★★★★★

Cream Puffs

You’ll delight your friends and family with this recipe for Homemade Cream Puffs made with fresh choux pastry and vanilla custard filling.

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

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

STEP 1. Make the choux pastry dough

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.

STEP 2. Bake the pastry

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 the pastry puffs from oven and cool completely before filling.

While the pastry is cooling, get the filling ready.

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

Yield: 15 servings

Cream Puffs

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes

You'll delight your friends and family with this recipe for Homemade Cream Puffs made with fresh choux pastry and vanilla custard filling.

Ingredients

For the shell

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling

  • 2 small boxes (3. 4oz each) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream

For the garnish

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • chocolate syrup, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Spoon (or pipe) the choux dough onto parchment paper into small mounds (15 total).
  5. 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.
  6. Place them back in the oven, turned off, with the door slightly ajar and allow to cool/dry for 15 minutes.
  7. Then remove from oven and cool completely before filling.
  8. 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.
  9. To assemble, slice each cream puff in half, add filling, place the top back on and sprinkle generously with powdered sugar.
  10. Serve cold and enjoy!

Notes

  • Serve with powdered sugar and chocolate syrup!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

15

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 284Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 102mgSodium: 230mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 0gSugar: 18gProtein: 4g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

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

Aimee

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. 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!

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