Cream Puffs

02.25.2013

cream puffs

Cream puffs have been one of my favorite desserts since the first time I sunk my teeth into one. The first one I ever had was the kind that you purchase from the frozen section of the grocery store, which someone had brought to a party many, many, years ago. Indeed those actually were quite good, so immediately following that party, I remember going home and searching for a recipe to make them from scratch. The homemade version was of course far better than the store bought version. Since then I’ve tried several recipes and learned a few tips and tricks along the way. The two tips I like best are replacing the traditional all-purpose flour used in the cream puffs with bread flour and replacing one of the whole eggs with two egg whites. The bread flour add more gluten which will allow the use of more liquids and better rise and the egg whites will help dry the actual puffs more.

For these cream puffs I decided to use both a pastry cream and a whipped cream. Normally you’ll see cream puffs stuffed or filled with one or the other but I thought why not use both? Then you get the thick creaminess of the pastry cream and the light fluffiness of the whipped cream all in one. A perfect and dreamy, custard plus cloud-like combo. Also, I do like to mention the shortcut versions if I have tried  and enjoy them, so the cheater version here which is also good (thanks to the use of the cream of course =) if you don’t have time to make the homemade pastry cream: simply combine 1 cup cream, 1 cup milk and 1 (5.1) oz package of instant vanilla pudding mix and stir about 3 minutes. Enjoy!

cream puffs5

Cream Puffs

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Cream Puffs

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 6 Tbsp butter, diced
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (5.4 oz) bread flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • Chocolate sauce (store bought or homemade) or powdered sugar, for topping
  • Pastry Cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • Sweetened Whipped Cream
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 6 Tbsp powdered sugar

Directions

  • Prepare pastry cream according to directions listed. During the last hour of chilling prepare cream puffs as follows. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium saucepan bring water, butter, sugar and salt to a boil. Remove from heat, add in bread flour and mix until well combined. Return to medium heat and continue to cook, stirring mixture constantly until mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Allow mixture to cool for 5 minutes. Stir in eggs and egg whites one at a time, stirring after each addition until combined (You can do this by hand or with an electric mixer. Mixture will seem to separate when adding eggs, continue to stir until it comes together). Drop mixture about 2 Tbsp at a time onto Silpat lined baking sheets, spacing them about 2-inches apart. Bake in preheated oven 25 - 30 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven, transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Once cool, cut into halves then fill with pastry cream, sweetened whipped cream and top with chocolate sauce or dust with powdered sugar. For best results served immediately once filled.
  • For the pastry cream:
  • In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring milk and cream just to a boil. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl whisk together sugar, eggs, cornstarch, flour, and salt until well blended and slightly pale, about 1 minute. Remove saucepan from heat, while whisking pour 2/3 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture and mix until combined, then pour egg mixture into milk mixture in pan while whisking mixture in pan. Return to heat and reduce temperature to medium-low. Cook whisking mixture constantly to prevent curdling, until mixture has thickened (it should be quite thick and feel heavier to stir), about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Press mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a heat proof bowl, cover bowl with plastic wrap pressing directly against surface of pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming, and chill 2 hours or until mixture is cold (do not stir mixture at this point or the starch bonds that have formed will be broken and the pastry cream will thin).
  • For the sweetened whipped cream:
  • In a mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer set on high speed, whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. Stir in powdered sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.
  • Recipe Source: cream puffs adapted slightly from whatscookingamerica, pastry cream - Cooking Classy
http://www.cookingclassy.com/2013/02/cream-puffs/

39 comments

  • Marta: Oh dear these Cream Puffs look so delicious! xx February 26, 2013 at 9:16am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Marta! February 26, 2013 at 8:54pm Reply

  • Shawn @ I Wash…You Dry: These look fantastic Jaclyn! I love the combination of both the pastry cream and the whip cream, it sounds magical! February 26, 2013 at 10:45am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Shawn =)! February 26, 2013 at 2:50pm Reply

  • Kayle (The Cooking Actress): I love that you used pastry & whipped cream! Best of both worlds, I def. need to try! February 26, 2013 at 11:19am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope you do try it it’s amaze. Thanks for your comment Kayle! February 26, 2013 at 2:50pm Reply

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious: Amazing! I would gladly skip lunch and eat a dozen of these! February 26, 2013 at 12:38pm Reply

  • Rachel @ Bakerita: These look phenomenal! Such gorgeous pictures as well. I need to try this – I tried making cream puffs once, and while the puff turned out good, something I did to the pastry creme was weird and they turned out bizarre. Need to try again though!! February 26, 2013 at 3:26pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Rachel =)! March 1, 2013 at 9:29pm Reply

  • Camilla: I love these puffs! In Denmark we often eat them with jam and/or ice cream! It is really delicious, and also one of my favorite desserts! But maybe I should try this American version, it sounds great to fill them with cream! :-D February 26, 2013 at 3:39pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Camilla – I need to try the Denmark version! That sounds delicious with ice cream, I don’t know why I’ve never thought of that. Ice cream is basically my very favorite dessert so to add that to a cream puff with some chocolate sauce – just Heaven. Thanks so much for your comment! February 27, 2013 at 10:19am Reply

      • Camilla: Your welcome, then I think I will try them with chocolate sauce or maybe a caramel sauce! It really sounds good! February 27, 2013 at 11:29pm Reply

  • Sister Spice: My mouth is watering just looking at these…honestly, they do look like they’ll just melt in your mouth! February 26, 2013 at 5:10pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: That is just why I love them – their melt-away goodness =). February 27, 2013 at 10:18am Reply

  • Faith: These look absolutely wonderful. February 27, 2013 at 7:48am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Faith!! February 27, 2013 at 10:16am Reply

  • Wendy: I absolutely adore pastry cream. When no cream puff is available, I could just eat the cream! Your puffs are beautiful! The perfect melt in your mouth holder for the pastry cream :) February 27, 2013 at 4:51pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thank you Wendy! March 1, 2013 at 9:31pm Reply

  • Maria: These look perfect! February 27, 2013 at 8:28pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Maria! I just love your blog =)! Yours and a few others inspired me to start my own, so thanks =)!! February 27, 2013 at 11:30pm Reply

  • Natasha: I remember eating pre-packaged frozen cream puffs as a kid. I bet these homemade ones are miles better. Beautiful photos! February 28, 2013 at 7:35pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Natasha! March 1, 2013 at 9:37pm Reply

  • Justine@cookingandbeer: These are absolutely beautiful!! Almost too good to eat! …almost… March 3, 2013 at 3:23pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Justine =)! March 4, 2013 at 12:45am Reply

  • Jacqueline: These look absolutely heavenly! I fell in love with creme puffs when I was in high school. They are wonderful. Thanks for this recipe. Going to pin it now! March 16, 2013 at 10:21am Reply

  • Lewis Bainbridge: They look lovely, shame i’m no cook like you Jaclyn, mine always come out burnt or crumbly, got any tips to help me? March 22, 2013 at 6:14am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I would recommend that you try a steam bath near the bottom of the oven, also you may want to reduce the oven temperature and bake time a bit from what you’ve cooked them at in the past. Thanks for your nice compliment by the way =). March 28, 2013 at 9:54pm Reply

  • Elizabeth: In the ingredients for the pastry cream, butter is listed, but in the directions it never says to add the butter. I’m just alittle confused. Did I miss something? March 24, 2013 at 10:06am Reply

    • Jaclyn: No, sorry. I forgot that extra 1 Tbsp, just added it. Even when I re-read the recipe 3 times I do still manage to miss adding it to the directions. Thanks! March 24, 2013 at 6:41pm Reply

  • Daisy: After I added the eggs, my mixture came out to be very liquid-y. Too much eggs? :( June 20, 2013 at 3:41pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry to hear that yours was liquidy. This recipe has just a tad more egg than the average choux pastry but it is to add in more egg white to give more lift, so while the batter may seem to be a bit more liquidy it should rise a little bit better. If it is so runny that it just runs along the cookie sheet rather than staying mostly in one place then you can try adding in a litte more flour or next time cooking the batter a little longer before adding in the eggs. Hope that helps! July 5, 2013 at 2:10pm Reply

  • Sandy Martin: Can you freeze them? June 25, 2013 at 12:10pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think that would be fine, but I would freeze the filling and puffs separate. June 26, 2013 at 3:43pm Reply

  • Thea: OMG I LOVE CREAM PUFFS! i was wondering how much cornstarch i am supposed to put in? what does 1/4 c stand for? thanks so much December 17, 2013 at 10:43pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: It’s 1/4 cup, sorry I’ve changed that above. December 22, 2013 at 6:18pm Reply

  • carol: made them. Lookedd georgeous just out of oven then within a min. fell?why? Cooked on parc. paper or any other reason/ March 23, 2014 at 2:11pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: They probably needed to be cooked a little bit longer. Next time you can try cooking at the high temp listed to begin with then you can reduce the heat slightly and cook them longer. I hope that helps! March 23, 2014 at 6:09pm Reply

  • Melissa: Hey Jaclyn! Long time lover of your site, in fact you are my go to; and originally who has gotten me into food blogs (but you’re still my favourite). Just wondering how many puffs this one recipe makes; I don’t see it listed anywhere. Thanks for all your wonderful recipes and adaptations! June 14, 2014 at 9:29am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thank you so much for the compliment Melissa :)! I’m so happy to hear you’ve loved my site!
      If I’m remembering right I think this makes about 20 cream puffs. I hope you love them! July 1, 2014 at 11:32pm Reply

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