Chocolate Eclairs

Total Time

Prep: 45 min. Bake: 35 min. + cooling

Makes

9 servings

Updated: Nov. 02, 2023
With creamy filling and fudgy frosting, this chocolate eclair recipe is extra special. —Jessica Campbell, Viola, Wisconsin
Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • FILLING:
  • 2-1/2 cups cold 2% milk
  • 1 package (5.1 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • FROSTING:
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons hot water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. In a large saucepan, bring water, butter and salt to a boil. Add flour all at once and stir until a smooth ball forms. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and shiny.
  2. Using a tablespoon or a pastry tube with a #10 or large round tip, form dough into nine 4x1-1/2-in. strips on a greased baking sheet. Bake 35-40 minutes or until puffed and golden. Place on a wire rack. Immediately split eclairs open; remove tops and set aside. Discard soft dough from inside. Cool eclairs.
  3. In a large bowl, beat milk and pudding mix according to package directions. In another bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form. Beat in the confectioners' sugar and vanilla; fold into pudding. Fill eclairs (chill any remaining filling for another use). Replace tops.
  4. For frosting, in a microwave, melt chocolate and butter; stir until smooth. Stir in the confectioners' sugar and enough hot water to achieve a smooth consistency. Cool slightly. Frost eclairs. Store in refrigerator.
Chocolate Eclairs Tips

How can you tell when the choux pastry is ready?

Learning how to make choux pastry (pronounced like "shoe") seems tricky, but it's pretty simple. The best way to tell when the batter is ready is to pull a spatula through it. When it drops off the spatula in a nice V-shape, the batter is ready to pipe onto the baking sheet.

Why did my eclairs collapse?

The common cause for eclair collapse is too much moisture in the batter. Make sure to stir the batter vigorously in the pot for several minutes until the mixture forms a firm, dry ball and an even, thin coating of batter remains on the side of the pot. Don't rush this; it's almost better for the dough to overcook than undercook. Also, resist the temptation to open the oven door while the choux pastry bakes. That could allow steam that helps form the puffed shells to escape.

Why do my chocolate eclairs have cracks in them?

Cracks can happen when too much air is whipped into the choux pastry, or if there are variances in oven temperature. But don't worry: Cracks can be a totally natural part of the baking process and give the eclairs a unique appearance.

What other fillings can you put in eclairs?

Try filling your eclairs with other flavored homemade puddings (here are a few tips for making pudding) or give these chocolate-glazed raspberry eclairs a whirl!

Can you make chocolate eclairs ahead of time?

Choux pastry and the filling for eclairs can both be made a day in advance, but don't fill them until you're ready to serve. Store baked, unfilled eclairs in an airtight container overnight. The filling can be prepped, covered and refrigerated a day ahead of time.

Mark Neufang, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant

Nutrition Facts

1 eclair: 483 calories, 28g fat (17g saturated fat), 174mg cholesterol, 492mg sodium, 52g carbohydrate (37g sugars, 1g fiber), 7g protein.