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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Supplies to Make Life Easier:
A sauce pan: 1 quart at least, or bigger if you’re making more.
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.
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
- Food Scale
- Sauce Pan
- Lined Baking Sheet
- Pastry Bags and Large Round Tip
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)
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.