These Strawberry Cream Puffs are delightfully easy to make, bringing together sweet cream and strawberries filled in light and buttery choux pastry. Brighten your day with this delicious French dessert in the comfort of your own home. Nothing beats a batch of freshly baked choux pastry made straight from your oven!
What exactly are cream puffs?
Cream puffs have always been on the top of the list of my favorite desserts not only due to their delectable taste but for their delicate light-as-air texture. They are widely popular all around the world and can be found in various bakeries and restaurants. However, nothing beats the delicious taste and crispy texture of freshly baked cream puffs made in your home kitchen.
Although these pastries may look complicated at first, they are surprisingly very easy to make as long as the steps are properly followed. Requiring only a few simple, inexpensive ingredients, these pastries are one of the desserts I make most often when treating my loved ones. It can be a fun project to make with your friends or family as well, so I highly recommend giving these a try!
How are Strawberry Cream Puffs made?
Cream puffs are made with two components: Choux Pastry (also known as Pâte à Choux) and homemade whipped cream to be filled in the light pastry shells. Choux Pastry, which has an airy center and a crispy outer shell, is delightfully easy to make as long as proper instructions are followed. Here are the simple ingredients you need for the pastry:
- Unsalted butter
- Pinch of salt
- Cake flour
- If you don’t have any cake flour at home, you can easily make this by sifting together 14 tablespoons of all-purpose flour with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. An easy way to do this is to measure 1 cup of all-purpose flour, remove 2 tablespoons of the flour, and then adding 2 tablespoons of cornstarch into the mix. Sift together twice, and you have yourself the perfect cake flour substitute, ready to use in any of your baking recipes.
There are many ways to fill cream puffs, but my favorite filling is fresh homemade whipped cream. It only requires 3 simple ingredients:
- Cold heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
- Confectioner’s (icing) sugar
- Vanilla extract
Homemade whipped cream is delightfully easy to make with the help of a hand mixer. All you need to do is add all the above ingredients into a mixing bowl, then mix on high for about 3-4 minutes. This whipped cream on its own is incredibly delicious and tastes absolutely heavenly when filled into the freshly baked choux pastries. It is best served immediately but can be stored in the refrigerator sealed in a tight container for up to 24 hours.
Tips and tricks on making the best cream puffs
After many sessions of making choux pastry, there are a few tips and tricks to help you achieve the best fool-proof texture. The following tips should be helpful in your process:
- Ensure the proper measurements are followed. Having the right balance in ingredients is key to this recipe, as with any other baking. Each ingredient is crucial to creating the perfect balance of a soft and airy interior and golden and crisp exterior.
- Be sure to cook the dough on the stove for about 1-2 minutes, after incorporating the flour. Cook until a thin layer forms on the bottom of the pan. This process will cause the starch in the flour to gelatinize, allowing the pastry to hold onto steam and successfully puff up.
- Allow the dough to cool down for a few minutes before adding in the eggs, one at a time.
- Be sure to create a humid environment to prevent the shells from drying out or burning throughout the baking process. There are two ways to do this: either by lightly brushing the parchment paper with water before piping the pastry dough or by spraying the dough with water with a spraying bottle after all dough has been piped. After this process, you can use the moisture to smooth down the peaks after piping.
- Do not open the oven as the pastries cook, as letting any cool air in will prevent them from properly puffing up.
- Allow the choux pastry to cool down completely on a wire rack before piping them with the fillings.
Cream puffs are absolutely delicious when filled just with whipped cream, but I like to add a thick slice of strawberry in each, for the extra delight. The combination altogether reminds me of a delicious strawberry shortcake. Each of the cream puffs is packed with sweetened cream and fresh strawberries filled in a light and airy choux pastry. Now that’s what I call heaven on earth. ♡
I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe, and please feel free to leave me a comment below or message me on Instagram if you have any questions!
Other easy dessert recipes you may like:
- Ultra Moist Banana Bread
- Peanut Butter Cookies
- Cinnamon Roll Waffles
- Vanilla Madeleines
- Oreo Cookies and Cream Muffins
- Easy Homemade Churro Waffles
Strawberry Cream Puffs
- 40 ml water
- 45 ml milk
- 65 g unsalted butter
- 1 g salt
- 70 g cake flour for instructions on how to make cake flour, refer to the blog post above
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
Homemade Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream chilled
- 2 tbsp confectioner's sugar or granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup strawberries stems removed and cut in thick slices
- Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
- In a pot on medium heat, add milk, water, butter, and salt and stir together. Bring to a boil. Once it boils, remove from heat and sift in the flour to mix quickly to create the batter.
- After the flour is mixed in, lightly cook the dough on medium-low heat while mixing continuously. After about 1-2 minutes and a thin layer forms on the bottom of the pot, transfer the dough into a mixing bowl. Allow to cool down for a few minutes before adding the eggs in the next step.
- Slowly add one egg at a time, using a mixer on low speed or a spatula. Be sure to mix each egg thoroughly before adding in the next. Mix together until the batter reaches a thick and smooth consistency. Transfer the dough into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip (You can also cut a small hole in the tip as well).
- Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat, and pipe 2-inch mounds, leaving a few inches apart. Spray the pastry with water with a spray bottle to create a humid environment (you can also wet the baking sheet prior to piping). Using the moisture, smooth down the peaks of each mound.
- Bake for 10 minutes, and while the pastries are in the oven, reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown. Do not open the oven door while the pastries are baking, as the cool air will interfere with the rise.
- Remove them from the oven and transfer onto a wire rack. Ensure the pastries are cooled completely prior to filling.
- Add whipping cream, confectioner's sugar, and vanilla extract in a bowl and mix on medium-high speed for about 3-4 minutes, until medium peaks form and it reaches a pillowy consistency.
- To assemble, carefully cut off the top of each pastry and pipe the whipped cream inside, and top with a sliced strawberry in each. Lightly dust with powdered sugar and serve.