Strawberry Cream Puff Cake

My Aunt Marilyn recently sent this recipe to me and I made it while my parents were out here visiting last week. It was a hands-down hit and I’ve promised not to reveal the names of all the household members who snuck over to the counter for another snitch.

The base of the cake, baked in a springform pan is exactly, exactly like a cream puff shell: tender and light. It holds up perfectly for the silky center made of whipped cream cheese and cream and infused with orange zest. Topped with strawberries, this was a masterpiece – and a pretty easy one at that. The presentation is stunning and the taste and flavors are out of this world.

All I can say is, You Really Must Make This.

Strawberry Cream Puff Cake

Strawberry Cream Puff Cake

Strawberry Cream Puff Cake

Ingredients

    Cream Puff Base:
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 3 eggs
  • Cream Cheese Mixture:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar

Directions

  1. For the cream puff layer, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bring the butter, water and sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the flour all at once and stir quickly until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and stir the mixture until smooth. Let cool for 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until the mixture is shiny with a satiny sheen. Don’t overbeat. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan (or in a pinch, you could use a 9-inch circle cake pan). Using an offset spatula, spread the mixture on the bottom and one inch up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and prick pastry with a toothpick 10-12 times. Return to the oven and bake 5-10 minutes more until golden brown but not overbaked (you can insert a toothpick into the center and if it comes out with sticky dough, it still needs longer in the oven). Cool completely.
  2. For the cream cheese mixture, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar (if you want to ensure there are no lumps, sift the powdered sugar into the cream cheese) and beat with the cream cheese until mixture is smooth and light. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until stiff peaks form. Spread onto the cooled cream puff shell.
  3. Top with fresh sliced strawberries (I mixed 2 cups of strawberries with 1 teaspoon sugar and let them hang out in the fridge while I was prepping the cake) or you can use a 16-ounce bag of frozen strawberries that have been thawed. Mix the thawed strawberries and juice with 1-2 teaspoons sugar and bring to a simmer in a saucepan. Cook until slightly thickened. Cool completely and use as topping for the cake.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/strawberry-cream-puff-cake/

Recipe Source: from Aunt Marilyn

63 Responses to Strawberry Cream Puff Cake

  1. juliecooks says:

    One of my dreams is to live next door to Paula Deen. Your Aunt Marilyn would be #2, but I’ll have to survive with making all her recipes off your blog!

  2. jen says:

    goodness this looks perfect, and exactly what i was going for with a peach cream pie i attempted. so yummy

  3. grace says:

    i wanna see the inside! i guess i really will have to make it myself, lest my curiosity get the best of me. it sounds delicious–aunt marilyn strikes again!

  4. Leslie says:

    ohhhhh my word. This looks amazing! I would love to dive my face into it!!! LOL

  5. teresa says:

    oh how pretty! i love this!

    we made your chicken corn chowder last night for company, it was outstanding!

  6. Leisel says:

    Oh you are killing me with all the goodies!!! I’m going to have to give this a try this week without fail! Hmmn, I wonder if I still have my springform pan somewhere????

  7. Melanie says:

    teresa – glad you liked the chicken corn chowder. Thanks for letting me know!

  8. Melanie says:

    Julie – your comment made me laugh. I’ll pass that on to my Aunt. She’ll be flattered.

  9. Valerie says:

    Oh yummy! I love that it has orange zest. It sounds perfect.

  10. Barbara says:

    Wow. That looks fabulous! It’s almost like a pavlova except you have a cream puff base instead of a meringue. Be great with just about any fruit too.

  11. Marisa says:

    I have never heard of a cake like this before. It sounds heavenly!! If I were at your house, I’d be sneaking over for lots of bites, too!

  12. Jen O says:

    This looks so delish! I’ll have to remember this for Easter dinner dessert when strawberries are in season. Wanted you to know that I made your chicken corn chowder last night…yum yum! I have another corn chowder recipe and this one is way better. My plan was to make your chicken enchilada pasta, but it was a soup night, and this was so yummy. I didn’t have a jalapeno so I put in a dash of cayenne…just gave a little bit of a zip. Thanks!!

  13. ~~louise~~ says:

    That’s one tantalizing “puff” of deliciousness!!! Thanks for sharing…

  14. Laura says:

    Ohh. Very similar to my recipe for eclair torte. Definitely keeping this one. Yum!

  15. Melanie says:

    Jen O – thanks for letting me know you liked the corn chowder! Great sub on the cayenne for the jalapeno.

  16. Marie says:

    Got your site from The Sister’s Cafe awhile back and have come to love it; I love seeing what recipe you share with next. This one looks REALLY good. We’ve tried a few recipes of yours and loved them.

  17. Melanie says:

    Hey Marie – I’m glad you found your way over here from the Sisters Cafe. Isn’t there blog awesome? Anyway, I’m glad you’ve enjoyed some recipes, thanks for letting me know!

  18. Brittney says:

    oh YUM! I need to know if you’re saying the whipping cream, orange zest, vanilla, strawberries, and sugar are the items that you bring to a simmer? You don’t add any of those ingredients to the cream cheese mixture that gets whipped, right?

  19. Melanie says:

    Brittney – only bring the strawberries and sugar to a simmer (if you decide to do it that way). The strawberries top the cream cheese, orange zest mixture (that does not need to be cooked). Hope that helps!

  20. Anonymous says:

    What is the texture of the “puff” suppose to be? Should it be crispy like a puff or bread/roll w/ light crispiness on the outside? I had the later when I made it and am thinking of trying again. Also, will this make the day ahead and be okay…not making the “puff” soggy.

  21. Anonymous says:

    One more thing…. about how long should I beat the dough mixture? I think if I knew about how long that would help me know if I’m doing it right :-)

  22. Melanie says:

    Anonymous – the texture of the puff should be similar to a cream puff – lightly crispy on the outside with a soft, tender center. I probably wouldn’t make this the day before at the risk of the puff becoming soggy, like you mentioned. To be honest, I didn’t time it when I beat the eggs into the dough, but it wasn’t super long – I’m guessing like three minutes or so? Good luck! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  23. Taci says:

    Hi Melanie,
    I LOVE your site. Your creamy white bean chili is perhaps my favorite recipe. My whole family loves it!

    I need to make this puff a day in advance- no time to bake on birthday party day! If I made the puff and the filling a day ahead and stored them separately, would i need to refrigerate the “puff” piece?

    Thanks!

  24. Melanie says:

    Hi Taci – glad you like the creamy white bean chili! As for the cream puff, if you make the shell a day in advance, no, you shouldn’t need to refrigerate it. Cover it loosely but completely with plastic wrap and store it at room temperature.

  25. OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!!!I was referred to this blog and can I just say YUUUUUUUUMMY!! :D

  26. Erin says:

    This was so yummy. I made it two days in a row. Do you think I could use the filling as a frosting?

  27. Mel says:

    Erin – hmmm, I’ve never though of using the filling as a frosting, but I bet it would work. You may need to lighten it up a bit with a bit of cream/powdered sugar. Let me know if you try it!

  28. Chris says:

    Oh, my, gosh! Just made this cake for Sunday desert. It tasted like heaven in my mouth. I wondered how it would save for the next day, but there was no need to worry about it. We fought over the last piece!

  29. Amanda says:

    I made this yesterday and my husband and kids each had 2 pieces. My one-year old just kept shoveling it in with a huge smile on her face.

    I doubled the filling and then used half of it to top banana bars–yum!

    • Mel says:

      Amanda – the image of your little child shoveling this cake in their mouth is too cute. So glad you liked this and as a topping for banana bars?? Delish! Wish I would have thought of that!

  30. [...] The orange and strawberry go so well together. Love it!  The recipe originated from Melanie over at My Kitchen Cafe.  She calls it a cream puff cake.  I thought it was more like a pie so I am calling it cream puff [...]

  31. Emily says:

    I am making this as I type. It smells delicious baking. I love your site. Some of my favorite recipes are: honey lime enchiladas, broccoli cheese soup and I just made your yummy pasta salad with ceasar dressing about an hour ago. – Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Emily – I hope the cream puff cake turned out great! I’m glad that you have been enjoying recipes from here – all the ones you just listed are my personal favorites, too!

  32. Lisa says:

    Looks delicious! Unfortunately, no matter how long I beat the cream cheese mixture, I simply couldn’t get stiff peaks (or any peaks for that matter) to form. :(

  33. Mel says:

    Lisa – I’m sorry you had trouble with the stiff peaks! I’m not sure why that would have happened. Sometimes if the cream isn’t adequately chilled (too warm) it won’t whip up very well…that’s one of the only things I can think of.

  34. Lisa says:

    I did some research and discovered that it was because I was trying to adapt the recipe so it was vegan–and no vegan substitute or lactose-free substitute will whip properly! At least it was a learning experience!

  35. I want to make this for Father’s Day! How many does it serve? How far in advance can I assemble it?

    • Mel says:

      Natalie – this easily serves 8 and you could stretch it to 10 probably. I would only assemble a few hours in advance so the crust doesn’t get soggy. If you are pressed for time, you could make the crust the night before and store it covered, as well as the filling (store in the fridge) and assemble an hour or so before serving. Hope that helps!

  36. Renay says:

    This was really, really good and very easy to make! I was worried it might be a little heavy with the cream cheese and cream, but it was light and not too sweet. It complimented the fruit beautifully. I think I’ll try peaches with this when they come into season with a little almond extract for the orange zest. Yum! I forgot to get an orange at the store, so I had to substitute lemon zest, which was delicious. I also had some blueberries in the fridge that I threw in with the strawberries, it looked very patriotic. Thanks so much for this recipe, it was fabulous!

  37. Stephanie says:

    I have a 4 1/2 inch springform…do you think it would work to halve this recipe??

    • Mel says:

      Stephanie – I’ve never tried halving the recipe but it sounds like it should work ok in your pan. Just keep an eye on measurements and how full the pan is getting.

  38. Karen says:

    I made this on the 4th of July and it did not turn out well, at all. I’m not sure what happened. It came out of the oven perfectly… all puffed up and golden brown. But as it cooled it fell and when we ate it… it was rubbery and flat as a pancake. LOL

  39. [...] Source: MyKitchenCafe [...]

  40. Nicole says:

    Wowzer! This cake looks fabulous! It’s much less time consuming than piping cream into tons of individual cream puffs too.

  41. Abby says:

    Hi Mel! I am thinking of making this for the weekend. We are a household of chocolate lovers, so I’m considering omitting the orange zest and topping the cake with chocolate sauce upon serving. Do you see any reason this wouldn’t work? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Abby – I’ve never tried making this a chocolate version with the sauce but I bet it would be yummy – kind of like a deconstructed chocolate eclair!

  42. [...]  Strawberry Cream Puff Cake Strawberry Cheesecake Streusel Muffins [...]

  43. Jen says:

    Hi Mel, I made this yesterday and brought it over to my parents house for dessert. It was a huge hit. It looked as good as it tasted. Thanks!

  44. Jourdan says:

    Mel, I love your site, I’m pretty sure your aunt must know my grandmother Snedigar because this strawberry puff recipe is from my grannie’s cookbook, which I have posted HERE (http://littleyellowbarn.com/2012/02/strawberry-puffs/). So crazy I stumbled upon this. This really is the best recipe whenever I make it people treat me like I’m a miracle worker!

  45. Desiree says:

    Hi Mel,
    Made this on Sunday, we ate it all up and my husband asked for it again! Good thing strawberries are on sale.
    Thank you!

  46. carolyn says:

    I’ve been doing something similar for years using a dutch baby pancake as the base – tried yours and it was yummy – used mango, kiwi, strawberry, raspberry with lime zest & juice – a hit….
    for those struggling with getting peaks – I put my stainless steel bowl, beaters and whipped cream in the freezer for a bit – have never had a problem……………

  47. Cearrow says:

    You mention just slicing strawberries and adding sugar and refrigerating, and then after you mention frozen strawberries and cooking them on the stove. My question is do I boil the strawberries if they are fresh as well or only if frozen?

    I’m making this Easter As well as the lemon berry trifle and I’m making the raspberry trifle next week. I had a hard time picking one!

    • Mel says:

      Cearrow – no, when I use fresh strawberries, I just mix them with a bit of sugar and let them macerate for a little bit. I only simmer them if they have been frozen since they aren’t quite as pretty/tasty straight from the freezer. Hope that helps!

  48. Cearrow says:

    Thank you that does help. I have one more question. Can the base be made 24 hours in advanced and either put in the fridge or covered in foil? I’m going to make the cream layer tomorrow but would like to prep as much as possible today.

    • Mel says:

      Cearrow – Sorry for the delayed response. Did it work out for you? Even though I haven’t tried it, I think the crust should be able to be made ahead of time so I hope it worked out!

  49. Cearrow says:

    I had to say this was fantastic as usual Mel. I made it this morning. I felt comfortable making it ahead but i got too busy yesterday. I forgot the time and overlooked the base by five minutes, then poked holes and cooked for 3 more. But it turned out fine. The cream spread was just…well let’s just say I’ll be making a bowl of it just to eat by itself soon. I know, shame. But it tasted just like a dreamsicle (spelling?) from when I was a kid. I seriously doubted putting the orange zest thinking it would taste like the rine but it was to die for. I feel like I know my cream toppings, and out of dozens this is definitely top 3. Old southern dessert expert ladies approved!

  50. Aneta says:

    I just made this cake and it looked great coming out of the oven, as high as the cake pan but when it cooled it dropped to about an 1″. What did I do wrong?

    • Mel says:

      Aneta – The cake is supposed to fall in the center – the sides should stay high and then the center falls to create a perfect spot for the creamy filling. It sounds like you made it correctly!

      • Aneta says:

        thanks. I will try it again. When you prick the pastry with the toothpick, do you do it all over the cake or just in the middle. I followed the directions exactly so Im just trying to figure out where I went wrong.

        • Mel says:

          Aneta – It’s been so long since I made this that I really don’t remember but I think I just prick all over but mostly on the bottom.

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