You're gonna love this cream puff recipe. Irresistible French choux pastry balls are filled with sweet whipped cream and dusted with confectioners sugar. Step-by-step photos teach you how to bake these cream puffs.
There are many reasons I love cream puffs, the first being the crisp pastry against the soft, fluffy whipped cream. The second is how simple but elegant they are. And third, you can prepare all of the components ahead of time and then finish assembly right before serving.
Every time I offer to make cream puffs for a party I get an excited YES response!
Make sure to check out my recipe for chocolate cream puffs too!
Choux pastry is made with a few simple ingredients:
- Salted Butter
- Granulated Sugar
- Whole Milk
- All-Purpose Flour also known as Plain Flour
- Large Eggs
For the filling, we'll just make a simple whipped cream:
- Heavy Whipping Cream. The heavy cream needs to be very cold to whip properly.
- Vanilla Extract. I love the flavor of vanilla but my mom prefers it without so it's up to you if you want to use it!
- Dry Milk Powder. This secret ingredient helps stabilize the whipped cream so it holds it's shape better.
- Confectioners Sugar. You will use powdered sugar to sweeten the whipped cream and also to sprinkle on top of the cream puffs.
You could also fill the choux pastry with pastry cream or ice cream.
Make sure to check out my chocolate cream puff recipe, they're filled with chocolate whipped cream and chocolate ganache.
For ingredient quantities please reference the recipe card below. On the recipe card there is a button for US or M (Metric) measurements.
To view more in-depth information about making choux pastry check out my post on how to make choux pastry.
The good news is you can make the choux pastry dough and fill the piping bag then store it covered in the refrigerator for a few days before using it. You don't even have to stir it again, you can go straight to piping from the pastry bag. I love being able to prep desserts ahead of time.
You could actually bake the choux a day or two ahead of time and store them in an air-tight container. Then to re-crisp them up place the choux pastry on a sheet tray and bake at a low heat of 300F/149C for 5-10 minutes, until the edges are lightly crisp.
Cut the choux pastry in half, I find a serrated knife works best.
I like to use a Wilton 1M piping tip and then fill the choux pastry bottom half nice and high.
Add the top of the choux pastry and dust the top with confectioners sugar.
These are best enjoyed soon after filling the choux pastry. You can make them a couple of hours ahead of time but I do not suggest sooner- the cream will soak the pastry. Keep in mind because of the cream you do not want to store them at room temperature. Covering them and storing them in the refrigerator is best!
Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a couple of days, keeping in mind the pastry will become softer the longer it sits.
How to freeze
Once baked choux pastry can be stored in an air-tight container in the freezer for up to one month. Recrisp the pastry by placing them on a sheet pan and baking at 300F/149C for 5-10 minutes.
More creamy recipes
- Check out my recipe on how to make creme brulee
- Salted Caramel tres leches cake is a cake my family requests every year
- These cream cheese cookies melt in your mouth!
★★★★★ Please let me know if you make this recipe by leaving a star rating and comment below!Print
- 4oz (½ Cup) Salted Butter
- ¼ Teaspoon Salt (Use ½ Teaspoon if using unsalted butter)
- 2 Teaspoons Granulated Sugar
- 2oz (¼ Cup) Whole Milk
- 6oz (¾ Cup) Water
- 125 grams (1 Cup) All-Purpose/ Plain Flour
- 4 Large Eggs
- 16oz (2 Cups) Heavy Whipping Cream
- 2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 4 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar
- 2 Teaspoon Dry Milk Powder
- Confectioners Sugar
- If baking immediately preheat the oven to 415F/204C and line a baking sheet with a Silpat liner or parchment paper.
- In a medium-sized heavy-bottom saucepan add the butter, salt, granulated sugar, water, and milk. Cook over low-medium until the butter has melted. Let the mixture heat up to just before the boiling point.
- Add the flour and use a wooden spoon to beat it in, avoiding splashing the liquid, during this, I usually hold the pot off of the heat while mixing the flour in. Once the flour is combined place back on the heat and cook for a couple of minutes, the mixture will come to a ball. If you were to stick a normal spoon into the dough it would stand up straight without falling over, if the spoon falls over the dough has too much moisture still and needs to cook a little longer.
- Take off the heat and add to the bowl of an electric stand mixer, or if using a handheld mixer use a large bowl. Let the dough cool for 10 minutes.
- Once the dough is cooled add three eggs, one at a time, mixing on medium speed after each addition so the egg is fully incorporated. Make sure to use a spatula to scrape the bottom of the bowl as well. The final egg I whisk it in a bowl and add half of it to the dough. You may need the whole egg you may not depending on your batter and the environment you are cooking in. The dough is ready when it is more of a pipe-able texture if you hold the paddle attachment up and let the dough drip, you will notice it falls into a v shape. The dough is easily moveable and elastic but holds its shape, and has a glossy sheen to it. You can also run your finger down the middle of the batter and the indent you make should hold its shape, not caving in on itself.
- Fit a large piping bag with a large ½" round tip or no tip at all for cream puffs or use a ½" star tip for eclairs and add the dough. At this point, you can cover the tip with plastic wrap and store this dough in the fridge for up to 5 days or bake it immediately.
- When piping for cream puffs or profiteroles I pipe about a 1 ½ inch circle by piping straight down and letting it expand in both height and width. For eclairs, I pipe about a 3-3 ½ inch rectangle. Wet your finger and tap any poking out pastry in, if there are any peaks left out they will burn. Bake for 10 minutes then reduce the temperature to 340F/180C and bake for an additional 18-23 minutes. Do not open the oven door when reducing the temperature. When the choux pastry has baked for 25 minutes total I quickly pull the tray out of the oven and use a sharp knife point or a skewer to prick the shells- this will help release the heat and steam from inside, ensuring the center is dried out. Place the tray back in the oven and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, you want a gorgeous golden brown color.
- When the choux pastry is baked let them cool in the oven turned off and door open for 10 minutes then cool completely on the counter in a draft-free place. You don't want to shock the temperature of the pastries and deflate them, before filling. Store the pastry in an airtight container for up to a day before filling, in my opinion, these taste best the day of. Filled pastries will need to be kept in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
- Place your bowl and whisk in the freezer for five minutes to chill before making the whipped cream.
- Once the bowl is chilled add all ingredients, attach the whisk and beat on medium speed for 3-5 minutes, or until you have stiff peaks. This means the cream will hold its texture, it won't puddle down on its self.
- Use a serrated knife to gently cut the choux pastry balls in half and pipe the bottom shell with a thick layer of whipped cream. Take the top shell and place it on top of the whipped cream and gently press down to stick to the cream. Dust with confectioner's sugar. Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a day or two.
- Prep Time: 25
- Cook Time: 30
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: how to make cream puffs, easy cream puffs recipe
You may also like