Cream Puff Cake

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Learn how to make Cream Puff Cake! It’s a perfect blend of a soft, tender crust and a luxuriously creamy filling. Whether you’re planning a sunny picnic or a cozy family gathering, this dessert is sure to impress. It’s an easy, foolproof recipe that promises to become a new favorite among your sweet recipes!

cream puff cake in a pan and served on plates with a fork.

Let’s make Cream Puff Cake. I have wanted to share this recipe with you for quite some time, so I’m thrilled to finally post it on IBC. (It would be excellent to serve for Easter should you need a new or different dessert recipe.)

The ultimate #spring or #summer #dessert #recipe! Cream Puff Cake!

This cake goes back almost 20 years. I first tasted it when I worked as a waiter at a little cafe in my hometown. The cake was one of my favorite menu items.

It’s light and simple to make, but don’t let that fool you. It’s oh-so-good! I probably haven’t had a piece of this cake in 15 years, so I was extremely excited to whip it up.

cream puff cake served on a plate with a black fork.

If you’ve ever had a cream puff, this recipe certainly lives up to its name. It is loaded with filling. (No complaints here!) And the crust of the cake is light, soft and tender. – I know that may not be the best way to describe a crust, but I mean chewy in the best possible way.

The crust bakes up similar to a Dutch baby (German) pancake. It will puff up and rise at the sides. That is what you want. The filling is a combination of vanilla pudding and cream cheese, and the cake is topped with Cool Whip.

This Cream Puff Cake is one of my favorite #dessert #recipes for #spring and #summer! #creampuff

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Imagine biting into a cloud of dessert – that’s what each mouthful of this Cream Puff Cake feels like. Its light and airy texture makes it a perfect dessert for those warm spring and summer days.
  • This dessert recipe is so easy to make. Don’t worry if you’re not a seasoned baker – this recipe is incredibly straightforward. With clear steps and everyday ingredients, you’ll find the process as enjoyable as indulging in the final product.
  • Whether it’s a family get-together, a summer picnic, or just a weekend treat, this Cream Puff Cake is a crowd-pleaser. It’s a conversation starter and a surefire way to sweeten any occasion
  • This Cream Puff Cake is not just delicious, it’s also convenient. You can make it in advance! Prepare it a day ahead and let it chill. It’s one less thing to worry about when prepping for your event or a relaxing day at home.

This is a must-make summer dessert recipe. Looking for more check out all my favorite dessert recipe for summer entertaining.

slice of cream puff cake on a plate with a black fork.

Ingredients

Before we get to baking and making this decadent Cream Puff Cake, let’s gather up some ingredients. Here’s what you will need:

  • Water: The humble start to our extraordinary crust, water is the essential element that brings all our ingredients together.
  • Unsalted Butter: Rich and creamy, unsalted butter is the secret to a flavorful crust that’s just the right kind of indulgent.
  • All-Purpose Flour: The backbone of our crust, all-purpose flour gives it structure and that perfect chewy texture we love.
  • Salt: Just a pinch, but oh-so-crucial, salt is the unsung hero that enhances all the flavors in our cake.
  • Eggs: They’re not just for breakfast! Eggs add richness and help bind the crust, giving it that lovely, light texture.
  • Cream Cheese: The star of the filling, cream cheese adds a creamy, tangy depth that makes this cake irresistibly luscious.
  • Instant Vanilla Pudding: This little shortcut infuses our cake with a sweet, vanilla essence and makes the filling oh-so-smooth.
  • Milk: It melds beautifully with the pudding and cream cheese, creating a filling that’s both rich and refreshing.
  • Whipped Topping (Cool Whip): Light, fluffy, and sweet, this topping is like the final flourish on a masterpiece, completing our Cream Puff Cake with a cloud-like finish.
piece of cream puff cake on a plate with a fork on a gingham napkin.

How to Make

Now it’s time to put it all together. I’ll walk you through the process below. I’ve also provided a full ingredient list and detailed instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this post.

  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with baking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Then add the butter and bring to a boil again. Remove from heat and stir in the flour and salt until it is just combined and forms a ball.
  3. Transfer the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add one egg at a time, mixing thoroughly between each addition. After the final egg addition, continue to mix on high for 4-5 minutes until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Add the dough to the prepared baking dish. Spray your fingertips with some baking spray and then gently press the dough into an even layer on the bottom of the pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. The dough will rise, especially up the sides of the pan. Cool completely.
baked crust for cream puff cake in a pan.
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the instant pudding and milk. Set aside. In the bowl of stand mixer, beat the cream cheese 3-4 minutes until it is smooth. Then mix in the prepared pudding mix. Beat 3-4 minutes until smooth.
hand with spatula adding cool whip to a cream puff cake.
  1. Spread the cream cheese and pudding mixture into an even layer on the cooled crust. Then top with a layer of whipped topping. Chill overnight or for 2-3 hours before serving

And that’s it. Once chilled, you’re ready to slice and enjoy. The combination of flavors is yummy, and the crust is killer. I am partial to the corner and edge pieces, but any slice is delicious.

hand with knife slicing a cream puff cake.
cream puff cake in a white baking dish with pieces removed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this Cream Puff Cake ahead of time?

Absolutely! In fact, it’s recommended to make it ahead so that it has ample time to chill. Prepare it a day in advance and let it set in the fridge overnight for best results.

What can I use if I don’t have a stand mixer?

No worries if you don’t have a stand mixer. A hand mixer will work just as well for combining the ingredients. If you’re up for a bit of a workout, a sturdy whisk and some elbow grease can also get the job done!

Is there a substitute for instant vanilla pudding?

If you’re not a fan of vanilla or just want to try something different, any flavor of instant pudding can be used. Coconut or lemon could be delightful alternatives!

How should I store the leftover cake?

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh and delicious for up to 3-4 days.

Can I freeze this Cream Puff Cake?

Freezing is possible, but it’s best enjoyed fresh. If you do freeze it, wrap it well and thaw it in the refrigerator before serving. Note that the texture of the whipped topping may change slightly after freezing.

Can I add toppings to this cake?

Definitely! Feel free to garnish with powdered sugar, chocolate shavings, fresh berries, or a drizzle of caramel sauce for an extra special touch.

hand with a black fork taking a bite of cream puff cake.

More Delicious Desserts You Will Love

And simple to make as well. You’ve got this one. Give this Cream Puff Cake recipe a try, and let me know what you think. If try it, please leave a comment and a 5-star rating below. 

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The ultimate #spring or #summer #dessert #recipe! Cream Puff Cake!

Cream Puff Cake

This Cream Puff Cake is a light and fluffy dessert that just might become your new favorite sweet recipes for spring and summer.
4.89 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake, cream puff, cream puff cake, custard
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 400kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with baking spray and set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Then add the butter and bring to a boil again. Remove from heat and stir in the flour and salt until it is just combined and forms a ball.
  • Transfer the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add one egg at a time, mixing thoroughly between each addition. After the final egg addition, continue to mix on high for 4-5 minutes until the mixture is smooth.
  • Add the dough to the prepared baking dish. Spray your fingertips with some baking spray and then gently press the dough into an even layer on the bottom of the pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. The dough will rise, especially up the sides of the pan. Cool completely.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the instant pudding and milk. Set aside. In the bowl of stand mixer, beat the cream cheese 3-4 minutes until it is smooth. Then mix in the prepared pudding mix. Beat 3-4 minutes until smooth.
  • Spread the cream cheese and pudding mixture into an even layer on the cooled crust. Then top with a layer of whipped topping. Chill overnight or for 2-3 hours before serving

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 400kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 251mg | Potassium: 220mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 976IU | Calcium: 161mg | Iron: 1mg

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Recipe Rating




79 Comments

  1. I followed your directions exactly. I refrigerated it overnight. The dough seemed really soft. Is it supposed to be like that? The filling was yummy and I would try this again. Am just not sure if I did something wrong to make the dough that soft.

  2. I made this for a luncheon we recently had. Everyone loved it! We have some leftover, and I’m suspending my Keto lifestyle to finish it! Happy Easter from Utah, and I love your artwork!

  3. Hi, Can I make this cake in a 9×12 pan I been baking along time and never heard of 9×13 pan I guess because most recipes call for 9×12. Or I never had a recipe that called for a 9×13! Thanks for the recipe. I excited to make it, but I’ll use real whip cream for the frostng.

  4. I made this recipe with Bird’s custard and the bottom turned out soggy. Probably best to use instant pudding as the recipe indicates unless you are eating it the day of.

  5. I’ve been making a version of this for 30+years(I add chopped walnuts to the crust and also sprinkle on top). The first time I took it to my future in-laws my husband cut such small pieces everyone questioned him…he said it was awful….awfully good! Now that’s the only name our families know it by.😂

  6. Beautiful, and looks delicious. About the cream cheese, can you please clarify? Two 8 ounce packages, to equal 16 ounces? Or two 4 oz packages to equal 8 ounces?

    Thanks so much!

  7. I made the cream puff cake for dessert for our 4th of July celebration. After letting it set overnight, I decorated it to look like the American flag, using blueberries and strawberries. Everyone loved it!

  8. Hi Michael. I’m hoping one of my children might make this for my birthday next weekend (they need something to do in lockdown to keep them busy). However, we are in the UK and there is nothing here that is quite the same as American instant pudding. We have Angel Delight (lighter than pudding and not available in vanilla flavour – only strawberry, chocolate, banana or butterscotch) or custard (less airy than pudding but always vanilla flavour). Any idea which one might be better to use? Also, am I right in thinking that the dough is a choux pastry?

    1. Happy Birthday! I’m not quite sure what would be a good substitute for pudding. Maybe try homemade? And I’m not familiar with choux pastry either, so I’m not sure. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

      xo Michael

      1. Hi Michael,
        I have been making this recipe for many years and I did it the way your recipe showed and you have made it so much better. It puffed up so much fluffier and can’t wait to taste it. Thank you!

  9. I discovered this recipe almost 30 years ago in a farming magazine that my husband received. It has been a family favorite ever since! I smiled when I saw it in your email today–I like your taste in decor AND food too!