Learn how to easily make, pipe, fill and assemble homemade eclairs so you can enjoy the best French pastries at home, any time you like.
Did you know that you make eclairs with the same easy-to-make dough used to make cream puffs? You just shape the dough differently. You could spoon the dough onto the trays in little log shapes, but it’s faster and easier to pipe the dough on the trays.
Below my step-by-step guide is a video I created a quick video to show you how easy it is to make, pipe, fill and decorate eclairs.
How to Pipe and Fill Eclairs
- Piping bag
- Star piping tip
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Eclair stencils
- Offset spatula or butter knife
- Choux dough
- Eclair filling pastry cream, whipped cream, etc.
- Eclair frosting chocolate ganache, frosting, etc.
- Piping Eclairs
- When you’ve made your choux dough, transfer it to a piping bag to get started.
- I like to use a star tip (#829) to pipe eclairs. The ridges help the eclair rise higher. Plus, they look great.
- If you don’t have a star tip, you can use a round tip. Then use the tines of a fork to create ridges on the sides of the piped eclairs.
- Print my eclair templates first. Then place the template underneath a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. This will help you pipe uniform and beautiful eclairs with all of your choux.
- Then simply use the template as a guide to pipe star-shaped logs of choux dough, evenly spaced apart on the parchment paper.
- Remove the template and bake your eclairs as directed in the recipe.
- Filling Eclairs
- While the choux pastry bakes, you can make the filling for your eclairs. Make sure it’s fully chilled and set before filling the pastries.
- When the eclair pastries are done baking, remove them from the oven. Transfer them to a cooling rack and let them cool completely before filling.
- If you’re using more than one kind of filling or if the filling is difficult to pipe, you’ll need to cut each eclair in half the long way.
- If you want to really load up the eclair with filling, cut off just the top ⅓ so that you have a stronger base to fill.
- If your filling is a custard filling, like the traditional vanilla pastry cream in chocolate eclairs, then you’ll want to leave the eclair intact to fill.
- In this case, if you are going to cover the eclair with thick frosting, poke two holes in the top of the eclair on each end. This makes for easy filling and less messy eating (gravity will keep the filling inside the eclair when the holes are on the top, rather than the ends of the pastry.
- Frosting Eclairs
- After each pastry is filled, it’s time to frost!
- There are two ways I use to frost eclairs. If the icing is thick and creamy, then it’s best to spread it on top of each eclair with a thin spatula or butter knife.
- If you’re using a thinner or runny icing, it’s easier to dip the top of each eclair into the icing.
- Decorating Eclairs
- To decorate your eclairs, you can finish them simply by dusting them with powdered sugar.
- Or if you’d like to dress them up with extra garnishes, do so after frosting. Sprinkle them with chopped toasted nuts, shredded coconut, colorful sprinkles, crushed candies, zest, and of course chocolate, grated chocolate, or chocolate curls, The possibilities are endless!
Pictured in this post are my Lemon Meringue Eclairs, Strawberry Cheesecake Eclairs, Pecan Pie Eclairs, Tiramisu Eclairs, Chocolate Eclair Shells, Chocolate Eclairs, and Maple Pecan Eclairs from Simply Sweet Dream Puffs. As well as my recipe for the best Chocolate Eclairs.
You can download Simply Sweet Dream Puffs from Amazon. Amazon has a Kindle app that you can use to read e-books on almost any device, including laptops and desktop computers. It’s also available on iTunes and where other eBooks are sold.
Eclair Shells – Pâte à Choux
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 6 pieces
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- Egg Wash optional
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon water
- Preheat oven to 425°. Lightly grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper. Measure flour and set aside.
- Bring butter, sugar, salt, and ¾ cup water to a boil in a 3-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Immediately remove from heat, and quickly stir in flour mixture all at once. Return to heat and stir with a wooden spoon for 1 to 2 minutes, or until dough is smooth and forms a ball. Transfer dough to the bowl of an electric mixer, and let cool 5 minutes.
- Add 3 eggs, 1 at a time, beating until mixture is smooth and glossy. Spoon dough into a pastry bag fitted with a ⅝-inch plain tip. Pipe dough onto prepared pans into 1 ½-inch rounds (1 ½ inches high). Smooth out peaks and round tops with a moistened finger.
- Whisk together remaining 1 egg and 1 tsp. water. Brush tops of dough with egg mixture.
- Bake at 425° for 5 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 375°, and bake 30 minutes or until puffy and golden brown. Turn oven off; let shells stand in closed oven 10 minutes. Remove from baking sheets to wire racks, and cool completely.