Strawberry shortcake cream puffs filled with a rich French pastry cream and juicy strawberry slices.
strawberry shortcake cream puffs

Now this is what I call a breakfast sandwich.

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K-I-D-D-I-N-G.

I’ve been all responsible and adult-like and eating oatmeal (covered in equal parts peanut butter + nutella) lately.

So…these were second breakfast.

N-O-T K-I-D-D-I-N-G.

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Look at how cute they are!!

I just had to. Resistance would have been futile.

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The strawberries around here have looked extra vibrant lately, and while I considered just Keeping It Simple (Silly) and shoving them into my mouth with reckless abandon before even leaving the store going the classic biscuit shortcake route…I never pass up an opportunity to make fancy French pastries at inappropriate hours of the night(/morning). It’s kind of my thing.

Thankfully, for all our sake’s (but mostly the.boy’s), pate a choux is kind of like the entry level pastry in the world of French desserts. There are no steps that require exact precision, having it turn out does not depend on the water content in the surrounding air, and you don’t have to sacrifice your first born child to any gods before making it.  So….YAY!!!

It’s also really fun to say ten times fast. Or ten times slow. Or just…at all.

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I’ve made a few pate a choux recipes in my day, and honestly this one is my favorite. It’s from the Flour Bakery Cookbook and unlike other recipes I’ve tried, it doesn’t call for any gratuitous steps or weirdo ingredients and the puffs turn out perfectly cooked every time instead of soggy/moist in the center. The pastry cream filling is also from that book and it’s really a perfect blend of rich custard and light fresh whipped cream – decadent while still feeling light and fresh, which is hard to do. The puffs and cream would be great together on their own, but I think the strawberries really add a great sweet tart bite that is otherwise missing.

Plus, it’s just the season. And we should live it up while we can.

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Strawberry Shortcake Cream Puffs
 
Strawberry shortcake cream puffs filled with a rich French pastry cream and juicy strawberry slices.
Yield: 16 cream puffs
Ingredients
For the pate a choux
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
For the Tropez cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp cake flour
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup heavy cream
For the cream puffs
  • 1 lb strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 400F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. To make the pate a choux, in a medium saucepan, heat the butter, sugar, salt, and water over medium heat just until the butter melts, not letting the mixture come to a boil. Pour in the flour all at once and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until it starts to get stiff and leaves a film on the bottom of the pan, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Transfer the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed for 1 minute, releasing some of the heat and steam. Crack the eggs into a small bowl and beat to break up the yolks. With the mixer still running, slowly add in the eggs. When all of them have been added, increase the speed to medium and beat for 20 seconds, or until glossy and shiny.
  4. Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 1-inch round tip. Pipe out balls about 1½ inches in diameter onto the prepared baking sheets. Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 325F and continue to bake for another 30 minutes or until entirely brown. Let cool completely.
  5. To make the Tropez cream, put the milk in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Scald the milk.
  6. While the milk is heating, stir together the sugar, cake flour, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and egg yolk until well combined. Add the flour mixture to the eggs and whisk until combined, thick, and pasty.
  7. Remove the milk from the heat and slowly add it to the egg-flour mixture, whisking constantly. Return to the pan over medium heat and whisk continuously and vigorously until thickened, about 4-6 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour into a heat-proof bowl. Stir in the vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it against the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours.
  8. Before you are ready to fill the cream puffs, whip the heavy cream until it forms stiff peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the chilled custard until well combined.
  9. Split the cream puffs in half and fill the bottom halves with the pastry cream. Top with the strawberries and the top half of the puffs.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cream puff

More strawberry delights:

Strawberry Rhubarb Dream Cake

Strawberry Rhubarb Dream Cake

deep dish strawberry rhubarb pie with crumb topping

Deep Dish Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

strawberry hazelnut chocolate crisp

Strawberry Hazelnut Chocolate Crisp

From Around the Web:

Strawberries and Cream French Toast Bake from A Kitchen Addiction

Buttermilk Ice Cream with Strawberries from Joy the Baker

Roasted Strawberries over Honey Whipped Ricotta from Spoon Fork Bacon

Strawberry Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Macerated Strawberries and Basil from Blogging Over Thyme

Pavlovas with Strawberries and Balsamic from Baking A Moment

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45 Responses to Strawberry Shortcake Cream Puffs

  1. I am all for living it up when fresh strawberries and adorably yummy pastries are involved! Talk about the perfect elevensies. 😉

  2. These look amazing. Definitely my kind of breakfast sandwich. Why let time of day get in our way??

  3. I LOVE these cream puffs!!! I need to get down with some pate a choux like now. Gorgeous!!!!

  4. Strawberry recipes are my favorite! And entry level into French desserts? That sounds like my level. Need to try this!!

  5. These cream puffs look berry delicious!

  6. Gorgeous! Although I have had some disasters with pate a choux, so I think you are a lot cleverer than you are giving yourself credit for.

  7. So pretty! Pretty much the perfect spring breaksert (breakfast + dessert ;)).

  8. Sues says:

    Best breakfast sandwich ever! There’s fruit involved, so that makes it OK!!

    These are so pretty 🙂

  9. Good. LORD. These look insanely delicious, Joanne!!

  10. These look heavenly. They would be perfect as part of an afternoon tea or something.

  11. So beautiful, and a little intimidating. I’ll be coming over for some second breakfast. 😉

  12. Love this! I have been wanting to make strawberry short cake soon. Maybe with popovers O:-)

  13. i have been wanting make cream puffs for a while now..but havent gotten around it. can i come oveR?

  14. Heather says:

    I haven’t made cream puffs in forever!! These look so delicious and perfect!

  15. Beth says:

    This looks so good, I might just spend the rest of my day looking at it. And you’ve given me hope about choux, which I always thought was out of my league. Thanks!

  16. This – in short- is AMAZING! Seriously the best cream puff idea ever!!

  17. Lori R. says:

    Best strawberry shortcake idea ever. Your puffs are so pretty!

  18. eileen says:

    i love the strawberry puff. Would anyone know how to make this low in calories or fat
    Thanks for any help 🙂

  19. Candice says:

    Wow, your puffs look so much better than mine! I just gloop mine out with a spoon but I need to piping bag it. clearly. Happy weekend Joanne! 🙂

  20. I love cream puffs and I love breakfast sandwiches. Done! 🙂

  21. Sometimes, 2 breakfasts are a must! Especially if one of them involves pate a choux and strawberry and cream!

  22. Kate says:

    I’m assuming the pate a choux makes them a lot lighter than the traditional shortcake, which is perfect for summer.

  23. This look really cute and a great way to showcase strawberries when you’re not shoveling them straight in your mouth (as I am, pretty much whenever I get a chance!).

  24. These are beautiful and I already have your pastry cream puffs on the cover of my ‘treats’ pinterest board just because I love to look at it. Love these, Joanne!

  25. Julia says:

    OH MY LANTA, I WANT THESE FOR BREAKFAST slash bressert, cause that’s the way I roll. I’ve never made a cream puff but all the peeps in my family love to buy them from the store, so I’m thinking I need to start a homemade cream puff tradition in the ol’ famsicle. Thanks for the marv recipe!

  26. Oh, I could have one of these for breakfast – right now – unfortunately strawberries are gone here:-)

  27. This definitely is a must more approachable pastry recipe! So pretty and summery:)

  28. These look creamy, beautiful, delicious, basically summer in dessert form. Yum! I wish I could grab one from my computer screen. Plus this would make the perfect breakfast. 🙂 Dessert for breakfast is very appropriate and grow-up on weekends!

  29. Hotly Spiced says:

    What an excellent start to the day. Your puffs are so perfectly piped and I do love the sound of the cream filling. I’m missing strawberry season xx

  30. These look awesome and your pastry is so flawless and lovely!

  31. Zainab says:

    oh u know how to live life!!! These are just classic and amazing.

  32. easypeasy says:

    Want this sooooo BAD!!! Going to make these as soon as possible. We have strawberries coming on so it is perfect! 🙂

  33. Yum! We make these cream puffs all the time and never thought of posting the recipe- duh! Delish!!

  34. Johanna GGG says:

    oh my those look really really good – I would totally eat them for breakfast

  35. briiiiilliant! I love cream puffs and putting the strawberry shortcake twist on ’em? OF COURSE! So smart and they look soooo delicious! Michael would esp. die over these!

  36. I love French pastries, anytime of the day or night!

  37. Kelly says:

    These cream puffs are gorgeous! They sound like the perfect way to enjoy all the delicious strawberries right now! I wish I had these for breakfast every day!

  38. Susan says:

    I’ll have what she’s having! I love how beautifully you piped your cream puffs. What a lovely spin on strawberry shortcake!

  39. These cream puffs look divine! A summer must bake! 😀

  40. Sarah says:

    These look SOOooooo delicious! I love creampuffs… can I have one please?? 🙂

  41. *Ah-hem* (clearing throat)… I’d like to make a correction to your post, if I may. I’d like to say: this is not simply “a” breakfast sandwich. This is THE breakfast sandwich! 🙂 At least this is how I would like to roll every morning! No alarm clock needed.. simply wave one of these little lovelies in front of my face and I would be up and at ’em! Looks so SO delish, Joanne! Yum! I’ll take one (or three) for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a midnight snack (I have insomnia lol). ?

  42. grace says:

    one heck of a breakfast sandwich indeed! your creation is as appetizing as it is clever!

  43. elly says:

    I can’t really muster up any additional comment besides WANT WANT WANT.

  44. Katie says:

    oh joanne these look beautiful! I’ve never tried choux pastry, but its one on the to-do list! x

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