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Lemon Cream Puffs

If you're looking for a light, tasty, elegant single-serve dessert, look no further than these mini Lemon Cream Puffs! Light and lemony in flavor, these practically melt in your mouth and are just delightful! Perfect for a party when you want to wow your family and friends.

These mini little puffs are filled with two kinds of filling: a lovely lemon curd and an amazingly creamy delicious cream cheese frosting filling. On top of that, I add a few fresh blueberries for a pop of juicy flavor (but you can use sliced strawberries, fresh raspberries, or small blackberries if you prefer).

The slightly-tart lemon filling goes perfectly with the creamy cheesecake-y topping.

Cream puffs with lemon curd and cream cheese icing on a plate.

Since these lemon cream puffs are bite-sized, you can pop the whole thing in your mouth for minimal mess and maximum flavor. The combination of the light cream puff and the two fillings is out-of-this-world delicious!

I hope you love them as much as we do!

Lemon and cream cheese cream puff on a wire rack.

Related recipe: Mini Eclairs with Lime Custard

Easy cream puff dough (choux pastry) 

Choux pastry, which is what cream puff dough is called, has a fancy name and might sound complicated to make, but it's actually very easy. It's probably one of the most fool-proof desserts you can make, even without any special tools. Yes, they do take some time to make, so make sure to set aside some time, but the steps are very easy. Make sure to read the recipe through to the end and to read the helpful recipe tips below before you get started.

The trick to making super light and fluffy cream puffs is that it has 4 eggs in the dough, which causes it to puff up in the oven. The other trick is letting it back without opening the oven!! Do not get curious, and do not peek! You will bake the cream puffs at 400 degrees Fahrenheit at first, then lower the heat to 350F and let them keep baking until golden brown on top and absolutely light, fluffy, and dry on the inside (meaning, no wet dough remains in the center).

The dough itself before baking is very thick and stiff. And that's exactly what you want. You will push it through a piping bag to make little circles onto parchment paper or a silicone baking mat with circles to help you along.

Cream puff dough in a piping bag next to silicone baking mat.

The circles to NOT have to be perfect, it's OK if there's a little pointy tip, it's OK if they are lopsided, it's OK if they are more like ovals. The dough will bake up nice and fluffy either way.

And DO NOT WORRY if they puff up and then deflate. It happens sometimes, but it's totally OK for this recipe because you'll be slicing the puffs in half and stuffing them with not one, but two delicious fillings, plus some fresh blueberries. They will not look sad and deflated. They will be delicious and absolutely addicting.

And keep in mind you can always sprinkle powdered sugar on top if the cream puffs get a little squished or look uneven on top. That makes everything prettier and tastier!

Related recipe: No-Bake Key Lime Cheesecake Dip

Cream puffs in 4 easy steps

This recipe might look long, but it's really simple once you break it down. It consists of 4 steps:

  1. Make the EASY lemon curd (you should do this step first because it takes a while to cool!)
  2. Make and bake the cream puffs
  3. Whip up the cream cheese icing
  4. Assemble / stuff the cream puffs (this is the FUN part!)

RECIPE TIP: Even though the recipe is written to make the cream puffs first (because they're the main part of the recipe), I actually recommend making the lemon curd first, since that takes a long time to cool, and it needs to be chilled to have the right consistency and to be served.

The list of ingredients for these lemon cream puffs might seem long, but they're all your basic baking ingredients (flour, sugar, eggs, powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, cream cheese, fresh lemons). The measurements are also really easy - most of ingredients are measured by the whole cupful. 

Ingredients to make choux pastry for lemon cream puffs.

Sooo... are you ready to get started?

Related recipe: Mini Apple Pie Cups

Ingredients

For the cream puffs:

  • 1 stick butter, cut into pieces (½ cup butter)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water + 1 teaspoon
  • 1 cup all-purpose white flour
  • 5 large eggs (4 eggs for the puffs, 1 egg to glaze)

For the lemon filling:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (it's OK if you have a little less)
  • ⅓ cup lemon juice (from about 3-4 lemons, but every lemon is different so buy a couple of extra. FRESH lemon juice is better, please don't use the bottled stuff for these cream puffs!)
  • ½ stick butter (¼ cup, or 4 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

For the cream cheese filling:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature (1 bar)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, straight from the fridge and cold (aka double cream)

You'll also need:

  • Citrus juicer (PLEASE use freshly squeezed lemon juice for the lemon curd! It tastes SO MUCH FRESHER than the bottled stuff with preservatives. Besides, you want to have a little fresh lemon zest.)
  • Zester
  • Large baking sheet
  • A silicone baking mat (like this one with circles) or parchment paper
  • A wooden spoon
  • Optional - standup mixer (a KitchenAid is amazing, but a less expensive standup mixer or a hand mixer will do!)
  • 3 piping bags (or zip lock bags, but those can pop open from the pressure of the stiff doug)
  • 3 plain piping tips (with a large opening), or you can use a star or ridged ones
  • Bowls, measuring cups and spoons, a medium saucepan or two... you know, all the baking supplies

Related recipe: Cheesecake with Creme Brulee Topping

Instructions

Make the cream puffs:

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or use a silicone baking mat. This silicone baking mat with 2-inch circles is perfect because you'll be piping 2-inch circles of dough!

Step 2: Combine the ½ cup butter, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring mixture to a boil, then quickly stir in the 1 cup flour, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. Continue to heat and stir until mixture appears dry on the bottom of the pan. There should be a light film formed on the bottom of the pan.

Showing thick choux pastry dough in a pot.

Step 3: Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in 4 eggs (save 1 for later!), one at a time. Stir vigorously between egg additions - it is important to incorporate each egg before adding the next one, don't rush it!!

Alternatively, you can use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Make sure to incorporate each egg before adding the next one. The dough will be stiff and thick.

Adding 1 egg at a time to choux pastry dough.

Step 4: After thoroughly mixing, transfer the mixture to a piping bag with a large plain tip attached (aka just a circle hole at the end). Pipe the dough in approximately 2-inch circles (the silicone mat helps a lot!).  

Cream puff dough piped in circles on a silicone baking mat.

Step 5: In a small bowl, whisk 1 teaspoon of water with the remaining egg. Brush the egg wash on top of each puff.

Step 6: Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 350° Fahrenheit and continue to bake for about 20 minutes, or until nicely browned. Do NOT open the oven to check, but rather use the light to see whether the tops of the cream puffs are golden brown. 

Step 7: Turn the oven off and leave the oven door slightly open with the puffs still in oven. You can insert a wooden spoon between the door and oven to help with this. Allow puffs to sit in oven until oven is just slightly warm, then remove to a cooling rack and cool completely. Slice each puff in half and remove any excess dough from center. I highly recommend eating those bits of dough!

Related recipe: Individual Eggnog Crème Brulee

Make the lemon filling:

Step 1: In a medium saucepan over a med-low heat, stir together 3 eggs, 1 cup sugar, ⅓ cup lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon lemon zest, using a wooden spoon until the mixture is creamy and smooth.

Making lemon curd in a saucepan.

Step 2: Turn the heat to low and continue stirring until mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon.

Step 3: Add ½ cup butter and stir well until the butter melts and is fully mixed in. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely, then refrigerate. This mixture actually takes a long time to cool. I recommend CAREFULLY transferring it to a gallon-size heat-safe zip lock bag (careful! It's hot to the touch!) and laying it flat. Allow to cool a little, then transfer to the fridge. 

Make the cream cheese filling:

Step 1: Beat the 8 oz cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, and ½ teaspoon vanilla until smooth and thick. Use a hand mixer or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment.

Step 2: Slowly add the heavy cream while mixing on a medium setting. Continue whipping until the filling forms stiff peaks. It will resemble whipped cream, but thicker.

Making cream cheese icing in a bowl.

Assemble the cream puffs

Step 1: Grab your halved cream puffs. Grab a piping bag with a large plain tip attached and fill it with the lemon filling. Pipe the bottom of the puff full.

Cream puffs cut in half and filled with lemon curd.

Step 2: Get another piping bag with a large plain tip or a large open star tip and fill it with the whipped filling. Pipe on top of the lemon filling. Be sure to pipe nice and full. 

Piping cream cheese filling into cream puffs.

Step 3: Place 4-5 blueberries on top of the cream filling. Place the top of the puff on top of the blueberries and filling. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled. Optional: sprinkle powdered sugar on top if any of your cream puffs are not even or got squished.

Lemon cream puffs with cream cheese filling and blueberries.

If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!

Lemon cream puffs with cream cheese filling and blueberries.
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Mini Lemon Cream Puffs

These adorable sweet little lemon cream puffs are not hard to make - I'll walk you through the steps! Make sure to read the whole recipe through, as well as the notes at the bottom, before you get started.
Prep Time15 mins
Lemon curd cooldown time:2 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 40 mini cream puffs
Author: Kate

Ingredients

For the cream puffs:
  • 1 stick butter cut into pieces (½ cup butter)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water + 1 teaspoon
  • 1 cup all-purpose white flour
  • 5 large eggs (4 eggs for the puffs, 1 egg to glaze)
For the lemon filling:
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (it's OK if you have a little less)
  • cup lemon juice (from about 3-4 lemons)
  • ½ stick butter (¼ cup, or 4 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
For the cream cheese filling:
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened to room temperature (1 bar)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream straight from the fridge and cold (aka double cream)

Special equipment

  • Zester
  • Silicone baking mat (or parchment paper)
  • Wooden spoon
  • Standup mixer or hand mixer
  • 3 piping bags (or zip lock bags)
  • 3 plain piping tips with large opening
  • Bowls, measuring cups and spoons, a medium saucepan or two

Instructions

Start with the lemon filling:
  • In a medium saucepan over a med-low heat, stir together 3 eggs, 1 cup sugar, ⅓ cup lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon lemon zest, using a wooden spoon until the mixture is creamy and smooth. Turn the heat to low and continue stirring until mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon.
  • Add ½ cup butter and stir well until the butter melts and is fully mixed in. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely, then refrigerate. See notes for tips to cool this faster.
Make the cream puffs while the lemon filling cools:
  • Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or use a silicone baking mat.
  • Combine the ½ cup butter, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring mixture to a boil, then quickly stir in the 1 cup flour, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. Continue to heat and stir until mixture appears dry on the bottom of the pan. There should be a light film formed on the bottom of the pan.
    Showing thick choux pastry dough in a pot.
  • Remove from the heat. Stir in 4 eggs, one at a time. Stir vigorously between egg additions - it is important to incorporate each egg before adding the next one, don't rush it!! You can use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or do it by hand with a wooden spoon. The dough will be stiff and thick.
    Adding 1 egg at a time to choux pastry dough.
  • After thoroughly mixing, transfer the mixture to a piping bag with a large plain tip attached. Pipe the dough in approximately 2-inch circles.
    Cream puff dough in a piping bag next to silicone baking mat.
  • In a small bowl, whisk 1 teaspoon of water with the remaining egg. Brush the egg wash on top of each puff.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 350° Fahrenheit and continue to bake for about 20 minutes, or until nicely browned and hollow when tapped.
  • Turn the oven off and leave the oven door slightly open with the puffs still in oven (insert a wooden spoon between the door and oven). Allow puffs to sit in oven until oven is just slightly warm, then remove to a cooling rack and cool completely. Slice each puff in half and remove any excess dough from center.
Make the cream cheese filling:
  • Use a hand mixer or a stand mixer to beat the 8 oz cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, and ½ teaspoon vanilla until smooth and thick.
  • Slowly add the heavy cream while mixing on a medium setting. Continue whipping until the filling forms stiff peaks. It will resemble whipped cream, but thicker.
Assemble the cream puffs:
  • Grab your halved cream puffs. Grab a piping bag with a large plain tip attached and fill it with the lemon filling. Pipe the bottom of the puff full.
  • Get another piping bag with a large plain tip or a large open star tip and fill it with the whipped cream cheese filling. Pipe on top of the lemon filling. Be sure to pipe nice and full.
    Piping cream cheese filling into cream puffs.
  • Place 4-5 blueberries on top of the cream filling. Place the top of the puff on top of the blueberries and filling. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled. Optional: sprinkle powdered sugar on top if any cream puffs get squished or are uneven.

Notes

  • Buy extra lemons just in case yours aren't very juice. I highly recommend FRESHLY SQUEEZED LEMONS for this recipe instead of bottled lemon juice. You can use fresh limes instead, if you prefer.
  • I recommend making the lemon filling first, since it takes longer to cool than baked cream puffs.
  • To cool the lemon curd mixture faster, CAREFULLY transfer it to a gallon-size heat-safe zip lock bag (careful! It's hot to the touch!) and laying it flat. Allow to cool to room temperature (option to place it in a bowl of cold water), then transfer to the fridge to cool fully.
  • Do NOT open the oven while the puffs are baking, especially during the first 20 minutes of baking. Use the light if you really need to peak at them. 
  • The cream puffs will keep well in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 24-48 hours. After that, they may get soggy or slight separation of filling may occur.
1

Nutrition

Serving: 1cream puff | Calories: 149kcal (7%) | Carbohydrates: 12g (4%) | Protein: 2g (4%) | Fat: 11g (17%) | Saturated Fat: 6g (30%) | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 64mg (21%) | Sodium: 66mg (3%) | Potassium: 39mg (1%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 9g (10%) | Vitamin A: 407IU (8%) | Vitamin C: 1mg (1%) | Calcium: 20mg (2%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)

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Brian wells

Friday 17th of December 2021

Gorgeous easy to make mmmmm....

Kate

Tuesday 21st of December 2021

Enjoy!!

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