Cream Puff Recipe

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You’re going to love this easy recipe for Homemade Cream Puffs made with fresh choux pastry and vanilla custard filling.

Love these easy treats? Be sure to try our Boston Cream Pie next. We made homemade pastry cream and chocolate ganache to feature on our cake.

Cream puff on a white plate filled with custard and topped with powdered sugar.

Why this Cream Puff Recipe is Best

Whenever I visit a nice bakery, it can take me a while to finally decide what to order. So many delicious looking pastries, so little time, you know?

But there’s one treat I can’t ever resist: a Cream Puff.

If I happen to spot one of those puffed pastries stuffed with light sweet cream in the pastry case, you can bet I’m not walking away without one (or three). (same goes for Rice Krispie Treats!)

I like to nibble one with a cup of cold brew coffee, enjoying every bit of flaky choux pastry and cream puff filling.

Today, I’m delighted to show you how to make cream puffs at home. It’s easier than you might think!

What is Choux Pastry

To make cream puffs, you start by creating a type of pastry called “choux.”

Choux pastry is the classic light buttery pastry you think of in many french desserts.

It’s made with only butter, flour, eggs and water and, unlike other kinds of dough, doesn’t have any leavining agents at all.

Because of its high water and fat content it “puffs” as it bakings, creating a light and airy case for the delicious cream puff filling in this recipe.

For these Cream Puffs, I also added just a touch of Vanilla extract to the choux pastry recipe to complement the vanilla cream puff filling.

Step by step photos on how to make individual cream puffs.

Here’s what you need for the Choux Pastry Recipe:

  • Flour
  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Water
  • Vanilla
  • Salt

How to Make Cream Puffs

Make the choux pastry dough.

Bake the pastry.

Spoon (or pipe) the choux dough onto parchment paper into small mounds (15 total).

6 cream puffs on a white serving plate topped with powdered sugar.

What is in Cream Puff Filling

I make my cream puff filling with vanilla pudding mix to make it quick and easy!

Along with the instant vanilla pudding mix, you need heavy whipping cream and additional vanilla extract.

Whisk everything together then refrigerate for an hour OR until the puff pastry shells are baked and fully cooled.

Did you know instant vanilla pudding mix is my “secret” to so many easy recipes? I use it to make Chocolate Chip Cookies extra soft and chewy and it’s the starting point for my Banana Pudding Recipe too.

Two hands holding a powdered sugar cream puff.

How to Assemble Cream Puffs

STEP 1. Slice each pastry in half.

STEP 2. Spoon or pipe the filling into each pastry shell.

STEP 3. Place the tops back on and sprinkle generously with powdered sugar.

Refrigerate the cream puffs until ready to serve!

OPTIONAL: Drizzle chocolate sauce over each cream puff before serving for extra decadence!

Serving Suggestions

Everyone’s jaw will drop when you walk into the room holding a tray of homemade cream puffs!

These treats manage to be both decadent and delicate, making them perfect for birthday parties, an afternoon tea, and dessert.

These are best served the same day of baking.

Chocolate syrup being poured over the top of a custard filled cream puff.

Top your cream puffs with a drizzle of chocolate syrup, or dunk the tops into melted chocolate. This will create a “boston cream pie” style of cream puff! (Mmm, did someone mention Boston Cream Donuts??)

This recipe makes 15 puffs which I found was just right for sharing with my family. We ate them for dessert one night then the kids and I enjoyed a cream puff as an after school treat the next day.

The contrast of light and creamy vanilla pudding with the flaky buttery pastry shell is out of this world. I’ve even been known to eat one of these pastries for breakfast! Served up with a cup of Dalgona coffee!

More Easy Desserts

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Cream Puffs

4.78 from 36 votes
By: Aimee
You'll delight your friends and family with this recipe for Homemade Cream Puffs made with fresh choux pastry and vanilla custard filling.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 15 servings

Ingredients 

For the shell

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the filling

  • 2 small boxes instant vanilla pudding mix 3. 4 ounce each
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream

For the garnish

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • chocolate syrup optional
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Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, add the butter and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. When it begins to boil, remove from heat and whisk in the flour and salt.
  • Pour flour mixture into a mixing bowl and add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in vanilla extract at the end.
  • Spoon (or pipe) the choux dough onto parchment paper into small mounds (15 total).
  • Place in the 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, then, without removing them, lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Cook for an additional 25 minutes. When done, prick the tops with a toothpick to allow the steam to release.
  • Place them back in the oven, turned off, with the door slightly ajar and allow to cool/dry for 15 minutes.
  • Then remove from oven and cool completely before filling.
  • For the filling, whisk together the vanilla pudding mix with the vanilla extract and heavy whipping cream until blended. Refrigerate filling until puffs are completely cooled or for one hour.
  • To assemble, slice each cream puff in half, add filling, place the top back on and sprinkle generously with powdered sugar.
  • Serve cold and enjoy!

Notes

  • Serve with powdered sugar and chocolate syrup!
  • These are best served the same day of baking.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 284kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 102mg, Sodium: 227mg, Sugar: 18g
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!

Make a batch light and flaky homemade Cream Puffs today. You’ll be glad you did–and so will everyone who lives with you!

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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on May 19, 2020

Comments & Reviews

  1. Love the recipe. I do not have time to make traditional pastry cream. Plus I need it to be thicker and not runny so this is perfect. The only thing I do differently is I only use one large box of the pudding not 2 small ones. Also I whipped the heavy cream to stiff peaks and then sprinkled in the pudding as it was mixing. I’m making pumpkin ones so I added a 1/4 a cup of pumpkin puree after all that and just a few splashes of milk to bring it together. Thank you so much for this recipe!!!

  2. do NOT use heavy whipping cream. I have a feeling the author meant to say half and half.
    I used the heavy whipping cream as per recipe…so thick could hardly stir. Added 3/4 cup of milk and 1 more tsp vanilla to get it correct consistency.

    1. We just made these for 4th of July again, we used heavy whipping cream. I’m sure half and half would work as well, but heavy cream works great too.

  3. For everyone saying the filling needs more heavy cream… It does not, cream puffs are supposed to have thick custard like filling. Whip the heavy cream until it doubles in size (the point where it’s just about to turn into whipped cream) then add your pudding mix. Its delicious!

  4. I, too, had never made this before. The closest we had was the frozen ones. Now that I’ve made these (which I thought was way harder than these) I’ll be making these for all my family functions. Delicious!

  5. I made theses a couple months ago and I am making them again today. So easy to make. My Mother made cream puffs when I was young, she had a pudding filling, now days you can’t find them with the pudding just whipped cream, just not the same. I saw this recipe and thought i would give it a try. I am not a baker, but they turned out great 😀 I made the pudding per this recipe it was spot on. Thank You for sharing this recipe.

  6. The cream puffs came out great. My pudding filling seemed too thick and dry. My mom used to use instant pudding with less milk than on package and added refrigerated tub of whipped topping. May try adding it to your recipe using more heavy cream.

    1. It’s best to have the cream puff pastry made the same day, however, it’s fine to make the pudding the day before

  7. 2 cups of heavy cream isn’t enough for the pudding as stated
    In the recipe. Had to add two additional cups

    1. I agree that there needs to be more cream/milk. The pudding powder would not completely dissolve in only the 2 cups. It was so stiff that it couldn’t be stirred or ‘whisked’. I added an additional cup of cream and that helped.

    2. I think there is something wrong with the recipe for the custard. Maybe your supposed to make the pudding first and then add the heavy cream? It’s way too thick

        1. Hi
          I have made cream puffs several times before, but not for a while. Misplaced my recipe which, from what i remember, was very similar to this one. But I’m not sure what i did wrong, because the cream never became thick, very loose and watery. should i have whipped the heavy cream first and then add the pudding and also should I be using a mixer? Thanks

  8. These sound so good and so easy that I think I’ll be making some. Years ago I had a friend who made cream puffs and I always thought they were too fancy & too hard to make. Now I can try it!

  9. I had never made cream puffs before and this recipe was so easy to follow. They turned out delicious!

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