I always thought of cream puffs as something quintessentially southern. Wouldn’t they pair nicely with tea or lemonade on a notebook-esque white wraparound porch and some finger sandwiches? I mean, you know the one in the vision you have of being the perfect hostess when company swings by? I’ll be real honest you’re kind of lucky if I keep ice around for you most of the time – much less cream puffs and hand squeezed lemonade. But nevertheless I love them and their old timey charm! Now you can totally buy a tub of frozen cream puffs from Sams. But these are infinitely better! This classic cream puff recipe isn’t a family recipe. It’s from an old cookbook mom still has in her kitchen. But either way it’s pretty gosh dang delicious!
The first time that I ever had real cream puffs that were homemade was at my grandmother’s house. In the thriving metropolis of Carlsbad, New Mexico. Probably for a major holiday, like Easter. Which to give you a visual consisted of my immediate family, aunt’s family and a few of my grandmother’s friends crammed together amongst chairs with cushions covered in plastic and wooden backs. It was a little wall to wall. We barely fit in the dining room and had a card table specifically for they youngest kids. Which was where I ended up sitting most of the time.
Once we were filled to the brim with lunch and had been pumped full of sweet tea (except for me because I hated tea) out came the desserts. My grandmother’s homemade ice cream is to die for. She kept this practically on tap in the freezer and it was literally a meal once a day when we went for our visits during the summer. But on top of that she’d usually have chocolate cream pie, New York Cheesecake and another special dessert or two. This time, she’d made this delectable classic cream puff recipe!
Last Christmas I expressed that I wanted to learn, so she taught me how. What I can say after seeing how they are made is that cream puffs are heralded as being really difficult to produce. I mean, my grandmother (who God rest her soul made the best cornbread dressing around) couldn’t even make them. In all reality making this classic cream puff recipe ins’t super difficult but it is specific. You have to have all of your ingredients ready to go at precise times. There is not a lot of room to vary the ingredients either. You can ruin these by beating all of the eggs together just like she did. Essentially having an extra set of hands is incredibly helpful. So if you’re looking for a bonding activity this would definitely qualify!
Classic Cream Puff Recipe
To start making these classic cream puffs you begin by boiling a cup of water. Once it’s boiling you’ll add the butter and stir it quickly until it melts.
Once it has melted quickly place your flour and salt in the pan.
Now be sure to stir this mixture vigorously until a ball forms as quickly as you can.
You can see a photo of the fully formed ball in the photo with the eggs below. The photo up top is how it will look once it starts to form.
Let it cool for just a little bit. Then add four eggs individually and beat them after each one is added. Do this until the mixture you have is smooth.
Place the batter in about 1/2 to 1 inch increments onto a parchment paper lined pan.
Begin by baking them first for 450 degrees Fahrenheit for fifteen minutes. Then reduce the heat to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and finish baking them for twenty-five minutes (or until their crust is golden). The first photo below is what ours looked like about halfway through the process.
You’ll then need to slice them in half to help them cool adequately. There should be a hollow space within each puff. This is where you’ll be putting the filling.
Now you can put one or both of these items inside for filling – I prefer to layer both!
Either way you should fill them with mom’s fabulous best whipping cream recipe ever. You can also choose to add vanilla pudding to the mix. Then, enjoy!
They do take a little more time together than this easy moist chocolate cake recipe but will always be a personal favorite reminiscent of simpler times and family.
Thanks for reading!
Classic Cream Puff Recipe
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- vanilla pudding
- whipping cream
- Begin by boiling one cup of water. Once it is boiling, melt 1/2 cup of butter in it by stirring.
- Add 1 cup flour and 1/4 teaspoon of salt at the same time.
- Begin stirring vigorously until you form a ball of dough. Make sure it doesn’t separate.
- Let it cool briefly.
- Add 4 eggs individually, beating each one vigorously before adding the next one.
- Then beat your classic cream puff recipe until it’s smooth.
- Use your hands/spoons to form balls of dough that are 1/2 and inch to 1 inch in size and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake the dough for 15 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Then reduce the heat to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 25 minutes or until your puffs are golden.
- Slice them in half to help them cool.
- Load them down with whipped cream and/or vanilla pudding!