Cream Pan (Japanese Custard Bread)

Cream Pan (Japanese Custard Bread)

Today, I’m going to be making “Cream Pan.”

One of the most famous Japanese sweet bread loved by all generations.

The traditional recipe is, wrap thick custard cream in sweet dough and bake. 

But in this recipe, bake fluffy sweet bread first, and fill with light custard later on. 

This style is the latest trend you can find at a department store.

When you open the moist bread, the vanilla custard flows over, and when you take a bite, it’s like heaven. 

Cream Pan

Fluffy Sweet Bread filled with Custard
Prep Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 8 pieces


Bread dough

  • 250 g bread dough
  • 30 g sugar
  • 4 g salt
  • 3 g yeast
  • 30 g butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 160 g whole milk

Custard cream

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 60 g sugar
  • 10 g bread flour
  • 8 g corn starch
  • 250 g whole milk
  • 25 g unsalted butter
  • 100 g heavy cream
  • 10 g sugar


Bread dough

  • Mix egg yolk and milk. 
  • Put your flour in a large bowl. Add in salt and sugar and stir to combine. 
    Add in yeast and mix well. 
    The salt and sugar should not to be contacted with the yeast, to avoid de-activating the yeast.
  • Pour in one-third of the egg-milk mixture slowly over the flour mixture.
    Toss to distribute the liquid. 
    When the liquid no longer to be seen, add the rest of the egg-milk mixture in two times. 
  • When the dough starts to form, and every part of the flour is moist, let it sit for 10 mins. Add a little amount of water to dry part if needed.
    The flour soaks up the moisture, and the gluten is relaxed while resting the dough. And the resting makes kneading much more manageable and shorten the kneading time.
  • After 10 minutes, take out the dough onto your working surface, and knead until smooth.
    As I have already said, the dough is sticky, but trust me, you will get the best ever bread. 
    First, spread the dough with your fingers like this, and scrape the dough into one ball. In this step, the gluten will develop faster. Repeat several times and start kneading.
  • Knead the dough like exercising. Draw your navel in, relax your shoulders, use your back muscles, pay attention to move your shoulder blades. 
    After 3 to 4 mins, the dough should be smooth like this.
    Pinch the dough and spread with your fingers, and the dough spread thin like paper, you can add the butter.
  • Spread the dough again, and add the room temperature butter.
    Fold in and start kneading.
    The dough will fall apart at first, but it will come together sooner or later.
    After 2 minutes, the dough comes together again.
    Butter makes the dough soft and flexible and easy to handle.
  • Roll into a ball, with the surface stretching.
    Put it in the greased bowl and cover with a piece of plastic.
    Let it rise at a warm place for 50 to 60 mins.

Custard cream

  • Pour the milk and a half of the sugar in a pot and start cooking on low. 
    Sugar prevents forming the film on the surface. 
  • Separate the yolks from the white. 
    While heating, whisk the egg yolk and the rest of the sugar until fluffy.
  • Add in a pinch of salt, vanilla, flour and cornstarch.
    Mix until well combined.
  • At this time, the milk starts boiling. 
    Turn off the heat and add a little amount of boiling milk. Mix well and add some more milk mixture. Add about a half amount of milk, then get the mixture back to the pot.
  • Turn the heat to medium, stirring constantly.
    When you see the mixture is curdling, stir vigorously until the evenly thicken. Cook a minutes or so after boiling to make a perfectly cooked custard.
    If you don't cook enough, the custard will taste flourly.
  • Add in the butter and mix until smooth.
    Transfer to a clean bowl, and cover with a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the surface, to avoid making film.
    Put it in an ice bath and chill quickly.

Shaping the dough

  • After 50 to 60 mins, the dough becomes double in bulk.
    To test the fermentation goes right or not, dust your finger with flour, and stick into the center of the dough.
    The hall you just made stays as it is, the dough is ready to proceed.
    If the hall shrinks, let it rise more.
    If the dough shrinks, it is over fermented. In this case, you have nothing to do, so proceed in any case. The final product will not the same in the meaning of the aroma and the fluffiness.
  • Take out the dough onto the working surface, and divede into 8.
    My dough weighs 480g in total, so I divede 50g each. 
  • Shape into a ball for the Bench rest.
    Bench rest is the time to relax the gluten, release from the cutting stress.
    Cover with the plastic wrap, let them rest for 5 mins. 
  • Now let's shape into a disk.
    If you have rings for English muffin, grease the inside.
    ※You can make it without the ring.
  • Take one dough and spread it with your palm. Roll out several time to release the carbon dioxide so that the dough can breathe the fresh air. 
    Fold the dough top and bottom, left and right.
    Pinch to seal the end and place the seam side down.
    Spread out to 5 to 6 cm in diameter, then place in a ring.
  • Let them rise for 45 to 50 mins at warm place, until double in bulk.
    Preheat the oven to 170 ℃ (340℉).

 Prepare the custard cream. 

  • Whip fresh cream and sugar until foamy. Do not over whip otherwise the custard will not be soft.
    Pass through the custard a sieve to loosen up and make it even more smooth.
    Add in the heavy cream in 2 to 3 times to loosen the custard.

Bake the dough

  •  After 45 minutes, the dough expand in double in bulk. Carefully brush egg white on the surface.
    Pop in the oven and bake 15 mins. Rotate the tray halfway through.
  • For Cream pan, we bake the bread relatively lower temperature for longer time to get the soft texture.
    Take out from the oven and carefully take out from the mold. Run the tip of the knife around the ring, and take out.
  • Here comes an unusual step for this paticular bread.
    While still hot, cover with plastic wrap, and leave until it comes to room temperature.
    The steam released from the bread is going back to the bread. That makes the bread so moist!
  • Stick a chopstick from the side and make a hollow in the center. Shake your chopstick back and forth. Make sure not to make a hole the other side. 


  • Transfer the prepared custard cream to a piping bag, an 8mm round tip attached. 
    Pipe in 60g of cream or until you are happy.
Keyword cream pan, custard bread, japanese bread, japanese cooking, japanese recipe
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