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A Legacy of Flavor: Mom's Famous Cream Puffs

These Cream Puffs are more than just dessert; they're a family tradition, a taste of love, and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Unlike any other cream puff you've had, these boast a secret weapon: Mom's incredible filling. Forget bland vanilla pudding! This recipe elevates the classic with a rich and decadent filling made with a pudding base and the luxurious addition of whipped heavy cream.

The Magic Behind the Puff:

The shells themselves are equally impressive. Ultra-light and airy, they provide the perfect vessel to hold all that creamy goodness. The beauty of this recipe is its flexibility. Make the shells ahead of time and freeze them for later use. Whip up the cream filling a day in advance. And here's the secret to perfect timing: assemble the puffs with filling right before serving, or you can stuff them the night before. Just hold off on the powdered sugar until serving to avoid it getting "funky" in the refrigerator.


  • For the Heavenly Shells:

    • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 4 large eggs
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Mom's Famous Filling:

    • 1 pint heavy cream
    • 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
    • ⅓ cup milk


  1. Bringing the Shells to Life: In a saucepan, combine the butter, water, and vanilla extract. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil. This creates the base for the delicate pastry shells.

  2. Forming the Dough: Once boiling, remove the pan from heat and add the flour all at once. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the pan. This step cooks the flour and removes any raw flour taste.

  3. A Cooling Act: Transfer the dough to a bowl and let it cool completely. This is important to prevent the eggs from scrambling when added.

  4. Introducing the Eggs: One at a time, beat the eggs into the cooled dough until fully incorporated. The dough will become smooth and glossy. This step adds structure and volume to the cream puff shells.

  5. Shaping the Puffs: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a spoon or piping bag, drop tablespoons of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving space between them for puffing.

  6. Baking to Golden Perfection: Bake the cream puff shells for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and puffed. Don't open the oven door during the baking process, as this can cause the puffs to deflate.

  7. Letting the Shells Rest: Once baked, remove the shells from the oven and let them cool completely on a wire rack before filling. This allows the steam to escape and prevents the filling from becoming soggy.

  8. Whipping Up Mom's Famous Filling: In a chilled bowl, using an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream, instant vanilla pudding mix, and milk until stiff peaks form. This creates the light and fluffy, yet decadent filling that sets these cream puffs apart.

  9. The Moment of Truth: Now comes the fun part – assembly! Slice the cooled cream puff shells in half horizontally. Fill the bottom half with Mom's Famous Filling, either piping it in for a decorative touch or scooping it in for ease. Top with the other half of the shell.

  10. A Touch of Elegance (Optional): For a final touch, dust the assembled cream puffs with powdered sugar right before serving. This adds a touch of sweetness and elegance.


  • Feel free to experiment with different flavors! Add a teaspoon of cocoa powder to the dough for chocolate cream puffs, or a pinch of cinnamon for a hint of spice.
  • Leftover cream puff shells can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or frozen for longer storage.
  • Leftover cream puff filling can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Enjoy these Mom's Famous Cream Puffs and create new memories with every delicious bite!