cakes,  desserts

Éclair cake recipe

Super delicious, creamy, appetizing and easy to prepare, this Éclair cake is a real hit. It makes the perfect choice for parties but also for a family weekend dinner.

I love éclairs and I was very happy to find this recipe because it gathers all the good parts of éclairs. This Éclair cake has a thin crust, plenty of vanilla custard, chocolate and whipped cream. It’s a delight! :). And if you don’t like vanilla custard you can replace it with chocolate custard, caramel custard or coffee custard. Make your favorite combo.

Eclair cake

The crust is made from pâte à choux (Choux pastry), the same dough that we use to prepare éclair shells. It’s very easy to prepare with a handful of ingredients but you have to respect 2 important rules:

1. First, you have to “dry” the dough, meaning that you have to cook the batter for a few minutes (until a white film forms at the bottom of the pot.

2. Second, you have to bake the pastry in 2 steps. You should bake the pastry at high heat first, then reduce the heat. High heat helps the pastry to puff up and a lower heat helps the pastry to dry on the inside.

This pâte à choux can be replaced with puff pastry (see the vanilla custard slice recipe).

Allow the crust to cool then assemble the éclair cake: place the crust into a baking dish, spread vanilla custard, then melted chocolate, then whipped cream and finally drizzle some melted chocolate.

Now it comes the hardest part of this recipe: refrigerate the cake for a few hours (over night is even better) :).

You really have to try this éclair cake. It’s absolutely divine!

Ingredients for the éclair cake (for a 25/35cm – 9.84/13.7in baking dish)

For the pâte à choux (the crust)

– 150gr (1 cup and 2 tablespoons) flour

– 5 eggs

– 200 ml (3/4 cup 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon) milk

– 100 ml (1/2 cup minus 1 tablespoon) water

– 150 gr (1 and 1/3 stick) butter

– a pinch of salt

For the vanilla custard

– 500 ml (2 cups and 2 tablespoons) milk

– 4 egg yolks

– 150 gr (3/4 cup) sugar

– 50 gr (1/3 cup and 1 teaspoon) flour

– vanilla flavor

– 10 gr (0.35 oz) gelatin powder

– a few tablespoons of cold milk to soak the gelatin (see the instructions form the package)

– 300 ml (1 and 1/2 cup minus 1 tablespoon) whipping cream

For the chocolate layer

– 200 ml (1 cup minus 2 tablespoons) whipping cream

– 160 gr (5.64 oz) dark chocolate

You also need:

– 500 ml (2 cups and 2 tablespoons) whipping cream

– 50 gr (7 tablespoons) of icing sugar

How to make the éclair cake

You should start by preparing the the pâte à choux (the crust)

Use a medium pot to combine milk, water, butter and a pinch of salt. Place the pot over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted. Bring to a rolling boil.
Remove from heat and stir in the flour.
Return to heat. Reduce the heat and continue to cook, stirring constantly, for a few minutes, until a white film forms on the bottom of the pot. This step called “drying” the batter helps the pastry to puff up.
Remove from heat and transfer the batter to a cold metallic bowl. Allow to cool.
Add the eggs, one by one, and mix until each egg is evenly incorporated. You must obtain a smooth and shiny batter.
Transfer the batter to a non-stick baking dish (25/35cm – 9.84/13.7in).

Place the baking dish into the preheated oven and bake at 200°C (392°F) for about 15 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 180°C (356°F) and continue to bake for another 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on wire racks.
How to make the vanilla custard
Reserve 2-3 tablespoons of cold milk and heat the rest of it. Set aside.
Place into a medium pot the sugar and 4 egg yolks. Mix at high speed until creamy and pale. Add 2-3 tablespoons of cold milk and mix to combine.
Add the flour and mix to incorporate.
Pour in the hot milk, gradually, and stir to incorporate.
Place the pot over low heat and cook, stirring continuously, until thickens. The vanilla custard is cooked when it starts to make bubbles. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla flavor.
Use a small bowl to combine gelatin and a few tablespoons of cold milk (see the instructions from the package). Allow to rest for 8-10 minutes.
Stir the gelatin-milk mixture into the vanilla custard. The vanilla custard must be warm but not hot. Stir well to incorporate. Allow to achieve the room temperature.
Meanwhile mix the whipping cream until fluffy. Stir in the vanilla custard.

How to assemble the éclair cake
Place the crust into the baking dish. Evenly spread on top the vanilla custard. Place the éclair cake into the freezer for about 20 minutes (or until the vanilla custard is firm).
Meanwhile place the chocolate and the whipping cream into a small pot. Place the pot over medium heat and cook, stirring often, until the chocolate is completely melted.
Remove the éclair cake from the freezer and evenly spread on top melted chocolate. Reserve 3 tablespoons of melted chocolate to drizzle on top.
Place the éclair cake back into the freezer until the chocolate is firm.
Meanwhile mix 500 ml (2 cups and 2 tablespoons) of whipping cream along with 50 gr (7 tablespoons) of icing sugar until stiff peaks form.
Remove the éclair cake from the freezer and evenly spread the whipped cream. Drizzle on top the rest of the melted chocolate.
Refrigerate the éclair cake for about 6 hours before serving.


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