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Sweet Vanilla Cream Filled Bourekas

Sweet Vanilla Cream Filled Borekas

Savory cheese or mashed potato filled bourekas are well known around the world by now, but did you know that Israeli bakeries also sell sweet varieties of these flaky treats? 

This version, filled with an indulgent vanilla pastry cream and topped with a snowy layer of powdered sugar, are reminiscent of the ones I used to grab on my way to work in the "big city" (Haifa).

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 16Servings


Vanilla Pastry Cream

  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Few drops almond extract, optional
  • 1 (21-ounce) package frozen all-butter puff pastry, thawed according to package instructions


1. Separate the eggs. Reserve the egg whites for another recipe (these can be frozen) and place the egg yolks in a medium sized bowl. Add the cornstarch to the yolks, and whisk until smooth. Set aside.

2. Bring the cream, milk, sugar, and salt to a light simmer in a large pot. Using a ladle, slowly stream about half a cup of the hot mixture into the egg yolks whilst whisking, to get a smooth mixture.

3. Pour the warmed up egg yolk mixture slowly into the hot cream mixture. Whisk as you pour. Continue to cook the mixture, whisking constantly until the cornstarch flavor has cooked off, and the mixture has thickened into a pudding like consistency, about 3 minutes.

4. Take off the heat and add the butter and extracts. Mix to combine, then push through a fine mesh strainer placed over a medium bowl using a silicon spatula. Cover with a layer of plastic wrap placed directly on the surface of the pastry cream. Let cool to room temperature, then chill in the fridge 4 hours to overnight.

5. Once the pastry cream has cooled completely, form the bourekas: Unroll the defrosted puff pastry dough into a large rectangle. Using a pizza cutter, cut into 8 even rectangles. Pipe a thick line of pastry cream along the bottom third of each rectangle, leaving a half inch seam at the bottom of the dough.

Fold the top half down over the filling and crimp the edges with a fork to secure.

6. Using the back edge of a knife or a plastic dough scraper, mark a line down the center of each bourekas without actually cutting through the dough. This will create a seam that will be easy to cut into after baking.

Save any leftover pastry cream to refill any boruekas that may have leaked a little filling during baking, or to give a more polished look for plating.

7. Place the bourekas on a small parchment paper lined baking tray. Place the baking tray in the fridge or freezer (if you have room) for 30-40 minutes to chill the dough before baking.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 410℉.

7. Bake the boruekas for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool completely, then cut into two along the marked seam and dust with powdered sugar. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.