Beautifully light Cream Puffs are a gorgeous, crowd-pleasing dessert! This stunning confection is also easier to make than you think!
Why We Love This Easy Cream Puff Recipe
- Cream Puffs are not just beautiful, they are also incredibly delicious! Between the crisp pastry shell and the sweet whipped cream filling, it’s no surprise they disappear so quickly.
- This cream puff recipe is very easy to prepare, especially if you make a lot of desserts. You probably have all of the tools you need to make this and if not I have some shortcuts for you, so don’t worry. Everyone can make these puffs!
- French pastries like cream puffs may seem really fancy and like they’re a lot of work, but don’t worry. This cream puff dessert is ready in just over an hour and half of that time is dedicated to letting the pastries cool down.
- Serve this amazing confection at showers, birthday parties, or really any occasion, even a weeknight when you need a beautiful treat after a long day.
Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Cream Puffs
DRY INGREDIENTS: To make these cream puffs you will need all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, and salt. Remember to spoon the flour into the measuring cup rather than scooping, to get the correct amount of flour.
WET INGREDIENTS: You will need unsalted butter, whole milk, and eggs for this recipe. A lot of the pastry flavor comes from the butter, so pick up high-quality butter if you can.
CREAM PUFF FILLING: Gather the heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract, and granulated sugar to make homemade whipped cream to fill the cream puffs.
TOPPING: Powdered sugar is needed to dust the cream puffs before serving. This is technically optional, but it’s a nice touch.
How to Make Cream PuffsJump to Recipe
STEP 1 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a medium saucepan, heat the butter, milk, sugar, and salt to a boil.
STEP 2 Sprinkle in the flour into the pot and stir continuously until the flour is completely mixed in and forms a paste that doesn’t cling to the pan. Put the dough into a mixing bowl and allow it to cool for a few minutes, stirring a couple of times to let the heat escape.
STEP 3 Using a stand mixer, or a mixing bowl and hand mixer, beat one egg at a time into the paste. Mix completely before adding the next egg. When the paste is firm and it sticks up from a spoon instead of sagging, then it’s ready.
STEP 4 Fill a pipping bag, or Ziplock bag, with the paste and pipe the paste in 2-inch mounds, about 1 inch high, on the prepared baking sheet. Be sure to leave about 2 inches of space between each puff. Do not pick up the pipping bag while piping, just let the dough puff up around the tip. Lightly press down any peaks with a wet finger for smooth tops on the puffs.
STEP 5 To create a little steam to help the dough puff up while baking, sprinkle some water on the pan and the dough. Bake the puffs on a lower rack in the oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and bake for 20-25 more, until the puffs are golden brown.
STEP 6 Once out of the oven, poke a hole in the side of each puff with a toothpick or cake tester to release the steam and prevent the inside from getting soggy. Cool the puffs on a wire rack.
STEP 7 While the puffs are cooling, start the homemade whipped cream by first adding heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract to a chilled bowl and beating until bubbly. Slowly add 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar at a time, and beat until thick and creamy. Fill a piping bag with the whipped cream. Slice the puffs in half and pipe the whipped cream into the bottom half of the puff and then place the top on. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.
Tips & Tricks
- Baked puffs can be stored in an airtight container after cooling for up to 1 day before adding the whipped cream filling.
- To make profiteroles, simply use a small piping tip for the choux pastry and bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees F the entire time. (No baking at 400 degrees F).
- You can also top the cream puffs with chocolate if desired. Just dip the tops of the cooled puffs into a bowl of melted chocolate and then let them sit for a couple of minutes so the chocolate sets up.
- Use a ziplock bag with the corner tip cut off for piping the dough and the whipped cream if you don’t have a piping bag.
Cream Puff Recipe FAQ
What is cream puff filling made of?
Cream Puffs and eclairs are typically filled with pastry cream, chantilly cream, or whipped cream. Pastry cream is a thicker, custard type of sweet filling that is easy to make, and made differently than whipped cream and chantilly cream. Whipped cream and chantilly cream are more similar, the main difference being that chantilly cream is much sweeter. Try making your own pastry cream recipe and taste the difference!
Should cream puffs be soft or crispy?
The outside of a cream puff should be golden and crisp, and the inside should be hollow, not doughy, and not feel soggy. This is why poking a hole in the side of the cream puff after removing it from the oven is important- you want to let the steam out to properly create that hollow center and prevent the inside from becoming soggy.
Are eclairs and cream puffs the same?
Eclairs and cream puffs are both made with pate a choux dough, which is a classic French dough. Eclairs are long-shaped confections that contain custard filling and are topped with chocolate. Cream puffs are round and filled with chantilly cream and are usually dusted with powdered sugar. The two may use the same dough but are deliciously different!
Other Recipes You May Like
- Vanilla Sheet Cake
- Peanut Butter Cookies
- Homemade Chocolate Cake Recipe
- New York Style Cheesecake Recipe
- Angel Food Cake from Scratch
- Italian Ricotta Cookies Recipe
- Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, butter, sugar, and salt over medium heat until it begins to boil.
- Add the flour to the saucepan and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the paste starts to look dry and no longer clings to the pan or spoon, about 2 to 3 minutes. Do not overmix.
- Transfer the paste to a large mixing bowl (or stand mixer bowl) and let it sit for 5 minutes. Stirring every couple of minutes to release heat.
- Use a hand mixer (or paddle attachment) to beat one egg at a time into the paste at medium-high speed. Make sure the paste is completely smooth and the egg is incorporated before adding the next one. The paste is ready when it sticks up without sagging on the end of a spoon.
- Use the paste immediately or you can refrigerate for up to 4 hours (no longer) covered in plastic wrap.
- Transfer the paste to a pastry bag fitted with a Wilton 2A piping tip (or similar size tip). Pipe the paste onto the prepared baking sheet in mounds about 2 inches wide and 1 inch high, leaving about 2 inches of space between each one. Do not move the piping tip up as you pipe, just let the paste puff up around it.
- Sprinkle the mounds and the baking sheet with some water. (This helps the choux paste to puff up while baking.)
- Bake on a lower oven rack for 10 minutes. Then reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes until the puffs are golden brown and firm to the touch.
- Transfer the puffs to a wire rack and poke a small hole in the side of each puff with a toothpick or paring knife to release heat and prevent the insides from getting soggy while they cool. Cool completely before filling.
- Add the heavy cream and vanilla to a mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until bubbles form. Slowly add the sugar in 1 tablespoon at a time. Then beat at medium-high speed until thick and creamy.
- Transfer the whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a large piping tip of your choice. (You can use the same one as you did for the puffs if you want.)
- Slice the puffs in half. Pipe the whipped cream onto the cut side of the bottom half and then place the top of the puff back on the whipped cream. Dust with powdered sugar before serving if desired. (The cream puffs are best consumed immediately but can be stored in the refrigerator.)
- The baked puffs can be stored in an airtight container after cooling for up to 1 day before adding the whipped cream.
- To make profiteroles: Use a small piping tip for the choux pastry and bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees F the entire time.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.