This French pastry is sweet and satisfying!

An éclair is a delicious French dessert comprised of an eggy but airy pastry traditionally filled with custard and topped with a chocolate glaze. However, éclairs can be customized to feature many different flavors. Historians say acclaimed chef Antonin Carême is attributed with making the éclair famous by modifying a cake recipe previously known as “pain à la duchesse.” Éclair means “flash,” and the name may suggest that these pastries were eaten in a flash.

The most recognizable version of this popular pastry is the chocolate éclair. Foodies can find éclairs at nearby bakeries, but they’re relatively easy to make at home as well. Try this recipe for “Éclairs,” courtesy of and contributor Patty Stockton.



Makes 9


Choux pastry

1          cup water

1⁄2        cup butter

1          cup all-purpose flour

1⁄4        teaspoon salt

4          large eggs



2 1⁄2      cups cold milk

1          5-ounce package instant vanilla pudding mix

1          cup heavy cream

1⁄4        cup confectioners’ sugar

1          teaspoon vanilla extract



2          1-ounce squares semisweet chocolate

2          tablespoons butter

1          cup confectioners’ sugar

1          teaspoon vanilla extract

3          tablespoons hot water


Preheat the oven to 450 F. Grease a cookie sheet; set aside.

Make choux pastry: Combine water and butter in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, stirring until butter melts completely. Reduce heat to low; add flour and salt. Stir vigorously until mixture leaves the sides of the pan and begins to form a stiff ball. Remove from heat and let cool 10 minutes.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until incorporated. Using a spoon or pastry bag fitted with a No. 10 or larger tip, spoon or pipe dough onto the prepared cookie sheet in 11⁄2  x 4-inch strips.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 F and continue baking until the bottoms sound hollow when lightly tapped, about 20 more minutes. Poke a small hole in each éclair to release steam. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Make filling; combine milk and pudding mix in a medium bowl according to package directions. Beat heavy cream with an electric mixer in a separate medium bowl until soft peaks form. Beat in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Fold whipped cream into pudding.

Cut tops off of cooled pastry shells with a sharp knife. Fill shells with pudding mixture and replace tops.

Make icing: Melt chocolate and butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Stir in hot water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until icing is smooth and has reached desired consistency. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Drizzle chocolate icing over filled éclairs. Store in the refrigerator until serving.