October 24, 2023Review Recipe
Table of Contents
An easy twist on the classic French dessert, this cream puff dessert is made with a crispy choux pastry base, a layer of creamy vanilla custard, fluffy whipped topping, and a drizzle of rich hot fudge sauce. Think of it as a cream puff cake!
Cream Puff Dessert Ingredients
The light and airy texture of the pastry combined with the smooth cream filling creates a flavor that’s simply heavenly.
As you take a bite, your taste buds will be treated to a delicate sweetness with a hint of vanilla that’s perfectly balanced.
Perhaps the best part about a cream puff is the way it melts in your mouth, leaving a subtle, creamy aftertaste that lingers long after the last bite.
- ½ cup of salted butter
- 1 cup of water
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- 8 ounces of cream cheese, softened
- 2 (3.4-ounce) packages of French vanilla instant pudding mix
- 2 cups of whole milk
- ½ cup of heavy cream
- 8-ounce tub of frozen Cool Whip whipped topping, thawed
- Hot fudge sauce
Make sure you are using instant pudding and not regular pudding that requires cooking on the stovetop for this recipe.
Substitutions And Additions
FRENCH VANILLA PUDDING MIX: There isn’t too much difference between French vanilla pudding and regular vanilla pudding, so you could use the regular kind for the delicious filling in this easy cream puff recipe if needed.
HOT FUDGE SAUCE: Chocolate syrup would also work to drizzle on top of this dessert.
TOPPINGS: If you wanted, you could add chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, or any other small candy pieces on top of this dessert. You could also go a different route and add fresh fruit on top of this delicious dessert.
WHIPPED CREAM LAYER: You can either use store-bought or homemade whipped cream in this delicious recipe. Check out our own stabilized whipped cream recipe.
How To Make This Cream Puff Dessert Recipe
The first part of making this sweet dessert is to make the flaky pastry. Once it is baked, you’ll top it with vanilla cream, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce to finish off this tasty dessert.
STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Coat a 9×13-inch glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
STEP TWO: In a 4-quart large saucepan, heat butter, water, and salt over medium heat. When the butter has melted completely, and the mixture begins to boil, remove it from the heat.
STEP THREE: Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan and a smooth ball forms. Allow it to cool for five minutes.
STEP FOUR: One at a time, add the eggs, beating each egg into the mixture with a wooden spoon.
OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS
The mixture will separate with the addition of each egg but then come back together to form a smooth paste-like batter.
STEP FIVE: Spread the batter into the bottom of the baking dish.
STEP SIX: Bake for 25 minutes, until puffy and golden brown in color. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
STEP SEVEN: While the pastry is cooling, use the wire whisk attachment on an electric mixer or stand mixer to beat together the softened cream cheese, vanilla pudding, milk, and heavy cream.
A wire whisk will help to break down the cream cheese, but it is important that the cream cheese is quite soft and at room temperature before mixing. A few lumps won’t matter to the end result.
STEP EIGHT: Spread the vanilla pudding mixture to fill the cooled pastry.
STEP NINE: Add a layer of whipped topping on top of the cream filling.
STEP TEN: Drizzle with hot fudge sauce.
How To Serve
This delicious cream puff cake recipe would be extra special, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. This would be an impressive and scrumptious dessert to whip up for company.
Another fantastic choice is fresh fruit, either sliced and arranged around your dessert or served in a fruit salad. The sweetness of the fruit will offset the richness of the cream puff, making for a refreshing finish to any meal.
Storing This Cream Puff Dessert With Vanilla Pudding
Here are some simple tips and instructions to ensure that your cream puff dessert stays fresh and tasty for as long as possible.
MAKE AHEAD: If you’re looking to save time or plan ahead, you can definitely make this cream puff dessert in advance. Prepare the entire dessert as directed, including the filling and topping, but hold off on adding any garnishes until serving. Once assembled, cover the dessert tightly with plastic wrap or store it in an airtight container.
Keep it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. By making it ahead, you’ll have one less thing to worry about when hosting a gathering or enjoying a sweet treat.
IN THE FRIDGE: Cover this cream puff dessert with plastic wrap, and you can keep it in the refrigerator for up to five days. Note that the longer it sits in the fridge, the softer the crust may become.
IN THE FREEZER: You can make this puff dessert in advance and freeze it for up to one month. Thaw in the refrigerator before adding the hot fudge drizzle.
This easy cream puff dessert in a pan recipe has all the deliciously sweet flavors of homemade cream puffs but without all the hard work!
Rather than making individual cream puffs, you can bake everything in one pan in a cream puff pastry for a simple dessert that’s an easy make-ahead dessert.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
This easy recipe is an excellent make-ahead dessert and can be frozen for up to a month.
For the puffy crust, it is best to make this choux pastry from scratch. Choux pastry is slightly different than puff pastry and, therefore, will give you slightly different results.
You can make this cream puff dessert extra decadent with sweet toppings such as chocolate chips, nuts, or even fresh fruit.
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Cream Puff Dessert
- ½ cup salted butter
- 1 cup water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 6.8 ounces French Vanilla instant pudding mix (two 3.4-ounce packages)
- 2 cups whole milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces frozen whipped topping, thawed
- hot fudge sauce, you can try our delicious hot fudge sauce recipe!
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Coat a 9×13 glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a 4-quart saucepan heat butter, water, and salt over medium heat. When the butter has melted completely and the mixture begins to boil, remove it from heat.
- Immediately mix flour into the saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon until mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a smooth ball.
- Allow mixture to cool for about 5 minutes.
- Adding only one egg at a time, beat each egg into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon. The mixture will separate with the addition of each egg but then come back together, forming a smooth paste-like batter.
- Spread batter into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until the edges have poofed up the sides of the baking dish and the batter is golden brown. Some of the batter on the bottom of the dish may puff up also, which is fine.
- Cool completely.
- Use the wire whisk attachment on a hand or standing mixer to beat together softened cream cheese, pudding, milk, and heavy cream. A wire whisk will help to break down the cream cheese, but it is important that the cream cheese is quite soft before mixing.
- Spread the pudding mixture to fill the cooled pastry. Spread the whipped topping evenly over the pudding filling.
- Serve with hot fudge sauce drizzled over the top.
- Make sure you are using instant pudding and not regular pudding that requires cooking on the stovetop for this recipe.
- The mixture will separate with the addition of each egg but then come back together to form a smooth paste-like batter.
- A wire whisk will help to break down the cream cheese, but it is important that the cream cheese is quite soft and at room temperature before mixing. A few lumps won’t matter to the end result.