How to Make Cream Puffs

  • 01 of 09

    How to Make Cream Puffs

    Cream puffs
    Leah Maroney / The Spruce

    Learn how to make cream puffs and pate a choux pastry dough. This cream puff tutorial will take you step-by-step through making the dough and filling for these delicious cream puff pastries, which make great desserts for any occasion.

    First, find a recipe for the dough. We used this one for creating our pate a choux.

    Keep in mind while making this that eggs are a critical ingredient for the puff pastry as they provide the rise and result in a fluffy puff that has a bit of crunch on the outside. If you want to try a vegan alternative without eggs, use this recipe from

    The steps shown assume using eggs, butter, and milk. The filling can be a dairy-free cream, pudding, or this fabulous vanilla pastry cream.

    Continue to 2 of 9 below.
  • 02 of 09

    Boil the Dough Ingredients

    Boil the dough ingredients
    Leah Maroney / The Spruce

    In a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together the milk, water, sugar, salt, and butter until well combined. Whisking constantly, bring the mixture to a boil and immediately remove from heat.

    Continue to 3 of 9 below.
  • 03 of 09

    Add in the Flour and Remove From Heat

    Add in the Ffour and remove from heat
    Leah Maroney / The Spruce

    With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour (the mixture will seem slightly "lumpy"). Return the pan to the heat and keep stirring until the ball of dough pulls away from the sides and a bit of film start collecting at the bottom of the pan.

    Continue to 4 of 9 below.
  • 04 of 09

    Add in the Eggs

    Add in the eggs
    Leah Maroney / The Spruce

    Transfer the dough to a medium-sized mixing bowl. With a hand mixer on medium speed, mix the dough to allow it to cool slightly before adding the eggs. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well into the batter between each addition. When the batter is shiny and forms soft peaks, it is ready to use for the cream puffs.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Pipe the Batter

    Pipe the batter
    Leah Maroney / The Spruce

    Fill a pastry bag fitted with a round tip with the batter. Pipe circles about 2" in diameter onto the prepared sheet.

    Continue to 6 of 9 below.
  • 06 of 09

    Bake and Cool Pate a Choux

    Bake and cool pate a choux
    Leah Maroney / The Spruce

    Bake for 10 minutes at 450 F. Then turn down the heat to 375 F and bake for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the pate a choux is golden brown.

    Turn off the oven and let the shells cool for 30 minutes inside the oven. Make sure to leave the door ajar.

    Next, remove them from the oven and put them on a wire rack to cool completely before making any incisions and filling with pastry cream.

    Continue to 7 of 9 below.
  • 07 of 09

    Make the Incision

    Make the incision of the cream puff
    Leah Maroney / The Spruce

    Once the puffs are cooled, use a sharp knife to poke a small hole in the bottom of each cream puff. This is where you'll be piping in the filling.

    For the filling, you could use chocolate pudding, whipped cream, or pastry cream. 

    Continue to 8 of 9 below.
  • 08 of 09

    Pipe the Pastry Cream

    Pipe the pastry cream
    Leah Maroney / The Spruce

    Fill a pastry bag fitter with a small round tip with the chilled pastry cream. Pipe a small amount into the bottom of each cream puff. 

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Serve and Enjoy

    Finished cream puffs
    Leah Maroney / The Spruce

    When cooled, dust the cream puffs with confectioners sugar and serve. Or, feel free to drizzle with melted chocolate.

    Cream puffs should be served within two hours of cooling, so enjoy!