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Best Eclairs Recipe

This is seriously the Best Eclairs Recipe ever! The pastry and frosting are made completely from scratch and the filling is absolutely to-die-for! Making this recipe is a labor of love, but it results in a delicious, elegant dessert that is perfect for any special occasion! Make-ahead and freezer-friendly! 
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, French
Keyword best eclairs, best eclairs recipe, eclairs recipe, how to make eclairs
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Chilling 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 40 mini eclairs
Calories 183.8kcal
Author Laura

Ingredients

Filling: (You will have extra)

  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 3.4oz packages French vanilla instant pudding
  • 2 cups milk

Pastry Puffs:

Chocolate Frosting:

  • 4 oz (1 cup) unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • ½ cup butter softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 TBS milk
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

Filling

  • Mix together the French vanilla pudding and milk. Set aside in the refrigerator until it becomes thick (about 5 minutes).
  • Add the whipping cream, vanilla and powdered sugar into the bowl of a standing mixer and whip on high speed until firm peaks form and hold their shape.
  • Fold the pudding and whipped cream mixture together.
  • Cover and set aside in the refrigerator.

Puffs:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease three jelly roll pans and set aside.
  • Measure your water, salt and butter into a 4-quart saucepan. Heat water salt and butter to boiling. Continue to boil the mixture until the butter is melted.
  • Add the flour to the saucepan all at once and whip with wooden spoon. Mixture will form a ball in middle of the pan.
  • Cool for about 5 minutes stirring to cool faster.
  • Add eggs one at a time whipping with wooden spoon well after each. [Or transfer your mixture to a standing mixture and add eggs individually, beating well after each].
  • Check your batter, if it is not thick enough to hold a shape when piped, gradually add more flour until it reaches the desired consistency.
  • Put mixture into pastry bag and pipe out eclair shapes about 1 ½ to 2 inches long and 2 inches apart on your prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake at 400 for about 25 minutes or until lightly brown. Let cool completely before assembling the eclairs.

Frosting

  • Melt chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave (60 seconds, then 30 second intervals until smooth), set aside.
  • Place softened butter in the bowl of your standing mixer.
  • Add chocolate vanilla and beat until combined.
  • Add salt and powdered sugar and beat until well combined.
  • Add milk and beat until the mixture reaches spreading consistency, wiping down the sides as you go. You may need to add more milk.
  • Set aside (but keep at room temperature).

Assembly.

  • Put filling in a large piping bag fitted with a small, round tip. Gently pipe the filling into one end of the pastry puff. Repeating for each puff until they are all filled.
  • Fill a large piping bag with your chocolate frosting and frost the eclairs in any way you’d like!
  • Refrigerate until serving.

Notes

Ingredient Substitutions:
  • I do not recommend any ingredient substitutions. The only changes that can be made are: using unsalted butter in both the puffs and frosting, or a different kind of chocolate in the frosting (e.g. semisweet or milk) for a sweeter taste. 
Storage: 
  • Store these eclairs in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 1 month in an airtight container. 
  • Simply remove from the freezer and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving!

Nutrition

Serving: 1eclair | Calories: 183.8kcal | Carbohydrates: 16.5g | Protein: 2.6g | Fat: 12.6g | Saturated Fat: 7.7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3.5g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 151mg | Potassium: 75.7mg | Fiber: 0.6g | Sugar: 11.6g | Vitamin A: 425IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 0.8mg