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National Cream Puff Day Inspiration

  • Jan 04, 2016

It’s early January and New Year’s resolutions are in full swing. But hopefully you didn’t make any resolutions about not eating sweets, because January 2nd was National Cream Puff Day, and these decadent desserts are worth every delicious bite.

What: Cream puffs are rich pastries sweetened with whipped cream and custard and baked in a delicate golden crust. Similar to other French confections, cream puffs are baked (whereas beignets are fried) and dusted with powdered sugar (whereas éclairs are swathed in chocolate glaze). The dough used to make them is known as pâte à choux, and they puff up from the steam that escapes while they bake.

When: Cream puffs began appearing in American restaurants in the 1800s, but they originated in Europe centuries before that. Many sources credit the pastry chef of Catherine de Medici, Queen of France during the 16th century, with first creating them for Catherine’s husband, Henry II. But early versions of the cream puffs date back to the Middle Ages.

How: Many bakers are intimidated by cream puffs, but they are surprisingly easy to prepare. At a basic level, you combine egg, flour, butter and sugar and cook them on high heat until the mixture forms a smooth ball of dough with a hollow center. They are baked and must be cut in half or pierced once they’re done to avoid collapse. The hollow is filled with the choux paste via a pastry bag or spoons.

Bonus: Making them in our baking cups simplifies the entire process and will assure perfection.

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