Cream Puff Recipe

This cream puff recipe is easy to follow. The choux pastry is light and airy and the chantilly cream filling is delicious. I like mine dusted with a little icing sugar - but you can top them with chocolate ganache and make profiteroles if you like.

I like to make them quite small so that you can just pop them in your mouth whole and the whole confection bursts into flavour in your mouth. They look very pretty on a cake stand as part of a more delicate afternoon tea.

So long as you follow the recipe carefully, choux pastry is not hard to make. You do need to work quickly at certain parts of the recipe - but so long as you can beat firmly with a wooden spoon for a minute or so, you can make good choux pastry. 

The recipe that I use comes from Michel Roux's Pastry book, which I use as my bible for all pastry recipes. He covers pastry from choux to shortcrust, filo to puff pastry. It's a great book and I have had success with all the recipes that I have tried so far. You can buy your own copy here at Amazon!

I use Chantilly cream in this cream puff recipe. Chantilly cream is basically sweetened vanilla flavoured whipped cream. Of course, you can just use plain whipped cream, but the chantilly gives the extra flavour that I think is necessary with otherwise plain choux pastry.

You can make the choux pastry cases in advance and store them for up to 3 days, apparently. I have personally only ever kept them for a few hours. Fill them up to half an hour before your guests arrive. If you fill them too early, the cases go a little soggy, although they still taste sublime and we actually rather like them this way.

Cream Puff Recipe

Time: 1 hour in total
Level: Intermediate
Makes 24 tiny cream puffs

1 quantity choux pastry
1 quantity chantilly cream
Confectioner's (icing) sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp milk

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F, gas mark 4.

  • Line a baking sheet with a piece of baking parchment.

  • Make a quantity of choux pastry.

  • Take a piping bag with a inch diameter nozzle. If you don't have a piping bag, just use a plastic bag with the corner snipped off to make a hole of roughly 1 inch diameter.

  • Pipe small blobs of choux onto the prepared baking sheet. If you just make cream puffs, you can make about 24 this way. We often make a mixture of some blobs for the cream puffs, and some small eclair shapes which we either use in place of bread for finger sandwiches, or make into chocolate eclairs.

  • Brush the choux pastry with a little of the beaten egg.

  • Put the cream puffs onto the centre shelf of the oven for 20-25 minutes. The pastry should be lightly golden and the pastry well risen.

  • Remove the choux pastry cases from the oven and cool on a cooling rack until completely cold.

  • While they are cooling, make the Chantilly Cream.

  • Once they are completely cold, which only takes around 10 minutes, you can fill them with the cream. Some people do this using a piping bag, but I just use a butter knife or a teaspoon. I cut the cream puffs open with a serrated knife, but not all the way, so that the top lifts up like a flap. Then just spoon some cream into the centre and close the lid.

  • Place the cream puffs on a board and dust them with icing sugar using a fine sieve. You don't need much for them to look very pretty - just a light dusting. Alternatively, you can dip a pastry brush into the powdered sugar and simply brush them with sugar. This is what we do.

Now you can remove move them carefully onto a serving dish or cake stand and they are ready to serve!

Serve with

I think cream puffs are best served as part of a larger afternoon spread. Try them along with lemon scones, snickerdoodle cookies, dark chocolate cupcakes and a selection of finger sandwiches.

Serve this combination with Lapsang Souchong or Earl Grey. Or you can serve it with Mint Tea if you prefer herb tea.

If you enjoyed this delicious cream puff recipe,
you might also enjoy making chocolate eclairs.