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(14 ratings)

Takes 2-2¼ hours, plus cooling

A challenge

Serves 20
For an alternative wedding cake, try croquembouche

Nutrition and extra info


  • kcal-
  • fat-
  • saturates-
  • carbs-
  • sugars-
  • fibre-
  • protein-
  • salt-
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  • 185g plain flour
  • 175g unsalted butter, cut into pieces



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 6 large eggs, beaten



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

For the limoncello cream

  • 9 large egg yolks
  • 150g golden caster sugar
  • 50g plain flour, plus 1 tbsp finely grated zest of 2 lemons, plus 4 tbsp juice
  • 500ml full cream milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

  • 7 tbsp limoncello (Italian lemon liqueur) or an orange flavoured liqueur

For the decoration

  • 400g white chocolate

    Chocolate ganache


    Chocolate ganache is a combination of chocolate and double cream. It's simple to…

  • 200g refined caster sugar
  • mixture of cream and pink sugared almonds, 175g/6oz each


    arr-mund or al-mund

    Sweet almonds have a subtle fragrance that lends itself well to baking and also works well with…

  • 2 x 100g tubs crystallised whole roses

For the cardboard cone

  • 1 A1 sheet of card
  • 60cm length of string
  • tape and foil for shaping cone


  1. Three days ahead (or 1 month and freeze): preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/fan oven 180C. Lightly butter 3 large baking sheets. Sift the flour onto a large square of greaseproof paper. Put the butter in a large, heavy-based saucepan with 450ml/3⁄4pint water and gently heat until the butter has melted. Bring to the boil then immediately tip in the flour, all in one go. Beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a ball that comes away from the sides of the pan. Leave to cool for 5 minutes.

  2. Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, beating well between each addition, until the mixture is glossy and only just holding its shape. You may not need to add all the beaten egg. Spoon and pack half the mixture into a large polythene freezer bag. Twist the opening to secure and snip off a 1cm tip from the corner (or use a piping bag and 1cm plain nozzle).

  3. Pipe small rounds, about 2cm in diameter, on to the baking sheets, trimming the paste from the bag with a knife. Leave room between them to allow for spreading. You should end up with about 75 rounds. Bake for 25 minutes, in batches if necessary depending on how many baking sheets you have, until well risen and golden, rotating the baking sheets half way through cooking. As soon as the pastry is cooked, make a 1cm slit on the side of each bun to let the steam escape. (This stops them turning soggy as they cool). Return to the oven for a further 5 minutes to dry them out, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container (or freeze).

  4. Make the cone. Make a pencil mark halfway along a long edge of the A1 card. Mark the halfway position along both short edges and draw a line from each point to the mark on the long edge. Attach one end of the string to the pencil and holding the other end at the point on the long edge, draw a curve from the point on one short side to the point on the opposite side. Cut out the card shape and use as a template to cut out the same shape in foil. Tape the foil over the card and roll up (foil inside), overlapping the straight edges to make a cone shape with a 20cm diameter opening. Secure with tape and snip 10cm off the point of the cone.

  5. Two days ahead: make the limoncello cream. Beat the egg yolks, sugar, flour, lemon zest and juice in a bowl to make a smooth paste. Bring the milk to the boil in a large, heavy-based saucepan. As soon as it reaches the boil, pour it over the egg mixture, stirring well. Return to the saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly until the sauce is very thick and bubbling. Stir in the liqueur and transfer to a bowl. Cover the surface with a circle of greaseproof paper to prevent a skin forming and leave to cool completely. Refrigerate until ready to use.

  6. The day before: if the buns are a bit soft when you take them out of the container, lay them in a single layer on baking sheets and re-crisp in a moderate oven for 5 minutes. Fill them sparingly with the limoncello cream by piping as before. You can always pipe in a little extra if you have any mixture leftover.

  7. Break the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and melt over a bowl of gently simmering water. (Or melt in the microwave on Medium for 2-3 minutes.) Give the chocolate an occasional stir until it has just melted. Turn off the heat.

  8. Rest the cone inside a vase or jug for support. Put a small bun into the point of the cone with the bun’s base face up. Spoon 1 tsp of melted chocolate onto the base and secure two small buns over the first, again with base up. Spoon over another teaspoon of chocolate. It’s a little difficult working at the tip of the cone but it gets much easier as the cone gets wider.

  9. Work up the cone, packing in the buns quite firmly, drizzling the chocolate (see left) and working in horizontal layers until the cone is filled. Make sure that each bun is firmly secured in place with chocolate before proceeding to the next layer and make sure the last layer forms a flat base for the cake. Keep the filled cone in the coolest place overnight.

  10. On the day: carefully invert the cone on to a flat serving plate and lift away the cone. Gently peel away the foil if it hasn’t come away already. Put the remaining 100g/4oz sugar in a small heavy-based saucepan with 5 tbsp water. Heat very gently, stirring slowly until it has dissolved to make a smooth syrup. Take care not to splash the syrup up the sides of the pan or it may crystallise and solidify.

  11. Bring the syrup to the boil and cook for 4-6 minutes, watching closely until it turns a rich golden colour. Take off the heat and dip the base of the pan in cold water to prevent further cooking. Stand back as the pan will splutter noisily. Carefully dip the ends of the sugared almonds and roses in caramel and secure around the cake, scattering a few on the plate.

  12. Using a teaspoon, drizzle more caramel around the buns so that it falls in fine threads. If the caramel hardens before you’ve finished decorating, gently reheat it, taking care not to burn it. Finish with a dusting of icing sugar. To serve the cake, it is easiest if you have one server to break pieces off for the guests, starting from the top and working down.

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Comments, questions and tips

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26th Dec, 2017
Made this as a 'special' desert for Christmas this year but adapted it due to not being able to get my hands on a few items and the fact there was only three of us! All went wonderfully until the caramel which I had to change to caster sugar and 4 spoons after three attempts of trying it this way with rather disastrous attempts! I am a complete novice with baking so that may be something others know how to do/fix but I didn't. Looked great and I understand the 'a challenge' rating but more from the time consuming effort. I did the profiteroles and stuffed them with the cream on one day and put it together with the caramel and chocolate the next after they spent the night in the fridge just as non chocolate profiteroles. I also popped it in the freezer after putting together (remember mine was much smaller) to get the chocolate to harden before doing the caramel. I also cheated and had a pavlova base to help give a bit more structure since it was smaller and I didn't use the cone and I found it worked great for moving it around.
14th Dec, 2017
Either I did something terribly wrong, or this recipe provides less than half of the amount of creme patissiere needed to fill all 75 choux buns. I managed to fill 29 before completely running out of filling, despite having followed the choux recipe precisely. No wonder the recipe said "fill sparingly" - each bun would be less than half filled and not at all structurally sound. By all means use this recipe, but I'd suggest you make at least double the amount of creme pat.
6th Mar, 2017
I made this tower within a cookery lesson. I piped the profiteroles too large and they were almost to big to tower, however they did sink a bit when taken from the oven. Unfortunately we were pushed for time, burning the caramel sugar. The end result(minis the sugar work) looked amazing and tasted delicious though.
16th Nov, 2015
Mock Strawberry Shortcake Serves:depends on serving size,10 CarbsPerServing:Unsure-count carbs in strawberies and pudding Prep Time:15 min Effort:Easy Ingredients: 1-2 Boxes SF FF Vanilla Pudding mix Frozen, No sugar added whole strawberries Heavy whipping cream 1 Can of real whipped cream 4-5 packets of splenda water How to Prepare: Thaw strawberries. Put in sealable bowl with a little water and splenda to taste. Shake well to mix water with juice of strawberries. refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour. Empty dry pudding into bowl. slowly add whiiping cream while beating with electric mixer. Keep adding until pudding is the consistency of thick custard. Refrigerate until ready to use.Add some pudding/custard in bowl and top with strawberries. Top straberries with whipped cream and spoon a little juice from strawberries over whole dessert.This soooooo yummy and rich. It is a family low carb favorite.
13th Jul, 2013
Took me forever to even read the instructions. I got the gist of it in the end and I enjoyed sharing this thoroughly.
3rd Jan, 2013
Made an adaptation of this using caramel instead of white chocolate, worked well. The lemoncello filling is a gorgeous and very sweet filling. The pastry worked well, the quantity was about right to make the cone. I was worried about it sticking so I used some cooking spray sparingly brushed on the foil and it came out a treat.
15th Aug, 2012
Its amazing how this croquembouche stands up in a triangle.
22nd Jul, 2012
Made this for a friends wedding and it worked very well and tasted great. It was quite a warm day and it did start to bend a bit as the chocolate melted!
13th Mar, 2012
Like Linda R this took me some time to make but it was entirely worth all the effort. Trouble is that everyone who tried it loved it and keep asking me to make it again. That will be another two days booked out in my diary!
11th Feb, 2012
I also made this for New Year's Eve 2011 as a personal challenge having seen it on the Great British Bake-Off. I work really slowly so it took me several hours over two days!! However, it was delicious and definitely a conversation piece! I decorated it with candy orange and lemon slices, chocolate stars and edible gold stars but chickened out with the spun sugar. I might be more brave if I do it again for another occasion.


27th Apr, 2017
One more question! If I freeze the profiteroles (unfilled) after baking, what do I do when it comes to filling them? I.e., how long should I defrost the choux buns, and should I crisp them up? Thank you!
23rd Mar, 2017
If I make this-should I put it in the fridge overnight? Also, if it's for a day in May (my mothers birthday), is it best to keep it in the fridge until ready to serve or do the profiteroles go soggy? Thank you, Anna
goodfoodteam's picture
29th Mar, 2017
Thanks for your question. We would suggest only making the croquembouche up to the end of step 9 the day before and keeping it in a cool place - it won't fit in the fridge. Complete the recipe from step onwards on the day to ensure that it stays crisp and fresh.
22nd Aug, 2013
I want to make this for Christmas pudding. Does anyone know how long you can keep the unfilled shells for? Also if i filled them and built it Christmas eve would it still be ok the next day?
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