The easiest recipes for cream puff cream are made with instant pudding mix. But once you’ve mastered that, you’re ready to move on to homemade recipes–and you’ll be be pleasantly surprised at how simple they can be!
The reason I prefer homemade cream puff cream is that I can control exactly what I put into it. (Obviously!) I know I’m not using any artificial flavors or colors, I can adjust the amount of flavoring (or cream, or thickener) I’m using. And I can make sure I’m using only the best ingredients for my family’s treats.
My chocolate eclair recipe with easy vanilla filling is good, to be sure–and the cream puff cream it uses is based on vanilla pudding mix. But personally, I much prefer the flavor of REAL vanilla extract, which you just can’t find in an instant pudding mix.
Here’s my recipe for vanilla cream puff cream that’s completely made from scratch, with all-natural ingredients:
Ingredients for Homemade Vanilla Cream Puff Cream
- 2 Large Eggland’s Best Eggs (this is my preferred brand for flavor and nutrition)
- 2 Egg Yolks from Eggland’s Best Eggs
- 1/3 cup Corn Starch
- 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
- 3 T Pure Vanilla Extract (NOT artificial vanilla extract–yuck!)
- 1 cup liquid whipping cream (I prefer Horizon organic whipping cream)
- 1 1/4 cup skim milk (again, Horizon tastes best to me)
- 1 tsp butter
Directions for Preparing Homemade Vanilla Cream Puff Cream
- In a 3-quart non-stick pot, add eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and corn starch. Use a rubber-coated whisk (so you don’t scratch the interior of the pot) to whip together these ingredients until they’re nice and foamy.
- Heat contents of pot on medium heat, gradually adding the whipping cream and milk and whipping frequently with the whisk. (When I make this, I hardly ever stop whipping to keep the thickening cream from settling to the bottom of the pan and burning–and to prevent lumps.)
- Bring contents of pot just to a boil, then cook for 1 minute longer.
- Remove from heat and add vanilla extract and butter; whip to combine well.
- Refrigerate for 3-4 hours before use, keeping tightly covered.
This cream puff cream can easily made in advance. (Okay, obviously it HAS to be made in advance, considering how long it needs to be refrigerated–but it can be made the DAY BEFORE!)
Benefits of Making Homemade Cream Puff Cream
(instead of making cream based on instant pudding)
- more genuine, balanced taste
- healthier (no artificial ingredients)
- generally less expensive than instant mixes
Drawbacks of Making Homemade Cream Puff Cream
- results can be less consistent ( due to variation in how cooks follow the recipe)
- takes a lot longer to make (due to refrigeration necessary)
- because it takes longer to make, always requires planning ahead
- requires more effort
Quick Fixes: What to do when Something Goes Wrong with your Cream Puff Cream
If your cream puff cream is too thick after chilling:
Try adding a bit of milk or cream, 1 T at a time, whipping well after each addition. This will help to “loosen up” the mixture if it has set too hard, as might happen if a bit too much corn starch (or too little milk or cream) was added.
If your cream puff cream is heavier/more dense than you’d like:
Whip up some extra whipped cream, then fold in equal amounts whipped cream to the cream puff cream you’ve already made. Be gentle when folding the whipped cream in to maximize fluffiness.
If your cream puff cream doesn’t have as much flavor as you’d like:
Add an extra T of vanilla extract. (Or add any flavored extract you’d like.)
If your cream puff cream has lumps:
Pour cream mixture into a large bowl and beat it for a couple of minutes with a hand mixer. Note: sometimes tiny bubbles in the cream puff cream can appear to be lumps. Give one a squeeze–and a taste–to find out if it’s actually a lump before you make yourself crazy trying to get rid of it.
ENJOY! As always, your feedback is welcomed.