Nothing says ‘fancy’ quite like a cream puff (profiterole or chou à la crème in French), especially with fluffy whipped cream, berries, and a drizzle of chocolate. When made in an air fryer, they turn out the perfect shade of golden brown, with the soft middle that makes the perfect bed for your filling. These Air Fryer Cream Puffs are yummy and easy to make. They make great dessert for kids to learn how to cook and discover their inner gourmet.
Kid Friendly Fancy Dessert Inspired by Fancy Nancy
Ever since I discovered Fancy Nancy books by Jane O’Conner, I absolutely LOVED the books. The illustrations by Robin Preiss Glasser are adorable. The stories are also cute, funny, and help introduce vocabulary in a fun way which my children have enjoyed. I also love how she throws in French terms, thinking that any French word automatically makes something fancy.
I think Nancy would definitely say, “Ooo-la-la” if she saw these cream puffs. Not only do they turn out absolutely perfect in an air fryer, but they cook almost twice as fast as in an oven. The dough for cream puffs is called Pâte à choux , which is French for ‘paste of cabbage’.
Don’t worry, there are no cabbages involved in making Pâte à choux. The name refers to how the pastry looks when it bakes in the oven, I think we can all agree that Pâte à choux is much fancier than ‘paste of cabbage’.
Kid Gourmet Recipe
Now, Pâte à choux may sound fancy, but although it is nice and tender, it doesn’t taste all that gourmet. That’s because the real flavor comes from the filling you put inside of the cream puff. The whipped cream filling is soft and fluffy, and holds it shape. My kids love to load up their cream puffs with gobs of the heavenly fluff, and then place their favorite berries, sprinkles, chocolate chips, or whatever, and then replace the top and plate their creations, finishing it up with a drizzle of chocolate syrup. The kids love to make their own cream puff masterpieces, especially when it’s time to taste their works of art.
Fun with Cream Puffs
- Have a ‘Fancy’ cream puff bar. Place halved cream puffs, along with a bowl of whipped cream and allow kids to make their own cream puff creations.
- Have kids put on a ‘Fancy’ party. This is a great way for kids to practice their table manners.
- Have kids be in charge of dessert. Let them ‘customize’ a cream puff for everyone in the family, and see what they come up with.
- Freeze Cream Puffs and go on a ‘Fancy’ Picnic.
Air Fryer Cream Puffs
- Air Fryer
Cream Puff Dough
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 cup flour
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cream of tarter
- 1 tbsp unflavored gelatin
- 3 tbsp water
- In a saucepan, add water, butter, and salt. Heat until butter is completely melted.
- Add flour. Use a mixing spoon to stir continuously until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- Once mixture has cooled, add one egg in at a time, stirring with mixing spoon to make sure egg mixed in completely before adding next egg. Once done, the dough should be shiny and soft.
- Line the bottom of an air fryer basket with parchment paper. Place large spoonfuls of dough on the parchment paper, making sure the mounds of dough do not touch each other. If using traditional oven, place on parchment lined or greased baking sheets.
- Set air fryer temperature to 350 degrees for 15 minutes. If using traditional oven, heat oven to 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until the cream puffs turn golden brown. Once done, place on wire rack to cool.
- To make the whipped cream, whip together heavy whipping cream and powder sugar until soft peaks form.
- Mix together 3 tbsp of water and gelatin in a microwave safe cup. Heat for 10 seconds in microwave, then add to cream mixture along with vanilla and cream of tarter once cream mixture forms soft peaks.
- Continue mixing until stiff peaks form.
- Cut cream puff pastry in half with paring knife. Place a heaping spoonful of cream on bottom layer, followed by sliced fruit. Place the other part of the cream puff pastry back on top, then drizzle with favorite type of syrup (i.e. chocolate, strawberry, caramel, etc.)