Immerse yourself in the world of Cream Puffs, a classic dessert that exudes elegance and simplicity. This recipe, a cherished French dessert, passed down from my grandmother, promises to delight with its light, airy shells and rich, creamy filling. Each puff is a small work of art, perfect for gracing any table or occasion.

This recipe, handed down from my grandmother, holds a special place in my heart. It’s a connection to my past and a testament to the timeless beauty of simple, well-executed pastries. Making these puffs is not just about following a recipe; it’s about preserving a legacy and sharing a piece of my heritage.

Cream puffs on a plate with one cut in half

The Chemistry of Cream Puffs

The magic of these Cream Puffs lies in the science of baking. The puff shells are a marvel of steam and structure. When the water and butter boil, they create steam, which is then trapped by the flour and eggs, causing the dough to puff up in the oven. The eggs add stability and richness, ensuring that each puff is tender yet sturdy enough to hold the filling. The filling, a whipped blend of heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla, showcases the principle of air incorporation, creating a light yet luxurious cream.

How do you get cream puffs to rise properly?

The key is in the steam created by the boiling water and butter. Ensure your oven is properly preheated to create the right environment for the steam to expand the shells.

Can you make cream puffs ahead of time?

Absolutely! Bake the shells ahead and store them in an airtight container. Fill them with cream just before serving to maintain their crispness.

Cream puffs on a plate with one cut in half

Best way to store cream puffs?

Store unfilled shells at room temperature for up to 2 days. Refrigerate filled puffs, and enjoy them within 24 hours.

Can the cream filling be flavored differently?

Yes, you can experiment with different extracts or even fold in pureed fruits for a unique twist on the classic cream filling.

What is in cream puffs?

Unsalted Butter

Adds richness and its essential in creating the steam for the shells.

All-Purpose Flour

Forms the structure of the puff shells

Eggs

Provide stability and richness to the shells

Heavy Cream

The base of the filling, it whips into a light, airy cream

Powdered Sugar

Sweetens the cream filling subtly

Vanilla Extract

When using pure vanilla extract, as opposed to imitation flavoring, it will add the deep rich flavor that everybody wants in a treat.

Chocolate Chips

Is a form of chocolate. Chocolate chips are not pure chocolate, they are typically made up of cocoa, sugar, emulsifier and vanilla.

Unsalted Butter

Combine to create a smooth, glossy topping that complements the cream perfectly.

Storage Tips

Store unfilled shells in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Refrigerate filled puffs, and enjoy within 24 hours. You can freeze both filled and unfilled shells for up to 1 month. Thaw at room temperature before serving or filling.

Making Ahead

You can make the puffs a day in advance to ensure that you’re not rushed on the day of serving. Store them in an airtight container and fill with cream just before your event for the best texture and flavor.

Cream puffs on a plate with one cut in half

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Why make cream puffs?

Cream Puffs are perfect for any special occasion, be it a family gathering, a formal dinner party, or when you simply want to treat yourself to something exquisite and delightful.

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Cream Puffs

5 from 1 vote
Author: Madison Reid
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 20
This simple cream puff recipe is a tried and true recipe passed down to me from my grandmother.

Ingredients 

Puff Shells

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs

Filling

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Glaze

  • 6 ounces chocolate
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp milk

Instructions

Puff Shells

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter
  • Once melted, add the water and bring the mixture up to a roaring boil
  • After its boiled for a minute, add the sugar and flour. Stir mixture over the heat until the flour has absorbed all of the liquid.
  • Remove from the heat and transfer the batter into a bowl. Allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes.
  • In another bowl, whisk all 4 eggs
  • Pour a bit of the egg mixture into the dough and stir thoroughly. Repeat until all the eggs are mixed it and the batter has come together to form a dough.
  • Spoon the dough into a piping bag with the tip snipped off. Make sure the hole is big enough for you to dip the cream puff shells.
  • On a light metal cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, squeeze your cream puff shell batter into your desired size and shape. Be aware, larger puff shells will take longer to cook and tiny puff shells will cook quicker.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until the puffs are slightly golden. Allow them to cool fully before filling.

Filling

  • In a mixing bowl with a hand mixer or in a standing mixer, add the cream, sugar and vanilla. Mix until combined and then slowly increase the speed of your mixer until you are on high speed. Whip until you reach stiff peak.

Glaze

  • In a microwave safe bowl combine chocolate and butter. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir thoroughly. Repeat. After you microwaved the second time, mix the chocolate until it is fully melted. The bowl has retained heat from the microwave and will continue to warm up your chocolate as you stir. You should not need to microwave for a third time.
  • Add the milk to the mixture and stir until smooth

Assemble

  • Add a Wilton 6 or 6B to a piping bag. Spoon the filling into the bag. Puncture each puff with the tip and squeeze the filling inside. Once the filling starts to push back out of the whole, it is filled. Be careful not of overfill and break your shell.
  • Once the puffs are all filled, dip the top of each puff into the glaze.
  • Place the puffs in an airtight container in the fridge to set and remove when you are ready to serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 265kcal Carbohydrates: 14g Protein: 3g Fat: 23g Saturated Fat: 14g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 6g Trans Fat: 0.4g Cholesterol: 87mg Sodium: 23mg Potassium: 72mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 8g Vitamin A: 718IU Vitamin C: 0.1mg Calcium: 29mg Iron: 1mg

Have you tried this recipe?

I’d love to see it! Follow @_mrs.madi_ on Instagram and tag your photos with #mrsmadi.

Cream puffs on a plate with one cut in half