Classic Chocolate Eclairs (Easy + Foolproof Recipe) (2024)

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This easy Chocolate Eclair Recipe is one of the most famous and the most delicious desserts ever created. And I'm going to help you make this classic French treat at home using my foolproof recipe that’ll give you perfect results every single time.

Classic Chocolate Eclairs (Easy + Foolproof Recipe) (1)

There’s nothing quite like classic chocolate eclairs, but most people find them intimidating to make. If that sounds like you, then this post is perfect for you. I’ll walk you through my tried and tested recipe that’s foolproof and incredibly easy to make.

The process takes a bit of time, but you'll be rewarded with the creamiest and lighter-than-air homemade eclairs with custard filling. They taste even better than store-bought, and you’ll get that classic French flavor in the comfort of your home.

Remember how good was my French Dacquoise Cake With Mascarpone Cream? Well, these easy Chocolate Eclairs are on the same level of deliciousness. After all, I wouldn't expect anything else from French recipes.

These chocolate eclairs are perfect for guests or the holidays, and if you love eclairs as much as I do, then you’ll love these mini eclairs or this homemade eclair cake!

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Read on to learn exactly how to make this delicious chocolate eclair recipe today!

Jump to:
  • What is Chocolate Eclair?
  • Why This Is The Best Chocolate Eclair Recipe
  • What You Need to Make Chocolate Eclair At Home
  • How to Make Chocolate Eclair Step by Step
  • How to make custard filling (pastry cream)
  • How to fill Homemade Eclairs With A Custard Filling
  • Tips For Making the Best Chocolate Eclair
  • Troubleshooting Tips
  • Making Chocolate Eclairs Ahead Of Time
  • Serving Suggestions
  • Recipe Variation Ideas for Chocolate Eclair
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • How to Store Leftover Chocolate Eclair
  • You Will Also Enjoy These French Desserts
  • Recipe
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What is Chocolate Eclair?

Eclairs are a traditional French dessert. They're made with choux dough (pâte á choux), filled with a vanilla custard filling, and topped with a chocolate glaze.

Chocolate Eclairs have an oblong shape. The significant feature of Eclairs is that they are hollow on the inside and crispy on the outside. They originated in the 19th century. It is believed that they were first created by the famous French chef Marie-Antoine Carême.

Although today, you'll find eclairs in almost any bakery, when I was a little kid, this decadent dessert was a rare treat.

My easy chocolate eclair recipe is anything but ordinary. Think of all the adjectives to describe the dessert of your dreams, and you'll find all of these words in these simple yet scrumptious eclairs. These French chocolate eclairs are truly to die for!

Given that they are filled with the most perfect eggless custard filling and covered with rich dark chocolate glaze, eclairs officially take a top spot on my favorite desserts list.

So, if you haven't tried making chocolate eclairs at home yet, it is high time that you do!

Why This Is The Best Chocolate Eclair Recipe

  • Tried and Tested: This chocolate eclair recipe has been made countless times, helping to perfect the recipe and make it easy and accessible. Its proven success makes it a go-to favorite that you can trust to turn out delicious every time.
  • Homemade Pastry Cream: There are no shortcuts in this recipe. The filling for these chocolate eclairs is a real French custard filling made from scratch. Thick, creamy, and sweet, it makes all the difference in these homemade chocolate eclairs. The best part is you'll want to save the leftovers as this custard makes a perfect mousse-like paste to fill eclairs, cream puffs, or profiteroles.
  • Perfect for Any Occasion: Whether you're looking to impress your loved ones or planning a party, this easy chocolate eclair recipe will not disappoint. Its elegant presentation and rich, delicious flavor make it a crowd-pleaser that's sure to be a hit at any gathering.
  • Delicious: The combination of light choux pastry, creamy custard filling, and delicious chocolate glaze makes these eclairs a delicious treat. Each bite is a perfect balance of textures and flavors that will have you reaching for seconds.
  • Family-Favorite: With its universal appeal and comforting flavors, this chocolate eclair recipe has become a family favorite. It’s a dessert that both kids and adults love and is perfect for making memories around the kitchen table.
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What You Need to Make Chocolate Eclair At Home

All you need are some incredibly simple, pantry-staple ingredients to make this delicious eclair recipe at home.

Here's an overview of the specific ingredients for this recipe. For the exact ingredients and measurements, please scroll to the recipe card below.

For the Choux Pastry:

  • Water: This is used to make the choux pastry. It helps in binding the ingredients together to form dough.
  • Butter: The butter in this recipe gives the eclairs a rich, buttery flavor. It is used in both the choux pastry and the pastry cream.
  • All-purpose flour: This is the main dry ingredient in the choux pastry. It helps give the eclairs structure and shape.
  • Eggs: Eggs are crucial in the choux pastry. They add richness, color, and help the pastry puff up in the oven.

For the Pastry Cream:

  • Salt: A small amount of salt is added to enhance the flavor of the choux pastry.
  • Cold milk: This is used in the pastry cream. It gives the cream a smooth and creamy texture.
  • Corn starch: This acts as a thickening agent in the pastry cream, making it firm and stable.
  • Sugar: Adds sweetness to the pastry cream and balances out the flavors.
  • Heavy whipping cream: Used in the pastry cream and the chocolate glaze. It makes the cream rich and fluffy and gives the glaze a smooth and glossy finish.
  • Vanilla extract: This adds a subtle, sweet flavor to the pastry cream.

For the Chocolate Glaze:

  • Chocolate chips: These are melted down to make the chocolate glaze. They give the eclairs a delicious, chocolatey topping.
  • Heavy cream: This is mixed with the chocolate chips to create the chocolate glaze. It helps to thin out the chocolate and give it a shiny finish.

How to Make Chocolate Eclair Step by Step

Making Chocolate Eclairs is not a rocket science. With some patience and determination, you'll be able to make these beauties like a pro.

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  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F and line two sheet pans with a parchment paper.
  2. In a medium non-stick pot combine water with salt and bring it to a boil over a medium heat. Add butter and bring everything to a boil one more time.
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  1. Add flour and whisk vigorously until no lumps remain and the batter thickens, about 1 minute. Remove pot from the heat and let the batter cool for 5 minute.

Pro tip. Some Chocolate Eclair recipes call for transferring the butter and flour mixture into the standing mixer. I think incorporating eggs by hands works better because it will give you a better understanding for the consistency in the finished choux dough.

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  1. Whisk in the first egg and mix with a wooden spoon until the egg is fully incorporated into the batter with no white lumps.
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  1. Continue whisking in the remaining eggs, one at a time until you have a glossy smooth dough. Don't be tempted to add all eggs at once.
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  1. Using a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip (I use Wilton #1A), pipe fat lengths of dough (about ¾ - 1 inch thick and 4 inches long) on the lined baking sheet, leaving 1 inch of space between them. Bake for 15 minutes.
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  1. Without opening the oven door, reduce the temperature to 340 F and bake for another 15-20 minutes until eclairs are light golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on the wire rack.

How to make custard filling (pastry cream)

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  1. In a small bowl dissolve a cornstarch in 3-4 tablespoons of milk.
  2. To a small sauce pan add the remaining milk and bring to a simmer. Add 50 grams (¼ cup) of sugar and stir until sugar dissolves.
  3. When milk starts to boil, add a dissolved cornstarch and whisk until no lumps remain. Remove hot milk from the heat andcool until just slightly warm or completely cold. Transfer to a bowl.
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  1. In a large bowl beat the butter with the remaining 50 grams (¼ cup) of sugar and vanilla extract until the mixture turns almost white.
  2. Combine the whipped butter with the milk and cornstarch mixture. Mix well and set aside.
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  1. In a large bowl beat the heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form. Fold whipped cream into the butter and milk cream.

How to fill Homemade Eclairs With A Custard Filling

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  1. Using the tip of a small knife, cut 3 small Xs along the top of each pastry.
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  1. Using a small tip (I usedWilton tip #32), pipe the pastry cream into the shells through each opening.
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  1. Now, all you have to do is melt chocolate chips along with a bit of heavy cream, dip each eclair into the chocolate and let it dry. Voila!

Tips For Making the Best Chocolate Eclair

  • Preheat the Oven Correctly: Preheating the oven to an accurate temperature is vital for the choux pastry to rise properly. So, make sure that your oven is preheated to the directed temperature before placing your eclairs in.
  • Don't Rush the Dough Cooling: After you've boiled your dough, allow it to cool for at least five minutes before adding your eggs. This prevents the eggs from cooking prematurely, which could affect the texture of your eclairs.
  • Whisk in Eggs One by One: When adding the eggs to your dough, do so one at a time, making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. This helps guarantee a smooth, even mixture.
  • Pipe Dough Evenly: Using a pastry bag, pipe your lengths of dough onto your baking sheet with care. Consistent size and spacing will result in evenly baked eclairs.
  • Keep the Oven Door Closed: Resist the temptation to open the oven door during baking. This can cause your choux pastry to fall flat, ruining the texture of your eclairs.
  • Keep the Same Temperature for Filling: For the best pastry cream, make sure your milk-cornstarch mixture and whipped butter are of the same temperature. This will give you a cream that's just the right consistency.

Troubleshooting Tips

Homemade Eclairs failed to rise? Here are some possible reasons:

  1. Your choux pastry dough could be too wet. If it's easily dripping off the spoon, then it is too wet. That's why I always recommend using scales to measure out the ingredients. This will help you make a dough that is fluid and is easy to pipe out.
  2. Did you cook water/butter/flour mixture long enough for the thin film of dough to form on the bottom of the pot?
  3. Make sure to always wait for the roux to cool before adding in eggs, otherwise the eggs might scramble.
  4. Did you add one egg at a time, mixing it in thoroughly to avoid lumps? This is important because if you incorporate all eggs at once there will be white eggy lumps in the dough.

A thin film formed on top of pastry filling? Not a problem. Use a handheld mixer to beat to whip it up a bit.

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Making Chocolate Eclairs Ahead Of Time

It's possible to make Chocolate Eclair Recipe With Custard Filling ahead of time. I recommend to prepare eclair shells and custard filling and then store them separately until you're ready to fill the eclairs with the filling.

Baked Eclair shells should be stored at room temperature for 1 to 2 days. The pastry cream (custard filling) should be stored in the fridge for 3 days.

Before serving, fill the eclairs with the pastry filling and drizzle with chocolate glaze and you'll have a fresh batch of creamy Eclairs waiting to be devoured.

Serving Suggestions

  • Enjoy your homemade chocolate eclairs with a hot cup of French press coffee in the morning. The strong coffee flavor perfectly compliments the sweet, creamy filling and delicious chocolate glaze of the eclairs.
  • For a delightful afternoon tea, serve these chocolate eclairs with a pot of your favorite tea - be it a robust English breakfast, a delicate Darjeeling, or a fragrant Jasmine tea. The creamy, chocolaty eclairs are sure to be a hit!
  • Chocolate eclairs make a sophisticated dessert for a dinner party. Pair them with a glass of dessert wine, like a late-harvest Riesling or a rich Port, to enhance the sweetness and complexity of flavors.
  • Why not turn your chocolate eclairs into a fun, hands-on dessert? Set out a variety of toppings, like whipped cream, nuts, or even different flavored glazes, and let your guests customize their own eclairs!
  • If you're planning a picnic, chocolate eclairs are an excellent choice for dessert. Just pack them in a secure container to keep them safe and fresh until it is time to feast! They make an excellent dessert after a marinated mushroom pasta salad or a potato salad.
  • For a late-night dessert, warm up your chocolate eclairs in the oven for a few minutes and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The contrast of warm, creamy eclair and cold, sweet ice cream is simply divine.

Recipe Variation Ideas for Chocolate Eclair

This delicious chocolate eclair recipe is so flavorful and easy to make you'll want to try out some of these delicious variations! Here are some great ideas:

  • Go with Buttercream: If you have a sweet tooth, this variation is for you. Swap the classic pastry cream for a rich, creamy buttercream frosting. This will give your eclairs a different twist, making them even more delicious.
  • Keep it Light with Chantilly Cream: If you prefer something light and fluffy, try filling your eclairs with Chantilly cream. This sweetened whipped cream adds a delicate and airy texture to your eclairs, making them a perfect dessert after a heavy meal.
  • Add a Tangy Twist: For those who enjoy a bit of tanginess, try filling your chocolate eclairs with lemon curd. The tartness of the lemon curd balances the sweetness of the choux pastry and chocolate glaze, giving your eclairs a refreshing flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Chocolate Eclairs gluten free?

No, traditional chocolate eclairs are not gluten-free as they include all-purpose flour in their recipe. However, some of my readers have successfully substituted gluten-free flour to make this delicious dessert suitable for those with dietary restrictions.

Are French Chocolate Eclairs hard to make?

The process of making homemade eclairs may seem daunting at first, but trust me, it is easier than you think! With a bit of practice, you'll be whipping up these French delights like a seasoned pastry chef in no time.

Does homemade Eclairs have nuts?

Typically, homemade eclairs do not include nuts. However, there's always room for creativity in the kitchen! Feel free to incorporate nuts into the pastry cream filling or sprinkle some finely chopped pistachios or hazelnuts on top of the chocolate glaze for a crunchy twist.

Do chocolate Eclairs contain eggs?

Yes, eggs are a crucial ingredient in making pâte à choux, the light and airy pastry dough used for eclairs. They contribute to the dough's rise and create its characteristic tender texture.re essential in making pâte à choux - a pastry dough for Eclairs.

What is Eclair filling made of?

Eclair filling, also known as pastry cream, is made from a combination of milk, cornstarch, butter, sugar, and heavy cream. Occasionally, some recipes may include egg yolk and omit the heavy cream. This rich and creamy filling perfectly compliments the light choux pastry and luscious chocolate glaze.

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How to Store Leftover Chocolate Eclair

If you've tried your hand at making this French dessert, the chocolate eclair, you might be wondering how to store the leftovers of this delicious treat. Well, fret not! Here's your comprehensive guide to storing and reheating leftover chocolate eclairs.

Refrigerator: Filled chocolate eclairs should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge, where they will keep for up to 3 days. If you have leftovers of pastry cream, press a plastic wrap down to the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Store in the fridge for about three days.

Freezing: If you wonder whether you can freeze the Eclairs, the answer is yes. You can totally freeze the Eclairs. The best method would be to freeze eclairs before you fill them with pastry cream.

Thawing: Allow it to thaw overnight in the fridge, and then fill them with your pastry cream as you normally would.

You Will Also Enjoy These French Desserts

  • Chocolate Eclair Cake Recipe
  • Mini Chocolate Eclairs (Easy Recipe)
  • Lavender Creme Brûlée Recipe
  • Dacquoise Recipe With Mascarpone Whipped Cream

If you make this recipe, please leave me a comment below and rate it. I always appreciate the feedback. Also, you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.

Recipe

Classic Chocolate Eclairs (Easy + Foolproof Recipe) (22)

Foolproof And Easy Chocolate Eclair Recipe With Custard Filling {Plus Video}

This easy Chocolate Eclair Recipe is one of the most famous and most delicious desserts ever created. And I'm going to help you make this classic French treat at home using my foolproof recipe that’ll give you perfect results every single time.

4.44 from 85 votes

Print Pin Rate

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: French

Diet: Vegetarian

Prep Time: 35 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes minutes

Total Time: 1 hour hour 15 minutes minutes

Servings: 15 eclairs

Calories: 297kcal

Author: Iryna Bychkiv

Ingredients

For the Choux Pastry

For the pastry cream

  • 350 ml (1 ½ cup) cold milk
  • 30 grams (3 ¾ tbsp) corn starch
  • 100 grams (½ cup) sugar
  • 75 grams (⅓ cup) butter at room temperature
  • 200 ml (¾ cups + 2 tbsp) heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the chocolate glaze

  • 150 grams (¾ cups (it depends on what size of chocolate chips you are using. ¾ cup is for the regular size)) chocolate chips
  • 125 grams (½ cup plus 2 tsp) heavy cream

Instructions

Prepare the choux batter:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F and line two sheet pans with a parchment paper.

  • In a medium non-stick pot combine water with salt and bring to a boil.

    Add butter and bring to a boil one more time.

  • Add flour and whisk vigorously until no lumps remain and the batter thickens, about 1 minute.

  • Remove pot from the heat and let the batter cool for 5 minute.

  • Whisk in the first egg and mix with a wooden spoon until the egg is fully incorporated into the batter with no white lumps. Continue whisking in the remaining eggs, one at a time (See the video).

  • Using a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip (I use Wilton #1A), pipe fat lengths of dough (about ¾ - 1 inch thick and 4 inches long) onto the lined baking sheet, leaving 1 inch of space between them.

  • Bake for 15 minutes.

  • Without opening the oven door, reduce the temperature to 340 F and bake for another 15-20 minutes until eclairs are light golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on the wire rack.* (See the notes)

Prepare the pastry cream:

  • In a small bowl dissolve a cornstarch in 3-4 tablespoons of milk.

  • To a small sauce pan add the remaining milk and bring to a simmer. Add 50 grams (¼ cup) of sugar and stir until sugar dissolves.

  • When milk starts to boil, add a dissolved cornstarch and whisk until no lumps remain. Remove from the heat and cool until just slightly warm or completely cold.

  • In a large bowl beat the butter with the remaining 50 grams (¼ cup) of sugar and vanilla extract until the mixture turns almost white.

  • Combine the whipped butter with the milk and cornstarch mixture. Mix well and set aside.** (See the notes)

  • In a large bowl and using the electric mixer, beat the heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form. Fold whipped cream into the butter and milk cream.

  • Using the tip of a small knife, cut 3 small Xs along the top of each pastry. Using a small tip (I used Wilton tip #32), pipe the pastry cream into the shells through each opening. (See the video for the details)

For the chocolate glaze:

  • Melt the chocolate chips and heavy whipping cream in a medium saucepan set over a pot with about 1 inch of boiling water. Whisk until the mixture is nice and smooth. Alternatively, you can heat chocolate and cream in a microwave for about 30 seconds and whisk until smooth.

  • Remove from the heat and cool for a few minutes.

  • Dip the top of each eclair into the chocolate glaze and set aside to allow the glaze to harden.

Video

Notes

Preheat the oven correctly. Preheating the oven to an accurate temperature is vital for the choux pastry to rise properly. So, make sure that your oven is preheated to the directed temperature before placing your eclairs in the oven.

Don't rush the dough to cool. After you've boiled the dough, allow it to cool for at least five minutes before adding your eggs. This prevents the eggs from cooking prematurely.

Eggs. When adding the eggs to your dough, do so one at a time, making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next.

Baking Eclairs. Don't open the oven during baking. Otherwise, your Choux pastry won't rise and you'll have to start all over again.

Pastry filling. It's best if the milk-cornstarch mixture and whipped butter are at the same temperature. If the milk is too hot, the cream may become too runny. It's not a problem, though. If this happens, place the cream in the fridge for an hour or until it thickens.

Making ahead of time. Prepare eclair shells and custard filling, and then store them separately until you're ready to fill the eclairs with the filling. Baked Eclair shells should be stored at room temperature for 1 to 2 days. The pastry cream (custard filling) should be stored in the fridge for 3 days.

Before serving, fill the eclairs with the pastry filling and drizzle with chocolate glaze.

Storage. Filled Eclairs should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, where they will keep for up to 3 days.

If you have leftovers of pastry cream, press a plastic wrap down to the surface of the cream to prevent skin from forming. Store in the fridge for about 3 days.

Freezing. If you wonder whether you can freeze the Eclairs, the answer is yes. You can totally freeze the Eclairs.

The best-recommended method would be to freeze Eclairs before you fill them with pastry cream.

After you bake the shells, place them in an airtight container and freeze for up to 6 weeks. To defrost, place the Eclair shells in the warm oven for a few minutes until they are crispy again, or defrost on the counter for 20 minutes.

After that, you can fill them with a fresh custard filling and drizzle them with chocolate glaze.

Since pastry cream is made with cornstarch, it's not recommended to freeze it.

---Nutritional Information Should Be Considered An Estimate---

If you don’t follow the directions or skip the ingredient, I don't promise you'll get the same result as in the pictures.---
---For exact measurements, I recommend using digital scales---

Nutrition

Serving: 1eclair | Calories: 297kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 4.6g | Fat: 20.7g | Saturated Fat: 12.8g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 119mg | Potassium: 97mg | Fiber: 0.6g | Sugar: 13.1g | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 0.9mg

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Iryna Bychkiv

Website

Iryna Bychkiv is the founder and writer of the culinary website Lavender & Macarons, where she shares clean, European-inspired recipes that are delicious, easy to prepare, and made with wholesome ingredients. Iryna loves creating meals that are simple yet healthy and unique, including vegan and vegetarian recipes.
Iryna is also a freelance writer for MSN and Associated Press Wire.

Classic Chocolate Eclairs (Easy + Foolproof Recipe) (2024)
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