Cream Puffs

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Easy Cream Puffs with Pastry Cream are elegant, impressive, and surprisingly simple to make. Dust them with powdered sugar, dip them in chocolate, and don't even think of eating them politely with a knife and fork.

  • Author: Renee Rendall
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 18 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Units Scale

For the pastry cream

  • 1-1/2 plus 1/8 cups whole milk
  • 3/8 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/8 cup corn starch
  • 2 egg yolks

For the pate choux:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs


For the pastry cream

  1. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, combine 1-1/2 cups whole milk, sugar, and salt. Allow it to heat up until it starts to bubble.
  2. While you're waiting for this to happen, combine your remaining 1/8 cup milk with the corn starch in a small bowl. Stir together until dissolved.
  3. Separate your eggs and whisk your egg yolks together in a bowl.
  4. As soon as the milk and sugar on the stove starts to boil, pour in the milk and corn starch mixture while whisking gently. Continue to stir as it thickens. This will take about two minutes.
  5. Scoop out a few tablespoons of the hot milk mixture and gently whisk them in to the egg yolks, then add the egg yolks back in to the pot and continue to whisk gently for another two minutes or so until thickened. The pastry cream should look yellowish, thick and wobbly.
  6. Pour the cream into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, allowing it to actually touch the complete surface of the cream in the bowl. Put this in the fridge to chill for at least two hours. Overnight is fine.

For the pate-choux

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 F (200 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Add the water, butter, and salt to a medium sauce pan over medium high heat. When the water is boiling and the butter is melted, add in the flour. Stir this together with a wooden spoon until it forms one big dough ball and pulls away from the sides of the pan.
  3. Transfer your dough to a bowl with an electric mixer, if you have it. (This can also be done with a wooden spoon and a strong arm.) Turn the mixer on low and add the eggs, one at a time. Allow this to mix for several minutes until the dough is smooth.
  4. Transfer your dough to a pastry bag or zip top bag and snip the tip. Pipe your dough onto your parchment-lined baking sheet in small round dollops, about the size of a ping pong ball.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until puffy and golden brown. Allow puffs to cool completely before filling.
  6. The assemble, open up each puff by cutting about three quarters of the way around the circumference of each puff. There should be a cavity in the middle created by the steam.
  7. Transfer your pastry cream to a pastry bag or zip top bag and snip the tip. Gently lift up the lid on each puff, and squeeze some cream inside. Dust with powdered sugar if you like.
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