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Easy Cream Puff Recipe with Chantilly Cream

For a number of reasons, I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. So when an email from Craftsy offering $20 off any class landed in my inbox, I thought maybe trying something new in the kitchen would be a fun and creative outlet. After browsing the site for a bit, I settled on the French Pastry Shop Classics course thinking I might make the homemade cream puffs from the course for Mother’s Day.

However, after watching the first few videos, I started rethinking things… I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised, given that French cuisine is known for being a tad fussy, but with all of the piping of the pâte à choux and hand whipping of the Chantilly cream, I began wondering if homemade cream puffs were really worth all of the effort. (spoiler: they totally are!)

If it’s not obvious by now, I’ll just come right out and say it — I’m all about simple and easy when it comes to cooking and baking. After thinking it over, I came to the conclusion that portioning out the pâte à choux with a cookie scoop and using a hand mixer for the Chantilly cream should work just as well. So I made a quick run to Walmart for some unbleached all-purpose flour and heavy cream to test my theory.

Homemade Cream Puffs

Pâte à choux is a unique dough in that it starts on the stovetop before being baked off in the oven. But don’t be intimidated — it’s actually very easy to make. You’ll find step-by-step instructions in the recipe below.

Once the dough was prepared, I used a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop to portion it out onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. This does make about a dozen monster-sized cream puffs, so if you prefer smaller portions, simply use a smaller 1-tablespoon cookie scoop — no piping necessary!

Easy Cream Puff Recipe

Once the cream puffs were done baking, I sliced the top third off with a serrated knife and filled them with a simple Chantilly cream — that’s just a fancy way of saying sweetened whipped cream. I used my hand mixer to whip it up, but you could use a stand mixer or, in a pinch, whisk it by hand, as well.

If you don’t have any on hand, I highly recommend picking up a bottle of vanilla bean paste. It will give you those beautiful flecks of vanilla bean seeds in your cream without all the fuss of slicing and scraping vanilla bean pods. Vanilla bean paste substitutes 1:1 for regular vanilla extract, so feel free to use an equal amount of that if you prefer.

Cream Puffs

While perhaps my easy cream puff recipe yields cream puffs that are slightly non-traditional in appearance, the time savings is totally worth it for me. AND I can assure you that they still taste every bit as good as a cream puff from a French bakery!

Cream puffs are definitely a delicacy that’s best eaten very soon after they’ve been filled with the cream, but they will keep for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. If you’re making them for an event (or, say, for Mother’s Day brunch), I recommend baking the shells a day in advance and then filling them shortly before the gathering.

Easy Cream Puff Recipe

Easy Cream Puff Recipe

Yield: 12 large or 24 smaller cream puffs
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes


For the pâte à choux:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 eggs

For the Chantilly cream:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste


For the pâte à choux:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring the water, butter, sugar and salt to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to low, and add all of the flour, stirring vigorously. Continue to stir for about a minute, until the dough forms a ball and the bottom of the saucepan has a starchy film.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a stand mixer, and beat on low to cool until no longer steaming. Beat in the eggs one at a time on high until fully incorporated.
  4. Portion the dough out onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet using a 1-inch or 2-inch cookie scoop, depending on the desired size of your final cream puffs.
  5. Place the baking sheet(s) in the oven and immediately turn the heat up to 400 degrees. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to 350 degrees and bake for another 25-30 minutes until the cream puffs are a light golden brown overall, including in any cracks. Cool for 30 minutes.

For the Chantilly cream:

  1. Whip the cream with a hand mixer, stand mixer or by hand until about the consistency of yogurt.
  2. Add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla, and continue to whip until the cream is smooth and fluffy.

For the cream puffs:

  1. Using a serrated knife, slice the top third off of each cream puff.
  2. Fill each base with Chantilly cream using a spoon, and then place the cream puff top over it.
  3. Dust each cream puff with confectioners' sugar if desired.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 large cream puff
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 284Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 127mgSodium: 140mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 5g

Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Sunday 25th of September 2022

My dough was more like a batter. Quite runny. Any idea what I might have done wrong?

Tara Kuczykowski

Monday 26th of September 2022

Runny pâte à choux batter is generally caused by either adding a bit too much water or your eggs being a little larger than average. Placing the dough in the refrigerator until it stiffens up is the easiest fix. I don't recommend adding more more flour or placing the mixture back on the stove once the eggs have been added.

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