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These homemade cream puffs are made with a light choux pastry that puffs up when baked. In this version, they are filled with a rich vanilla cream that's easy to make with instant pudding. Drizzle melted chocolate on top for a fancy dessert that will wow your guests!

Recipe Summary

30 mins
25 mins
55 mins
20 to 25 cream puffs

Cream puffs might seem fancy, but they're actually quite simple to make in the comfort of your own kitchen! Create a decadent, impressive, bakery-worthy dessert at home with this top-rated cream puff recipe. 

What Are Cream Puffs? 

Cream puffs, or profiteroles, are French choux pastry balls filled with cream. Choux pastry is made without leavening agents — instead, it relies on a high moisture content to create steam and puff the pastry during baking. 

Cream Puff Ingredients

Here's what you'll need to make this top-rated cream puff recipe: 

Instant Pudding Mix
This convenient cream puff recipe has an easy filling made with instant vanilla pudding mix.

Cream and Milk
You don't have to whip the heavy cream and milk — just mix them with the pudding mix and refrigerate to set.

Butter adds flavor, keeps the flour from clumping, and prevents the layers from sticking together. 

Choux pastry relies on steam for its texture, so this cream puff recipe calls for an entire cup of water.  

Just a pinch of salt brings out the delicate flavors in the choux pastry. 

All-purpose flour adds structure to the choux pastry and works with the water to create the perfect airy texture. 

Whole eggs support the structure, lend rich flavor and color, and add moisture to the choux pastry.

How to Make Cream Puffs

Cream Puffs
Credit: MONIQUE1181

You'll find the full, step-by-step recipe below — but here's a brief overview of what you can expect when you make these cream puffs:

Make Filling

Combine the instant pudding mix, heavy cream, and milk in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until the filling is set. 

Make Choux Pastry

Bring butter and water to a boil, then add the flour and salt. Stir until the mixture forms a ball. Transfer the ball to a mixing bowl, then beat in eggs one at a time. Drop spoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven until they're golden brown on the outside and dry on the inside. 

Fill the Cream Puffs

Let the choux pastry cool. Fill the cream puffs in one of two ways: Split the pastries and fill or pipe the pudding mixture into the shells. 

How to Serve Cream Puffs

Enjoy the cream puffs as-is, dust them with powdered sugar, or drizzle them with melted chocolate. For a stunning presentation, stack the cream puffs in a cone-like shape to create a show-stopping croquembouche

How to Store Cream Puffs

Store cream puffs in an airtight storage container or zip-top bag in the fridge for up to three days. 

Can You Freeze Cream Puffs? 

Yes, you can freeze cream puffs. Simply flash freeze them on a baking sheet, then transfer them to a zip-top freezer bag labeled with the date. Freeze for up to two months. Thaw in the fridge overnight. 

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"Wonderful recipe," according to LCAROLINE. "Very light and delicious. A tip, though, for this and all cream puff recipes: After baking is finished, turn off the oven, crack the door open with a towel or potholder, and let stand in the oven for about an hour. This prevents them from sagging!"

"This was very good," says Susan. "I added a vanilla bean into the mix to give it a punch. To finish it off, I covered it in icing sugar and then drizzled chocolate and a raspberry reduction over it. It looked good and tasted great."

"WOW!!! What a recipe," raves one Allrecipes community member. "I made this and substituted the vanilla pudding mix for the pistachio pudding mix and it was phenomenal. It will definitely be in my recipe box."

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


Original recipe yields 20 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Mix together vanilla instant pudding mix, cream and milk. Cover and refrigerate to set.

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

  • In a large pot, bring water and butter to a rolling boil. Stir in flour and salt until the mixture forms a ball. Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon or stand mixer, beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet, spacing them a couple of inches apart.

  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Centers should be dry.

  • When the shells are cool, either split and fill them with the pudding mixture, or use a pastry bag to pipe the pudding into the shells.

Nutrition Facts

190 calories; protein 2.9g; carbohydrates 15.2g; fat 13.3g; cholesterol 76.9mg; sodium 230.6mg. Full Nutrition