Choux puffs filled with cream are not a Japanese creation, but they are wildly popular in Tokyo, where cream puff stands make the crisp shells with fillings such as vanilla, custard, caramel, chocolate and matcha to order.






Skill level

Average: 5 (1 vote)


  • 40 g (1½ oz) unsalted butter
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) milk
  • 50 g (1¾ oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • small pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Crème pâtissière

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 60 g (2 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 50 g (1¾ oz) cornflour (cornstarch) or custard powder
  • 10 g (¼ oz) matcha (green tea powder)
  • 300 ml (10¼ fl oz) milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 200 ml (6¾ fl oz) cream (minimum 35 per cent milk fat)


  • 50 g (1¾ oz) unsalted butter
  • 40 g (1½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 50 g (1¾ oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


The biscuit part of the recipe can be made in advance and frozen until needed. 

  1. First, make the crème pâtissière. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and creamy. Add the cornflour and matcha and stir to combine well.
  2. In a small saucepan over low heat, bring the milk and vanilla bean paste to a boil. When just boiling, remove from the heat and slowly pour the milk into the egg mixture in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Don’t pour too quickly, or you will cook the eggs.
  3. Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until it is between 70°C (160°F) and 80°C (175°F), or until thickened and a line drawn through the mixture on the back of a spoon remains. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl, then press a piece of plastic wrap on to the surface of the mixture. Allow to cool to room temperature, then set aside in the refrigerator.
  4. Next, make the cookie. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat until pale and fluffy. Add the flour and cinnamon and beat until just combined. Sandwich the batter between two pieces of baking paper and roll out to a thickness of 2–3 mm (⅛ in). Freeze until required.
  5. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  6. Combine the butter, milk and 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and add the flour and salt, stirring constantly until the mixture comes together in a ball.
  7. Remove from the heat and slowly add the beaten egg one quarter at a time, incorporating well after each addition.
  8. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle and pipe 9 × 5 cm (2 in) mounds onto the lined baking tray, leaving enough space for the dough to expand by half.
  9. Remove the cookie dough from the freezer. Using a 5 cm (2 in) round cookie cutter, cut 9 circles out of the frozen cookie dough. Place a round of cookie dough onto each choux mound.
  10. Bake the choux puffs for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 170°C (340°F) and bake for a further 20 minutes. Remove the choux puffs from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  11. Meanwhile, remove the crème pâtissiere from the refrigerator. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the cream to stiff peaks. Press the refrigerated mixture through a sieve to make it as smooth as possible, then fold through the cream. Transfer to a piping bag with a small, round nozzle and return to the refrigerator. The cream will get thicker as it rests.
  12. Once the choux puffs are cool, poke a hole in the bottom of each one using the piping bag nozzle and pipe in the crème pâtissière. Serve immediately.


Recipe from Tokyo Local by Caryn Liew and Brendan Liew, Smith Street Books, RRP $39.99