donut pan idea no. 54: chocolate eclair donuts

Oh man, these were gone in a heartbeat. Delicious chocolate eclair donuts. A wonderful play on your average chocolate glazed donut, these use your typical choux pastry, pastry cream and a simple chocolate glaze and taste exactly. like. eclairs. but. better. because. they. are. donuts.

I adapted this Joy of Baking recipe which yielded one dozen perfect eclair donuts. Click on "read more" below to read more!

For the choux pastry you will need 1 c. flour, 1 tsp. sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 c. (one stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, 1 c. water and four eggs, lightly beaten. You will also need extra flour and butter to grease the pans AND some Baker's Joy baking spray. I did belt and suspenders this time to insure they would just pop right out of the pans, and they did.

For the chocolate glaze you will need 2 oz. semi sweet chocolate, 1/4 c. heavy whipping cream. 1/4 tsp. vanilla, and 1/2 tbsp. light corn syrup.

And finally, for the pastry cream, which we will start with, you will need 1 1/4 c. whole milk, three large egg yolks, 1/4 c. sugar, 2 tbsp. flour, 2 scant tbsp. cornstarch and 1 tsp. vanilla

In a medium bowl (must be heat-proof), whisk together the 1/4 c. sugar and the three egg yolks. In another small bowl, whisk the 2 tbsp. flour and scant 2 tbsp. cornstarch together and then add to the egg mixture, stirring until smooth.

Heat the 1 1/4 c. milk in a saucepan until it just starts to boil. Remove the milk from heat and add slowly to the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour that whole mixture back into the milk saucepan and cook over medium, again whisking constantly. Keep going a minute or two until it thickens up, then remove from heat. 

Back on the heat here until the cream becomes thick.

Stir in vanilla extract, then immediately move the cream to a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap to avoid a skin forming on the surface. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. The pastry cream can be refrigerated for up to three days.

When you are ready to make the choux pastry, preheat your oven to 400º. Grease the pans with butter, coat all sides of the donut cavities with flour, and finally lightly spray the flour with Baker's Joy or another baking spray. This works!

Start the dough by whisking together 1 c. flour, 1 tsp. sugar and 1/2 tsp. salt. Melt the chopped stick of butter in 1 c. water in a double boiler (or bowl set over a pot of boiling water). When the butter has melted, remove from the heat and mix in the flour mixture with a wooden spoon.

After the flour and butter mixtures are combined, move back to the heat and stir constantly for just a minute or so until the dough comes away from the sides and forms a ball. Remove from heat and set on the counter.

Using an electric mixer, beat the dough for a minute to allow a lot of the heat and steam to escape. Add the four eggs and keep mixing the dough. It will look separated at first, but eventually will become smooth.

The final smooth choux dough.

You're ready to fill your pans! This makes just enough for the twelve pastries. Using a pastry bag with no tip, fill each donut pan cavity a little less than half-way full with a continuous line of dough. It should just be the amount of dough that squeezes out from the bag with gentle pressure. If they get much fuller you lose the rounded sides of the donuts and end up with straight side walls. Not a big deal, but they are cuter with the rounded sides.

Bake at 400º for 12 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 350º and bake for 12 more minutes until light golden brown. Remove the pans from the oven and when cool enough to touch, lift the pastries out of the pans and finish cooling on wire racks. So pretty!

While the pastry "shells" are cooling, prepare the chocolate glaze. 

Chop the 2 oz. semi sweet chocolate into little pieces and place in a bowl. Warm the whipping cream to not quite a low boil and pour over the chocolate, gently stirring until the chocolate has melted and is incorporated with the cream. Stir in 1/4 tsp. vanilla and 1/2 tsp. light corn syrup.

Now you're ready to assemble these beautiful things!

Pretty straightforward! Split the donut shells with a serrated knife. To keep the tops stable, split them so that the top is slightly thicker than the bottom, but only slightly. You don't want the bottom to fall apart on you either. Dip the tops face down in the chocolate glaze and set face up on a tray to begin to dry. 

Next pipe a thin, continuous band of pastry cream onto the bottom of each donut shell. Please note that there is JUST enough pastry cream to fill all twelve donuts, so use sparingly, making sure to divide as equally as you can among the donut bottoms.

Finally, set the chocolate glazed halves on top of the pastry cream, putting the donuts back together. There you go! I had to eat one right away, but the rest I put on a tray and refrigerated for a few hours. They are so amazing chilled!

You have to try these. I don't eat a lot of eclairs, but now I will!


  1. This is BY FAR my most favorite of the donut ideas yet. I have to make them for my dad- eclairs are his favorite too!

    1. I will make them with you! Can't wait to see you again when we are both back and settled! xoxo


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...