Food

Homemade Vanilla Cream Puffs

Cream puffs are one of my favorite desserts!

I’ve heard a lot about how they can be difficult to make, or they take too much time to make at home, but I don’t think that’s the case.

While they do take quite a few ingredients and some time, they are actually pretty easy to put together!

This recipe consists of two recipes, the puff and the filling. I recommend making the filling first so it has time to chill properly while you’re making the puffs.

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vanilla cream puffs

Supplies to Make Life Easier:

A sauce pan: 1 quart at least, or bigger if you’re making more.

A mixer: I strongly prefer my KitchenAid stand mixer, but these can be made with a hand mixer or a wooden spoon.

A piping bag and tip: I love using Wilton piping supplies to make sure my puffs are uniform and to fill them easily. You can also use a zipper bag with a small hole cut in the corner!

Silpat baking liner: Silpat liners make everything so easy and non-stick, and clean up is a breeze. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend grabbing one, they’re good for so many things. Again, this is not a necessity but very nice to have, a parchment paper lined pan works beautifully.

Storage Recommendations:

I store my cream puffs, uncovered, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

You can also make the cream filling ahead of time and store in the fridge for a few days.

If you are storing unfilled puffs, I would recommend storing them in an air tight container at room temperature for no longer than 3 days before filling.

Can I freeze cream puffs? Sure! I have frozen my completed cream puffs for a couple of months. Just pull them out a defrost before serving.

Homemade Vanilla Cream Puffs

Vanilla Cream Puffs

Delicate and lightly sweet cream puffs, filled with a creamy vanilla custard.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Cooling Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Dessert
Servings: 12 Cream Puffs

Equipment

  • Food Scale
  • Mixer
  • Bowls
  • Sauce Pan
  • Lined Baking Sheet
  • Pastry Bags and Large Round Tip

Ingredients

For the Puffs:

  • 1/2 cup butter unsalted (110g)
  • 1 cup water (235g)
  • 1 tbsp sugar (12.5g)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (120g)
  • 4 large eggs room temp

For the Cream Filling:

  • 2 cups whole milk (480g)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp sugar (75g)
  • pinch salt (2g)
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch (25g)
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract (12g)
  • 3 large egg yolks room temp
  • 1 large egg room temp
  • 3 tbsp butter, unsalted room temp (42g)

Instructions

For the Cream Filling:

  • Heat milk in a sauce pan over medium heat until simmering, do not let it boil.
  • While you're waiting for the milk to simmer, add the sugar, vanilla, egg, yolks, cornstarch and salt to your mixing bowl. Whisk it all together on a medium setting until smooth. Set aside until milk is ready.
  • When the milk reaches a simmer, remove it from the heat.
  • Start your mixer back up to a medium speed whisk and slowly stream about 1/3 of your hot milk mixture into your egg mixture. This will temper your eggs so they don't cook when you add them back to the milk mixture and heat.
  • Once your egg mixture is tempered (thoroughly mixed with the hot milk) pour it all into the milk mixture on the stove over medium heat.
  • Heat the custard while whisking continuously. After about 1 or 2 minutes the mixture will start to thicken.
  • Continue to whisk the custard while heating it all the way to a boil.
  • When the custard is boiling, remove from heat and whisk in the butter until fully incorporated.
  • Pour the finished custard into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Make sure the plastic wrap is touching the full surface of the custard to keep it from forming a film.
  • Chill the custard in the fridge for at least a few hours before using.

For the Puffs:

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  • In a large pot, combine butter, sugar, and water. Heat over medium-high heat until boiling.
  • Once it reaches a boil, add all of the flour in and stir quickly until a soft dough forms.
  • When the dough starts to form a ball, remove from heat and continue to stir until completely smooth. Let cool for about 5 minutes before continuing.
  • After 5 minutes, add the dough to your mixer with the stirring paddle attached. Start the mixture on a low speed and add eggs one at a time. Make sure to mix completely between each addition, but be careful not to over mix.
  • Add the dough to a pastry bag with a large round tip, or cut the corner off to make a small round.
  • Pipe the dough into swirled mounds on to a lined baking sheet. Make them about 1 inch in diameter, this batch will make 24 puffs.
  • Place the baking sheet into the preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes.
  • After 25 minutes, remove from the oven and use a toothpick to poke a couple of holes into the sides of the puffs to help release the steam. Return to the oven and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Cool the puffs on a rack until completely cool.

Assembling Cream Puffs

  • When your puffs are cool and your cream filling is chilled, its time to fill!
  • Remove the custard from the refrigerator and add to a pastry bag with a medium round tip, or cut a small piece off of the corner.
  • Use a wooden skewer of a chop stick to poke a small hole into the side of each puff.
  • Carefully insert the tip of your pastry bag into the puff and fill with the vanilla custard until full.
  • When all of the puffs are filled, you can either eat as is, dust in powdered sugar, or my personal favorite, dip the tops in chocolate!
  • These puffs are ready to enjoy immediately, or store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

Related Posts:
Skinny Pumpkin Muffins
Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

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