Last updated on January 16th, 2024 at 04:03 pmJump to Recipe
Strawberry Eclairs Recipe
Strawberry Eclairs are a delicious treat filled with homemade strawberry custard, made with real strawberries, and topped with white chocolate. They only take a few minutes to bake, and you can serve these for breakfast or dessert. You can change the pastry cream and the topping as you like, playing with different flavors. These are perfect for Valentine’s Day, along with our VIRAL and FAMOUS Best Strawberry Poke Cake!
A French pastry chef, Marie Antoine Careme, was the first to make these delicious pastries while working for French royalty in the 1800s. He is also known for the Napolean and Charlotte cakes. However, the first recipe showed up in 1884 in the Boston Cooking School Cookbook.
- Finely diced strawberries: You want to chop them really small, so they blend well.
- Butter: Cold unsalted butter is what we used.
- Granulated sugar: You need granulated white sugar for the right consistency.
- Large egg yolks: They need to be warmed to room temperature.
- Vanilla extract: Use 100% real vanilla extract for the best flavor.
- Whole milk: Low-fat, soy, or almond milk will work fine.
- Heavy cream: To make the whipped cream.
- Pinch of fine sea salt: Omit this if you use salted butter.
- Cornstarch: Mixed with water to thicken the filling.
- Water: To make a cornstarch slurry.
- All-purpose flour: Make sure you use the spoon and level measuring technique. Do not scoop.
- Eggs: At room temperature for better blending.
- Granulated sugar: Granulated white sugar works best.
- Unsalted butter: Let it soften to room temperature for easier blending.
- Water: Water helps activate the gluten in the dough and makes it easier to shape.
- Salt: Again, leave this out if you use salted butter.
- Egg: Warmed to room temperature.
- Water: At room temperature.
- White chocolate
- Pink food coloring
How to make strawberry eclairs from scratch?
- Prep strawberries: First, mix diced strawberries with two teaspoons of sugar in a small bowl and set aside.
- Heat the cream: Then, cook milk, heavy cream, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it begins to simmer. Turn off the heat.
- Make soft peaks: Now, in a separate large bowl, beat sugar and egg yolks with your whisk attachment until you have soft peaks.
- Add warm milk: A little at a time, pour the warm milk into the egg yolk mixture, stirring constantly.
- Make the slurry: Immediately, whisk cornstarch in water until dissolved. Then, add it to the custard mixture.
- Cook the custard: After, pour the custard back into the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly for three to five minutes, until it is thick and glossy. Remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla, stir until the mixture is smooth before mixing in the diced strawberries.
- Chill: Transfer the strawberry custard to a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap, so it touches the surface of the custard, chill until needed or at least a few hours
To make the chocolate-covered strawberry eclairs:
- Preheat and prepare: To begin, preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Boil the sugar water: In the meantime, bring the sugar, water, butter, and salt to a rolling boil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Then remove it from the heat.
- Stir in the flour: Now, add all the flour at once and stir with a wooden spoon for about a minute, until it is completely mixed. Then, return it to the heat and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
- Mix it up: Transfer dough to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix at medium speed. Keep the mixer going while you add the eggs, one at a time, stopping after each egg is mixed to scrape the sides. Mix until glossy.
- Make the eclairs: After, spoon dough into a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip and squeeze out the dough to about the size of jumbo hot dogs, onto the lined baking sheets. Leave two inches between them.
- Make the egg wash: Next, whisk the egg and water together in a medium bowl. Brush the surface of each eclair with egg wash and use your fingers to smooth out any bumps or points of dough.
- Bake: Immediately, bake for 15 minutes, and then turn the oven down to 375 degrees F. Bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, until puffy and lightly golden brown. Let them cool on the baking sheet.
- Fill the eclairs: After they are completely dry, use a medium piping tip to make a hole at the end of each one. Then, fill a piping bag fitted with a medium plain tip to gently fill the eclairs. Do not stuff them full.
- Melt the chocolate: Last, melt chocolate in the microwave for about a minute in 30-second increments until it is smooth. Stir in the pink food coloring and then dip each filled eclair into the topping.
- Serve immediately: Finally, serve while still warm with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate.
- Vanilla pudding: Instead of strawberry cream filling, feel free to use vanilla pudding or whatever kind you like.
- Chocolate ganache: You can also fill your chocolate-covered strawberry eclairs with chocolate ganache instead of strawberry filling.
- Add more: Sprinkle the tops with freeze-dried strawberries for an extra flair.
- Other flavors: You could also make these eclairs with raspberry, cherry, or blueberry.
- Strawberry eclair cake: For something different, use the dough to make a large eclair for a strawberry eclair cake.
- Corn syrup: Add a teaspoon of corn syrup to your topping to make it sweeter and glossier.
- Powdered: Instead of using the chocolate topping, you can just dust the tops with powdered sugar.
Frequently asked questions
What is the difference between eclairs and cream puffs?
It is mostly about the shape. An eclair is long and rectangular while a cream puff is round like a donut without a hole. Also, a traditional eclair is filled with custard and topped with chocolate, but cream puffs are usually filled with some kind of white cream and topped with powdered sugar.
What can I use instead of a piping bag?
You do not have to have a piping bag for this recipe. Just fill a resealable baggie with the dough or filling and cut off the tip. You can use a small baggie for a smaller hole and a large freezer bag for making large eclairs. Alternatively, try using a triangle of parchment or wax paper folded into a cone and taped.
Can I make these ahead of time?
Yes, you can make the dough and strawberry pastry cream several days before. Keep them in a sealed airtight container. Just remember to take them out of the fridge about three or four hours in advance so they can return to room temperature.
How to store leftovers:
- Store: You can store your leftover chocolate-covered strawberry eclairs in an airtight container for one to two days.
- Freeze: Freezing is not recommended.
More strawberry recipes to try:
- 1 cup water
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons white sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs plus 1 extra if needed
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons water
Pink chocolate glaze:
- 8 oz white chocolate coarsely chopped
- pink gel food coloring
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Make eclair pastry:
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add the water, butter, salt, and sugar, stir, and bring the mixture to a rolling boil.
- When it boils, immediately take the pan off the heat, and using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir in all the flour at once until fully incorporated, this will take about 1 minute.
- Return the saucepan to medium heat and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Transfer the mixture into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or you can use a hand mixer.
- With the mixer running on medium speed, add 3 eggs, one at a time. Stop the mixer after each addition to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Mix until the eggs are fully incorporated, and the dough is smooth and glossy. The dough should be thick, and fall slowly from the beaters when you lift them. If the dough is still clinging to the beaters, add the remaining 1 egg and mix again until incorporated.
- Take a large pastry bag and add a large plain tip to it, pipe straight and uniform fat lengths of dough, that are 5 inches long, onto the lined baking sheet, leaving 2 inches of space between each one.
- In a bowl, whisk the egg and water and brush the surface of each eclair with the mixture. Use your fingers to smooth out any bumps of dough that remain on the surface.
- Bake the eclairs for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 degrees F and bake until puffed up, light golden brown, about 20-25 minutes more. Try not to open the oven door too often.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the eclairs cool on the baking sheet.
- Click on the link in the ingredients list for the Strawberry Custard recipe, or use store-bought.
- Fit a medium-sized plain pastry tip over your index finger and use it to make a hole in ONE of the ends of each eclair.
- Add the filling to a medium pastry bag fitted with a medium-sized plain tip, and carefully and slowly pipe the strawberry custard into the eclairs, don't overstuff them.
For the Glaze:
- Put the chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe medium bowl. Microwave it for 60 seconds, after that stir it very well, and if needed microwave it again for 20-30 seconds. Stir well again as the chocolate will melt from the residual heat.
- Once smooth, add a few drops of pink gel food coloring, and stir to combine. Add more for a more intense color.
- Immediately dip the tops of the eclairs in the chocolate glaze and set them on a sheet pan.
- Chill, uncovered, at least 1 hour to set the glaze. Serve chilled.
- If you do not have a stand mixer, you can use a hand mixer or electric mixer with a large bowl.
- Spray cookie sheets with olive oil or nonstick baking spray if you do not have any parchment paper.
- For less saturated fat, you could use vanilla Greek yogurt instead of cream.
- The dough will be thick but should drip steadily from the mixer when you lift it out of the bowl. If the dough sticks to the mixer, add another egg and beat until incorporated.
- Another way to fill the eclairs is to cut them in half horizontally and spoon the filling onto the bottom before putting them back together.
- This dough is also known as pâte à choux in French and is used for everything from cream puffs to eclairs.
- After baking the eclairs, poke a small hole in the top or side of each one to let the steam escape. Don’t worry, they will puff back up when you fill them.
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