These Matcha Cream Puffs feature pate a choux pastry with a sugary and crackly cookie topping (choux au craquelin). They're filled with with light and airy whipped cream and a rich matcha pastry cream.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Aiya Matcha. All images and opinions expressed are solely my own. Thank you for supporting brands that help make Sift & Simmer possible!
One of my favourite treats to make during the holidays is cream puffs, or profiteroles.
It may look like a difficult dessert to make, but it really isn't.
What is a cream puff?
A cream puff is a dough made with butter, eggs, and milk, and it's filled with whipped cream.
The dough (also known as a choux) is cooked in a pot over the stove and then eggs are beaten in to give it its rich, satiny texture.
Then they're piped onto sheets and baked at a high temperature.
The hot steam created within the dough creates the hollow "puff."
Cookie topping = craquelin
These Matcha Cream Puffs go the extra mile with a crunchy cookie topping, known as a craquelin.
Technically, they're known as choux au craquelin.
The contrast of the crunchy sweet cookie melds perfectly with the luxurious and earthy matcha pastry cream that's filled in the center.
Ingredients you'll need
There are 3 main components in these cream puffs:
- unsalted butter: room temperature
- all-purpose flour: regular flour will work fine
- granulated sugar: adds a little sweetness and granular texture to the "cookie"
- water: room temperature water is fine
- salted butter: you can use unsalted butter and a little salt to the dough
- granulated sugar: adds sweetness to the pate a choux
- all-purpose flour: regular flour will be fine for these cream puffs
- whole eggs: depending on the size of the eggs, you may not need to use all of it
Matcha pastry cream:
- whole milk: I recommend using whole milk for the pastry cream, however, you can get away with using half and half
- heavy cream: with at least 36% MF (milk fat)
- egg yolks: just the yolks
- matcha: sifted, use a high quality matcha powder for the best flavour and taste
- granulated sugar: adds sweetness to the pastry cream
- cornstarch/flour: helps to thicken the pastry cream
- vanilla extract: use a good quality extract for the best flavour
How to make the cream puffs
Make the craquelin:
Just combine the butter, flour and sugar together until it forms a dough.
Chill in the dough in the fridge before rolling it out and cutting into discs.
Make the choux pastry:
Cook the dough of butter, flour, sugar and water over the stove top.
You'll need to constantly stir the mixture until it there is a thin film on the bottom of the pot, and the dough starts to form a mass.
Remove the dough and transfer to a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
Cool down the dough by turning on the mixer and letting it run for a few minutes prior to adding the eggs. (We don't want to scramble the eggs).
Once the bottom of the mixer bowl is lukewarm, we can add the eggs in.
You may not need all the eggs -- this depends on how much moisture has evaporated or is left in your dough.
How to tell if your choux dough is ready?
Stick a paddle or spatula into the dough and pull it out. If it's form a "V" shape, it's good to go.
You can always add more egg to the dough, but once you add too much egg, you can't really save it, unfortunately.
Add the choux dough to pastry bags fitted with a round tip.
Pipe the choux onto baking sheets, and bake.
Make the pastry cream:
Bring the milk and heavy cream to a simmer in a small saucepan.
Combine the eggs, sugar, matcha, cornstarch/flour, and vanilla in a bowl. Give it a whisk.
Temper the eggs by gradually pouring the warmed milk/cream into the egg mixture, while whisking.
Pour the warmed mixture back into the saucepan and whisk over medium heat, until thickened,
Cool the pastry cream and chill in the fridge until ready to use.
How to serve
Matcha cream puffs are best served on the same day, freshly made.
For extra decadence, top the cream puffs with whipped cream and dusting of matcha powder.
How to store
Baked cream puff (shells) can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days at room temperature.
On the day you want to serve, you can bake the cream puff shells until crisp, let it cool, and then assemble.
Store assembled cream puffs in the fridge for up to 1 day.
Can you freeze cream puffs?
No, since these cream puffs have a pastry cream, they are not suitable for freezing.
If you just have a whipped cream filling, then you can freeze them in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Other recipes you may like
If decadent treats are up your alley, you may like:
These cream puffs will be a showstopper at your next gathering, whether it be the holidays, or just because.
My boys both devoured their matcha cream puffs in record time, with cream and crumbs smeared all over their faces.
I'll take that as a sign that it was delicious 😉
As always, let me know if you try out my recipe -- tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below!
Matcha Cream Puffs (Choux au craquelin)
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 5 tablespoon unsalted butter room temperature
- 5 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoon granulated cane sugar
- ½ C water
- ½ C salted butter
- 1 teaspoon granulated cane sugar
- ½ C all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
Matcha Pastry Cream
- ¾ C whole milk divided
- 2 tablespoon heavy whipping cream (36% MF or higher)
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 teaspoon Aiya Culinary Grade Matcha sifted
- 6 tablespoon granulated sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 C whipped cream save some aside if you want to have two-toned cream
- 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon Aiya Culinary Grade Matcha sifted
- To make the craquelin, cream together the butter, flour and sugar in a bowl until it forms a dough. Shape into a ball and place into the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to a thickness of about ⅛."
- Use a round 2" cookie cutter and cut out discs. Place the cut out discs onto a sheet of parchment paper and place into the freezer until ready to use. You should get approximately 8-10 discs, depending on how large your cutter is.
- Prepare a large 12" by 17" baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400°F/204°C.
- In a small pot, add in the water, butter, sugar and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Add in the flour and reduce the heat. Stir the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon until it forms a ball of dough, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment fitted, transfer the dough into the mixer and turn it on on low speed. This will help cool down the dough before adding the eggs.
- Once the dough is lukewarm, gradually add in the lightly beaten egg in a few additions, but be careful not to add too much egg.
- The dough will look curdled between additions, but don't worry, it will absorb the egg. Scrape down the bowl periodically. To check if you've added enough egg, pull up the paddle from the mixture -- if the mixture hanging down from the paddle forms a "v," it's ready. The dough will be shiny and glossy.
- Transfer the choux dough to a large piping bag, fitted with a round tip.
- Pipe round dollops about 1" in diameter and 1" in height on the prepared baking sheet and leave a few inches in between each dollop. Repeat until all the dough is used up.
- Grab a small dish with a little water and wet the tip of your finger to dab down any pointed tops in the choux dough.
- Place a frozen craquelin disc on top of each choux dough mound.
- Bake at 400°F/204°C for 10 minutes. Lower to 350°F/177°C and bake for another 25-30 minutes.
- Remove puffs from the oven and cut off the tops using a sharp serrated knife. Place them back into the oven with the door slightly ajar and the oven turned off for about 15 minutes.
- Remove puffs from oven and let cool on a rack. Cream puffs at this point in time can be sealed in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature if not using right away.
Make the matcha pastry cream:
- In a small saucepan, bring ½ C milk and 2 tablespoon heavy whipping cream to a simmer over medium heat.
- In a bowl, beat together the egg yolks, ¼ C milk, matcha, sugar, salt and add in the cornstarch and flour. Whisk to combine.
- Temper the egg yolk mixture with the warmed milk and cream by slowly adding some of the hot liquid into the egg mixture while constantly whisking.
- Add the warmed egg mixture back into the sauce pan and cook until thickened. (A way to tell if the pastry cream is thick enough is by running your finger along the back of the spoon to see if a "line" holds).
- Remove from heat and add in the vanilla extract.
- Let pastry cream cool and place a piece of parchment over top of the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
- To make whipped cream, add 2 C heavy whipping cream (at least 36% milk fat) into a chilled large glass bowl. Add 1 teaspoon powdered sugar and whip until soft peaks form.
- Remove pastry cream from the fridge. To lighten the matcha pastry cream, fold in 2 C of the whipped cream.
- Transfer the matcha pastry cream to a piping bag and pipe into the cavity of each cream puff. Pipe whipped cream on top of the matcha pastry cream (if desired). Top with its "hat." Dust with additional matcha on top.
- Serve immediately.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.