What can I say? These little desserts are light, airy, simple, creamy, and delicious. They are perfect for a party or a sweet date night in. Share them or don’t! Cream puffs look so hard to make but truly they are so simple! Although, I love the traditional ones, (that are pictures above) my husband, would prefer chocolate on the inside. You can add orange cream to the center and dip them in ganache or make cannoli filling for an Italian night. Any way you decide to make cream puffs, they are so good and the recipe below will show you how simple they are to make! Even for those not too good at baking. Give them a try!
Simple Cream Puffs
Makes approximately 20
- 4 Eggs plus 1 egg mixed for glazing tops
- 1 Stick unsalted butter
- Dash of salt
- 2 tsp Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp Almond extract
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon and nutmeg (optional)
- 1 cup Water
- 1 cup AP flour
- 1 Large box of cook and serve pudding (vanilla)
- 1 1/2 cups Milk
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1 pint Whipping cream
- 1 tsp Confectionary sugar
- 3 tbsp Confectionary Sugar (decoration)
First, in a medium size kettle, pour in the milk, the contents of the pudding packet, and the vanilla. Stir and bring to a boil on medium heat. Once the pudding has thickened, remove from heat and let cool. Transfer the warm pudding into a container with a lid, and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Next, in a large mixing bowl, add the whipping cream and 1 tsp of confectionary sugar and whip on the highest speed. You should only have to whip the cream for about a minute or until a light fluff has formed. If you over mix the whipped cream, it will look like butter. Place the whipped cream into the refrigerator until the pudding is cooled.
Once the pudding is cooled, gently fold the whipped cream into the pudding. This is your filling aka pastry cream. It should be light and fluffy. Put the pastry cream into a zip lock bag and cut a tip off to insert into the bottom of the puff.
For the puff, in a medium pot, melt the butter on medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add in the water, sugar, salt, extracts, spices, and flour. This should make the dough into a tight ball. Remove the pot from the heat and let it stand for 3-4 minutes. Then add the 4 eggs, one by one and stir quickly. This will loosen the dough slightly. (The dough will look like blobs until it is completely mixed) Scoop the dough into a separate zip lock back and cut a tip off to pipe the puffs onto a baking sheet.
The puffs should be about 1 inch by 1 inch and need to be on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Mix up the additional egg and brush on the top of each puff. This will give them a glazed look. Bake the puffs for 28 minutes at 375°. Let them cool for 10 minutes before filling.
Now that the puffs and filling are made, poke a small hole with a butter knife on the bottom of each puff. Take the zip lock, with the filling inside, and slightly press to fill the puff. Once it is filled, you should feel slight pressure to pull it out. Place on a flat surface and sprinkle confectionary sugar on top. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. As always, enjoy!
Feel free to use instant pudding, if you choose. The cream puffs won’t have the same taste but they will still good.