Vegan Eclairs and Cream Puffs
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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 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
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.
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