Old-fashioned cream puffs may appear to be a challenging treat to make, but they’re more straightforward than you think. Cream puff shells are a traditional French recipe, and the recipe for cream puffs is exact if you use our recipe, which we’ll share with you below!
But first things first:
What is a Cream Puff?
Think of a cream puff recipe as a cross between a choux pastry and a meringue. The classic old-fashioned cream puffs are small, round pastries with crispy brown outsides and light insides that explode upon the first bite into the luscious cream filling.
Cream puffs entered Europe in the 1800s. Today, however, there are different recipes for cream puffs available. You can find cream puffs in American bakeries in the form of eclairs or ice-cream puffs, but these are not the same as their French counterparts.
The foundation of the ideal cream puff recipe is light, airy pâte à choux dough made with eggs, flour, and butter. The cream puffs are filled with delectable homemade pastry cream once they’ve been baked and set.
There are different ways to serve cream puffs, but the most popular is by topping them with powdered sugar and an array of toppings such as chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, fruit, or whipped cream.
For today’s cream puff recipe, we’re sharing an easy cream puff pastry recipe with you that will give you the chance to have a go at making cream puffs from scratch and enjoying this classic French pastry.
What Do Old-Fashioned Cream Puffs Taste Like?
The crispy exterior and the creamy, sweet filling of a cream define its flavor. Generally speaking, you should expect a mildly sweet and slightly buttery pastry with a soft and moist texture on the inside.
Old-fashioned cream puffs provide an entirely different experience than what you’d typically expect from a dessert. These are not your typical cupcake or cake that you bake for birthdays and other special occasions. Read our article and find out more easy to make Italian Desserts.
The sweet flavor of the classic French dessert most often combines with the flavors of chocolate, coffee, caramel, or raspberry. Your cream puff experience will vary depending on which filling you decide to use.
There are many variations of cream puffs that boast a variety of fillings and flavor combinations. For example, some people enjoy making red velvet cream puffs using beets, while others like to make James Beard’s chocolate cream puffs, including a double chocolate ganache layer.
FAQs on Cream Puff Dough and The Filling
Q: Can I Make Cream Puffs Ahead of Time?
A: Yes, you can make cream puffs in advance and store them in the refrigerator or freezer for a few hours. Allow the cream puffs to come to room temperature before serving.
Q: What Should I Serve Cream Puffs With?
A: The most common way to serve a cream puff recipe is topping it with powdered sugar and your desired fruit, sauce, or other toppings. In Italy, for instance, you will often find cream puffs served with a dusting of cocoa powder and fresh strawberries.
Q: How Do I Keep Cream Puffs from Sticking to the Pan?
A: Rubbing a bit of butter or oil onto your pastry pan will prevent your cream puffs from sticking as they bake. Make sure to use a nonstick baking mat, parchment paper, or tin foil for this purpose.
Q: What is the Difference Between Eclairs and Old-Fashioned Cream Puffs?
A: The difference between an eclair and a cream puff is the filling. Eclairs are filled with either cream or custard, whereas old-fashioned French cream puffs do not include any type of filling. Instead, they’re filled with pastry cream after baking and then topped as desired.
A Cream Puff Recipe for You!
Today’s cream puff recipe is the perfect one to try if you’re not entirely confident that you can make cream puffs from scratch. We’ve kept the ingredients list short and sweet, but you’ll still end up with delicious puffs that you can fill with pastry cream or any of your favorite toppings.
Old Fashioned Cream Puff Recipe
Time: 115 Minutes
Serving size: 10 Servings
Prep time: 30 Minutes
Cook time: 85 Minutes
Nutritional Facts/Info Per Serving/in Total
Total fat: 0.95 ounces (27 grams)
Saturated fat: 0.53 ounces (15 grams)
Cholesterol: 165 milligrams
Sodium: 260 milligrams
Potassium: 130 milligrams
Total carbohydrate: 0.92 ounces (26 grams)
Dietary fiber: 0 grams
Protein: 0.21 ounces (6 grams)
- Ungreased cookie sheet
- Large bowl
- Electric mixer
- Pastry bag
- Piping nozzle or large star tip (optional)
- Wooden spoon
- 2 1/2 cups water
- ½ margarine or butter
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
Eggnog Fluff Filling (if You Want)
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 package vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix (4-serving size)
- 1 teaspoon rum extract
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- Sugar (powdered)
- 2 cups whipping cream
Peppermint Whipped Cream Filling (If You Want)
- ¼ Cup powdered sugar or granulated
- 5 or 6 drops green or red food color
- 2 Cups whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
Directions to Prepare Puffs
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204.44 degrees Celsius). Combine water and margarine in a 2½-quart (2.37 liters) saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low. Add flour all at once and stir vigorously for a minute with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a ball and leaves the sides of the pan.
- Remove from heat—transfer dough to a large bowl or the mixing bowl of your electric mixer with a paddle attachment. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as you go.
- Drop dough by scant ¼ cupfuls on ungreased cookie sheets.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Shape into puffs when cool.
Directions to Prepare Eggnog Fluff Filling
- Combine milk, nutmeg, vanilla pudding mix, rum extract, and ginger in a large bowl.
- Add whipping cream and beat with an electric mixer at high speed.
- Fill puffs with fluff mixture and dust with powdered sugar, if desired.
- Serve puffs topped with fresh fruit or other toppings (or cover and refrigerate for up to three hours).
Directions for Peppermint Whipped Cream Filling
- Combine powdered sugar and green food color in a medium bowl.
- Add whipping cream and peppermint extract, and beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
- If desired, fill cream puffs with peppermint and powdered sugar dust.
- Serve puffs immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to four hours.
Why Does Our Cream Puff Recipe Work?
This recipe for cream puffs is excellent to add to your repertoire. The dough mixture does not require any chilling, so you can have freshly baked cream puffs in about 90 minutes from start to finish.
The taste and texture of the dough are both fantastic, but what makes this old-fashioned recipe unique is its versatility; You can fill the puffs with almost any flavor of pudding or whipped cream, and they’ll taste great!
If you are looking for a recipe for cream puffs, this is your safest bet. Many of the most popular recipes out there call for ready-made puff pastry or even donut dough. Still, our old-fashioned cream puff recipe uses traditional ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.
Cream Puffs The Italian Way!
Everyone loves cream puffs, so this is one recipe you’ll want to have in your arsenal. It’s simple, delicious, and it won’t let you down!
The best thing about the recipe is that it doesn’t require any unique ingredients or equipment, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t delicious. The dough has a sweet taste and a light, airy texture.
The puffs are perfect for filling with fluff or whipped cream and dusting with powdered sugar, but you could also use your favorite pudding flavors to customize the recipe for any occasion.
These pastries can be eaten right after baking or filled ahead of time and served at a party- just place them in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve them. Of course, it’s best to serve the puffs fresh, but they will generally last for a couple of hours if stored in an airtight container.
Did you find our old-fashioned cream puff recipe easy to follow? If you have any questions or comments, please let us know!