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Easy Homemade Cream Puffs Recipe

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This easy cream puffs recipe has a yummy shell filled with delicious vanilla pastry cream. Perfect for your sweet tooth cravings. Dust it with powdered sugar and share it with family and friends. 

tray of cream puffs

I mean what’s not to love about cream puffs. It’s a perfect hand held dessert that fulfills all your sweet tooth cravings.

Cream puffs are made with choux (pronounced shoo) pastry, but don’t let the fancy French name scare you. These are really simple to make at home. It uses simple ingredients that you likely have in your pantry.

There are two components of a great cream puff: the shell and the filling.

Cream Puff Ingredients

  • For the shell
    • ½ cup water
    • ¼ cup butter
    • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
    • 3 eggs
cream puff ingredients
  • For the pastry cream
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 3 egg yolks
    • ¼ cup granulated sugar
    • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
    • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
cream puff pastry filling

You can use any type of filling really, but this recipe uses good old classic vanilla.

Can I make cream puffs ahead of time?

The shells can be made a day or two in advance. Then you can fill the shells on the day of use.

How to store cream puffs?

Unfilled shells can be stored at room temperature. Once filled, the cream puffs are best eaten fresh, however it can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days in an airtight container. You can also freeze filled cream puffs for 2-3 months.

How to defrost?

When ready to eat, place frozen cream puffs in the refrigerator or at room temperature to defrost.

Troubleshooting cream puffs

  • Cream puff shells deflated: This can happen if the cream puff shells are under baked or the oven door is opened too soon and the heat escapes causing a loss of steam and thus inhibiting the rise.
  • Cream puff shells are soggy: If you make the shells ahead of time odds are they have softened a little. You can revive the crunch by placing the shells back in the oven and baking at 325F for about 5 minutes.

Some other great desserts to try:

How to make cream puffs?

For the shell: To a medium pot add water, butter, sugar, and salt. Cook over medium heat until butter is melted.

cream puffs melted butter

Remove from heat, then add flour and stir until well combined and a thin film forms on the bottom of the pot. Allow to cool slightly.

cream puffs flour mixture

Next add the eggs one at a time stirring until well incorporated. When done this will form firm peaks in the dough.

cream puffs dough in pot

Preheat oven to 400F.

Add the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip. Place a silpat or parchment paper on a baking sheet. Pipe the cream puff shells onto the pan in a circle shape being sure not to create peaks at the top of the dough. If this happens wet your fingertip and tap down the peak. Leave about 1 inch between cream puffs to allow space for rising.

cream puffs dough filling a pastry bag
cream puff shells on a baking sheet

Bake for 25-28 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely.

For the pastry cream: To medium pot add milk and vanilla. Heat over medium heat until the milk starts to simmer. Remove from heat and set aside.

cream puff pastry cream

To another bowl add egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch. Whisk until well combined. Then add warm vanilla and milk mixture. Whisk until well combined.

Pour the pastry cream mixture back into the pot that the milk was in and place back on the heat. Stir until the cream begins to thicken.

Once thickened remove from heat and pour into a sieve. Using a spatula or whisk push the pastry cream through to remove any lumps. Once all the cream has gone through add butter and stir until well combined and butter is melted.

Place pastry cream in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, being sure that the plastic wrap is directly on the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a film from forming. Place in the refrigerator and chill for a few hours.

Once pastry cream has chilled transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a round tip.

Cut a small “x” shape to the bottom of the shells and fill with pastry cream. ENJOY!

filling cream puff shells
tray of cream puffs

Cream Puff Recipe

Yield: 1 dozen
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes

This easy cream puffs recipe has a yummy shell filled with delicious vanilla pastry cream. Dust it with powdered sugar and share it with family and friends.

Ingredients

For the cream puff shell

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 3 eggs

For the pastry cream

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Instructions

  1. For the shell: To a medium pot add water, butter, sugar, and salt. Cook over medium heat until butter is melted.
  2. Remove from heat, then add flour and stir until well combined and a thin film forms on the bottom of the pot. Allow to cool slightly.
  3. Next add the eggs one at a time stirring until well incorporated. When done this will form firm peaks in the dough.
  4. Preheat oven to 400F.
  5. Add the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip. Place a silpat or parchment paper on a baking sheet. Pipe the cream puff shells onto the pan in a circle shape being sure not to create peaks at the top of the dough. If this happens wet your fingertip and tap down the peak. Leave about 1 inch between cream puffs to allow space for rising.
  6. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely.
  7. For the filling: To medium pot add milk and vanilla. Heat over medium heat until the milk starts to simmer. Remove from heat and set aside.
  8. To another bowl add egg yolks, sugar, and corn starch. Whisk until well combined. Then add warm vanilla and milk mixture. Whisk until well combined.
  9. Pour the pastry cream mixture back in to the pot that the milk was in and place back on the heat. Stir until the cream begins to thicken.
  10. Once thickened remove from heat and pour into a sieve. Using a spatula or whisk push the pastry cream through to remove any lumps. Once all the cream has gone through add butter and stir until well combined and butter is melted.
  11. Place pastry cream in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, being sure that the plastic wrap is directly on the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a film from forming. Place in the refrigerator and chill for a few hours.
  12. Once pastry cream has chilled transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a round tip.
  13. Cut a small "x" shape to the bottom of the shells and fill with pastry cream. ENJOY!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 112Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 118mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 3g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

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cream puffs

By on June 28th, 2020

About Relle

Aloha, my name is Relle and welcome to my little home on the internet where I like to share all my favorite Hawaiian recipes (and local ones too).

I am a wife, mom of two, and nurse practitioner here in the beautiful state of Hawai’i. I was born and raised in Hawai’i and I am of native Hawaiian descent. In my spare time I love to cook and bake and I have compiled many of my favorite recipes here for you to enjoy.

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6 thoughts on “Easy Homemade Cream Puffs Recipe”

  1. This is great recipe and also added some haupia mix to the pastry cream and topped each puff with melted chocolate…..cocopuffs!

    Reply
  2. I did the pastry mix exactly as in recipe but its runny. I watched the video n looked like butter, sugar n salt n maybe flour was more than what recipe called for?

    Reply
    • Hi Jenifer. No flour in the pastry cream. There is cornstarch. That’s what thickens it. You need to make sure you cook it down until it thickens up then place in the fridge and let it set before use. Did you do that?

      Reply
      • I think Jenifer means the pastry dough – we had the same issue We added more flour to thicken it up so it didn’t just pour through the piping bag, but then the pastry did not rise. What are we missing?

        Reply
        • The pastry dough should be thick enough that it just feels like it will pour out of the pastry bag, but keep its shape when piped. The size of the egg matters as well. If you are using larger size eggs you may be able to cut back to two eggs to get the right consistency. If the pastry didn’t rise there are a few issues that could have happened. Often if the eggs ended up getting cooked in the hot mixture or using too much eggs. If it goes flat it may have been removed from the oven too soon. Hope this helps.

          Reply

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