Homemade eclairs

Homemade eclairs

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(13 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr Cook: 45 mins Plus chilling and cooling

More effort

Makes 24

Homemade eclairs are a labour of love, but the reward will be a decadent mouthful of crisp pastry oozing creamy vanilla custard

Nutrition and extra info

  • Unfilled choux buns can be frozen

Nutrition: per eclair

  • kcal155
  • fat12g
  • saturates7g
  • carbs9g
  • sugars4g
  • fibre0g
  • protein3g
  • salt0.13g
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  • 140g plain flour
  • pinch of sugar



    Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…

  • 125ml milk



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

  • 100g butter



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

  • 4 eggs



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

For the custard filling

  • 300ml milk



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

  • 50g caster sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tsp each plain flour and cornflour
  • 300ml double cream


  1. Start by making the custard filling. Heat the milk until almost boiling in a saucepan. Meanwhile, mix together the sugar, egg yolks and vanilla in a bowl, then stir in the flours, a couple of tsp at a time, to a smooth paste.

  2. Gradually whisk in the hot milk, pour everything back into the saucepan and cook over a high heat, stirring constantly, for about 5 mins until thick – it will go alarmingly lumpy but don’t worry, just keep stirring it vigorously with a wooden spoon until smooth.

  3. Lay a sheet of cling film directly on the custard surface, then cool and chill until you’re ready to fill the buns.

  4. To make the choux buns, heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Sift the flour with the sugar and a pinch of salt into a small bowl. Put the milk and butter into a medium saucepan with 125ml water and gently heat so the butter melts but the liquid doesn’t bubble.

  5. Once the butter has completely melted, increase the heat until the liquid comes to a fast rolling boil. Immediately turn off the heat, tip in the sifted flour and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until you a have a smooth dough that comes away from the sides of the pan. Spread over a large dinner plate to cool to hand temperature.

  6. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then gradually add the eggs, mixing well between each addition until the mixture reluctantly drops off the spoon. Don’t add all the egg unless you need to.

  7. Cut 2 large sheets of baking parchment. On each one draw 2 sets of ‘track’ lines with a 10cm gap – these will be your guidelines so your eclairs will all be roughly the same size. Use the paper to line 2 large baking sheets – penside down.

  8. Spoon your choux mixture into a piping bag with a 1cm star or round wide nozzle, or into a disposable piping bag with a similar-size hole snipped off for piping. Pipe 2 rows of well-spaced, squashed ‘S’ shapes on each sheet between the guidelines. Bake, one tray at a time, on a high-ish shelf for 25 mins, reducing temperature to 200C/180C fan/ gas 6 as soon as they go in the oven.

  9. After 25 mins, poke a hole in the end of each bun, or using a small serrated knife, split down the middle and return to the oven, upside-down, to dry out for 5 mins until crisp and golden. Set aside to cool.

  10. While the buns are cooling, finish your filling. Whisk the cream until thick, then use your electric whisk to beat the cooled, set custard until just smooth again. Fold in the cream. Spoon your filling into a piping bag – use a small nozzle if you’re filling the buns through the holes you've pierced, or a large nozzle if you’ve split the buns in half. Carefully pipe the custard into each cooled bun – they should feel heavy once full. 

  11. Arrange the buns on a wire rack and spread each with a little of your chosen icing. If you can’t decide, it’s really easy to split your batch of choux buns, halve icing quantities, and make a selection to keep everyone happy. See the tip below for more icing flavours. 

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Comments, questions and tips

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2nd Nov, 2019
Definitely took much longer - about 3 hours, but I was making these with my 12 year old. The recipe was great, easy to follow and the results, whilst not as pretty as I would like to imagine they would be without my helper, were amazing, better than any shop bought versions. Its definitely worth making the custard cream mix. We used the suggested chocolate topping and it was perfect and really shiny. We made about 22, but I think it would have been better to make 30-40 shorter ones
20th Apr, 2019
Just used this recipe to make eclairs, having failed miserably with a cookbook version. This has produced 30 x 6cm eclairs, and it couldn’t have been easier. Will definitely be using this recipe in future. Only gave 4 stars as I haven’t tried the filling mixture, I will be using whipped cream.
10th Jun, 2016
A labour of love, but SO worth the effort! I think my husband loves me a little bit more just for making these!! They are absolutely delicious - the vanilla custard is divine, but the eclairs don't necessarily need the glaze as they taste amazing just topped with melted (good quality) milk chocolate. I used half the Choux measurements and all the Custard measurements and I got 9 nice-sized eclairs filled to overflowing with the gorgeous custard filling. Our daughter loved these too - she thought they were a big improvement on shop bought ones "filled with boring cream". Can't wait to make them again for family parties etc!!
Barneys baking
7th Feb, 2016
This took a huge amount of effort but worth it, much nicer than what you can buy in supermarkets. For the chocolate icing I just melted milk chocolate with double cream. The only problem I had was I didn't have enough custard to fill all my eclairs even though I measured the ingredients exactly, next time I will make more custard however they take so much effort I don't know when I will have time to make these again.. But lovely anyway
17th Oct, 2015
Just finished making these. Took about 2-3 hours of non-stop baking but was worth it as my family think they taste great! I finished with about 21 eclairs so I ended up putting two trays in the oven at the same time. It didn't affect the bake *too* much, though one tray did bake faster than the other. I also ran out of the custard filling about 2/3 of the way through filling them so I would recommend doubling the amount so you're not filling them too sparingly.
3rd Oct, 2015
Fantastic! Worth the effort, great fun to make and actually not that tricky. Dried the pastry out over night in the oven as it cooled with the door propped open to get the choux nice and crisp, filled with sweetened whipped cream flavoured with vanilla.
11th Aug, 2015
where are the pictures to illustrate steps 1,2 and 3 as per recipe?
27th Apr, 2014
First attempt at choux pastry and they were perfect and very easy to make although it didn't stretch to 24 eclairs. Would def make again.
27th Apr, 2014
First attempt at choux pastry and they were perfect and very easy to make although it didn't stretch to 24 eclairs. Would def make again.
17th Nov, 2013
Recipe is a bit misleading, no mention of the 125 ml water in the ingredients and where/when to add the double cream for the custard, lucky enough I've done something similar before and the éclairs turned out just gorgeous!


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Derpy Dog's picture
Derpy Dog
30th Nov, 2018
Do not use all 4 eggs if you don’t need to. The mixture should plop off the spoon and not run off it.
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