Strawberry Matcha Cream Puffs (Choux au Craquelin)

By: takestwoeggsPosted: 01/07/2021 Updated: 28/11/2023
Prep 30 minutes
Cook 35 minutes
Total 1 hour 5 minutes
This delicious Asian fusion spin on the traditional French choux au craquelin is a matcha lovers dream.
Strawberry Matcha Cream Puffs (Choux au Craquelin)

Impress your friends with your French baking skills with these homemade strawberry matcha cream puffs. This delicious Asian fusion spin on the traditional French choux au craquelin is a matcha made in cream puff heaven.

Close up of a strawberry matcha creme puff

These strawberry matcha cream puffs are TIMELESS. It will survive through all the pastry trends and will continue on even if Gen Z declares it is canceled on TikTok (unlike my side part and skinny jeans…RIP).

This choux pastry recipe was the first bake I ever learned how to make from scratch. While other moms were teaching their kids how to make chocolate chip cookies and red velvet cupcakes, mine taught me how to make cream puffs. My mom learned this recipe back when she lived in Rhode Island in the ’80s from her neighbor, who went to culinary school in France. She has been making this recipe for family and church gatherings for as long as I can remember. I decided to pay homage to this recipe by making a strawberry custard topped with matcha diplomat cream. These strawberry matcha cream puffs are not going to bake themselves! Let’s get started!

Pâte à Choux or Choux Pastry

A cream puff or choux pastry was originally called pâte à choux because it originated in France in the 1540s. It is called choux because in French that means cabbage. The choux pastry gets its name simply because the little cream puffs resemble little cabbages.

This pastry is a delicate pastry dough that only contains butter, water, flour, and eggs. Instead of a traditional rising agent like baking soda or baking flour, the high moisture and steam from cooking the butter and water are what creates the rise in the puff pastry.

Let me demystify the myth that French baking should be left to the French. French baking is not as intimidating as it looks. All you need to do to re-create these beautiful pastries is to read through the instructions carefully before making them and check out the tips I’ve listed below.

Ingredients

  • Unsalted butter and Salted butter: the unsalted butter is used for the craquelin cookie on top and the salted butter will be used in the choux pastry itself.
  • All-Purpose Flour: plain and simple flour is used in the craquelin and the choux pastry.
  • Granulated Sugar: creates that beautiful texture on the craquelin.
  • Large Eggs: the eggs are necessary for the rise of the choux pastry and the custard texture in the cream.
  • Strawberry Sauce: You can find a more detailed recipe on how to make homemade strawberry sauce here.
  • Milk: the milk gives the custard that smooth creamy flavor.
  • Cornstarch: cornstarch is used to thicken up the pastry cream to create that smooth custard texture.
  • Vanilla extract: the vanilla adds sweetness to the custard. I like to use Rodelle’s Vanilla for the richest flavor.
  • Heavy whipping cream: the heavy whipping cream is used to create the airy diplomat cream.
  • Matcha powder: use high-quality matcha powder that you trust. You can use culinary or ceremonial grade matcha. Ceremonial grade matcha will produce the most vibrant green whereas the culinary grade matcha will produce a more yellow and brownish-green.

How to Make A Strawberry Matcha Cream Puff

For this strawberry matcha cream puff, you will need to create four different moving parts

  1. craquelin cookie
  2. choux pastry
  3. strawberry pastry cream
  4. matcha diplomat cream.

For the simplest recipe, you can simply make the choux pastry and the pastry cream. This is the original cream puff recipe that my mom has been using my entire life and it has always been an instant crowd-pleaser.

  1. Beat butter and sugar. In a mixing bowl or using your stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar and food coloring (if using) on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
  2. Mix in the flour. Scrape down the bowl. Pour in the flour and continue mixing until no dry flour remains and a damp, crumbly meal has formed.
  3. Shape the dough. Use your hands and bring the dough together to form a ball. Place dough on parchment paper and roll the dough into a 6×8 rectangle. Cover the dough with a second sheet of parchment paper and roll out the dough into a 1/8 inch thick rectangle about 12×14 inches. Transfer dough to a baking sheet and freeze for 1 hour or until solid.

Choux Pastry

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper or slipmat baking liners.
  1. Boil butter and water. In a medium saucepan, on medium heat melt the butter and water. Bring to a boil/simmer. Once simmering, reduce heat to low and quickly stir in the flour with a wooden spoon. Continue to stir until a dough is formed. The dough should look similar to mashed potatoes. Remove from heat and transfer contents to a large mixing bowl to cool about 5 min.
  1. Incorporate in the eggs one at a time. Add each egg one at a time and stir vigorously to entirely incorporate each egg before adding the next egg. The dough will curdle and separate but continue mixing until it comes together before adding the next egg. The dough will be the right consistency if it is thick, shiny, smooth, and pipe-able.
  1. Pipe onto a baking tray and add craquelin. On a silicone baking mat, either use an ice cream scoop or pipe the pastry at a 90° angle into 2-inch rounds. The dough should hold its shape when piped. Leave about 1-2 inches between each choux. Take the frozen craquelin sheet out and use a 2-inch cookie cutter to cut out the discs. Place the craquelin discs on top of each choux.
  1. Bake at 350 F for 30-35 minutes or until puffed and golden browned. For best results, bake one baking sheet at a time. Do NOT open the oven door until the shells are golden brown if you open the door too early this may risk deflating the shells. Turn off the oven, let the tray rest in the oven with the door partially open for 10-15 minutes for optimal crispiness. Remove from oven and let cool completely before filling.

Strawberry Pastry Cream

  1. Make the strawberry sauce. In a small saucepan, mix together the chopped strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon and simmer until reduced and the strawberries have softened into a sauce. Mix occasionally for about 10-15 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve bowl and set aside to cool.
  2. Whisk ingredients together. In a mixing bowl, whisk the cornstarch, sugar, and egg yolk together until combined.
  3. Simmer the milk and mix with egg mixture. In a medium saucepan, pour in the milk and cook on medium heat until it simmers. Pour the milk into the egg mixture and while stirring constantly temper the eggs.
  4. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Bring the saucepan to medium heat and continue mixing until the mixture thickens into a custard consistency.
  5. Add in butter and vanilla. Once the cream has thickened, turn down the heat to low and add the butter and vanilla extract. Stir until butter is melted. Once the butter has melted, stop stirring and strain through a fine-mesh sieve.
  6. Set aside cream for matcha diplomat cream. Take out 1 cup of vanilla pastry cream and set aside for matcha diplomat cream.
  7. Make strawberry pastry cream. Add 3-5 tablespoons of the cooled strawberry sauce (to taste) to the original bowl and gently mix with a spatula until just combined.
  8. Cover and chill. Cover with plastic wrap by pressing the plastic onto the surface of the custard to prevent skin from forming and place in the refrigerator to cool. Then transfer it into a piping bag.
two mixing bowls with custard filling inside
Strawberry pastry cream and set aside vanilla pastry cream.

Matcha Diplomat Cream

  1. Whip heavy cream and matcha. In a chilled mixing bowl, whisk the heavy cream and sifted matcha powder until blended. Use an electric mixer and beat cold whipping cream until it turns into stiff peaks
  2. Add in vanilla pastry cream. Add in the set-aside COOLED pastry cream from above. Using a silicone spatula, gently fold in an upward motion to combine without deflating too much air out of the whipped cream

Assembly

  1. Once the cream puffs have cooled, slice the tops off of the cream puffs. Pipe the matcha diplomat cream into the cream puffs until 3/4 full. Then take the strawberry pastry cream piping bag and pipe a ball right in the center of the cream puff until filled. Use the remaining diplomat cream to pipe design on the top of the cream puff.
A strawberry matcha creme puff on a plate

Alternative Filling Methods

There are so many different ways to fill this strawberry matcha cream puff. You can slice the top open and pipe/or scoop the cream in, you can slice the cream puffs in half and scoop the cream in, you can poke a hole down underneath and pipe in the cream from the bottom. The choice is yours on how you would like to fill the choux pastry. No matter your choice in filling the cream puffs, they are best served immediately after they are filled.

Tips for This Recipe

  • For the Craquelin: Make sure the craquelin is cold and sold before placing it on top of the choux pastry. To get that even craquelin across the entire cream puff, you will need a craquelin that is large enough to cover the piping of the choux pastry or else the choux pastry will outgrow the craquelin and will come out like a little Frankenstein cream puff.
  • For the Choux: make sure the butter and water are boiling before adding the flour. This is a crucial step in order to have the cream puffs rise and create that airy center. The dough is leavened with steam rather than a chemical leavening agent (baking powder or soda) so the steam is VERY important.
  • Cool the dough after the stove before adding the eggs. This will prevent the eggs from cooking directly in the dough and creating scrambled eggs.
  • Mix in each egg completely before adding the next egg. When mixing the eggs in the choux pastry, make sure to put your arm muscles to use by thoroughly mixing each egg in before adding the next one. The eggs will make the dough slimy and separate them but it will come together again if you continue mixing.
  • Don’t open the oven while it bakes. Wait until the choux pastry has puffed up and reached its maximum height before turning off the oven and slightly opening the oven to cool and get its crispy outer shell.
  • For the pastry cream. Keep a close eye on the saucepan when you are mixing the ingredients. You want the cream to thicken but not curdle and create scrambled eggs. Keep mixing until thickened to prevent curdling. Once the texture is thickened immediately stop stirring and strain through a sieve to sift out the cooked egg bits.
  • Use cold heavy whipping cream. For the matcha diplomat cream, it is best to use cold straight from the refrigerator whipping cream. This will make whipping the cream so much easier and quicker.

Special Equipment

To make these strawberry matcha cream puffs you will need the following baking essentials:

  • Rolling pin: I like to use the French Rolling Pin it gives me better control in evening out the craquelin cookie.
  • 2-inch cookie round cutters: I used these cookie cutters for this recipe. The varying sizes allowed me to cut out different sizes for the craquelin cookie where I piped too large or too small choux pastry
  • Disposable piping bag and tips: when it comes to piping bags I like to buy in bulk to save time and money. For this recipe, I used a round tip for the choux pastry and a star tip for the matcha cream.
  • Parchment paper or slipmats: slipmats are a lifesaver when it comes to baking. They are reusable and easy to clean and make peeling off any bake 100% easier.
  • Half Sheet Baking sheets: make sure to use half-sheet baking sheets that are big enough to fit as many cream puffs as you can to limit the number of batches you have to bake.
  • Electric mixer (stand or hand mixer): this is my go-to hand mixer that I have been using since college. It is trusty and reliable and always whips up the perfect whipped cream.

Make-Ahead and Storage Instructions

You can make these strawberry matcha cream puffs ahead of time but they must be stored before they are assembled. You can make craquelin and the pastry cream a day in advance so they have time to freeze and chill overnight. The choux pastry is best made the day they are served.

Filled choux au craquelin are best consumed the day they are made.

Uncooked craquelin can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Unfilled choux au craquelin must be wrapped in plastic and stored in an airtight container on the counter. They can be kept frozen for up to 1 month.

Reheat: To reheat, set the oven to 350°F and bake on a baking sheet for about 5 minutes.

Did you make these strawberry matcha cream puffs?

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A strawberry matcha creme puff on a plate

Strawberry Matcha Cream Puffs (Choux au Craquelin)

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
This delicious Asian fusion spin on the traditional French choux au craquelin is a matcha lovers dream.
Servings: 20 cream puffs
Print Recipe

Ingredients

Craquelin Cookie

  • 9 tablespoon (120 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon (120 g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon (120 g) granulated sugar

Choux Pastry

  • 1 cup (250 g) water
  • ½ cup (112 g) salted butter
  • 1 cup (135 g) all-purpose flour
  • 5 large eggs ~275 g may need less depending on the size of the eggs

Strawberry Pastry Cream

  • 2 cups diced strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups (500) g milk
  • 4 ½ tablespoon (38 g) cornstarch
  • 2 large egg yolks 36-40 g
  • ½ cup (107 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (120 g) salted butter

Matcha Diplomat Cream

  • 1 cup (250 g) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup (290 g) pastry cream
  • 2-3 teaspoon matcha powder based on color preference

Instructions

Craquelin Cookie

  • Beat butter and sugar. In a mixing bowl or using your stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar and food coloring (if using) on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
  • Mix in the flour. Scrape down the bowl. Pour in the flour and continue mixing until no dry flour remains and a damp, crumbly meal has formed.
  • Shape the dough. Use your hands and bring the dough together to form a ball. Place dough on parchment paper and roll the dough into a 6x8 rectangle. Cover the dough with a second sheet of parchment paper and roll out the dough into a 1/8 inch thick rectangle about 12x14 inches. Transfer dough to a baking sheet and freeze for 1 hour or until solid.

Choux Pastry

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or slipmat baking liners.
  • Boil butter and water. In a medium saucepan, on medium heat melt the butter and water. Bring to a boil/simmer. Once simmering, reduce heat to low and quickly stir in the flour with a wooden spoon. Continue to stir until a dough is formed. The dough should look similar to mashed potatoes. Remove from heat and transfer contents to a large mixing bowl to cool about 5 min.
  • Incorporate in the eggs one at a time. Add each egg one at a time and stir vigorously to entirely incorporate each egg before adding the next egg. The dough will curdle and separate but continue mixing until it comes together before adding the next egg. The dough will be the right consistency if it is thick, shiny, smooth, and pipe-able.
  • Pipe onto a baking tray and add craquelin. On a silicone baking mat, either use an ice cream scoop or pipe the pastry at a 90° angle into 2-inch rounds. The dough should hold its shape when piped. Leave about 1-2 inches between each choux. Take the frozen craquelin sheet out and use a 2-inch cookie cutter to cut out the discs. Place the craquelin discs on top of each choux.
  • Bake at 350 F for 30-35 minutes or until puffed and golden browned. For best results, bake one baking sheet at a time. Do NOT open the oven door until the shells are golden brown if you open the door too early this may risk deflating the shells. Turn off the oven, let the tray rest in the oven with the door partially open for 10-15 minutes for optimal crispiness. Remove from oven and let cool completely before filling.

Strawberry Pastry Cream

  • Make the strawberry sauce. In a small saucepan, mix together the chopped strawberries, sugar, 1 teaspoon of cornstarch, and lemon and simmer until reduced and the strawberries have softened into a sauce. Mix occasionally for about 10-15 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve bowl and set aside to cool.
  • Whisk ingredients together. In a mixing bowl, whisk the 4 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch, sugar, and egg yolk together until combined.
  • Simmer the milk and mix with egg mixture. In a medium saucepan, pour in the milk and cook on medium heat until it simmers. Pour the milk into the egg mixture and while stirring constantly temper the eggs.
  • Pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Bring the saucepan to medium heat and continue mixing until the mixture thickens into a custard consistency.
  • Add in butter and vanilla. Once the cream has thickened, turn down the heat to low and add the butter and vanilla extract. Stir until butter is melted. Once the butter has melted, stop stirring and strain through a fine-mesh sieve.
  • Set aside cream for matcha diplomat cream. Take out 1 cup of vanilla pastry cream and set aside for matcha diplomat cream.
  • Make strawberry pastry cream. Add 3-5 tablespoons of the cooled strawberry sauce (to taste) to the original bowl and gently mix with a spatula until just combined.
  • Cover and chill. Cover with plastic wrap by pressing the plastic onto the surface of the custard to prevent skin from forming and place in the refrigerator to cool. Then transfer into a piping bag.

Matcha Diplomat Cream

  • Whip heavy cream and matcha. In a chilled mixing bowl, whisk the heavy cream and sifted matcha powder until blended. Use an electric mixer and beat cold whipping cream until it turns into stiff peaks
  • Add in vanilla pastry cream. Add in the COOLED pastry cream from above. Using a silicone spatula, gently fold in an upward motion to combine without deflating too much air out of the whipped cream

Assembly.

  • Once the cream puffs have cooled, slice the tops off of the cream puffs. Pipe the matcha diplomat cream into the cream puffs until 3/4 full. Then take the strawberry pastry cream piping bag and pipe a ball right in the center of the cream puff until filled. Use the remaining diplomat cream to pipe design on the top of the cream puff.

Notes

  • For the Craquelin: Make sure the craquelin is cold and sold before placing it on top of the choux pastry. To get that even craquelin across the entire cream puff, you will need a craquelin that is large enough to cover the piping of the choux pastry or else the choux pastry will outgrow the craquelin and will come out like a little Frankenstein cream puff.
  • For the Choux: make sure the butter and water are boiling before adding the flour. This is a crucial step in order to have the cream puffs rise and create that airy center. The dough is leavened with steam rather than a chemical leavening agent (baking powder or soda) so the steam is VERY important.
  • Cool the dough after the stove before adding the eggs. This will prevent the eggs from cooking directly in the dough and creating scrambled eggs.
  • Mix in each egg completely before adding the next egg. When mixing the eggs in the choux pastry, make sure to put your arm muscles to use by thoroughly mixing each egg in before adding the next one. The eggs will make the dough slimy and separate them but it will come together again if you continue mixing.
  • Don't open the oven while it bakes. Wait until the choux pastry has puffed up and reached its maximum height before turning off the oven and slightly opening the oven to cool and get its crispy outer shell.
  • For the pastry cream. Keep a close eye on the saucepan when you are mixing the ingredients. You want the cream to thicken but not curdle and create scrambled eggs. Keep mixing until thickened to prevent curdling. Once the texture is thickened immediately stop stirring and strain through a sieve to sift out the cooked egg bits.
  • Use cold heavy whipping cream. For the matcha diplomat cream, it is best to use cold straight from the refrigerator whipping cream. This will make whipping the cream so much easier and quicker.

Nutrition:

Serving: 1g | Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 186mg | Sodium: 144mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g

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