Cream Puff Cake

eclaircakeLet me just ramble the old adage, but you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

Because while this cake looks kinda frumpy and fat and weird, it actually tastes really good.

Also, maybe I shouldn’t describe my food as “frumpy”, “fat”, or “weird.”  Probably not the best descriptions I could use for something edible and delicious, but whatever, don’t judge me.

When I was a kiddo and my mom would go grocery shopping (which was like, nightly since she hated cooking and we rarely had stuff to make dinner on hand, so we’d all trek up to the store and buy frozen food or little fixings to make tacos or mac and cheese with lil smokies), I alllllwaaaaays would swing by the bakery because they’d give me a free cookie.

After a certain age, however, I guess my cuteness factor wore down to the nubs and I wasn’t offered free cookies anymore.  They’d kind of just look at me and ask where my mom was because they had to ring up the cookie.  Like, what gives, bakery lady? How do you know I am “too old” for a cookie?  What is considered “too old”?  And is it because I look old?  Because if you’re judging me based on my looks I’m totally suing you for discrimination. 

Okay, I probably didn’t think those things at the moment, but I am totally lamenting the fact that I never told that bakery snob what-for.

Anywhooo, on one of my cookie-denial trips, I spotted cream puffs in the bakery case.  I was immediately drawn to their puffy, flaky outer layer sprinkled with powdered sugar, and that fluffy, luscious whipped cream filling.  Suddenly, questionably-free cookies weren’t so awesome anymore.  I had a new crusade to fight for: the cream puff.

So since the bakery discriminated against me and my free cookie, they sure as hell weren’t gonna give out free cream puffs, so I left that up to myself to obtain by begging my mom incessantly for one.  I’d ask and ask and asssssskk over and over and overrrrr until she finally agreed.  Watching them box up the puff in that clear container was torturous, as were each moment leading up to my first bite of that heavenly pastry.

….and then it was kinda all downhill from there.  Everytime we’d go, I’d ask and my mom eventually was like “dude, you have a problem” and I insisted I didn’t and started scratching myself all over and she was like “no, really. Your cream puff problem is taking over your life” and I’d twitchingly reply, “I don’t know what you’re talking about” and she’d say, “I can’t afford this habit anymore.  You’re on your own” and I was like “BUT I’M A KID.  An UGLY kid who no longer gets free cookies.  THIS IS MY DRUG I NEED IT DAMN YOU” and she’d be like “shut up and stop screaming in the store” and then I would start crying and convulsing on the floor, clearly having painful withdrawals and she’d be like “whatever, I’ll be in frozen foods.”

So my cream puff addiction was abruptly cut off and I was forced to quit it cold-turkey… until now.

DSC_1307AFriends, this cake is the epitome of a cream puff, but in cake form.  It’s light, airy, luscious, fluffy, rich, sweet and all the lovely things that embody a cream puff, but like, eleventy times easier to make and like a billion times easier to eat since it’s baked in one pan and cut into convenient puffy squares.

Take a bite.. but be warned, you may have to fight other cream puff addicts for the last piece.


4.7 from 3 reviews
Cream Puff Cake
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
Luscious, light, fluffy and creamy.. this Cream Puff Cake is what dreams are made of.
  • 1 pkg refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 1 large box instant sugar free/fat free vanilla pudding mix
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened (can use low-fat)
  • 1 (8 oz) container Cool Whip Free, thawed
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Liberally grease the bottom and sides of a 13x9 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Spread the cookie dough in an even layer along the bottom of the pan. Bake the cookie dough for about 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden brown and center has set. Allow the cookie layer to cool completely.
  3. Meanwhile, after cookie has cooled, beat together the pudding mix, milk and cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth and most of the lumps have been incorporated. Spread this mixture on top of the cooled cookie layer.
  4. Spread the Cool Whip on top of the cream layer. Allow the cake to set in the fridge up to 4 hours or overnight (overnight preferred) before drizzling with chocolate syrup and powdered sugar and serving.

*recipe slightly adapted from Lil Luna

DSC_1302AErmagerrrd, folks.  This cake is insanniiityyy.  I, for one, am a sugar cookie fiend, so I LOVE the easy adaptation of the sugar cookie base for this cake.  It’s sweet, chewy, and soft, but still holds that creamy filling really well.  I love that the addition of cream cheese makes the filling not too sweet, but still very cream puff-esque.  I’m 99.945873658735% (which let’s face it, means 100%) sure you’ll DIIIIE for this cake.. and won’t need to risk embarrassing yourself at the grocery store.

Have a delicious day!!

xo, Hayley


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  1. My husband always wants to buy those little cake snack packs at the store. I am thinking this would be a way better treat to give him. Plus I would join in the fun.

  2. I remember picking these out from the bakery as a kid! I also loved Napoleons! This is a great dessert Hayley! Brings back memories!

  3. Whoa! This sounds so good!!

  4. OOHHHHHHHHH MAN! Cream puffs are a weakness of mine. This cake sounds EPIC and I need it in my life. And I’m sorry you got too old for free cookies. My grandma worked in the bakery so I got free cookies until I was like 19 🙂

  5. I love cream puffs! There was a stand at a local farmers market that had them in a glass case and as a kid I would stand in front of it, staring at it lovingly (every weekend). Eventually my parents had to buy me one to move along.

  6. Don’t go back to the dark side now 🙂 Love the sugar cookie crust in this! And ugly food sucks to take pictures of when it’s really good and you just want to scream TRY IT because darn it…it tastes way better than it looks!

  7. I LOOOOVE cream puffs (and i love your story of kicking your habit :P). This recipe reminds me of my mom’s recipe for cream puff cake!

  8. I think my family will go nuts for this — they are HUGE cream puff lovers! I’m definitely making it soon!

  9. Oh, yes. The free grocery store bakery cookies were the best part of the trip. I’d always go for Chocolate Chocolate Chip. Yum!

    And this cream puff cake? I die.

  10. Kids grow out of cookies at the grocery store? Gulp – don’t tell Jordan. 😉 Love the cake!

  11. My life as a child was obviously lacking…either my grocery store didn’t participate in the magical cookie giveaway or I was never cute enough to receive one 😉 This cake will more than make up for it though!

  12. Ok, admit it, that screaming cream puff scenario just happened last week, right? You can tell me 😉 Girl, this post had me laughing so hard. You deserve this cream puff cake after all the hardships you’ve endured! Love it!

  13. Um, I don’t think this looks weird at all. I want to eat all of it!

  14. I disagree; the cake looks awesome! Given my love for cream puffs I bet it tastes just heavenly too.

  15. I am playing MAJOR catch up on your blog (and everything in my inbox, actually) so I started here and now I actually just want to stare at Cream Puff Cake all day because it looks so so so so so all the things you said + super extra cream puffy amazing. The day we quit getting free cookies was a sad day for all of us– this definitely makes it better.
    P.S. I think I saw you post on Facebook about a book in the works?!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is pretty much the coolest thing ever. Customer #1 right here.

  16. Okay, first, this cake looks awesome! Your story reminds me of this bakery on my street in Taiwan. The lady that worked inside was so grumpy and always glared at us when we went in. That didn’t stop me from going there and buying cream puffs like everyday.

  17. This. is. my. dream. come. true. Seriously, cream puffs are my downfall!!

  18. Just curious why you didn’t make this with a puff pastry crust? This sounds really good and looks really good too. I have the basic same recipe, not fat/sugar free though, made with a puff pastry. The pastry is made and baked in a 10″ x 15″ jelly roll pan, let cool and make the pudding cream cheese, Neufchatel, top with Cool Whip and drizzle with Hershey’s chocolate or with chocolate curls. I use a variety of different pudding flavors depending on the occasion or what I have on hand. Super good with banana cream and fresh bananas. Pistachio with chopped pistachios on top is great too. Your imagination is the limit to the flavors in this one. Love your blog.

  19. Renee Dishaw says:

    I have been making something like this for 15 or 16 years,the only difference is my crust is a cream puff and very easy to make.The cream puff is baked in the oven then filled with the filling,which is pudding ,cream cheese and milk.

  20. I like all kinds of sweets I am a baker and a cook I love to bake and cook. I would like to cook for anyone who needs a cook at there home for any meal I am a good cook and baker if you would like for me to cook or bake for you contact me at thanks

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