Cream Puffs

Our Christmas edition of Big Wild is all about food. It took me two weeks to decide on a dessert for the show. Denny Corriveau and John Schumacher returned to cook with us. At first I felt like I’d really need to step this up and make something fancy. Christmas is all about family and food, but food was never fancy. I reminded myself of my own words of advice – good food doesn’t have to be fancy (or expensive). Cream puffs. They can be made ahead of time. They can be handed off to kids to make or at least fill. They’re simple, beautiful pieces of edible art. They’re a perfect dessert after a great appetizer and entree. And so here we are, making one of my favorite desserts, cream puffs.cream puffs, whipped cream filling recipeI’m including the recipe I use for a nice whipped cream filling that holds for days. Instead of granulated sugar I use quite a lot of confectionery sugar. It thickens the cream.

Preheat the oven to 375°.

Place a metal bowl and the beaters or whisk in the freezer ten minutes before whipping the cream.

If you’re going to double or triple the batch you can speed up the process by spooning the dough into a pastry bag. If you don’t have one you can substitute a zipper storage bag. Snip off a 1/4″ of a bottom corner, and squeeze the dough onto the cookie sheet. This also works well with the filling.


I love whipped cream but as a child used pudding. Cream puffs are a family tradition from my childhood so I do sometimes still fill them with butterscotch pudding. You could make a vanilla pudding and stir in tiny bits of crushed candy cane. Custards are nice and so are coconut, lemon or chocolate cream. You can make small batches of filling and have a variety of flavors from one batch of dough.

Cream Puffs - On The Fire

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Robin Follette


Cream Puff Pastry

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs

Whipped Cream Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


Cream Puff Pastry

  • Bring the water to a boil in a two-quart sauce pan. Add butter and stir until it melts. Add flour and salt. Stir until a ball forms. Remove from heat.
  • Add one egg and beat. Let this stand for five minutes while the mixture cools a bit. Adding the egg keeps the dough ball from getting too firm. Add the second egg and beat, the third egg and beat, and then the fourth egg and beat. Let stand 10 minutes. The flour will absorb the water and moisture from the eggs. It's steam that makes the pastry puff up.
  • Drop by heaping tablespoon onto a cookie sheet. Leave 2" between each puff. They will puff up more than out so they can be fairly close together.
  • Bake the puffs at 375° degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely before filling.

Whipped Cream Filling

  • Place the metal bowl and beaters or whisk in the freezer for 10 minutes before whipping the cream. The colder the better. Add the heavy cream and vanilla to the cold bowl. Add the confectionery sugar to the cream as you're whipping.

Cream Puff Construction

  • Slice the cream puffs in half horizontally and set the tops aside. Fill each bottom with cream, replace the top, and then sprinkle with a little confectionery sugar. They are ready to serve now or may be stored in the refrigerator.