Coffee Liqueur Cream Puffs

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These pretty little cream puffs are filled with a rich coffee liqueur cream that is sandwiched between light and airy choux pastry shells topped with a sweet coffee glaze.

A cream-filled cream puff with coffee glaze on a small round plate.

This post was originally published on Feb. 6, 2016.

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What is a cream puff?

A cream puff is a simple but elegant classic French dessert. It consists of a baked pastry ball that’s full of large air pockets on the inside and that is filled with whipped cream or pastry cream and drizzled with a sweet glaze or dusted with powdered sugar.

Cream puffs are made from choux (pronounced “shoe”) pastry, also called pâte à choux, which is a cooked French pastry dough. Choux pastry is used to make eclairs, churros, cream puffs, gougères (which are basically savory cream puffs) and profiteroles (cream puffs filled with ice cream).

Since all French cream puff recipes are based on choux pastry, the fun part of any cream puff recipe lies in the different flavorings.

What I came up with for the recipe here is a coffee liqueur-flavored whipped cream filling and a coffee liqueur sugar glaze. The sweet coffee flavor pairs well with the rich pastry and makes these puffs a delicious dessert for a special occasion.

Closeup of a cream puff drizzled with a coffee glaze.

Cream puff shells ingredients and notes:

All the ingredients needed to make cream puff shells.
  • This recipe calls for bread flour, which has a higher protein content than all-purpose flour. More protein means more gluten and therefore a stronger structure in the baked good. That’s important for something you want to puff up high during baking, such as these cream puffs.
  • You won’t need softened butter for this pastry because you’re going to cook the ingredients.

How to make cream puff shells step by step:

Step 1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F., then add 1 cup whole milk, 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a pot or a saucepan.

Butter, milk and sugar in a pot.

Step 2. On high heat, stirring continuously, bring the mix to a boil.

Melted butter, milk and sugar being stirred with a wooden spoon.

Step 3. Once the mix is boiling, turn the heat down to medium, then add 1 cup bread flour and immediately start to stir with a wooden spoon.

Flour being stirred into a butter and milk mix with a wooden spoon.

Step 4. Stir the flour in rapidly and soon the dough will come together into a ball that starts to peel away from the sides of the pot.

Raw choux pastry dough being stirred with a wooden spoon in a pot.

Step 5. Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl and whip it with an electric mixer until it has cooled down to almost room temperature.

Crumbly choux pastry dough in a large mixing bowl.

Step 6. Whip in 3 whole eggs, one at a time, then 1 egg white.

Raw choux pastry batter in a large mixing bowl.

Step 7. Fill the dough into a large piping bag with a round tip and pipe about 20 small dollops (1.5 to 2 inches wide) onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.

RECIPE NOTE: Note that 20 dollops will make puffs that are about 2.5 inches in diameter, which is a little larger than bite size. If you want smaller puffs, pipe 30 puffs instead and reduce the baking time at 325 degrees F. to about 10 minutes.

Step 8. Bake the puffs at 375 degrees F. for 20 minutes, then turn the oven temperature down to 325 degrees F. and bake for another 20 minutes until the puffs are golden brown. Let the puffs cool completely, then gingerly slice them in half horizontally with a serrated knife.

Twenty cream puffs on a parchment-lined baking sheet before and after baking.

How to make the cream puff filling:

Step 9. Whip 1 cup heavy cream, 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar to stiff peaks. Fill the whipped cream into a piping bag and pipe it onto the bottom halves of the puffs.

Piping cream onto cream puff shells with a large piping bag.

How to make the coffee glaze:

Step 10. Cover each puff with a top half, then make the glaze by whisking together 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 2-3 tablespoons coffee liqueur (use as much liqueur as you need to get a slow-moving mass). Drizzle the glaze on the puff tops and let it dry.

Cream puffs drizzled with a coffee glaze.

FAQs:

When are cream puffs done baking?

They are done when they have turned golden brown.

What size should cream puffs be?

You can make the puffs bite-sized or larger than that. If you pipe 20 puffs, they will be a little bit larger than bite-sized.

When is the best time to fill the cream puffs?

About 1 to 2 hours before serving. Once you’ve filled the puffs, transfer them into an airtight container and keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to serve them.

Do cream puffs need to be refrigerated?

Once the puffs are filled, yes, they do need to be refrigerated in an airtight container.

How to store cream puffs?

Store the cream puffs in the fridge for no more than a few hours. Homemade cream puffs taste best when eaten the same day they were baked and I don’t recommend to keep them longer than that.

Can cream puffs be frozen?

Yes, you can freeze the shells (unfilled and unglazed) in ziploc bags. They won’t taste quite as good as freshly baked ones though.

Do you have more cream puff filling ideas?

Yes, I have a recipe for lemon cream puffs that are filled with coriander-infused cream here: Lemon Cream Puffs.

More coffee-flavored desserts:

Made this recipe? It would be awesome if you could leave a rating. Either tap or click the stars in the recipe card or leave a comment below. Thanks!

A cream-filled cream puff with coffee glaze on a small round plate.
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Coffee Liqueur Cream Puffs

These beautiful cream puffs are filled with a rich coffee liqueur cream that is sandwiched between light and airy choux pastry shells topped with a sweet coffee glaze.
Prep Time:20 mins
Cook Time:1 hr
Total Time:1 hr 20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: coffee glaze, cream puffs
Servings: 20 cream puffs
Calories (estimated): 139kcal

Ingredients:

For the choux pastry:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg white

For the filling:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons coffee liqueur

Instructions:

For the choux pastry:

  • Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Add milk, butter, sugar and salt to a pot or a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Turn the heat down to medium, then add the flour all at once and stir with a wooden spoon.
  • Cook, continuing to stir, until the dough starts to peel away from the sides of the pot.
  • Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl, then whip on medium speed until it's cooled down to lukewarm.
  • Continuing to beat, add the eggs, one at a time, then add the egg white.
  • Fill the dough into a large piping bag with a large, round tip and pipe about 20 dollops onto the baking sheet.*
  • Bake for 20 minutes, then lower the temperature to 325 degrees F. and continue to bake until the puffs are golden-brown, about another 20 minutes.
  • Let the puffs cool completely, then slice in half horizontally.

For the filling:

  • Whip all ingredients to stiff peaks.
  • Fill into a piping bag and fill into the cream puffs.

For the glaze:

  • Whisk liqueur with powdered sugar and drizzle over the cream puffs.

Notes:

*20 dollops will make puffs that are about 2.5 inches wide, which is a little bigger than bite size. For smaller puffs, pipe 30 rather than 20 puffs and reduce the baking time at 325 degrees F. to about 10 minutes.

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A cream-filled cream puff with coffee glaze on a small round plate.

18 comments

  1. Kitchen Nostalgia says:

    Nicole, your Cream Puffs look so tempting! I’ve only tried them with pastry cream and/or plain whipped cream, but adding coffee liqueur sounds fantastic since I like all coffee desserts.

    I also wanted to tell you that I just went through your Photoshop for Food Bloggers Advanced Video Course. Even thought I’m not a Photoshop newbie, it was still very useful to me. While I was using layers and masks together with stamp tool, your method is easier and time saving. Thank you for that!

  2. Wendi Spraker says:

    Nicole,
    I LOVE these light and airy shots you achieve – as much as the darker shots really. I have to admit that a coffee cream puff would be just the perfect thing right now as I sit here cruising my favorite food blogs and having my coffee. I think I am going to check out that awesome cookbook too. Aren’t cookbooks the best? I’m a cookbook aficionado (you could translate that into ‘hoarder’ – lol). Thanks for another great recipe and photo!

  3. Angela - Patisserie Makes Perfect says:

    So The Great British Bake Off has made it to the US too!

    It’s on it’s 6th series here and I love it too. With regards to hot water crust pastry, I didn’t realise you don’t have that in America. I have two recipes with it on my blog.

    It’s a great pastry that’s very forgiving. These choux puffs look great, well done Nicole – I love choux pastry.

    • Nicole B. says:

      Thank you, Angela! So far they’ve only made the 5th season available here, I’m hoping they’re going to add the others too at some point. I don’t know why I didn’t think to come to your blog first for any pastry needs! I made a hot water crust pastry for the first time last week (following a video by Paul and Mary) and it was delicious and, yes, forgiving!:)

  4. Natasha @ Salt and Lavender says:

    Yum, these look so pretty and light and tasty! I have watched that show haha. My husband actually made us watch it (he’s English) and it is surprisingly entertaining. I liked when that guy totally botched the baked Alaska and threw it in the bin, then presented it to the judges.

    • Nicole B. says:

      Hahah, me too! I felt so bad for him, he just did what I thought anyone would have done, throw the stuff away and they were so harsh with him about that. I also loved the guy who made the plain lemon tart and thought it was “quite exotic,” he had a good sense of humor. :)

  5. Shinee says:

    Love those cooking shows! I always learn something new!

    Your creme puffs look amazing, light and crisp!! And coffee liquor filling and glaze?? Genius!

    PS: Agree on that bubble in the filling. Looks realistic!

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