Some people think Homemade cream puffs or choux pastry is one of those complicated desserts and pastries to make at home.
But in reality, all you need are four ingredients that come together quickly to create one of my family’s favorite homemade dessert.
These cream puffs are light, airy, and full of vanilla custard. They’re easy to make, too! Just follow the recipe below.
Cream puffs are a classic French dessert consisting of a delicate pastry dough filled with sweetened whipped cream or pastry cream. Cream puff shells are made from pâte à choux, also known as choux pastry. It’s a pastry dough made from water, butter, flour, and eggs that can also be used to make other desserts, like eclairs.
How Many Cream Puffs Does this Recipe Make?
- Depending on the size cookie scoop you use, you’ll get anywhere from 12 to 14 cream puffs.
- Do NOT double the recipe. If you need more than the 12 to 14 cream puffs the recipe makes, make the recipe twice…which is exactly what I do every year.
What Filling is Best for the Cream Puffs
We love to fill the baked pastry with vanilla or chocolate pudding. But here are a few other choices:
- Whipped Cream – try my easy Homemade Whipped Cream Recipe.
- Chocolate whipped mousse cream is a favorite.
- Homemade lemon curd.
- Favorite flavor of pudding – we always use vanilla and chocolate pudding. If you are going to use pudding, make sure you only use 1 ¾ cups of milk not the full 2 cups of milk that the package calls for. You want to follow the pudding pie directions on the back of the packages.
- Cannoli cream is another favorite.
- Dust the finished puffs with powdered sugar, and serve them with a dollop of fresh berries. Your guests will be impressed!
For the Cream Puffs:
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup flour
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt; optional
- Melted chocolate; optional to decorate the tops of the cream puffs.
For the Pudding Filling:
- 2 – 3.4 ounce size packages vanilla instant pudding mix; see note below.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- In a saucepan, heat the butter, water and salt over high heat and bring to a rolling boil.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the flour all at once stirring quickly until the dough comes together and forms a ball.
- Let the dough cool for 5 minutes.
- Add the dough to the bowl of an electric mixer. Or you can just use a hand mixer with the dough still in the original saucepan.
- Add the eggs one at a time mixing in between each addition until the dough is smooth and silky. Be careful not to over mix the dough.
- Scoop or spoon the dough onto cookie sheets that have been lined with parchment paper leaving enough room in between each since they will puff up.
- Dampen your finger into a bowl of water and then smooth out the tops of each mound of dough.
- Bake for 15 minutes in a preheated 400 degree oven.
- Then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until they are golden brown.
- Pull the trays out of the oven and using a wooden skewer poke a couple of holes into the sides of each puff. This will allow the steam inside the puffs to escape so they can dry out and bake on the inside.
- Return the trays back to the oven, only turn the oven off, and keep the door ajar for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until they sound hollow when you tap on them. I use my metal kitchen tongs to keep the door ajar.
- Let the puffs cool completely on a baking rack while you prepare the vanilla pudding.
- Prepare the pudding following the directions on the back of the box; only use 1 ¾ cups of milk not the full 2 cups of milk that the package calls for.
- Once the puffs have cooled, slice them open and fill with the pudding.
- Drizzle with melted chocolate or dust with powdered sugar before serving.