Fifteen Spatulas

Cream Puffs

Cream Puffs Recipe by @fifteenspatulas

The very first time I had a cream puff, my stepdad was enjoying his day off work by watching some Sunday football…with a big tub of frozen cream puffs in his lap.

(Side note: Is Sunday football + a big tub of cream puffs the “man equivalent” of a ladies night chick flick + a pint of ice cream? Quite possibly).

He held the bucket of golden little puffballs in front of me and after tasting one, I instantly understood why he had the whole bucket out. Cream puffs are “wow delicious.”

Cream Puffs @fifteenspatulas

I call these cream puffs, but you could call them profiteroles just the same, and there are quite a few options for filling them. Some people like ice cream, some people like pastry cream, and some people like straight-up whipped cream.

In the recipe box below I’ve included my recipe for my favorite filling, which is a vanilla pastry cream with whipped cream folded in, but feel free to fill with whatever you’d like. I have a deliciously silky chocolate pastry cream recipe on my site too that I love.

To make the choux dough for our little puffs, first place a stick of butter and water in a pan:

profiteroles from scratch

Melt the two together:

Cream Puffs from Scratch

Dump in a bunch of flour, and get ready to stir like crazy:

Choux Dough Recipe

Using a wooden spoon, stir like mad until the mixture becomes smooth, and the dough falls away from the sides of the pan (which you can see here):

Profiteroles Dough Recipe

Place the dough in a food processor with a bunch of eggs:

Cream Puff Dough in Food Processor

And pulse the mixture until the eggs are incorporated and the mixture is thick, kind of like a super thick cake batter:

Cream Puff Dough Recipe

Pipe the dough into little mounds on a baking sheet:

How to Pipe Profiteroles

And use wet fingers to press down on the tips:

How to Make Cream Puffs

Once they are baked, let them cool completely. Then you can fill them with whatever you want! If you have the right tip you can pipe the filling into the puffs without cutting them open, otherwise I just slice them in half and fill. Honestly I like the look of it better since you can see the filling peeking out.

Profiteroles Recipe

As far as toppings go, I just dipped them with a little melted bittersweet chocolate, and you can top the chocolate with sprinkles, fleur de sel or other fine sea salts, pink peppercorn (if you’re adventurous), and so on. Enjoy!

Cream Puffs

Yield: makes 2-3 dozen puffs, depending on size

Ingredients:

For the choux dough:
1 cup water
1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
5 oz all purpose flour (1 cup)
pinch of salt
4 extra large eggs (or 5 large)

For the pastry cream:
2 cups milk
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
5 egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats.

Place the water and butter in a saucepan and melt over medium high heat. Dump the flour and salt in all at once and stir, on the heat, for 2-3 minutes until the mixture is smooth and the dough falls away from the sides of the pan. Transfer the dough to a food processor and let it cool for five minutes. Then add all the eggs. Pulse the mixture until the dough is smooth and has incorporated the eggs. The dough should look like a super thick cake batter.

Transfer this choux dough into a piping pag and pipe out small mounds of dough, about an inch in diameter, and about 1/2 inch tall. They will puff up considerably and you don't want to make them too tall. Bake for about 25 minutes until the puffs are golden brown, then remove them from the oven and use a knife to poke a small hole into each of the puffs. This will let the steam escape and prevent our puffs from getting soggy. Let them cool completely before filling. That means it's a good time to start making our pastry cream!

Scald the milk in a saucepan over medium high heat (you want to cook the milk to about 180 degrees F, when little bubbles start to form on the side of the pan. This is the stage before a boil). While the milk heats up, whisk to combine 1/2 cup sugar, the egg yolks, and cornstarch. Once the milk has come to the right temperature, slowly dribble the milk into the egg yolk mixture while whisking constantly, then return all of the liquid to the pan. Cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly, for the next minute or two, until the mixture comes to a boil and the mixture thickens up considerably. Remove the pastry cream from the heat and stir in the vanilla and a pinch of salt. Taste and adjust vanilla and salt levels if needed.

If you're adding the whipped cream, let the pastry cream cool completely before you start whipping the cream. To whip the cream, combine the heavy whipping cream and 2 tbsp sugar in a bowl and whip with either a hand mixer or a whisk until it forms soft peaks. Fold this mixture gently into the pastry cream to lighten it. You can now fill the puffs with this mixture. Enjoy!

Recipe is a variation of my Chocolate Eclairs recipe

 

Disclosure: this post contains an Amazon affiliate link.

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Comments

  1. Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen posted on August 19, 2013 at 3:17 pm (#)

    WOW these look gorgeous!! Great job :D

    • Joanne Ozug replied on August 19th, 2013 at 6:06 pm

      Thanks Kristi!

  2. Catherine posted on August 19, 2013 at 3:22 pm (#)

    Can’t wait to try these! They look fabulous!

    • Joanne Ozug replied on August 19th, 2013 at 6:07 pm

      Thanks Catherine, I hope you enjoy them!

  3. Julie Deily posted on August 19, 2013 at 3:24 pm (#)

    I have always always wanted to try to make these!! You’re inspiring me to now!!

    • Joanne Ozug replied on August 19th, 2013 at 6:07 pm

      They’re so easy Julie, you totally should!

  4. Judy P posted on August 19, 2013 at 3:29 pm (#)

    I have been making these (and eclairs) for many, many years without ever having a problem.
    A couple of weekends ago, my husband had seen something that triggered a craving for
    cream puffs. He mentioned it to me and I said, “no problem, those are so easy”. Well, I made a batch that went immediately from the oven into the trash. They didn’t puff at all. They were like solid, nasty hot dough balls.
    I still haven’t a clue what I did wrong. Oven temp was correct, I made sure I didn’t leave any ingredient out. Oh well, it saved us some calories…..maybe it was divine providence.

    • Joanne Ozug replied on August 19th, 2013 at 6:12 pm

      Hi Judy, that’s wild! Well, I guess sometimes weird things can happen when baking. I’ve never had that happen to me…knock on wood!

  5. Jane C posted on August 19, 2013 at 4:23 pm (#)

    These look so good. Can you make them ahead of time, and if so how far ahead? And how do you store them?

    • Joanne Ozug replied on August 19th, 2013 at 6:14 pm

      Hi Jane, the puffs will tend to lose their crispness and get soft as they sit, so if you stored them in an airtight container, maybe you will need to toss them into the oven for a few minutes to dry them out and crisp them again. And I would recommend filling them right before they’re going to be eaten. You can store them for a day at room temperature, or you can freeze them instead (which would last for weeks).

  6. Aly ~ Cooking In Stilettos posted on August 19, 2013 at 5:33 pm (#)

    Those {ice} cream puffs are insanely addictive – I love your take on them and adding the sea salt – genius!

  7. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef posted on August 19, 2013 at 6:32 pm (#)

    We are alike in our cooking – “toss it in with a bunch of eggs.” They’re called profiteroles in Australia but they’ll always feel like cream puffs to me. Yours look like they belong on my plate.

  8. Monica posted on August 19, 2013 at 10:46 pm (#)

    You make these cream puffs look so delightfully cute and delicious. My personal favorite filling would be anything vanilla, as long as served cold! (: Wonderful step-by-step photos too!

  9. Cathy Pollak ~ Noble Pig posted on August 20, 2013 at 9:28 am (#)

    And I have never done this…why? Oh man it looks so easy and my kids would go crazy!!

  10. Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet posted on August 20, 2013 at 9:52 am (#)

    LOVE cream puffs!!! These beauties need to happen soon!

  11. Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies posted on August 20, 2013 at 11:57 am (#)

    I’m always a little intimidated to make cream puffs, but you make it sound easy! I need to try this.

  12. Sarah posted on August 20, 2013 at 7:50 pm (#)

    Mmm…I’ve been wanting to make cream puffs for a very long time. Now I just MUST! :D

  13. Chocolate Lover ^.^ posted on August 20, 2013 at 11:42 pm (#)

    Hi!
    For the food processor step, can I just put it in my stand mixer? Do you think that will be okay? ALso, which attachment would you use, the paddle attachment?
    Thanks!

    ~Chocolate Lover ^.^

    • Joanne Ozug replied on August 21st, 2013 at 9:22 am

      Hi, you can definitely do it in the stand mixer (I would use the whisk), just make sure you add the eggs one at a time instead of all at once, and wait until each egg is incorporated before adding the next. Enjoy!

      • Chocolate Lover ^.^ replied on August 21st, 2013 at 11:53 am

        Okay, thanks!!! :)

  14. elizabeth f posted on August 21, 2013 at 12:04 am (#)

    Cream puffs to me are filled with real whipped cream and sprinkled with powdered sugar like at the Wisconsin state fair . I think they sell about a million of them every summer. Maybe more.

  15. Kiki posted on August 21, 2013 at 9:11 am (#)

    I LOVE cream puffs, and these look delicious! And BTW – hooray! – for the first time since you went self-hosted, your post showed up in my WP reader (I used to get emails only until today).

    • Joanne Ozug replied on August 21st, 2013 at 9:23 am

      HI Kiki, YAY! I had no idea that was an issue. I haven’t done anything new…I wonder what happened!

  16. Crystal @ Simply Playful Fare posted on August 21, 2013 at 12:49 pm (#)

    I had no idea how easy it was to make cream puffs! I’ve got to give these a try. :) Thanks!

  17. Tricia posted on August 30, 2013 at 8:29 am (#)

    How big is the cup of water – amounts please

  18. Jordan posted on September 21, 2013 at 12:49 am (#)

    I absolutely loved your recipe! This was my first time making cream puffs and I doubt I can ever go back to store bought! They were a huge hit with my family who usually doesn’t like sweets. I did use fresh vanilla beans, adding them in with the milk. Other than that I followed everything to a t, which was easy given the very precise instructions! Ill definately be back for more!

    • Joanne Ozug replied on September 21st, 2013 at 10:49 pm

      Hi Jordan, I’m so happy to hear that these cream puffs were a major success for you! And that was very smart to add the fresh vanilla beans, it really takes it to another level if you have some in your pantry. Thanks for letting me know how it went, and happy cooking!

  19. ahlnn posted on September 25, 2013 at 12:49 pm (#)

    wow im really like this kind of cake. this is very very great

    thanks
    and sorry if my english are bad because i’m from indonesia

  20. MS posted on October 19, 2013 at 4:02 am (#)

    Awsome Puffs feels like it will melt in your mouth and I am droolong:). May I please have the cups measurements in Gms as all cups are different sizes and canot weight butter in cup. Thanks as want to try this. God bless u.

  21. Little Girl posted on December 2, 2013 at 4:05 am (#)

    Can you tell me the measurements and the ingredients so it would be easier to prepare everything ahead of time?

  22. jocelyn posted on December 22, 2013 at 3:06 am (#)

    This cream puff recipe is great and the pictures help a lot too. I had to try three times before they turned out perfect. But practice and mistakes help you learn. First i used a blender but no parchment paper( puffed but flat and dark on bottoms), second i used mixer and beaters( dough was runny and they didn’t puff as much), third i used a food processor which i didn’t have till then. (Dough was firmer and they looked as good as store-bought.) Thanks so much for sharing your recipe!

    • Joanne Ozug replied on December 24th, 2013 at 9:14 pm

      It’s interesting to observe the differences in the end result when using different machines, isn’t it? Glad they turned out well!

  23. shannon posted on February 22, 2014 at 6:43 pm (#)

    i just made these and they came out great. i used unbleached white flour and the puffs still had a lot of lift and light texture. this recipe is going in my files for sure!

    • Joanne Ozug replied on February 23rd, 2014 at 11:59 am

      Hi Shannon, I’m thrilled to hear that! I didn’t specify, but I always use unbleached white flour as well. Glad the cream puffs turned out so well!

  24. ennafleur posted on April 20, 2014 at 9:31 am (#)

    hey there! thank you for sharing your recipe! i tried it and it was very helpful. i made a lovely and yummy bunch of them. :D

  25. Matea posted on June 20, 2014 at 4:04 pm (#)

    The cream puffs look delicious! I wish I could try one right now!

  26. mary bruce posted on June 29, 2014 at 2:12 pm (#)

    i love to read your recipes an d your life on the farm I think you are great to do all the things you do on tv write books an d take care of your family I will be reading more so keep posting mary in Irwin pa 15642

  27. Katy posted on September 12, 2014 at 12:08 am (#)

    How many does this recipe make?

    • Joanne Ozug replied on September 12th, 2014 at 8:51 am

      2-3 dozen

  28. Hannah Rae posted on September 15, 2014 at 2:20 pm (#)

    OMG!! I made these the other night and they were totally bomb!!! They turned out awesome!!! Thank you for the recipe share!!!

    -H

    • Joanne Ozug replied on September 16th, 2014 at 10:28 am

      YAY!!!!

  29. Sara posted on September 27, 2014 at 4:04 pm (#)

    I just found your recipe, and tried it out. My house smells yummy as the choux bakes and I’m about to start on my pastry cream filling. Thank you very much for making this recipe so approachable!!

    • Joanne Ozug replied on September 29th, 2014 at 6:32 pm

      Wonderful, hope they turned out well, Sara.

  30. Andrea posted on September 28, 2014 at 4:14 pm (#)

    Hello! I’m definitely baking this, I just have a little doubt, the whipping cream is necessary or can I leave it out?

    • Joanne Ozug replied on September 29th, 2014 at 6:39 pm

      Hi Andrea, the whipping cream is quite substantial here at 1/2 a cup, so leaving it out would affect the texture quite a bit. It will be thicker, and not as light. However, if the pastry cream tastes good to you without the heavy cream, then that’s what matters!

  31. Isabella posted on October 16, 2014 at 11:06 pm (#)

    These look amazing – I am so excited to make them! One question though: how long would they keep at room temperature?? I know some other pastry cream / custard recipes must be refrigerated. Are these ok because you boil it??