. Huy @ Hungry Huy says:

    So instead of including some prop booze in the back you just said ‘screw it’ and just did a boozey feature ay? :)

    Seeing a higher key, cleaner detail photo like this from you is unexpected–in a good way of course. Nice work Nicole!

    • Nicole B. says:

      Ha – exactly! I’ve got a few more bright shots in the works but I’ll be going back to the dark side pretty soon. :)

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