Vanilla and Coffee Cream Puffs

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 20 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 50 min
  • Yield: about 20 cream puffs
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5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes

2 teaspoons granulated sugar 

1/8 teaspoon fine salt 

1 cup water

3/4 cup all-purpose flour 

4 to 5 large eggs 


2 3/4 cups heavy cream

1 tablespoon instant espresso powder 

2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

6 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting 


Special equipment:
a piping bag with a 1/2-inch plain tip
  1. For the dough: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the butter, granulated sugar, salt and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat. Add the flour, then return to the heat, mixing vigorously with a wooden spoon until all the flour is incorporated and the mixture forms a ball.
  3. Transfer the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on the lowest speed until the dough cools and the steam dissipates, about 4 minutes. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, letting each egg become fully incorporated before adding the next. The dough should be shiny, stretchy and slowly fall from a spoon in thick ribbons. If necessary, beat the remaining egg in a small bowl and add a tablespoon at a time until the dough looks correct.
  4. Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip. Pipe 2-inch mounds onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake until the puffs are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped, about 25 minutes. Prick each puff with a skewer to allow the steam to escape, then remove the puffs to a rack to cool completely.
  5. Use a serrated knife to carefully cut the tops off the puffs; reserve the tops.
  6. For the cream: Microwave 2 tablespoons of the cream in a small bowl until warm. Add the espresso powder and stir until dissolved; place in the refrigerator to chill.
  7. Put the remaining cream in a large bowl, along with the vanilla and 4 tablespoons of the confectioners' sugar. Beat with an electric mixer until the cream just holds stiff peaks.
  8. Transfer half of the whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain or star tip. Pipe half of the puffs full of whipped cream; replace their tops.
  9. Add the chilled coffee cream and the remaining 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar to the remaining whipped cream in the bowl; beat until the cream returns to stiff peaks. Transfer to the piping bag (no need to clean in between) and fill the remaining puffs; replace the tops.
  10. Dust the cream puffs with confectioners' sugar and serve immediately.
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