Cream Puff Cake

A deliciously cool and creamy cake with a flaky crust. This Cream Puff Cake is perfect for summer picnics. A new way to eat a cream puff!

I don’t make cream puffs often, but they are one of my favorite desserts to buy at bakeries. One thing I do make often at home, however, is this cream puff cake. It’s a classic!

It reminds me somewhat of our eclair cake and also our icebox cakes. You have to bake the crust, but it is still such a great summer picnic cake. It’s requested often for winter holidays though as well. It’s an all around family favorite!

cream puff cake on a plate with a fork

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Your favorite cream puff layers…in the form of a cake.
  • Cool and creamy for warm weather.
  • The slightly chewy pastry pairs well with the smooth pudding filling.
  • Endless recipe variations!

How to Make Cream Puff Cake

You’ll want to plan ahead slightly for this cake. The crust has to bake, then you’ll want it fully cool before you add the puddings. You can make the crust up to a day in advance before filling it.

Make the cream puff crust:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a heavy saucepan, heat butter and water to boiling over medium-high heat.
  • Add the flour and reduce heat to low. Cook and stir until it forms a ball and pulls away from the pan.
  • Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg.
  • Spread in bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9×13 inch pan. Bake for 35 minutes. Cool completely.

Make the chocolate fudge:

  • Melt the chocolate and 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over low heat.
  • Stir in 1 cup confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Whisk well.
  • Stir in hot water, one tablespoon at a time, until icing is smooth and able to be drizzled.
  • Remove from heat, cool slightly, and drizzle over the bottom of the crust.

Make the pudding:

  • In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and ¼ cup of milk. Beat until smooth. Continue to add the milk in ¼ cup increments, mixing between each addition. This will help you not have cream cheese clumps.
  • Once all 3 cups are added in, add pudding mix and mix well until it starts to thicken.
  • Spread this mixture over the fudge-topped crust. Allow to refrigerate and set for 10 minutes.
  • Top with Cool Whip and then drizzle chocolate syrup over the top.

Recipe Variations

  • For a shortcut, skip the homemade fudge filling and just use a Hershey syrup.
  • Use sugar free pudding and low fat Cool Whip to lower the calories.
  • Any flavor of pudding would be great for this. Make a chocolate version with chocolate pudding, or use pistachio for Christmas or spring.
  • You can also make a no bake cheesecake filling and put that in the crust if you don’t have any pudding.
  • Make real whipped cream and use it instead of Cool Whip.
  • Love bananas? Make a banana cream puff cake. Put a layer of sliced bananas down before you add the pudding. Delish!
a piece of cream puff cake with a bite out

Can you make this recipe in advance?

You can make this cream puff cake up to 24 hours in advance. Cover it with plastic wrap and keep it refrigerated.

a closeup of a piece of cake on a plate
a closeup of a piece of cake on a plate

Cream Puff Cake

5 from 3 votes
A deliciously cool and creamy cake with a flaky crust. This Cream Puff Cake is perfect for summer picnics. A new way to eat a cream puff!
Servings 15
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes

Ingredients
 

For the crust:

For the fudge filling:

  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate Hershey’s Special Dark would work
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons hot water

For the pudding:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 3 cups milk
  • 5.1 ounces instant vanilla pudding 1 large box

Topping:

  • 8 ounces Cool Whip thawed
  • Hershey’s chocolate syrup

Instructions
 

Make the crust:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a heavy saucepan, heat butter and water to boiling over medium-high heat.
  • Add the flour and reduce heat to low. Cook and stir until it forms a ball and pulls away from the pan.
  • Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg.
  • Spread in bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9×13 inch pan. Bake for 35 minutes. Cool completely.

Make the chocolate layer:

  • Melt the chocolate and 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over low heat.
  • Stir in 1 cup confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Whisk well.
  • Stir in hot water, one tablespoon at a time, until icing is smooth and able to be drizzled.
  • Remove from heat, cool slightly, and drizzle over the bottom of the crust.

Make the pudding:

  • In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and ¼ cup of milk. Beat until smooth. Continue to add the milk in ¼ cup increments, mixing between each addition. This will help you not have cream cheese clumps.
  • Once all 3 cups are added in, add pudding mix and mix well until it starts to thicken.
  • Spread this mixture over the fudge-topped crust. Allow to refrigerate and set for 10 minutes.
  • Top with Cool Whip and then drizzle chocolate syrup over the top.
  • Refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

Notes

The calories shown are based on the cake being cut into 15 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of cake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword pudding cake, summer dessert

About Julie Clark

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Can pastry sheet be used for the crust???