Air Fryer Cream Puffs — A traditional cream puff is a delicate pastry filled with whipped cream and coated in powdered sugar. It’s the perfect dessert for any occasion, but making them can be time-consuming. However, this recipe for air fryer cream puffs will have you whipping up these treats in no time!

Air Fryer Cream Puffs

Nothing is better for dessert than a batch of homemade Air Fryer Cream Puffs. They are a classic French Dessert made with Choux Pastry dough and are excellent when prepared in the air fryer. Light, airy, and delicious.

A traditional Choux dough is prepared with only four ingredients: butter, water, flour, and eggs. Today, I added some salt, but you can easily omit it, or if you are using salted butter, omit it; otherwise, your cream puffs will be too salty.

This dough resembles classic French desserts such as beignets and crullers.

I made homemade whipped cream to fill them, which is classic. While I made the homemade filling, you can always change it for homemade chocolate whipped cream for an easy twist.

Some other great and easy Air Fryer Baked Goods Recipes, AIR FRYER CHERRY CHEESECAKE EGG ROLLS, AIR FRYER HOMEMADE CINNAMON ROLLS {CINNABON COPYCAT), AIR FRYER CINNAMON SUGAR APPLE PUFF PASTRY and one of my personal favorites, AIR FRYER, EASY APPLE TARTS.

What Are Cream Puffs?

Cream puffs are delicate pastries made from choux pastry dough, which puffs up during baking to create a light and airy hollow shell. Once cooled, these shells are traditionally filled with a sweet, creamy filling, most commonly whipped cream or pastry cream. The contrast between the crisp exterior and the soft, velvety interior makes cream puffs a beloved treat in many cultures. They are often dusted with powdered sugar or drizzled with chocolate for extra sweetness. Originating from France, where they are known as “choux à la crème,” or pâte à choux cream puffs, they have become a staple in bakeries and patisseries around the world.

Serve with fresh fruit, fresh berries, cool whip, or ice cream for a delicious dessert tonight!

Air Fryer Cream Puffs

Can You Make Homemade Cream Puffs In Air Fryer?


Yes! Making cream puffs in an air fryer is possible and incredibly easy and efficient. The air fryer ensures that the pastry gets a uniform golden-brown crust while maintaining the light, airy interior that cream puffs are famous for. Plus, using an air fryer speeds up the cooking process. It offers a healthier alternative to deep-frying, making it an excellent option for those who love indulgent treats but prefer a healthier twist. So, if you want to enjoy homemade cream puffs without the hassle of traditional methods, the air fryer is the way to go!

The Best Easy Cream Puff Recipes Air Fryer

Experience the magic of making cream puffs right at home without the fuss of traditional baking! These air fryer cream puffs promise a light and airy pastry, filled with luscious cream, all achieved effortlessly with the modern touch of an air fryer. Dive into this guide and discover the ultimate recipe for the crispiest, most delectable cream puffs you’ve ever tasted.

Ingredients Needed For Air Fryer Cream Puffs

Below are the simple ingredients to make one of your favorite desserts in the air fryer! All of the basic ingredients can be found at your local grocery store.

Ingredients Needed For Air Fryer Cream Puffs

Remember the step-by-step directions and detailed ingredients list are below in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutritional information. 

  • Flour: Use all-purpose flour for the best results.
  • Heavy Cream: This thick cream adds richness to our filling and whips up to a luxurious consistency.
  • Granulated Sugar: Just the right sweetness to balance our cream filling without overpowering it.
  • Vanilla Extract: A dash enhances the flavor profile, giving our cream filling its classic taste.
  • Eggs: Eggs are essential for structure and stability in puff pastry and provide color and richness.
  • Water: Helps to achieve the right dough consistency for our puff pastry and aids in the steaming effect during baking.
  • Kosher Salt: A pinch enhances the overall flavor of our puff pastry, making every bite more delectable.
  • Unsalted Butter: Adds moisture, flavor, and flakiness to the puff pastry, ensuring an airy, light texture.

How To Make Cream Puffs In Air Fryer

This is a very easy recipe for cream puff shells made in the air fryer. They make for a delicious treat; follow the step-by-step directions below. 

How To Make Air Fryer Cream Puffs

Step One: Prepare The Dough

Start by preheating your air fryer to 350 degrees F, air fryer setting. In a saucepan over medium heat, add butter, water, and salt. Cook until the butter melts and remove from the heat. Stir in the flour until well combined (the mixture will resemble mashed potatoes)

Air Fryer Cream Puffs

Step Two: Cook The Dough

Return to the stove and cook over medium heat for another 2-3 minutes, constantly stirring, (with a wooden spoon) until the dough mixture forms a soft-ball and a light film is across the bottom of the pan. (Note: Do not skip this step, it helps remove moisture from the dough to help your puff rise when baking)

Add the dough to a large mixing bowl and allow it to cool down for 10 minutes.

Air Fryer Cream Puffs

Step Three: Add Eggs

Beat in the eggs one at a time, by hand or with a mixer, until the dough comes together to form a slightly stiff, shiny dough.

Air Fryer Cream Puffs

Step Four: Shape The Cream Puffs

Place a sheet of parchment on the bottom of your air fryer basket, and drop spoonfuls of the dough onto the parchment paper. You’ll need to work in batches to avoid crowding.

Air Fryer Cream Puffs

Step Five: Cook In The Air Fryer

Bake the puffs in the air fryer at a cook time of 14-16 minutes or until puffed up and golden brown. Remove and poke holes with a skewer or knife in each cream puff and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Note: Use the Air Frying Setting

Air Fryer Cream Puffs

Step Six: Cool The Cream Puff Shells

Air Fryer Cream Puffs

Step Seven: Fill

While the puffs bake, add the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract to a medium bowl. Whisk or mix with an electric mixer for several minutes until peaks form and the cream has thickened. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Once cooled, slice each puff in half, spoon a whipped cream onto the bottom half, and replace the puff top. Serve immediately with a dusting of powdered sugar.

Air Fryer Cream Puffs

Pro Tips For The Best Air Fryer Homemade Cream Puffs

Here are some pro tips for crafting impeccable Air Fryer Cream Puffs:

  • Chill the Dough: Before placing the dough into the air fryer, refrigerate it briefly. This helps to firm up the butter, resulting in puffier and more tender pastries.
  • Consistent Sizing: Ensure all dough portions are consistent in size. This ensures even cooking and a uniform look for your cream puffs.
  • Don’t Overfill: When adding the cream, be generous but cautious. Overfilling can cause the cream to leak out during cooking. For best results, use a piping bag, or pastry bag.
  • Perfect Temperature: Preheat your air fryer before adding the cream puffs. This ensures they begin puffing up immediately and don’t become dense.
  • Leave Space: Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket. Leave enough space between each puff to allow for expansion and even browning.
  • Poke a Tiny Hole: Once baked, poke a small hole in the bottom of each puff. This allows steam to escape, keeping the inside from getting too soggy.
  • Fresh Filling: Prepare your filling close to serving time to maintain its freshness and prevent it from making the puff pastry soggy.
  • Sifted Powdered Sugar: Lightly dust your cream puffs with sifted powdered sugar for an elegant finish.

By keeping these pro tips in mind, you’re set to create cream puffs that are delicious and have a professional touch!

Air Fryer Cream Puffs

Recipe Variations​

While a classic cream puff is usually pastry cream, (sweet filling) there are all sorts of delicious fillings that can be used; here are some of my personal favorite. 

  • Chocolate Cream Puffs: Instead of the regular cream filling, fill the puffs with a rich chocolate mousse or chocolate whipped cream. You can even drizzle the tops with melted chocolate sauce.
  • Matcha Cream Puffs: Incorporate matcha powder into your whipped cream filling for a slightly bitter, earthy contrast to the sweet puff pastry.
  • Fruit-filled Cream Puffs: Fill your puffs with whipped cream mixed with diced fresh fruits like strawberries, kiwi, or blueberries for a refreshing twist.
  • Cheese Cream Puffs: Swap the sweet cream filling for a savory cheese filling. Cream cheese mixed with herbs or cheesy béchamel sauce can make for a delightful savory puff.
  • Coffee Cream Puffs: Add instant espresso powder or strong-brewed coffee to your filling for a coffee-flavored cream puff. This pairs exceptionally well with chocolate drizzle on top.
  • Caramel Drizzle Cream Puffs: Once your cream puffs are filled, drizzle the tops with caramel sauce and sprinkle sea salt for a sweet and salty combination.
  • Nutty Cream Puffs: Add finely chopped nuts like almonds, pistachios, or hazelnuts to your whipped cream for added texture and flavor.
  • Coconut Cream Puffs: Use coconut cream as your base for the filling and sprinkle some toasted coconut flakes on top.
Air Fryer Cream Puffs

Can I use store-bought puff pastry for this recipe? While traditional cream puffs use choux pastry, store-bought puff pastry can be a quick alternative. However, expect a different texture and appearance.

Why did my cream puffs not puff up in the air fryer? There could be several reasons: the dough might have been too runny, the air fryer might not have been preheated properly, or the dough balls were too large. Ensure your dough is the right consistency and that you follow the recommended size and cooking temperature.

Can I fill the cream puffs with something other than cream? Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with fillings like chocolate mousse, custard, or fruit compotes.

How long can I store the cream puffs? Cream puffs are best eaten fresh. However, unfilled puffs can be stored in an airtight container for a couple of days. Consume them within a day to ensure the best texture and flavor if they have been filled.

Can I reheat the cream puffs in the air fryer? You can reheat unfilled cream puffs in the air fryer for a few minutes to regain some crispness. Avoid reheating filled puffs, as the filling might spill out or become overly runny.

Can I make these cream puffs gluten-free? Yes, you can substitute with a gluten-free flour blend. However, the texture might slightly differ from the regular version.

The inside of my cream puff is too moist. What went wrong? The moist interior could be due to undercooking. Ensure you cook the puffs until they’re golden brown and firm to the touch. The small hole poked at the base also helps release steam and prevent excess moisture.

More Air Fryer Recipes:

Air Fryer Cream Puffs

Air Fryer Cream Puffs

5 from 6 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings

Description

This is such an easy way to make a homemade air fryer cream puff. Today, I filled them with homemade whipped cream for the ultimate dessert.

Ingredients 

Cream Puffs:

  • 1 cup butter, unsalted
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour, sifted
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, for serving

Homemade Whipped Cream:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F, air fryer setting.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, add butter, water, and salt. Cook until the butter melts and remove from the heat. Stir in the flour until well combined (the mixture will resemble mashed potatoes). 
  • Return to the stove and cook over medium heat for another 2-3 minutes, constantly stirring, until the dough mixture forms a softball and a light film is across the bottom of the pan. (Note: Do not skip this step, it helps remove moisture from the dough to help your puff rise when baking).
  • Add the dough to a large mixing bowl and allow it to cool down for 10 minutes.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time, by hand or with a mixer, until the dough comes together to form a slightly stiff, shiny dough.
  • Place a sheet of parchment on the bottom of your air fryer basket, and drop spoonfuls of the dough onto the parchment paper. You’ll need to work in batches to avoid crowding.
  • Bake the puffs in the air fryer for 14-16 minutes, or until puffed up and golden brown. Remove and poke holes with a skewer or knife in each creme puff and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  • While the puffs bake, add the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract to a medium bowl.
  • Whisk or mix with an electric mixer for several minutes until peaks form and the cream has thickened. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Once cooled, slice each puff in half, spoon a dollop of whipped cream onto the bottom half and replace the puff top. Serve immediately with a dusting of powdered sugar. Enjoy!

Equipment

  • Air Fryer
  • Cooking Spray
  • Parchment Paper, optional

Notes

  • Air Fryer Cream Puffs: Storage, Freezing, and Reheating Guide

    Storing:
    1. Room Temperature: Store unfilled cream puff shells at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 day. Avoid filling them if you’re not planning to eat them immediately; the moisture from the filling can make the shells soggy.
    2. Refrigerator: Filled cream puffs should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Keep in mind that over time, the moisture from the filling might soften the shells.
    Freezing:
    1. Unfilled Shells: Once the cream puff shells have cooled completely, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze for about an hour. Once they’re frozen, transfer them to a zip-top bag or airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 2 months. This prevents the shells from sticking together.
    2. Filled Cream Puffs: While it’s best to freeze the shells and filling separately, you can freeze filled cream puffs. Freeze them on a baking sheet first, then store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
    Reheating:
    1. From Room Temperature: If you’ve stored unfilled shells at room temperature, you can crisp them up by placing them in the air fryer at 350°F (175°C) for 2-3 minutes.
    2. From the Freezer (Unfilled Shells): No need to thaw. Air fry at 350°F (175°C) for 3-4 minutes or until they’re crisp and heated through.
    3. Filled Cream Puffs: It’s best to let filled cream puffs thaw in the refrigerator. If you wish to serve them warm, air fry at 320°F (160°C) for 2-3 minutes.
    Note: When reheating cream puffs, always keep an eye on them to prevent over-browning.

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 406kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 6gFat: 36gSaturated Fat: 22gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 188mgSodium: 301mgPotassium: 87mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 1281IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 44mgIron: 1mg

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Air Fryer Cream Puffs