Chocolate Eclairs

With just a little bit of time, patience and ingredients you likely have in your pantry, you can make bakery-style Classic Chocolate Eclairs at home!

Three chocolate eclairs on a plate.

Chocolate eclairs have long been one of my favorite bakery treats. There’s just something about the crisp but light pastry shell, the rich and creamy filling, and the decadent chocolate glaze. I love how it all but melts in your mouth.

Eclairs are a bit of a fancy treat, without being TOO rich and sweet. To me, classic chocolate eclairs are a dessert you can enjoy every morsel of, without feeling like you need a nap afterwards.

Three chocolate eclairs on a plate, one cut in half to show the vanilla cream filling.

Chocolate eclairs are not the easiest dessert to make nor are they one you can whip together in under 30 minutes BUT they are simple! With a little bit of patience, there’s nothing stopping you from having your favorite bakery style chocolate eclair at home whenever the craving strikes.

Two images showing all the ingredients needed for choux pastry and vanilla cream filling.

What You’ll Need

There are three parts to making the perfect chocolate eclair – the choux pastry, the cream filling and the chocolate glaze. Since each part is prepared separately, I’ve included the ingredient list for each one.

For the Pastry

  • Sugar – Just a pinch for a touch of sweetness.
  • Butter – Unsalted works best, since we’ll be adding salt.
  • Milk – Your preferred dairy milk.
  • Water – The dough is made with equal parts water and milk.
  • Flour – All purpose flour for baking.
  • Eggs – 3 large eggs makes the dough juuust right.
  • Vanilla – A splash for flavor, we’ll be adding more in the filling!
  • Salt – Just a pinch!

For the Classic Cream Filling

  • Milk – I use full fat dairy milk.
  • Granulated sugar – Divided to be used in two different steps.
  • Eggs – You’ll use one egg plus two yolks.
  • Cornstarch – The thickening agent that holds it all together.
  • Vanilla – You can use vanilla extract or vanilla bean flavoring.
  • Butter – Helps provide the creamy texture.

For the Chocolate Glaze

  • Bittersweet chocolate – Opt for a high quality melting chocolate.
  • Butter – You’ll want your butter unsalted and softened, ready to mix into the chocolate.

How to Make Chocolate Eclairs

There are several parts to preparing these chocolate eclairs.

First is the classic choux pastry. This is the French pastry dough used to make many pastries, including the eclairs as well as cream puffs. Then we prepare the decadent vanilla cream filling and finally the chocolate glaze to top it all off.

Four photos showing the process of making choux pastry, from mixing the ingredients to the dough forming.

Make the Classic Choux Pastry

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line baking sheet with parchment paper or with silicone baking mats.
  2. Combine the sugar, butter, milk and water in a medium sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a small simmer.
  3. Add the flour once the sugar and butter mixture have started to simmer, and mix continuously so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Carefully transfer the dough to a stand mixture and with a paddle attachment and mix on low for 2-3 minutes. While the dough is mixing, start adding in the eggs one at a time. Make sure to allow the eggs to completely mix before adding in the next egg to the mixture. Once the eggs have been combined with the dough, add the vanilla and salt then mix the dough for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  5. Transfer the dough to a bag for piping out the eclair pastry onto the prepared baking sheet. Add a medium sized round tip (I used a Wilton size 199). Pipe them about 5 inches long.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until they start to brown and look glossy. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR DURING BAKING. This can ruin the eclairs.
  7. Pierce an eclair with a toothpick and make sure they are hollow. If not hollow, bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  8. Allow the pastry to cool before filling with cream.
Six images showing the process of making vanilla cream filling for chocolate eclairs.
Two photos, one showing a piping bag with choux pastry dough, the second showing the dough piped onto a silpat mat to make eclairs.

Make the Classic Cream Filling

  1. Add the 2 cups of milk and 1/4 cup of granulated sugar to a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a simmer.
  2. Whisk together the eggs in a large bowl. Add in the 1/3 cup sugar and cornstarch and mix until smooth. Add in the simmering milk and sugar to the bowl and continue to whisk while slowly combining the two.
  3. Return the milk and egg mixture to the saucepan and slowly bring these to a boil while continuously stirring. Once the mixture starts to boil and thicken, remove it from the heat. Stir in the vanilla and butter.
  4. Pour the mixture into a heat safe container. (I used a glass measuring cup.) Use the plastic wrap to cover the cream by pushing the plastic down to touch the top of the cream so that when cooling a film doesn’t form on the top of the cream.
  5. Place the covered bowl into the refrigerator and allow to cool before piping into the eclairs.
Four images showing the process of stuffing eclairs with filling and topping them with glaze.

Make the Chocolate Glaze

  1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in a medium bowl.
  2. Whisk in the butter until smooth.

Assemble the Chocolate Eclair

  1. Make the cream first so that it has time to cool while you’re making the eclair pastry.
  2. Allow the eclair pastry to fully cool before filling with the cream.
  3. To fill the pastry, use a bag and piping tip or a pastry filling tool to fill the eclairs with cream.
  4. Prep the chocolate glaze.
  5. Dip the eclairs into the chocolate glaze and place on a plate to allow the glaze to cool before serving.
  6. Store leftover eclairs in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Tips for Success

  • Avoid opening the oven while the pastries are baking. If the steam escapes, you can end up with a soggy eclair.
  • Take care to ensure the middle is not thicker than the ends when piping the dough. If anything, the ends should be just slightly bigger than the middle.
  • The base of a perfect eclair is in the choux pastry dough so take your time when preparing it and follow the directions closely.
  • Bake the pastry on a silpat mat instead of parchment paper.

Other Variations and Ideas

The recipe I shared today is the traditional eclair recipe you will find in most bakeries. Once you’ve perfected this, if you want to get creative with the filling, go for it! You can switch the vanilla cream filling to a chocolate cream or even use a lighter sweetened whipped cream filling too.

You can switch the chocolate glaze to vanilla, strawberry or even Nutella!

Two freshly baked eclairs topped with a chocolate glaze on a square white plate.

How to Store

You can store these chocolate eclairs at room temperature or in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Can I Freeze Eclairs?

You can freeze filled eclairs for a few days. Just defrost for an hour before eating.

However, they do tend to get a bit soggy when defrosting.

To freeze eclairs for any length of time, your best bet is to freeze unfilled eclairs. You can make the pastry, freeze it and then when you’re ready to enjoy, whipped up the cream filling and the glaze for a perfectly crispy, not soggy eclair.

Other Decadent Dessert Recipes:

Did you make this recipe? Click here to leave a review.

Three eclairs on a plate, one cut in half to show the vanilla cream center.

Homemade Chocolate Eclairs

Yield: 14 eclairs
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
Chill Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Decadent homemade eclairs with choux pastry, vanilla cream filling and a chocolate glaze.
5 from 2 votes

Ingredients 

For the Choux Pastry

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the Vanilla Cream Filling

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 + 1/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter

For the Chocolate Glaze

  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Instructions

Make the Choux Pastry

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line baking sheet with parchment paper or with silicone baking mats.
  • In a medium sized saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, milk and water. Bring the mixture to a small simmer.
  • Once the sugar and butter mixture have started to simmer, add the flour and mix continuously so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Carefully transfer the dough to a stand mixture and with a paddle attachment and mix on low for 2-3 minutes. While the dough is mixing, start adding in the eggs one at a time. Make sure to allow the eggs to completely mix before adding in the next egg to the mixture. Once the eggs have been combined with the dough, add the vanilla and salt then mix the dough for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  • Transfer the dough to a bag for piping out the eclair pastry onto the prepared baking sheet. Add a medium sized round tip (I used a Wilton size 199). Pipe them about 5 inches long.
  • Once all of the eclairs are piped, place them into the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until they start to brown and look glossy. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR DURING BAKING. This can ruin the eclairs.
  • Once baked, piece an eclair with a toothpick and make sure they are hollow. If not hollow, bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Allow the pastry to cool before filling with cream.

Classic Cream Filling

  • Add the 2 cups of milk and 1/4 cup of granulated sugar to a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a simmer.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the egg and egg yolks. Add in the 1/3 cup sugar and cornstarch and mix until smooth. Add in the simmering milk and sugar to the bowl and continue to whisk while slowly combining the two.
  • Return the milk and egg mixture to the saucepan and slowly bring these to a boil while continuously stirring.
  • Once the mixture starts to boil and thicken, remove it from the heat. Stir in the vanilla and butter.
  • Pour the mixture into a heat safe container. (I used a glass measuring cup.) Use the plastic wrap to cover the cream by pushing the plastic down to touch the top of the cream so that when cooling a film doesn’t form on the top of the cream.
  • Place the covered bowl into the refrigerator and allow to cool before piping into the eclairs.

Chocolate Glaze

  • In a medium bowl, melt the chocolate in the microwave. Whisk in the butter until smooth.

Assemble the Eclair

  • Make the cream first so that it has time to cool while you’re making the eclair pastry.
  • Allow the eclair pastry to fully cool before filling with the cream.
  • To fill the pastry, use a bag and piping tip or a pastry filling tool to fill the eclairs with cream.
  • Prep the chocolate glaze.
  • Dip the eclairs into the chocolate glaze and place on a plate to allow the glaze to cool before serving.

Notes

This recipe makes about 12 to 18 eclairs, depending on their size. 
Store leftover eclairs in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 250kcal, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 99mg, Sodium: 265mg, Potassium: 144mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 456IU, Calcium: 72mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
If you try this recipe, don’t forget to leave a review below or share a photo and tag @spoonfulofflavor on Instagram.

2 comments on “Chocolate Eclairs”

  1. Chocolate eclairs are one of my favorite things! I can’t wait to try making them myself.

  2. These look absolutely scrumptious! That cream filling is a dream!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.