Learn how to make vegan eclairs, cream puffs or profiteroles, using this simple recipe for eggless choux pastry that actually works!
Finally! An eggless, dairy free recipe for choux pastry that truly works! I have tested around 10 different versions in the past few months and I am happy to share with you the winning recipe.
I almost gave up, thinking eggless eclairs were only a dream, but I persisted and voilà! Success. These vegan eclairs/cream puffs aren’t quite as fluffy and light as their egg filled original, but they are pretty dang close and I think you will love them.
What is choux pastry?
Choux pastry, or pâte à choux, is the classic French pastry batter used for making all sorts of delicious things, like eclairs, cream puffs, profiteroles and more. It’s unique because the the dough is actually cooked on the stovetop, then usually mixed with many eggs before baking.
The difficult part of making vegan choux pastry is replacing the eggs, and is where I struggled. I tried store bought egg replacers, aquafaba beat with stiff peaks, Just Egg, and a few other ingredients. Nothing worked well, until I made my own and mixed it with a little aquafaba. Don’t worry, it’s very simple!
- Vegan butter – Necessary, and there is no replacement unfortunately. I have used Country Crock and Earth Balance with success.
- Unsweetened soy milk – I’ve also used almond and cashew milk, they worked just fine.
- All purpose flour – I haven’t tried a gluten free mix, if you do let me know how it goes!
- Potato starch
- Tapioca starch
- Baking powder
- Xantham gum
- Aquafaba – Liquid from a can of chickpeas.
- Vegan Custard – I use this when making eclairs.
- Coconut Whipped Cream – For cream puffs, or you could use custard for puffs as well.
- Chocolate sauce – Simply vegan chocolate chips and more soy milk.
- Powdered sugar – For dusting the tops of cream puffs, optional.
How to make vegan choux pastry
Vegan choux pastry is really not that hard to make, but it might be unlike anything else you’ve ever made. Follow the instructions exactly for best results and don’t make any substitutes.
(Scroll down for the complete, printable recipe, this is simply an overview with photos.)
- In a medium saucepan, add the vegan butter, water, milk, salt and sugar. Stir until the butter is melted, bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and add all the flour in at once. Mix the flour in until a ball of dough is formed and cook for about 2 minutes, mashing the mixture onto the bottom of the pan. Transfer dough to a large bowl to cool while you make the “eggs”.
- In a small bowl, pour in 1/4 cup aquafaba, then add all the other egg ingredients.
- Whisk until the mixture becomes foamy. It does not need to have stiff peaks.
- Add egg mixture to the pastry in the bowl with the mixer on low, and mix until combined, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush lightly with water. Transfer the dough to a piping bag with a large tip.
For cream puffs, pipe mounds about 2 inches tall, a few inches apart on the baking sheet. For eclairs, make them mini, about 3 inches long and 1 inch tall.
Brush gently with a little egg replacer, then bake for 20 minutes at 375℉. After 20 minutes, reduce the heat to 350℉ and bake for 10 more minutes, without opening the oven door at all. You can use the oven light to check on them.
Remove and let cool completely before filling.
For vegan cream puffs or profiteroles
For cream puffs, slice the smaller pastries in half and fill with coconut whipped cream (or custard, I prefer whipped cream in my cream puffs). Place the top half back on, then dust with powdered sugar.
For profiteroles, fill with either custard, coconut whip or even vegan ice cream! Place the top back on, dipped in chocolate sauce if desired.
For vegan eclairs
This recipe does work better for mini eclairs, and I don’t recommend making them very large. Slice in half, then fill with a generous amount of vegan custard (pastry cream). Dip the tops in chocolate sauce (recipe below), then place back on the custard.
Tips for success
- Don’t make ANY substitutions! Unlike other recipes, this one is quite picky, and changing one thing could completely ruin the pastry.
- Use a quality non-stick pan so your pastry doesn’t stick when you cook it.
- Use parchment paper that is lightly brushed with water. The moisture helps them rise a bit and not dry out too much.
- Make sure you use baking powder that is fresh, no old, and that works, or they won’t rise at all.
How to store
You can store eclairs and cream puffs in the refrigerator for 2-3 days in a covered container. They actually taste amazing once chilled, even better than fresh! They can also be frozen if needed. The cooked pastry freezes very well.
More eggless recipes to love
Vegan Eclairs and Cream Puffs
- 1/4 cup vegan butter
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas, measured before whisking)
- 3 teaspoons potato starch
- 2 teaspoons tapioca starch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon xantham gum
- 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
- powdered sugar, for dusting cream puffs
- Before beginning, prepare either vegan custard or coconut whipped cream, or both, if desired. Let the custard and/or coconut whip chill in the refrigerator while you prepare the pastry.
Make the choux pastry
- Preheat the oven to 375℉.
- In a medium saucepan, add the vegan butter, water, soy milk, salt and sugar and heat to medium. Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until the butter has melted, then bring it a simmer.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the flour all at once. Stir until the flour is mixed in and a ball of dough forms. Cook the dough in the pan for 2 minutes, mashing the bottom against the bottom of the pan.
- Transfer the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl) and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Prepare egg substitute: In a medium bowl, pour in the 1/4 cup aquafaba, then add the potato starch, tapioca starch, baking powder and xantham gum. Using a whisk, mix the powder into the aquafaba until it becomes foamy, about 1-2 minutes. (SEE PHOTOS in post above for visual reference.)
- With the stand mixer on low speed, with the paddle attachment, add nearly all of the egg replacer the the dough mixture, leaving just a tablespoon or two in the bowl for brushing on the pastry before baking. Alternatively, you can use a hand mixer, or even a food processor. Mix until combined, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly brush it with water, which helps them puff up and not dry out. Transfer the pastry dough to a piping bag with a large tip (Wilton 1A or other large tip). For cream puffs or profiteroles, pipe mounds about 2 inches tall, a few inches apart on the parchment paper. For eclairs, make them mini, about 1 inch tall and 3 inches long.
- Brush a little egg replacer on each one, gently. Bake in the center rack of the oven for 20 minutes at 375℉, then without opening the door, lower the heat to 350℉ and bake for 10 more minutes until golden. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Allow them to cool completely before slicing open and filling.
For cream puffs or profiteroles
- Slice the pastry in half and pipe a large mound of coconut whipped cream (or custard) on the bottom half. Place the top pastry half on top, gently, then dust with powdered sugar or dip the top in chocolate sauce.
- Prepare the chocolate topping: Place the chocolate chips and soy milk in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring until it's completely melted and smooth.
- Slice the eclair pastry in half, lengthwise, and pipe a good amount of custard onto the bottom half. Dip the top of the pastry into the chocolate, then place on top of the custard.
- Store vegan eclairs and cream puffs in the refrigerator for 2-3 days in a covered container. They can also be frozen, but are better fresh.
- Nutritional information is for the choux pastry only, and does not include custard, coconut whipped cream or chocolate topping. It will vary based on how much you use of each of these ingredients.
- Soy milk substitute: You can use another unsweetened plant milk, such as almond or cashew milk.
- Gluten free: Sorry, I haven't attempted these gluten free yet, but the best bet would be a gluten free mix. If you try it, let me know in the comments!
- There are no subs for the egg replacer ingredients. I tried many different things, and this is the ONLY combination that worked for me. Substitute at your own risk.
I just made these as my husband was really needing a sweet dessert. I ended up rolling them out more like lady fingers as I couldn’t put them in a pastry bag, but they had a very good flavor and my husband was delighted. Topped with vanilla pudding and chocolate they were quite tasty!
I was totally shocked that there was a vegan recipe for eclairs but my husband found it! lol
It totally worked and I will double the recipe next time so it makes more. Thank you Nora for sharing and all the hard work you put into this!
You are welcome! How wonderful that you guys enjoyed the eclairs! Thank you for your great feedback and review! Wishing you happy cooking!
Thanks so much for posting this recipe. I was very happy with the end result. Only issue I had was that my choux didn’t really rise but they still tasted great once filled. Do you have any suggestions for helping the pastry to rise? Thank u for your time to come up with this recipe. Much appreciated 🙂
I’m so glad you liked it! Unfortunately, there isn’t much to be done about the rise, other than using fresh baking powder. This vegan choux pastry is nothing like regular choux pastry, which means it won’t rise as much and will be dense.
Do I need to use the xanthan gum? What can I substitute for it? Thank you.
It took me so many tries to get this recipe to work as it’s quite picky, so I wouldn’t recommend making any substitutions.
Hi can I fill these without slicing? Is there any hollowness to them?
Unfortunately, there isn’t really much hollowness to them at all, so I slice them.
My dough was not pipable?what could have gone wrong?
I’m sorry to hear that, Megan! The dough should be very soft and moist, but still sturdy enough to hold its shape once piped. It’s possible there wasn’t enough moisture added or it was overmixed. It is a picky recipe though, so keep trying!
I made these eclairs with coconut whipped cream for my vegan best friend’s birthday and she LOVED them. I also brought some to a party of non-vegans and they enjoyed them as well. Thank you so much for the great recipe!
That’s so great to hear, Carolyn! Thank you for your amazing review!
I made these gluten free with a brown rice flour, Tapioca and potato starch mixture to substitute all purpose flour and my 4 year olds chefy pants dad was pleasantly surprised by them (recommended a slower lower baking method) he’s also not into the alternative style cooking aaaand eclairs are one of his favorite treats.. my 4 year old who doesn’t generally like anything even sweet stuff he’s super picky about, devoured them and my 9 year old who is particular about texture LOVES them. I had a ton of custard and a little chocolate topping left over so I mixed them and jarred them for school lunches or after dinner treats and am going to make more tomorrow only triple the dough recipe and try a lower slower baking for a more evenly cooked pastry. Thank you so much for this recipe, as always an all around succes, you’re amazing! ??
Thank you for sharing! I’m so glad you enjoyed them, even with the substitutions!
These were so good!! I cooked them a bit longer than the recipe said, and they still looked a little doughy to me, but after I put your pastry cream on them and refrigerated them, they were delicious!!
I used this recipe for my University assignment: Create a Vegan choux pastry based dessert for Nandos and I must say, it was amazing. Other students recipies did not work out well but this was just perfect, it had a great taste and coloured well on top. Reccomend this alot for anyone looking for a great vegan pastry recipie.
Thank you so much Tasha, that is great to hear!
Hi Nora, I really appreciate all the hard work you are doing to help me bring my family (my 14 year-old daughter especially, as she has been vegan for 6 months and I am revisiting veganism with her) all these delicious treats. Unfortunately, I followed your choux recipe to the letter and I was really not pleased with the results. I am an experienced baker (professional at one time) so I know my way around choux. It all looked fine until the end of the final step— the dough was a bit stiff to me, but I didn’t want to mess with the amount of liquid. But the choux really did not rise and were quite dense. Obviously the egg provides most of the leavening in choux and perhaps it might be a good idea to increase the leavening agents (baking powder) in your recipe. Anyway, just a thought! Your custard was delightful, and I will be using the rest of it today in a Boston Cream Pie! Thanks again!
Hi Mel! This vegan choux pastry is nothing like regular choux pastry, for sure! It’s one of the most difficult things to re-create because of how heavily it relies on eggs. The vegan version is certainly more dense, but they should rise a bit. I found that once I sliced them, added custard or coconut whip and chocolate topping, it tasted so much like I remember an eclair or cream puff. I probably tested this recipe 10 times! With all sorts of different egg substitutes and amounts, and this was the winner for me. 🙂 I’m glad my recipes have been helpful, thank you!
Can you use an egg instead of egg substitute? If so, how may eggs would you approximate?? Great recipe, absolutely in heaven with the Vegan Custard.
Hi there! I have no idea honestly, I made this recipe specifically to not need eggs, so for this one it’s not an easy substitution. I would probably just suggest searching for a regular choux pastry that uses eggs if that is what you are looking for. I’m glad you love the custard!
Do you think you could make crullers if the dough was fried?
I’m honestly not sure, I haven’t tried frying the dough. If you try it, let me know how they turn out!
Can I use agar-agar instead of xantham gum?
I haven’t tried it, and the recipe is a bit picky, so I wouldn’t recommend making any substitutions. It took me so many tries to get this to work!
I love your recipes! You mentioned that you tried Just Egg but that it didn’t work for you. I highly recommend trying it again! I recently made choux puffs with it and it worked wonders!
Hi Eduardo. Thank you!
This looks wonderful but my first batch didn’t seem to rise, they were undercooked inside and very dense. I’m not sure what the consistency of the dough is supposed to be, it was very hard to push out the piping bag but I followed the recipe as closely as I could. I don’t own a mixer though, I had to use a spoon. I wonder if that’s the issue? I’d appreciate any advice.
Unfortunately I do think you need a hand mixer, stand mixer or even a food processor for this recipe to work how it should. So that probably was the issue.
Vegan choux!! I cannot believe my eyes! And pastry cream too! I’ve been looking for a vegan choux recipe off and on for years in order to replicate an eclair cake I used to make which my family loved. There’s almost nothing out there, and due to the amount of eggs traditionally used and lack of advice on the subject, I’ve put off my own experimentation. Thank you so much for your work to trial this recipe! For that reason, and because I’ve never had a recipe of yours that wasn’t absolutely delicious, I’m accompanying this comment with a five star review. Hopefully I can get around to making it in time for my husband’s upcoming birthday as it was one of his favorite cakes. Can’t wait to try it and share my results! Thanks again!
Thanks Allie! I hope the recipe hits the spot for you. I worked really hard testing this one! It’s definitely not an easy thing to replicate due to how important eggs are in choux pastry, but I think this recipe is pretty close, even if they aren’t as light and airy. Once the custard or cream is in the middle, and the chocolate or powdered sugar is on top, they totally taste like the pastry I remember! Thank you so much for you kind words.
Do you think you could use applesauce instead of oil? Or coconut mana?
Sorry, I don’t know that either of those things would work. It was hard enough to finally get the recipe as written to work!