Classic French Chocolate Éclair Recipe

Chocolate eclair recipe

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga 

  • Total: 2 hrs 20 mins
  • Prep: 2 hrs
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
326 Calories
24g Fat
23g Carbs
4g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 326
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 10g 48%
Cholesterol 18mg 6%
Sodium 91mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Protein 4g
Calcium 30mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

if you have ever looked in the window of a French Patisserie shop you will almost always see a row of glistening, chocolate covered, cream filled chocolate éclair. They are a true classic and I do not know ​anyone who does not enjoy eating them. How could you resist?

This traditional chocolate éclair recipe uses vanilla pastry cream as a filling and rich, almost ganache-like chocolate glaze. Make this treat using a super simple choux pastry dough for a base and you will have the exact pastry seen in bakery windows worldwide.

Not a seasoned baker? This chocolate eclair recipe is beyond delicious, very easy to make, and attractive, even if you're not a pro.

Ingredients

  • For the Choux Pastry Dough
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • For the Pastry Cream
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • For the Chocolate Glaze
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this classic French chocolate eclair dessert is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Choux Dough

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for choux dough
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter in the water.

    Melt butter
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  3. Add salt and flour, and stir until a sticky batter is formed.

    Add flour and salt
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until the batter is smooth.

    Beat eggs
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  5. Preheat oven to 425 F and lightly grease 1 baking sheet.

    Grease baking sheet
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  6. Spoon the prepared basic choux pastry dough into a pastry bag fitted with a wide, plain tip and pipe eight 5-inch lengths onto the baking sheet.

    Pipe dough
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the éclairs puff up and turn golden brown.

    Bake
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  8. Remove them from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before filling.

    Remove from oven
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  9. Makes enough dough for 8 medium-sized pastries.

    Choux pastry
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Make the Pastry Cream

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Pastry cream
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  2. In a small saucepan, warm the milk over low heat until it is just hot enough to steam.

    Warm milk
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  3. While the milk is warming, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, flour, and cornstarch until the mixture is completely smooth.

    Whisk together sugar, eggs
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  4. Once the milk is steaming, add half of it, whisking constantly, to the egg mixture.

    Whisk
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  5. Add the milk and eggs back into the hot milk, continue stirring, and heat it for 1 to 2 minutes, until the custard reaches 170 F on a digital thermometer and is very thick.

    Add milk
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  6. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla extract, and chill before filling pastry.

    Stir in vanilla extract
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Make the Chocolate Glaze

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Chocolate glaze ingredients
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  2. While the éclairs are baking and cooling, place the chopped chocolate in a heat-safe bowl and set aside.

    Chocolate
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  3. In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream just to boiling over low-medium heat and remove from the heat immediately.

    Heat heavy cream
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  4. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and stir until it forms a thin, smooth consistency.

    Pour hot cream over
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  5. Set the chocolate glaze aside at room temperature for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Stir
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Assemble the Éclairs

  1. Fit a pastry bag with a medium-sized plain tip and fill it with vanilla pastry cream.

    Piping bag
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  2. Insert the tip of the bag into the end of an éclair and pipe about 2 1/2 tablespoons of pastry cream into it.

    Pipe on
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  3. Gently spread 1 tablespoon of chocolate glaze onto the éclair or carefully dip the top of each filled éclair into the glaze before serving.

    Ice eclair
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  4. Serve and enjoy!

    Serve
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Recipe Variations

This recipe is truly a classic recipe and as such, however, a few little tweaks here and there can be fun and rings the changes:

  • Add a little espresso powder to the pastry cream to create a coffee flavor.
  • Add cocoa powder to the pastry cream for an overall chocolate taste.