Lemon Cream Puffs

4.89 from 9 votes

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Lemon Cream Puffs are the zingy, summery, and creamy version of the original! Stuffed with an easy lemon cream filling. SO delicious!

lemon cream puff on a white plate dusted with powdered sugar

Lemon Cream Puffs|Light + Fluffy

My friend Claudia gave me the idea for this recipe (as in the Claudia who gave me this microwave mug brownie recipe) and that girl has never steered me wrong. I love a good cream puff, so the lemon version was simply * heavenly*.

I decided that lemon cream puffs needed to be a thing. Because I love lemon, and because I love desserts and sugar and all food basically. I think they technically are already a thing, but I thought they should officially *officially* become a dessert in the Lauren’s Latest kitchen.

Main Ingredients Needed 

Here is the list of ingredients you’ll want to gather up to make these delicious Lemon Cream Puffs:

  • Butter– must be cold.
  • Water– to moisten the dough.
  • Salt– for flavor.
  • Flour– for structure and fills out the pastry shell.
  • Eggs– for texture and structure.

For the Filling

  • Instant Lemon Pudding + Heavy Cream– for structure of the cream filling.
  • Milk– to moisten filling.
  • Vanilla + Lemon Zest– for amazing flavor!
  • Sugar– to sweeten.
  • Powdered Sugar– for garnish.

Listed below are my recipe tips and tricks, so be sure to read those through for maximum success! And of course, just beyond that, a little way down is the printable recipe, so print that too 🙂

(some affiliate links below)

  • The pate a choux (the fancy name for the cream puff shell pastries) is kinda-sorta tricky to make if you don’t follow the directions carefully. A few possible rookie mistakes could include: mixing in the eggs all at once, mixing in the eggs while the mixture is too hot (thus scrambling your eggs…ew!) or not stirring the mixture long enough to create a smooth batter. Read the recipe as you go carefully and you’ll be just fine.
  • I used an ice cream scoop to measure out and place my cream puffs onto my baking sheets. Then I wet my finger with some water and dabbed down any parts that weren’t looking smooth enough.
  • Speaking of baking sheets, use lightly colored half sheet pans!! The non-stick Teflon ones will give you very dark bottoms. No thank you.
  • And while you’re at it, get some parchment paper too to line those suckers! (I hate dishes.)
  • This recipe makes a lot of lemon cream, so don’t be shy when filling up your cream puffs! If you have a little extra, just know that it will probably get eaten.
  • The lemon cream will need to be made with a hand mixer or a stand mixer. I can’t beat it fast enough with my arm to get it to the thickness you need to hold its shape in the cream puff. So this is the exact hand mixer I have and that’s what I used. Stand mixers are fine too! (I own this exact one)
  • Once you have your cream puffs filled and ready to go, be sure to store them in the refrigerator before you serve. Refrigeration will help the filling hold its shape, keep it safe for consumption (that’s my health science degree talking), and slightly soften the shell. Sprinkle with a little powdered sugar for garnish 🙂
Cream Puff Filling

How To Make Lemon Cream Puffs|Directions

Here are the step by step directions for making Lemon Cream Puffs. The pate a choux (the fancy name for the cream puff shell pastries) are kinda-sorta tricky to make if you don’t follow the directions carefully.

Step 1: Prep

Preheat oven. Line 2 lightly colored baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Step 2: Combine Water + Butter + Salt

Combine the water, butter, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan. Place over medium heat until the butter has melted. Then increase heat to high and bring to a rolling boil. Remove the pan from the heat, and add the flour all at once, stirring vigorously.

Step 3: Heat Mixture Until Smooth

Return the pan to the burner and cook over medium heat, stirring the whole time until the mixture smooths out and follows the spoon around the pan (about 30 seconds). Remove the pan from the heat, and let the mixture cool for 5 to 10 minutes. It’ll still feel hot, but you should be able to hold a finger in it for a few seconds. (You want to cool the mixture so you don’t cook your eggs when you beat them in.)

Step 4: Transfer to Stand Mixer + Add Eggs

Transfer the mixture to a bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, and beat in eggs one at a time. It’ll look curdled, but when you add the last egg it should become smooth. Beat for at least 2 minutes after adding the last egg.

Step 5: Drop Batter on Baking Sheet + Bake

Using a generously filled tablespoon cookie scoop, drop the thick batter onto the prepared baking sheets in 3- to 4-tablespoon mounds. Space the mounds about 3″ apart, to allow for expansion. Bake 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350°F and bake an additional 25 minutes, until pastries are a medium golden brown. Don’t open the oven door while the pastries are baking.

Step 6: Remove From Oven, Cut Slit in Tops + Return to Oven

Remove the cream puff shells from the oven. Make a small slit in the top of each, and return to the oven for 5 minutes. This will allow the steam to escape. Place them on a rack to cool. When they’re cool enough to handle, split each in half to make top and bottom pieces; splitting and exposing the centers to air will help keep them from becoming soggy.

Step 7: Make Lemon Filling

For the lemon filling: Mix lemon pudding, heavy cream and milk together to combine. Then beat for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla, lemon zest and sugar. Fill each cream puff generously with filling and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Step 8: Refrigerate

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

lemon cream puffs on a white plate dusted with powdered sugar

Storing Lemon Cream Puffs

Lemon Cream Puffs can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days in the refrigerator.

Want to Make These Ahead of Time?

The pastry shells can be baked up to 2 days in advance and stored in an airtight container. When you’re ready to serve, fill with lemon filling. These also freeze well if unfilled and stored in a freezer safe bag or container for up to 2 months.

If the shells have gotten soft while stored, you can crisp them up in the oven. To re-crisp, heat in the oven at 300 degrees for 5-8 mins. Allow to completely cool before adding the filling.

More Lemon Recipes to Try!

Be sure to pin/print/share this recipe. The printable recipe card is below. Have a great weekend, friends! 🙂

4.89 from 9 votes

Lemon Cream Puffs

Lemon Cream Puffs are the zingy, summery and creamy version of the original! Stuffed with an easy lemon cream puff filling. SO delicious!
servings 12 large cream puffs
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins

Ingredients

for the pate a choux:

for the lemon filling:

  • 3.4 oz instant lemon pudding 1 box
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • powdered sugar for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 F. Line 2 lightly colored baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • For the pate a choux: combine the water, butter, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan. Place over medium heat until the butter has melted. Then increase heat to high and bring to a rolling boil. Remove the pan from the heat, and add the flour all at once, stirring vigorously.
  • Return the pan to the burner and cook over medium heat, stirring the whole time until the mixture smooths out and follows the spoon around the pan (about 30 seconds). Remove the pan from the heat, and let the mixture cool for 5 to 10 minutes. It’ll still feel hot, but you should be able to hold a finger in it for a few seconds. (You want to cool the mixture so you don’t cook your eggs when you beat them in.)
  • Transfer the mixture to a bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, and beat in eggs one at a time. It’ll look curdled, but when you add the last egg it should become smooth. Beat for at least 2 minutes after adding the last egg.
  • Using a generously filled tablespoon cookie scoop, drop the thick batter onto the prepared baking sheets in 3- to 4-tablespoon mounds. Space the mounds about 3″ apart, to allow for expansion. Bake 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350°F and bake an additional 25 minutes, until pastries are a medium golden brown. Don’t open the oven door while the pastries are baking.
  • Remove the cream puff shells from the oven. Make a small slit in the top of each, and return to the oven for 5 minutes. This will allow the steam to escape. Place them on a rack to cool. When they’re cool enough to handle, split each in half to make top and bottom pieces; splitting and exposing the centers to air will help keep them from becoming soggy.
  • For the lemon filling: Mix lemon pudding, heavy cream and milk together to combine. Then beat for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla, lemon zest and sugar. Fill each cream puff generously with filling and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 289kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 117mg | Sodium: 198mg | Potassium: 83mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 785IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 0.9mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lemon cream puffs

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36 Responses
  1. Peggy King

    When can you share with us Gordon’s new dream job/position? I am so curious as I am sure we all are! Sounds like you and Gordon are living the dream!! So very excited for you and your family!

  2. Kathleen Blair

    Reciepe sounds delicious. My mother use to mke the best cream puffs. I will certainly try this with the lemon. You stated in the reciepe 1 1/4 teaspoons of flour. Should this possibly be cups and not teaspoons. Thanks for the info.

    Kathleen

  3. Molly

    These look sooo good! My mom loved all things lemon, so every time I see a recipe with anything lemon I immediately think of her! Can’t wait to try these!
    So glad you’re all back together again. We love N.Y.! Wishing you the best in your new home!

  4. Chrissy Mealy

    You are a rockstar still blogging recipes through solo parenting and a cross county move! Best of luck in your new place/city. Looking forward to trying these cream puffs!

  5. Joe

    These sound great! I’m a huge fan of lemon and cream puffs are a staple here in Wisconsin. Definitely saving this recipe to make this summer!

  6. Sara

    I can’t even imagine doing everything that you are doing right now – you are a rockstar mom and wife! My family loves lemon – can’t wait to try out these creme puffs.

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  10. Diana Bird

    5 stars
    My son doesn’t like cake but he does like lemon so for his 20th birthday I gave these a try. They are so light and delicious! The directions are detailed enough that I got it right the first time! Thanks, Lauren.

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