Mini Vanilla Cream Eclairs

Mini Vanilla Cream Eclairs

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If you’re looking for something special for your next tea party or midmorning brunch, give these Mini Vanilla Cream Eclairs a try. Filled with vanilla pastry cream and topped with sweet glaze sprinkled with pistachios. They are absolutely wonderful!

Mini Cream Puffs Made with Choux Pastry

I have been a fan of cream puffs, ever since I watched a Little Rascals episode where Alfalfa shares a basket dinner with Darla, after Spanky secretly pours liquid soap inside the cream puffs, which make s bubbles come out of Alfalfa’s mouth! It’s quite horrible, but since that moment, I’ve been intrigued with choux pastry!

Did you know that choux pastry (egg based dough) is quite easy to make? It really is! It’s made with five simple ingredients – water, butter, salt, flour, and eggs.

Vanilla Cream Eclairs with Powdered Sugar

Plus, you may use this dough to make either cream puffs or eclairs! I started making this recipe when I was a girl, and have since made many cream puffs and eclairs for tea parties. Sometimes I coat them in a chocolate icing, but my favorite version is this simple glaze with pistachios sprinkled over them.

The vanilla pastry cream (or crème pâtissière) is basically a combination of a vanilla pudding and vanilla custard. It’s cooked on the stovetop and thickened with cornstarch, and is perfect for piping in cream puffs, eclairs, donuts, tarts, or even a Boston Cream Cake!

Serving Mini Eclairs with Lemon Tarts and Raspberry Macarons

These miniature eclairs may be made ahead by preparing the shells up to 2-3 days in advance and filling them the day of your party. Or you may store them completed for up to a month in the freezer. When ready to use, simply thaw them in the refrigerator.

 

More Tea Party Sweets

 

Ingredients for Pistachio Vanilla Cream Eclairs

(See the full recipe at the bottom of this post.)

Choux Pastry 

  • butter
  • water
  • salt
  • all-purpose flour
  • large eggs

Vanilla Pastry Cream 

  • whole milk
  • granulated sugar, divided
  • salt
  • butter
  • large egg yolks (3 of them)
  • cornstarch
  • vanilla extract

 

Instructions for Making This Recipe

Ingredients for this Recipe

Preheat oven to 400°F. Gather the ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Using a knife and cutting board or a nut chopper, finely chop the pistachios. Set aside until ready to use.

 

Prepare the Choux Pastry

Preparing the Choux Pastry - Melting the Butter

Place butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add to this the water and salt. Bring to a boil.

Add Flour and Mix Until a Ball Forms

Next, add the all-purpose flour and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a ball that doesn’t separate.

Remove from heat and transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl. Allow the dough to cool for five minutes.

Begin beating with a wooden spoon or a mixer attachment. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition 1-2 minutes. At this point, your dough should be smooth and shiny.

When Finished Mixing Choux Pastry Should be Shiny and Smooth

Transfer dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2″ or 2/3″ piping tip.

If you don’t have a pastry bag, you may use a gallon storage bag with one corner snipped off with a 1/2″ opening. 

Pipe Dough into 3-inch Lengths

Carefully pipe the dough onto the prepared baking sheets in 3″ lengths, spacing each about an inch apart.

To pipe the dough, apply even pressure to the pastry bag, and as you near the end, lesson and stop pressure, with a swift lift of the bag. If a curl forms, simply wet a finger with water and press the curl into the dough. 

Baked Eclairs

Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until a light golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet.

Poke Small Holes in Ends of Eclairs

Prepare each éclair by poking a hole in each end with a sharp knife.

At this point, you may place shells in a covered container and store in refrigerator for 2-3 days before filling with cream.

 

Make the Vanilla Pastry Cream

Ingredients for the Vanilla Pastry Cream

In a medium saucepan, whisk together whole milk, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, salt, and butter. Heat on medium high heat until butter begins to melt.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together egg yolks, 1/4 cup remaining sugar, and cornstarch.

Temper Egg Yolk Mixture with Warm Milk

Temper yolks with a 1/2 cup of the warm milk, slowly whisking until it thins.

Finished Vanilla Pastry Cream

Add yolk mixture to saucepan and cook for 4-5 minutes until mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract.

If desired, you may strain the pastry cream into a bowl using a fine-mesh sieve. 

Cover with plastic wrap and press directly onto the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least one hour to chill.

 

Fill the Eclairs

Fill Pastry Bag with Vanilla Cream

 

To fill the eclairs, place chilled vanilla cream into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4″ round piping tip.

Fill Pastry Shells with Vanilla Cream

Gently pipe the cream into holes at both ends of the eclairs. Pipe enough pastry cream for the éclair to feel heavy. Set on baking sheet and repeat with remaining shells and pastry cream.

 

Finish the Eclairs

To finish the eclairs, prepare a simple glaze by mixing powdered sugar, whole milk, and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth.

Dip the tops of the eclairs into the glaze and place on a wire rack. Sprinkle finely chopped pistachios over the tops to garnish. Allow to set up before serving.

Sprinkle with Finely Chopped Pistachios to Garnish

Once the icing has set up, place the eclairs on a pretty serving dish or in a covered container. You may refrigerate them for up to 2 hours before serving. Or you may freeze the eclairs in a tightly covered container for up to one month.

Serve Mini Eclairs at a Tea Party with Lemon Tarts, Raspberry Macarons, and Raspberry Chocolate Truffles

This recipe will make approximately 32 eclairs and will serve 16 people.

See more Tea Party Foods Here. Browse Desserts Here. View French-Style Recipes Here.

 

Featured Image - Recipe for Mini Vanilla Cream Eclairs

Mini Vanilla Cream Eclairs

Give these Mini Vanilla Cream Eclairs a try. Filled with vanilla pastry cream and topped with sweet glaze sprinkled with pistachios.
5 from 2 votes
Print Rate Pin Recipe
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Choux Pastry, Crème Pâtissière, French Pastry Cream, Pistachios
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Cool and Refrigeration Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 16

Ingredients 
 

Choux Pastry

Vanilla Pastry Cream

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400℉. Gather the ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • Using a knife and cutting board or a nut chopper, finely chop the pistachios. Set aside until ready to use.

Prepare the Choux Pastry

  • Melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add to this the water and salt. Bring to a boil.
  • Next, add the all-purpose flour and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a ball that doesn't separate.
  • Remove from heat and transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl. Allow the dough to cool for five minutes.
  • Begin beating with a wooden spoon or a mixer attachment. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition 1-2 minutes. At this point, your dough should be smooth and shiny.

Form the Eclairs

  • Transfer dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2" or 2/3" piping tip.
  • If you don't have a pastry bag, you may use a gallon storage bag with one corner snipped off with a 1/2" opening.
  • Carefully pipe the dough onto the prepared baking sheets in 3" lengths, spacing each about an inch apart.
  • To pipe the dough, apply even pressure to the pastry bag, and as you near the end, lesson and stop pressure, with a swift lift of the bag. If a curl is made, simply wet a finger with water and press the curl into the dough.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until a light golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet. Prepare each éclair by poking a hole in each end with a sharp knife.
  • At this point, you may place shells in a covered container and store in refrigerator for 2-3 days before filling with cream.

Make the Vanilla Pastry Cream

  • In a medium saucepan, whisk together whole milk, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, salt, and butter. Heat on medium high heat until butter begins to melt.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together egg yolks, 1/4 cup remaining sugar, and cornstarch.
  • Temper yolks with a 1/2 cup of the warm milk, slowly whisking until it thins.
  • Add yolk mixture to saucepan and cook for 4-5 minutes until mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract.
  • If desired, you may strain the pastry cream into a bowl using a fine-mesh sieve.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and press directly onto the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least one hour to chill.

Fill the Eclairs

  • To fill the eclairs, place chilled vanilla cream into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4" round piping tip.
  • Gently pipe the cream into holes at both ends of the eclairs. Pipe enough pastry cream for the éclair to feel heavy. Set on baking sheet and repeat with remaining shells and pastry cream.

Finish the Eclairs

  • To finish the eclairs, prepare a simple glaze by mixing powdered sugar, whole milk, and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth.
  • Dip the tops of the eclairs into the glaze and place on a wire rack. Sprinkle finely chopped pistachios over the tops to garnish. Allow the icing to set up before serving.
  • Once the icing has set up, place the eclairs on a pretty serving dish or in a covered container. You may refrigerate them for up to 2 hours before serving. Or you may freeze the eclairs in a tightly covered container for up to one month.
  • This recipe will make approximately 32 eclairs and will serve 16 people.

Notes

*Unless otherwise indicated, all butter used on this recipe site is salted.

Nutrition

Calories: 170kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 162mg | Potassium: 78mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 384IU | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 1mg
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