These are so fun to make and a perfect summer dessert! Choux pastry, the pastry used to make the shell for cream puffs, is what’s used to make eclair and puff pastry shells, and can be used to make churros too! It’s an odd pastry because it gets cooked on the stove top before being piped and baked, but it doesn’t take too long. The trickiest part is getting just the right texture before piping so that you get that signature puff when they bake. However, it’s really not as finicky as people say it is and with a few tricks and tips your lemon cream puffs will turn out perfectly!
- the choux pastry – a mix of water, butter, flour, egg, and a bit of salt that magically puffs up in the oven so you can fill it with whatever you want! The trick to getting that puff comes from adding the right amount of eggs to get the right texture.
pro tip: The recipe below has been foolproof for me, but a good way to check is to pull your beater out of the batter and let the batter fall off of it. If it creates a nice ‘V’ shape, you’re good to go.
- the filling – two ingredients – heavy cream and lemon curd – make the most delightful, light, lemony filling for these puffs! You can make your own curd or use store bought, whatever works best for you
Substitution ideas: use any kind of curd you’d like here! I bet even a jam would work just play with how much to add to get the flavor you want
- the topping – I topped mine with just a sprinkle of powdered sugar but there are so many options.
Substitution ideas: you can do a chocolate or white chocolate drizzle, or make a glaze with powdered sugar and lemon juice for even more lemon flavor
Looking for more? I’ve got you covered:
- these Strawberry Cream Puffs are a fun variation on the same idea
- got leftover lemon curd? make some fancy, yet so easy, Lemon Tarts or these Strawberry Lemon Thumbprint Cookies
That’s it! I hope this gives you the confidence to try out making choux, its so much easier than you think and is so versatile!
Lemon Cream Puffs
Lemon Cream Puffs are beautiful, elegant, absolutely delicious, and deceptively easy to make. They're the perfect summer dessert and, with a couple of tips and tricks, are almost fool proof!
for the pastry
- 8oz water
- 4 oz butter
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 5 oz flour
- 4 large eggs
for the filling
- 1/2 cup lemon curd
- 1/2 cup whipping or heavy cream
- powdered sugar
- make the choux pastry: preheat oven to 375. line 2 pans with parchment paper
- combine the water, butter, and salt in a medium sauce pan over medium heat and bring to a boil
- once boiling, remove from heat and add the flour. mix thoroughly, then return to heat for 1-3 minutes. the mixture is done cooking when you can stick a metal spoon in it and the spoon stays straight upright. if it immediately falls over, continue cooking for another minute
- transfer the flour mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium until the outside of the bowl is no longer hot to the touch
- beat in eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. you'll know that the pastry is the perfect consistency if you can pull the paddle attachment out of the pastry and the pastry hangs off of the paddle in a 'V' shape
- transfer the pastry to a piping bag and pipe evenly sized circles onto the prepared pans. wet your finger with some water and gently smooth out the tops
- bake for 30 minutes, then remove the puffs and poke a hole in each with a toothpick. return the puffs to the oven for 5-10 minutes until they're golden brown. let cool while you prepare the filling and toppings
- make the filling: using a mixer, whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks. gently fold in the lemon curd. taste and add more lemon curd if desired. transfer the filling to a piping bag, if using.
- assemble: cut the top off of each puff. pipe or spoon the filling into each puff and top with it's top. dust generously with powdered sugar and enjoy!
see the post above for subsitution ideas or even more tips and tricks to ensure success!