Custard Vs. Bavarian Cream | What’s The Difference?

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If rich and creamy desserts are more down your alley, then custards must top your list! Another counterpart of custard, bavarian cream, is just as creamy and delicious. Aren’t they the same thing, though? In this article, let us learn about custard vs. bavarian cream! 

Custard vs bavarian cream

Custards are popular everywhere. Moreover, the best part about this treat is that it can also be savory and sweet! But most people prefer the sweet version over the other. However, Bavarian cream has gained less popularity and looks similar to custard. Hence, there is a misconception that they are both the same thing! 

Custard and bavarian cream both have a lovely, thick, and creamy texture, but other than that, they are different. The main difference is that custard is made with eggs and milk, whereas bavarian cream has a base of gelatine and whipped cream. 

It can be quite difficult to tell them apart if they are seen just as they are, side by side. Even some chefs need clarification on the two unless they taste them and figure out the difference. 

So, if you need clarification on the two, do not worry, as this is a very common occurrence. In this article, you will learn in-depth about the differences between a custard and a Bavarian cream, along with a lot of other information. So, let’s get right into it! 

Custard Vs. Bavarian Cream | The Difference Table

The main difference between a custard and a bavarian cream lies in the ingredients and the way they are made. However, some other differences between the two are worth mentioning. Find the details in the given table below. 

Basis Of DifferenceCustardBavarian Cream
IngredientsEgg, yolks, milk, and sugarEgg yolks, milk, sugar, gelatine, whipped cream
Preparation MethodPrepared by thickening over a heat source, then cooledPrepared over a heat source, then gelatine and whipped cream are added
TasteRich and creamySimilar to buttercream
TextureThin and runnyThicker
Serving MethodWarm or coolAlways cool
Paired IngredientsPuddingsFruits, Chocolate

What Is A Custard?

Custards are very common, almost everywhere in the world. If there is one dessert other than cake and ice cream that people know of, it’s a good old custard. So, considering its popularity, many places have started making versions of their own!

Hence, although mostly served as a dessert, there are variations of savory custards at many places! Technically, by definition of custard, they, too, qualify as one. However, most people are used to having the sweeter variant. 

A custard is a dessert made by thickening eggs, yolks, milk, and sugar together over a heat source. It is rich and creamy and is mostly served as a dessert; it is often sweetened with sugar or other sweeteners. 

Another thing about custard is that although it follows this method in any case, the consistency of a custard can be changed just by tweaking the ingredients. A thicker custard works better as it is, whereas custard with a thinner consistency goes best on puddings and other desserts. 

What Is Bavarian Cream? 

Bavarian cream is also quite often known as Creme Bavarois. This is a French dessert if you still need to guess from the name. Now that people have started loving French food, especially desserts, Bavarian cream has become quite popular. 

However, despite its popularity, many people need to learn what this dessert is. To the untrained eye, it can look just like a custard, served uniquely. However, that is far from the truth, and the base of these desserts is very different! 

Bavarian cream is a thick French dessert made by making a thick custard with yolks and folding in whipped cream and gelatine. It is always served cold, and as it has gelatine added to it, it can either be served in a glass or unmolded on a plate. 

Unlike custard, bavarian cream has only one form, the thick one. Custards can be used for a lot of different purposes. However, Bavarian cream is limited because of its consistency and what it is supposed to be like. 

Custard Vs. Bavarian Cream | Differences Between The Two

Earlier with the table, we glanced at the basic differences between custard and bavarian cream, but all in brief. In this section, let’s look at all these differences in detail! 

1. Ingredients

The first and foremost difference between custard and bavarian cream lies in the ingredients used to make them. Of course, they also share some common ingredients, like milk, sugar, vanilla, and egg yolks. 

But, some ingredients set them apart from each other. One such ingredient is whole eggs, vital when thickening a custard. Bavarian cream, on the contrary, does not have whole eggs, even though it is thicker. 

The thick texture comes from whipped cream and added gelatine rather than whole eggs. These also make the bavarian cream light and help with the texture. 

2. Preparation Method

Although they may seem similar, the preparation methods for custard and bavarian cream are quite different. Both these desserts generally start the same way, where custard is made by thickening the ingredients. 

With a custard, all the ingredients are thickened over a heat source, and constant stirring is involved in the process; otherwise, the eggs will likely be overcooked. Once that is done, custard can be cooled in mold and served. 

However, with Bavarian cream, an extra step follows once the custard is ready. This step involves adding some gelatine and folding the custard with whipped cream, which makes Bavarian cream. 

3. Taste

The next difference between custard and Bavarian cream lies in their taste. The first step for them is the same, making them creamy and luscious. However, the differences in ingredients and preparation methods do account for the difference in flavor. 

Custard is generally thickened and then served hot or cold. The main ingredients remain the same once the custard is ready, making it sweet, rich, and creamy in flavor. 

Bavarian cream, however, has a different flavor due to the use of only egg yolks and also the added whipped cream. The whipped cream makes a Bavarian cream light but not rich like a custard. A Bavarian cream tastes quite similar to buttercream. 

4. Texture

Just like the ingredients account for differences in the basic flavor of custard and bavarian cream, they do the same thing with their textures. The thing with custard is that it can have different consistencies. 

Some custards, like a creme Anglaise, are very thin and runny in texture. Even the custards that are supposed to cool down in molds are initially really runny while being poured into the molds. 

Bavarian cream is different. As Bavarian cream uses only egg yolks, the consistency and texture at the beginning are thicker than a custard. Moreover, the addition of whipped cream and gelatine makes it even thicker. 

5. Serving Method

Considering how each of these desserts is made, there are also differences in their serving methods. These differences are brought about by the ingredients, as well as the preparation methods. 

Custards can be served hot or cold, depending on their consistency. If poured over certain desserts, a hot custard works better; in other cases, a cold one tastes rich and delicious. 

However, because Bavarian cream has gelatine and whipped cream added to it, it is exclusively served only cold. It can either be served unmolded on a plate or in a bowl or glass. 

6. Paired Ingredients

The last notable difference between custard and Bavarian cream is the ingredients they are paired with. Of course, custard and Bavarian cream can be enjoyed just as they are. 

But, people often prefer pairing them with other ingredients and desserts. Due to its versatile consistency, custard works well with rich puddings and ice creams and is often paired with nuts and caramel. 

However, Bavarian cream has a very thick consistency and a different flavor. So, it is best paired with some light berries or fruits and, lastly, some good old chocolate. 

Custard Vs. Bavarian Cream | Similarities Between The Two

You learned the differences between these two desserts in detail in the previous section. However, if we keep the differences aside, there are also a few similarities between custard and Bavarian cream, which are mentioned below. 

1. Ingredients

There are some major differences between custard and Bavarian cream ingredients. However, some of the ingredients for the two are the same, which is a major similarity! 

These ingredients are milk, egg yolk, sugar, and vanilla. Four of these ingredients form the base of both these desserts. Then, the rest of the ingredients are added to make these desserts what they are. 

 2. Initial Preparation

Although there are many differences between custard and Bavarian cream in their preparation method, there are also some similarities. The similarities lie in the fact that they are both thickened. 

The first step while making either of these two desserts is the same, meaning they both have a base thickened over a heat source. After that, the rest of the processes are carried out, which make these desserts what they are. 

Top Custard Recipes To Try

Custard is a versatile dessert and comes in various forms and flavors! Some that are truly incredible are as mentioned below. 

1. Fruit Custard

The first and most common way people enjoy their custard is with a bunch of fruits. There are indeed two ways to do so. One way is to make a thin custard and pour it warm or cold over some of your favorite fruits. 

The other method, which is more popular, consists of making a thick custard. Once the thick custard is ready, you can add some cut fruits, let it cool down in bowls, and enjoy it with whipped cream! 

2. Caramel Custard

Another popular way of enjoying a custard is by pairing it with some lovely caramel. For this dessert, there is generally only one way to make it. In most cases, caramel is prepared separately and then poured into molds. 

Once the caramel cools down, a semi-cooked liquid custard is poured and baked. This gives it a creamy and soft texture, followed by the lovely malty flavor of caramel at the base! 

3. Trifle

Another recipe where custard is a commonly used dessert is a trifle. If you have seen the show FRIENDS, don’t worry, this one does not have any “beef saute with peas and onions”! Instead, it is a sweet and fruity paradise. 

A trifle has various layers, each blending well with the rest and providing a distinct flavor. The added custard gives it a creamy and soft texture, which pairs well with the jam, lady fingers, and fruits. 

Top Bavarian Cream Recipes To Try

Here are some amazing variations of Bavarian cream, along with lovely combinations of flavors, that you should try out! 

1. Fruit Bavarian Cream

The first and best way to enjoy Bavarian cream is with some chopped fruits. Bavarian cream’s light and airy texture work well with several fruits. 

However, some that I recommend are berries, any day! Raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries are the best options; it does not matter if they are whole or even in the form of a compote! 

2. Chocolate Bavarian Cream

Another lovely way to enjoy Bavarian cream is to pair it with some good old chocolate. It tastes like a chocolate mousse and lusher and has a better shape. 

In this case, you can indeed use the chocolate of your choice. But dark chocolate works best due to its bitter flavor. The flavor balances out the sweetness of the Bavarian cream, making it a decadent dessert! 

3. Cake Filling

This may seem a little different than others, but it is a good way to enjoy some Bavarian cream! You can add as many flavors as you want to Bavarian cream and then use it as the filling for a lovely cake! 

Here, the fact that Bavarian cream has a texture similar to that of buttercream does help a lot. Another thing that can be done here is not to add gelatine to the Bavarian cream, as that will give it a much better and spreadable consistency. 

Custard Vs. Bavarian Cream | Which One Is Healthier? 

Custard and Bavarian cream are both rich desserts. They both need high-calorie ingredients as the base and, overall, have a lot of empty calories. However, certain ingredients are different between the two. That may make one wonder if the difference in ingredients makes one of them healthier than the other. 

Technically, neither of them is healthier than the other. Both custard and Bavarian cream have a high amount of sugar, egg yolks, and milk. These are usually considered unhealthy; both desserts should be eaten in moderation. 

Custard Vs. Bavarian Cream | Which One Is More Versatile? 

Versatility is generally an important factor in the case of most ingredients. Sometimes, even with certain desserts, you may wonder if they are versatile. In this case, one can be considered more versatile than the other, keeping some factors in mind. 

Custard is much more versatile than Bavarian cream in many ways. Firstly, custard can be served both warm and cold. Then, it can be paired with several other ingredients and desserts, and finally, it can be enjoyed with different textures. That makes it far more versatile. 

Custard Vs. Bavarian Cream | Which One Is Better? 

Is there a way to pick a better dessert? Custard and Bavarian cream are completely different, so it takes work to pick the best. So, it eventually completely depends on you and what you prefer to decide which is better than the other, for you!


Now that we have finally come to an end, I hope you were able to understand all the differences between custard and Bavarian cream. Although they look similar, there are many striking differences between them. This makes them both great, individually, in different ways! 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are custard and Bavarian cream the same? 

No, custard and Bavarian cream are two different desserts. 

Can Bavarian cream be used like a thin and hot custard? 

Since Bavarian cream has gelatin and whipped cream, it can only be used in its usual form. 

Is it necessary to add gelatin to the Bavarian cream? 

No, some Bavarian cream recipes don’t have any gelatin in them! 

Can a cold custard be served in a liquid form? 

A custard of that consistency is called a Creme Anglaise in French. 

Is Bavarian cream French in origin? 

Yes, Bavarian Cream or Creme Bavarois is French in origin. 

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