Deliciously quick and easy cream puffs filled with silky pudding and so many possibilities for filling these puffs. I hope you enjoy my easy twist on a classic cream puff. You’ll love making this easy dessert and eating them even more!

If you like these cream puffs, you might want to try my easy, almost homemade chocolate croissants and simple small-batch cherry turnovers.

filled cream puffs on parchment lined baking sheet

Why you’ll love this recipe

The choux pastry dough is easy to make from scratch, even though it’s French :-). The pastry dough is made with butter, water, flour, and eggs. Instead of a raising agent, the high moisture content creates steam during cooking to puff the pastry.

No piping bag is needed. The little dreamy puffs are fuss-free and filled with a simple pudding or a homemade lemon curd. You can make your own curd or pudding from scratch or go easy and use a jello pudding mix or premade custard.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Butter – I used salted butter because this is what I normally have on hand, If you use unsalted butter then increase the amount of salt used in this recipe
  • Granulated White Sugar– Basic white sugar for sweetness.
  • Salt – I used table salt; however, kosher salt can also be used.
  • All-purpose flour – Most of us have all-purpose flour handy, and it gives a good result, or you can use a higher gluten flour like bread flour.
  • Eggs – Fresh whole eggs will be used and added to the Choux pastry dough one at a time.
  • Powdered Sugar – This is used to sprinkle on the top of the cream puffs and is optional.
  • Instant vanilla pudding – I keep boxes of vanilla pudding handy in my pantry.
  • Milk -Most of the time I use 2% milk but for a richer filling use whole milk.

See the recipe card for ingredients quantities.

Recipe Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425° F. I mostly use my countertop Breville oven when small batch baking, if using a conventional stove I suggest using an oven thermometer to ensure the oven reaches the proper temperature. While the oven is heating melt the butter, sugar, salt, and water in a small saucepan. bring mixture to a boil.
  2. Add the flour all at once and stir fast with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms, about 1 minute or so.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool for about 5 minutes. You don’t want to add the eggs when the dough is too hot.
  4. Stir in one egg at a time, thoroughly mixing before adding the second egg. The dough will be smooth and a little shiny.
  5. Use a cookie scoop to transfer the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. This will make 6 cream puffs. Bake at 425 °F for 10 minutes then lower the heat to 350 ° and continue cooking for another 15 minutes. The cream puffs will be a nice golden brown.
  6. Remove from oven and use the tip of a sharp knife to poke a hole in the side of the cream puffs to release the steam and open up enough space to spoon in the filling. Cream puffs should be cooled completely before filling, this will allow the inside to dry out a bit and prevent a soggy puff.
  7. Mix up the instant pudding in a 2-cup measuring cup and refrigerate to let it set.
  8. Once the cream puffs are completely cooled, spoon the pudding into them. Sprinkle the cream puffs with powdered sugar right before serving.
Making the choux pastry dough in small saucepan.
Collage of pudding and filled cream puff.

Tools Used

  • Measuring cup – a 2-cup measuring cup is just the right size to mix up the instant pudding.
  • Whisk – Since you are making a small amount, I’ll use a small whisk.
  • Small saucepan – My 3/4 quart butter warmer from made-In cookware is the right size for making this small batch of Choux pastry dough. If you make a double batch, you’ll need a larger saucepan.
  • Wooden spoon – A smaller size wooden spoon fits nicely into a small saucepan.
  • Baking sheet – A quarter sheet pan or jelly roll pan will fit 6 cream puffs perfectly.
pudding filled cream puffs on baking sheet.

How to store leftover Cream Puffs

The filled cream puffs are best served on the same day. I don’t like to store pudding-filled pastries for longer than a day if you do refrigerate, store them uncovered.

Unfilled cream puffs can be refrigerated for 2-3 days, before filling reheat in the oven to crisp the shells back up.

FAQ’s

Why is my pastry soggy?

The steam trapped in the pastry will cause your puffs to go soft. To prevent this, when you remove it from the oven, poke a hole in the pastry to release the trapped steam. Make sure to cool the cream puffs completely before filling them. Undercooking will also result in a soggy cream puff.

What other filling can I use inside the cream puffs?

You can make a classic Chantilly cream or a pastry cream. These are also really tasty with my homemade lemon curd.

Why did my cream puffs collapse?

The most common reason is underbaking. When you break apart the cream puff it should be almost hollow, if it’s moist on the inside the puff needs a couple more minutes.

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Filled cream puff.

Cream Puffs

A simple from-scratch version of authentic cream puffs using a homemade Choux pastry and homemade Chantilly cream filling.
4.20 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6 puffs
Calories: 188kcal
Author:Sydney Dawes

Ingredients

  • ½ cup water
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar

Filling

  • ½ package instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 cup milk

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425°. While the oven is heating melt the butter, sugar, salt, and water in a small saucepan. bring mixture to a boil.
  • Add the flour all at once and stir fast with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms, about 1 minute.
  • Remove from heat and let cool for about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in one egg at a time, thoroughly mixing before adding the second egg. The dough will be smooth and a little shiny.
  • Use a cookie scoop to transfer the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. This will make 6 cream puffs. Bake at 425 °F for 10 minutes then lower the heat to 350 ° and continue cooking for another 15 minutes. The cream puffs will be a nice golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and use the tip of a sharp knife to poke a hole in the side of the cream puffs to release the steam and open up enough space to spoon in the filling. Cream puffs should be cooled completely before filling, this will allow the inside to dry out a bit and prevent a soggy puff.
  • Mix up the instant pudding in a 2-cup measuring cup and refrigerate to let it set.
  • Once the cream puffs are completely cooled then spoon the pudding into the cream puffs. Sprinkle the cream puffs with powdered sugar right before serving.

Notes

The recipe can be doubled to make 12 cream puffs.
No piping bag needed, use a cookie scoop to place dough on baking sheet,

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 188kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 175mg | Sugar: 6g
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