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Craquelin Cream Puffs

These cream puffs get dressed up with a cap of sweet and crispy cookie dough (craquelin) on top. While the recipe calls for a filling of whipped cream infused with the bright floral flavor of hibiscus flowers and zesty lime, feel free to go your own route: From store- bought pudding and canned whipped cream to lemon curd, freshly whipped cream, and rhubarb compote, the variations are
limited only by your imagination.

50 mins
45 mins
2 hrs 50 mins
16 filled cream puffs



  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon (242g) water, divided

  • 1/2 cup (85g) granulated sugar

  • 5 tea bags hibiscus tea*

  • 1 tablespoon (7g) cornstarch

*Substitute 10g food-grade dried hibiscus flowers for the tea bags, if desired. 


  • 4 tablespoons (57g) unsalted butter, softened

  • 1/4 cup + 2 teaspoons (60g) light brown sugar or dark brown sugar, packed

  • 1/2 cup (60g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  • 1 batch Pâte à Choux

Whipped cream*

  • 2 1/2 cups (567g) heavy cream or whipping cream

  • 3/4 cup (84g) confectioners' sugar

  • 2 to 3 teaspoons (4g to 6g) lime zest (grated rind), from about 2 medium limes

*Enough to fill all 16 puffs; see “tips,” below, to downsize. 


  • 2 tea bags hibiscus tea

  • 1/3 cup (38g) confectioners' sugar



  • Combine 1 cup (227g) of water, sugar, and tea bags in a small saucepan.

  • Cook over medium heat until boiling, then let the tea bags steep for 15 minutes.

  • Remove the tea bags and bring the syrup to a low boil, reducing the volume by half.

  • Whisk 1 tablespoon of water with cornstarch and add it to the syrup, stirring until thickened.

  • Cool completely and refrigerate for up to two weeks.


  • Beat butter and sugar until smooth, then add flour and salt to form a stiff dough.

  • Roll the dough between parchment paper into an 8" x 9" rectangle, about 1/8" thick.

  • Cut 12 circles with a 2" round cutter, refrigerate, and separate the rounds from the scrap.

  • Re-roll the scrap, cut four more rounds, and chill until set.

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.

Baking the Puffs:

  • Portion pâte à choux onto parchment-lined baking sheets or pipe 2" circles of dough.

  • Place a craquelin disc on top of each puff and bake for 20 minutes.

  • Reduce heat to 325°F and bake for an additional 25 minutes.

  • Cool the puffs completely in the oven with the door cracked open.

Whipped Cream:

  • Beat cream until soft peaks form, then add confectioners' sugar and lime zest.

  • Beat until stiff peaks form, being careful not to overbeat. Set aside.


  • Grind contents of two hibiscus tea bags finely and whisk with confectioners' sugar.

Filling the Puffs:

  • Cut each puff in half and remove any large pieces of dough from the center.

  • Spoon or pipe 2 tablespoons of whipped cream into each puff half.

  • Make a small divot in the cream, add 2 teaspoons of syrup, and swirl gently.

  • Join the puff halves together, aligning the edges.

Finishing the Puffs:

  • Pipe a small garnish of whipped cream on top of each puff, if desired.

  • Dust the top of each puff generously with the hibiscus sugar topping using a sieve.


  • Serve filled pastries immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

  • Unfilled puffs can be frozen for up to a month and re-crisped in a 300°F oven.

  • Allow the puffs to cool before filling.

Tips from our Bakers

  • If you’re unable to find hibiscus tea or flowers but want to try to match hibiscus’ floral, fruity flavor, in a pinch you can substitute rose petal jelly or raspberry jam. 

  • The filling is best used shortly after it’s prepared. Scale down the amount of filling based on the number of puffs you plan to serve immediately (or the same day) — e.g., if only filling eight puffs and freezing the remainder, prepare just a half batch of filling. 

  • Use your imagination when garnishing the top of the puff with whipped cream. Try a ruffled line of cream down the center, a rosette or swirl on top, or even a few flourishes made with a star tip — your choice. 

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