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Cream Puffs – Italian

Posted in : Cookies on by : MikeZ

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Italian Cream Puffs

These delicate Italian Cream Puffs are baked – NOT FRIED – then filled with luscious cream.
Difficulty: Medium
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword cookies
Method Oven
Prep Time 20 minutes
Bake Time 20 minutes
Servings 20 Puffs


  • Medium SaucePan
  • Medium Mixing Bowl
  • Several Baking Sheets
  • Parchment Paper



  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¾ cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs

Ricotta Filling:

  • cups Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese - drain
  • 1 cup Confectioners Sugar - + extra to garnish
  • ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp. Lemon Zest
  • tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp. Mini Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips

Vanilla Custard Filling:

  • 1 box Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix - 3.4 oz.
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tbsp. Confectioners Sugar - + extra to garnish


  • Preheat oven to 425°F
  • Prepare 2 cooking sheets for baking. Lightly spray with cooking spray, or use silicone mats for baking or parchment paper.
  • In a medium saucepot, heat butter with water and salt over high heat stirring until butter is completed melted.
  • Reduce the heat to low, add sifted flour – all at once – and with a fork or wooden spoon, stir vigorously, until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan and forms a smooth ball.
  • Remove from heat, transfer the dough into a mixing bowl to cool, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring vigorously (with a wooden spoon) after each addition until it comes to a smooth and creamy texture. The soft mixture should have a satin-like sheen.
  • Drop by tablespoon, about 3-inches apart onto each baking sheet. Shaping each into a round with points up in the center.
  • BAKE for 18 to 20 minutes
  • Remove and prick each pastry on top with a skewer to allow the steam inside to escape. Then return to the oven for 2 to 3 minutes more. Pastries should be firm to the touch.
  • Remove and set aside to cool completely before filling. Once they are completely cooled, fill them with the cream and refrigerate for at least 1 to 2 hours before serving.

Ricotta Cream Filling:

  • In a mixing bowl, gently stir ricotta, powdered sugar, vanilla, lemon zest, and cinnamon until well combined. Stir in mini chocolate chips, Refrigerate for about 2 hours or overnight before filling
  • Yields: 3.5 cups

Vanilla Custard Filling:

  • In a blender, blend on low speed, 1 cup of milk with 1 package of instant vanilla pudding. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, beat heavy cream and vanilla for 2 to 3 minutes, until it forms peaks, add in powdered sugar and beat for 1 to 2 minutes more. Fold in the vanilla pudding. Chill for 2 hours or overnight.
  • Yields: 3.5 cups

Final Assembly

  • When ready, slice each pastry in half. Fill each and optionally, garnish with an extra teaspoon of filling on top plus a maraschino cherry or a piece of candied citrus on top. Dust with Confectioner's Sugar before serving.


You can make the ricotta cream or vanilla custard fillings one day ahead and then fill each pastry and chill before serving. Cream puffs stay fresh, refrigerated up to 3 days.

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