These cute and delicious Mini Pumpkin Eclairs are topped with chocolate glaze and filled with rich pumpkin pastry cream.
You might remember that a few weeks ago I made these super cute Jigglypuff Pink Cream Puffs and had way too much fun making pâte à choux.
Pâte à choux is the base for a ton of French pastries, so while I was testing the cream puff recipe, I couldn’t help but fantasize over all the other delicious things I could do with this dough. And thus, today’s recipe was born, Mini Pumpkin Eclairs.
Tell me they’re not adorable! You can eat them in about three perfect bites and they taste just as good as they look. That perfect puffy choux pastry is filled with a killer pumpkin pastry cream and then they are dipped in my very favorite chocolate glaze (also seen on my Brooklyn Blackout Cupcakes), which instantly adds about a million delicious points to any recipe.
I couldn’t have these sitting around my kitchen, so I shared them around with family and everyone loved them, especially the pumpkin take on pastry cream. The pumpkin pastry cream is rich, but not too sweet and made with pumpkin puree and all the usual pumpkin spices.
This is totally a recipe I would make just for kicks on a rainy day, but it’s also a fun one to make if you have a friend or two coming over, because when was the last time someone served you a homemade eclair? How fancy and together do you look when you can hand them one of these? And they’re not even just plain old eclairs. They are PUMPKIN eclairs.
Like hey, I just made a fancy fall-themed French pastry from scratch. What did you do today? …On second thought, maybe don’t make pumpkin eclairs to play psychological games with your friends. That’s probably a great way to lose them all.
Save them for your competitive siblings. Siblings have to love you. 😉
This is the same pâte à choux recipe I used for my cream puffs, so I’m including the same tips from that recipe. If you’ve never made pâte à choux before, read them over before you begin. I think you will find them helpful!
More Perfect Fall Recipes
- Baked Pumpkin Donuts With Maple Frosting
- The Most Amazing Dutch Apple Pie
- Small Apple Cinnamon Cake
- Small-batch Pumpkin Shortbread Cookies
Pumpkin Eclairs Recipe Tips
- This pâte à choux recipe is simple and easy, but it’s not necessarily forgiving. Make sure to follow the instructions as written and measure your flour correctly, preferably with a scale. If you don’t have a scale, use the spoon and sweep method. (Use a scoop to drop flour into your measuring cup and then the flat side of a butter knife to sweep off the excess. This way your flour won’t become compressed and you won’t end up with too much.)
- You will also need a couple tools. Both the pâte à choux and pastry cream need to be piped. The former works best using a 5/8-inch plain tip*, but you get away with using a large plastic bag with the corner snipped off. For the pastry cream, you *need* a piping bag with about a 1/8-inch plain tip*. Filling the cream puffs requires you to make a small hole in the bottom and pipe cream in. Without a sturdy tip, filling them is going to be difficult.
- The final thing you need is a fine mesh strainer. While making the custard for the pastry cream, sometimes bits of egg get overcooked and running the cream through the strainer will make sure that you don’t get solid eggy bits in your pastry cream. They are super cheap on Amazon*, but you can also find them in the baking aisle in most grocery stores.
Have some leftover pumpkin puree after making this recipe? Check out my post What to Do With Leftover Pumpkin Puree for some ideas on what to do with the rest of the can.
Small-batch Mini Pumpkin Eclairs
Pumpkin Pastry Cream
- 1 cup milk any percentage, preferably whole
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup (61g) pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup (66g) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons (15g) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons (14g) cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch ground nutmeg
- Pinch ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pate a Choux
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup (2oz) unsalted butter diced
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (60g) all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 4 tablespoons (2oz) unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup (2oz) chopped semisweet chocolate chips are fine
- 1 cup (120g) powdered sugar sifted
Pumpkin Pastry Cream
- In a medium saucepan, heat milk until milk begins to steam but is not boiling. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, pumpkin puree, sugar, flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. SLOWLY drizzle in hot milk, whisking constantly so you don't scramble your eggs.
- Continue whisking and pouring until all of the liquid is incorporated. You can speed up the pouring as you go and the temperature of your eggs is brought up.
- Transfer mixture back to your saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly. Continue to cook until mixture thickens and begins to bubble, about 3 to 6 minutes. It's ready when it is the consistency of a thick pudding. Whisk vigorously until smooth, remove from heat, and stir in vanilla.
- Place your strainer over a medium bowl and strain pastry cream, using your whisk to push the mixture through.
- Place a piece of plastic wrap directly over the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming and place in the refrigerator to chill completely, at least an hour.
Pate a Choux
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Have your flour measured out and ready to go. In a medium saucepan, combine water, butter, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. As soon as the butter is melted and the mixture reaches a boil, stir in the flour with a wooden spoon. Stir until flour is incorporated and the mixture pulls away from the sides and forms a thin film over the bottom of the pan.
- Transfer dough to a large bowl and allow to cool for about 4 minutes, until no longer hot to the touch. Add one egg and use your wooden spoon to work the egg into the dough until completely mixed. It will seem slow going at first, but it will come together. Repeat with the second egg.
- Transfer mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a 5/8-inch tip. Pipe 10 to 11 3-inch lines, at least 2 inches apart. Once finished, use a little water on your fingertip to pat down any tips that are sticking up from piping so you have smooth tops (otherwise the tips sticking up will burn).
- In a small bowl whisk together egg and water and brush gently over the pate a choux.
- Bake for 28 minutes. Do not open the oven. At 28 minutes, check the eclairs. They should be lightly browned. If not, cook for an additional 2 to 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely before filling.
Filling the Eclairs
- Use a chop stick or small, sharp knife to poke 2 small holes in the bottom of each eclair. Transfer your cooled pastry cream to a piping bag fitted with a 1/8-inch round tip (if the cream has firmed up too much in the fridge, you can whisk it for about 30 seconds until it is smooth and the right consistency for piping.
- Fill each of the eclairs with a generous amount of pastry cream.
- In a small saucepan, combine butter, milk, corn syrup, and vanilla. Whisk over medium heat until butter is melted. Add chocolate and stir until smooth. Remove from heat and add the sifted powdered sugar. Whisk until smooth.
- Transfer glaze to a small bowl wide enough for dipping and immediately dip filled eclairs. Allow glaze to set for 5 minutes before eating.
Pate a choux Adapted From Martha Stewart
Pumpkin Pastry Cream Adapted From About
Chocolate Glaze Adapted From Handle The Heat
Dawn - Girl Heart Food says
Oh wow, Tracy! You totally outdid yourself on these! They are, indeed, SUPER adorable! Inviting friends over to share sounds like a great idea. Though, I doubt I would want to share! That pumpkin pastry cream sounds wicked! I would bet that would be tasty on it’s own or on a shoe, lol 😀 Pinning!
Thanks for pinning, Dawn!! 🙂
Julia @ HappyFoods Tube says
These mini eclairs look adorable indeed! I like their size and the pumpkin pastry cream sounds delicious!
lisa | Garlic & Zest says
These eclairs look phenomenal and I love the pumpkin pastry cream twist. I made cream puffs for Christmas one year and my snarky cousin-in-law asked if they were completely “thawed” from the Costco box – apparently unfamiliar with the fact that some people can cook.
Haha. What a completely rude thing to say! I hope you gave them the most withering of looks when you told them they were homemade. 😉
I’ve never come across pumpkin eclairs before – such an original idea and perfect for this time of year! I’m wondering how I’m going to manage all the pumpkin baking I want to do before the season ends though!
Thanks, Corina! I feel your pain. I have a list of pumpkiny things I desperately want to make before the end of pumpkin season, but I feel like it just keeps getting longer, not shorter. 😉
Wow! These little eclairs look delicious! Pinned. I can’t wait to try them!
Thanks so much, Kristine! And thanks for pinning. 🙂
Looks so delicious!
Mindy Fewless says
Those sound like an amazing treat!!! Great Photos!
Thank you, Mindy!!
Anlet Prince - Annslittlecorner says
WOW Mini Pumpkin eclairs. Such a delicious idea..
Simply luv it
Allie | In This Kitchen says
Eep, these are adorable and seem like the best way to enjoy pumpkin! I am loving all the creative ways to use pumpkin that aren’t just pie or muffins. It makes fall just that much better. Also, haha, now I want to make eclairs to win over my friends and siblings.
Thanks, Allie. And I’m glad someone is considering taking my terrible advice. 😉
Alice G says
Eclairs are one of my favorite desserts, but I’ve never made them before; I think I always just assumed they’d be way too hard for me. Well, I had exactly 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree left over from Thanksgiving, so I decided to give these a whirl, and I was amazed at how much easier they are to make than I’d expected!
One problem I had was that It was hard to know exactly when the eclairs were filled enough. I didn’t want to risk underfilling them; I ended up just sort of guessing based on their weight. I imagine that will get easier with practice, though.
The other issue I had was with the chocolate glaze. I don’t usually have much difficulty with chocolate, but for some reason my glaze came out weird and grainy, and it kept sliding right off the eclairs when I tried to dip them. I used dark chocolate instead of semi-sweet because I had some sitting around that I wanted to use up; maybe that had something to do with it. Or maybe it was too hot, or not hot enough, or something else entirely… *shrug*
Anyway, aside from those little snags, my eclairs turned out wonderfully. So what if the glazed tops are a bit ugly–it makes no difference once they’re stuffed in my mouth,, and they taste AMAZING. Thank you for this recipe; it’s a keeper! 😀
Hi, Alice. So glad you enjoyed the eclairs! For the piping, I always just kind of go by feel. You can feel them puff out a little in your hand when you’re filling them, and I usually stop there.
And for the glaze, it’s not just you. I had someone else have that issue when they used dark chocolate. Not sure why–I’m going to have to test it and investigate. So happy you still enjoyed them. Thanks for reporting back!!
Alice G says
Update: I just made these again (using the vanilla pastry cream from the cream puffs recipe) and used semi-sweet instead of dark chocolate, and the glaze turned out perfectly this time. So yeah, I guess it really is the dark chocolate that was the culprit. Weird! Now I find myself wondering what would happen if I substituted milk or white chocolate…
Glad to hear the semi-sweet worked out for you! I have done a slightly different variation of this glaze with Hershey’s bars and it worked, so I think milk chocolate would probably work. I’m still curious about the weird reaction with dark chocolate. I have to do some research on it!
First time making choux and you made it so easy! I used the vanilla pastry cream from the cream puff recipe in mine and they were delicious!