classic cream puffs recipe


Cream puffs are delightful pastry shells filled with sweet, creamy filling. This recipe includes a simple choux pastry for the puffs and a delicious pastry cream for the filling.


For the Choux Pastry:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs

For the Pastry Cream:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional Toppings:

  • Powdered sugar, for dusting
  • Melted chocolate, for drizzling


Making the Choux Pastry:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine butter, water, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Add the flour all at once and stir vigorously until the mixture forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the pan.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until the dough is smooth and glossy.
  6. Spoon or pipe the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, making mounds about 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the puffs are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Avoid opening the oven during baking.
  8. Cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, cut off the tops or make a small slit in the side for filling.

Making the Pastry Cream:

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk until it begins to steam. Do not let it boil.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and egg yolks until smooth and pale.
  3. Slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to temper the eggs.
  4. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until it thickens and comes to a boil.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract.
  6. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap touching the surface to prevent a skin from forming, and let cool completely in the refrigerator.

Assembling the Cream Puffs:

  1. Fill a piping bag with the cooled pastry cream.
  2. Pipe the cream into the cooled choux pastry puffs, using the slit or filling through the top.
  3. Dust with powdered sugar or drizzle with melted chocolate, if desired.

Enjoy your homemade cream puffs!

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