Classic Cream Puffs: Yes, You Can Make Them At Home!

classic cream puffs

Okay, guys and gals. I promise you, cream puffs are NOT as hard to make as they seem! For such a poofy little treat, cream puffs are certainly intimidating, aren’t they?

Last Easter, we didn’t go anywhere to visit family. So instead, I decided to devote the day to perfecting my homemade cream puff skills and delivering the results to my neighbors. We made a lot of new best friends that day! :)

Cream puffs are really only good the first day. After that, they start to get soggy. So I highly recommend doing a batch when you’re having people over, want to give gifts to your neighbors, or planning a Doctor Who marathon. In other words, make sure you’re prepared to eat them all on the same day you make them.

Cream puffs are essentially made of two components: the pastry “puff” part and the filling. I used mini chocolate chips in filling and brushed the tops with a little melted chocolate to give them a little pizazz. But if you don’t like chocolate (crazy person!), you could just make the more traditional cream puffs. Maybe dust a little powdered sugar on top.

The dough is something called “choux” which is really easy to remember because, as you’ll see on the recipe below, the ratios are 1:1:1:1:1 – one stick of butter, one cup of water, one cup of flour, one cup of eggs, and one pinch of salt. It should be a pretty lose cake-batter-y type of consistency so you can easily pipe into puffs.

This was my first attempt on piping out the puffs:

piping the cream puffs

I know, they look kinda sad, right? I start off trying to swirl like cupcake frosting, but it kind just looks like albino piles of poop. Then I figured out that it was a LOT easy to hold the piping bag steady and let the dough do the work.

But either way, the puffs turned out nice and puffy. See?

cream puffs puffed up

The easier method of piping will give you more round, uniform puffs, but the larger lopsided puffs have character. And in any case…they all taste good!

The filling in not hard, but it does use egg yolks. So, plan to either use the whites in another recipe or cook ’em up in the morning for a tasty egg-white omelet. Don’t forget to congratulate yourself on the healthy breakfast option. It more than makes up for the ten cream puffs you ate the day before. So really, this is a zero-calorie recipe. You’re welcome.

cream for cream puffs

The mini semi-sweet chocolate chips gave these cream puffs a cannoli kind of feel, which I love. White chocolate chips would be good too. Or melt the chocolate first to make a completely chocolate filling. Or add caramel chips. Or sprinkles, which would make them more birthday-cake-y. Yum. The possibilities are endless.

yummy cream puffs

Wait until they’re absolutely cool to fill or the filling will start melting and leaking all over the place. No one wants leaky cream puffs. Trust me. Well, I mean, who are were kidding? I’d still eat it. But leaky cream puffs are certainly not optimal!

Here’s the recipe, with a hat tip going to Fifteen Spatulas for the original recipe inspiration:

Classic Cream Puffs: Yes, You Can Make Them At Home!

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes

Classic Cream Puffs: Yes, You Can Make Them At Home!

While these cream puffs have a lot of steps, the recipe is actually extremely easy to make.

Ingredients

    For the puffs:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 cup eggs (about 5 large eggs)
  • For the cream filling:
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Melt butter and water over medium high heat. Stir in flour and salt and mix constantly for 2-3 minutes until dough has formed and is pulling away from the side of the saucepan.
  2. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add eggs to mixture and combine. This can be done in a blender or food processor, or with a hand mixer. Make sure the eggs are well combined.
  4. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Transfer dough into a pastry bag with large tip and pipe onto cookie sheet in large circles, leaving a few inches between each, as they will puff considerably.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Poke a hole in each puff with a knife to allow steam to escape as they cool.
  7. Combine the 1/2 cup sugar, the egg yolks, and cornstarch in a small bowl. Heat milk over medium-high heat until small bubbles form (right before boiling).
  8. Pour a little of the heated milk into the egg mixture to temper (i.e. bring the eggs up in temperature so they don't scramble), then pour everything into the pan and heat to boiling, stirring constantly.
  9. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt. Allow to cool.
  10. Use a mixer to beat the whipping cream and 2 tablespoons of sugar until whipped cream forms.
  11. When cream has cooled, carefully fold in the whipped cream and chocolate chips with a spatula. Do not over mix.
  12. Add to a piping bag and fill each cream puff.
  13. Brush the tops of the cream puffs with a little melted chocolate if desired.
http://thepintertestkitchen.com/classic-cream-puffs/

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Allison is one of the co-founders here at The PinterTest Kitchen. She also works as a content marketing consultant and freelance writer - find out more at AllisonBoyer.com.

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