Cream Puffs with Vanilla Custard

Cream puffs are a classic French pastry renowned for their light, airy texture and rich, creamy filling. These delightful treats are perfect for special occasions or as an elegant dessert to impress your guests. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of making cream puffs filled with smooth vanilla custard.


For the Choux Pastry:

  • 1 cup (240 ml) water
  • 1/2 cup (115 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs

For the Vanilla Custard:

  • 2 cups (480 ml) whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Topping:

  • Powdered sugar for dusting


Prepare the Choux Pastry:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, butter, and salt. Heat over medium until the butter melts and the mixture begins to boil.
  3. Remove from heat and add the flour all at once. Stir vigorously until the mixture forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the pan.
  4. Let cool for 5 minutes. Then, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until the dough is smooth and shiny.
  5. Using a pastry bag or spoon, drop small mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (175°C) and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, or until the puffs are golden brown and crisp.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Make the Vanilla Custard:

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat until it begins to simmer.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, salt, and egg yolks until well combined.
  3. Gradually pour the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling.
  4. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens and comes to a boil.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract until smooth.
  6. Pour the custard into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap (pressing it directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming), and refrigerate until chilled.

Assemble the Cream Puffs:

  1. Once the choux pastry puffs have cooled, use a sharp knife to cut them in half horizontally.
  2. Spoon or pipe the chilled vanilla custard into the bottom halves of the puffs, then replace the tops.
  3. Dust the filled cream puffs with powdered sugar before serving.

Tips for Success

  • Ensure the choux pastry dough is smooth and shiny before baking to ensure proper rise.
  • Stir constantly when cooking the custard to avoid lumps.
  • Allow the puffs to cool completely before filling to prevent the custard from melting.


Cream puffs with vanilla custard are a delightful and elegant dessert that will impress your family and friends. With practice and patience, you’ll master the art of making these delicious treats. Enjoy your homemade cream puffs as a sweet ending to any meal!

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