Easy Cream Puff Dessert
If you are fan of cream puffs you are going to LOVE this Easy Cream Puff Dessert. It's a seriously impressive but incredibly easy make-ahead dessert that is a great choice for any gathering.
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs
- 8 ounces cream cheese , softened
- 4 cups milk , divided
- 3 (3.4 ounce) packages Instant French Vanilla Pudding (see recipe note below)
- 8 ounces whipped topping , defrosted (like Cool Whip)
- chocolate syrup , as needed (like Hershey's)
For the Cream Puff Pastry Crust:
Add the butter and water to a heavy saucepan and place over MEDIUM heat. Cook until the butter has melted and then bring the mixture to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and use a wooden spoon to stir in the flour until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a soft ball.
Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl and let it rest for about 5 minutes to cool slightly. Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly with an electric mixer in between additions. Once all eggs have been added, continue to mix for a minute or two or until the mixture is smooth.Transfer the dough to the prepared baking dish. Spread the sticky dough out evenly over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. To make it easier, spray the backside of an offset spatula with non-stick cooking spray and use it to spread the dough.
Bake for 20 to 23 minutes or until puffed up the sides of the pan and golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
For the Cream Puff Filling:
Place softened cream cheese and 1 cup milk in a large mixing bowl and beat thoroughly with an electric mixer until the mixture is smooth. If there are small bits of cream cheese that don't completely incorporate, it's fine. Just beat the mixture so that it is as smooth as possible (starting with room temperature cream cheese will make this step easier). Add remaining milk and the pudding mix and beat again for several minutes on high speed until thickened.
Spread the pudding mixture over the completely cooled crust. Spread the whipped topping over the pudding mixture and use an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth it out. Chill for at least an hour or overnight.
Drizzle with chocolate syrup before serving.
Total time does not include time for crust to cool or chilling time.
If you can't find French Vanilla Pudding you can substitute regular vanilla and add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. It is also delicious prepared with a variety of different flavored puddings - Cheesecake, White Chocolate, or Coconut Cream are great choices.
I like this dessert best when it is chilled for 2 to 4 hours. Chilling it overnight will soften the crust a bit but it is still wonderful.
Calories: 364kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 353mg | Potassium: 191mg | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 665IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 140mg | Iron: 0.9mg