Homemade Eclairs with Peanut Butter Mousse Filling

Delicious and easy eclairs with homemade choux pastry! Fill with peanut butter mousse and top with rich chocolate ganache for a decadent French pastry treat! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Choux pastry, we meet again!

Today I’m showing you how to make homemade eclairs with peanut butter mousse filling. Eclairs are traditionally made from choux pastry dough, pastry cream filling, and chocolate ganache on top. This delicious preparation is called eclair au chocolat in French and it’s likely the way you’ve eaten eclairs from a bakery. But why stop there? You can fill eclairs with just about anything including my favorite… peanut butter mousse. Literally a peanut butter cup in eclair form!!!

Bathing suit season is over, so let’s embrace this.

Delicious and easy eclairs with homemade choux pastry! Fill with peanut butter mousse and top with rich chocolate ganache for a decadent French pastry treat! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

HOW TO MAKE ECLAIRS

Let’s watch the eclairs video tutorial first:

Today’s eclairs have 3 components:

  1. choux pastry
  2. peanut butter mousse filling
  3. chocolate ganache

I just posted the choux pastry dough recipe this week. Let’s quickly review it before moving onto the peanut butter mousse filling and chocolate ganache.

How to make light and airy choux pastry for cream puffs, eclairs, and profiteroles. Homemade pate a choux recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make light and airy choux pastry for cream puffs, eclairs, and profiteroles. Homemade pate a choux recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

CHOUX PASTRY

As you notice in the video tutorial, we’re using the same 7 ingredient choux pastry dough I taught you how to make earlier this week. Literally the same process– cook the first 6 ingredients on the stove, then transfer to a mixer and mix in 4 beaten eggs. Some readers have already tried the choux pastry noting that it’s worlds easier than they ever imagined!! So don’t be nervous about this French pastry!!

The difference today, however, is that we’re piping the pastry into log shapes to make eclairs instead of mound shapes to make cream puffs. To shape the eclairs, use a piping bag fitted with a any large round tip. I like using Ateco #809 piping tip. You could also use a zipped-top bag and cut off the corner for easy piping. Pipe 4-inch logs. Using a water moistened finger, smooth down any peaks/ends and lightly brush each log with egg wash.

How to pipe eclairs on sallysbakingaddiction.com

In the photo above, notice how the parchment paper is wet? That’s a very important step. Why? Think of cheesecake. We bake cheesecakes in a water bath. Cheesecake, like choux pastry, is egg-heavy. Eggs need a moist and humid environment in the oven to (1) properly rise and (2) avoid drying out and burning.

Water moistened parchment paper = perfectly puffed up pastries with a deliciously light center and crisp exterior. Pastry perfection.

How to make eclairs with homemade choux pastry on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Two more components before we can assemble our eclairs. The great news is that both can be prepped ahead of time. Wouldn’t it be terrible for our diets, I mean awesome, to always have peanut butter mousse and chocolate ganache at the ready?

PEANUT BUTTER MOUSSE

After the eclair shells bake and cool, fill with peanut butter mousse. First, whip some heavy cream. Set that aside, then mix cream cheese, peanut butter, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla extract together. Then, fold in the whipped cream.

This stuff is pure gold. It’s light and fluffy, rich and decadent. The whipped cream = light and fluffy. The cream cheese peanut butter = rich and decadent.

It’s sweet, so I suggest giving it a taste test and adding a pinch of salt if desired.

Peanut butter mousse filling for homemade eclairs on sallysbakingaddiction.com

CHOCOLATE GANACHE

You need 2 ingredients to make chocolate ganache: heavy cream and chocolate.

Heavy cream is also used to make the peanut butter mousse, so this is convenient! Just buy a pint of it: 1 cup for the peanut butter mousse, 1 cup for the ganache. Pick up two 4 ounce bars of chocolate from the baking aisle and combine it with the warm cream. That’s it, ganache topping is done.

You can use milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, or bittersweet chocolate. As long as you stick to 1 cup of heavy cream and 8 ounces of real chocolate, you’ve got ganache!

Delicious chocolate ganache for homemade eclairs on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Delicious homemade eclairs with peanut butter mousse filling! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Eclair assembly line, let’s go!

Using a toothpick, prick a hole in 1 end of the eclair shell. Transfer the peanut butter mousse to a piping bag fitted with a small-ish round or open star piping tip. I suggest Wilton piping round tip 12, which is wide enough for the mousse to pipe out, but you can still nudge it inside the eclair. Don’t have a piping tip for this? Don’t worry about it. Slice the eclair in half horizontally. Sandwich mousse inside. Easy.

Finally, let each filled eclair take a nice dip in the chocolate ganache topping.

Dipping homemade eclairs in chocolate ganache topping on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Delicious and easy eclairs with homemade choux pastry! Fill with peanut butter mousse and top with rich chocolate ganache for a decadent French pastry treat! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

If eclairs have been on your baking bucket list, now’s the time. No excuses. If you stick with a quality choux recipe and method, there’s a million ways to successfully make eclairs at home.

Alternate Eclair Flavors!

Which will you try first?!

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Delicious and easy eclairs with homemade choux pastry! Fill with peanut butter mousse and top with rich chocolate ganache for a decadent French pastry treat! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Homemade Eclairs with Peanut Butter Mousse Filling

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
  • Yield: 16 eclairs
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: French

Description

Using a simple homemade choux pastry (pâte à choux), you can create delicious French pastries like these chocolate peanut butter eclairs!


Ingredients

  • 1 batch choux pastry
  • egg wash: 1 egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon milk or water

Peanut Butter Mousse

  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
  • 8 ounces (224g) full-fat brick style cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (130g) creamy peanut butter*
  • salt, to taste

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
  • two 4-ounce semi-sweet chocolate bars (226g), finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Prepare the choux pastry dough recipe through step 4. You can use the choux pastry dough immediately for the eclairs or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Lightly brush the parchment with water, which creates a humid environment for the pastry shells allowing them to puff up without drying out or burning.
  3. Transfer choux pastry dough to a piping bag fitted with a Ateco #809 piping tip. Pipe 4-inch logs 3 inches apart. Watch the video in the blog post above for a visual. You can also use a zipped-top bag and cut off the corner for easy piping. Using a water moistened finger, smooth down any peaks or ends, then lightly brush each log with egg wash.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes then, keeping the pastries in the oven, reduce oven to 350°F (177°C) and continue to bake for 10-15 more minutes until golden brown. Do not open the oven as the pastries cook, as cool air will prevent them from properly puffing up. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before filling.
  5. Make the peanut butter mousse: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat heavy cream on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Temporarily transfer to another mixing bowl. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed until creamy and smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, and peanut butter then beat on medium-high speed until combined and creamy. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped cream until combined. Taste. Stir in a pinch of salt, if desired. Transfer mousse to a piping bag fitted with a small-ish round or open star piping tip. I suggest Wilton piping round tip 12, which is wide enough for the mousse to pipe out, but you can still nudge it inside the eclair. Set aside as you make the ganache.
  6. Make the chocolate ganache: Place chopped chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it begins to gently simmer. (Do not let it come to a rapid boil– that’s too hot!) Pour over chocolate and let it sit for 2-3 minutes to gently soften the chocolate. Slowly stir until completely combined and chocolate has melted.
  7. Assemble the eclairs: Use a toothpick to prick a hole in 1 end of each eclair shell. The peanut butter mousse piping tip is larger than this hole, but you should still be able to nudge the piping tip inside. Carefully pipe mousse into each eclair shell, stopping when it feels full. Pipe the mousse from both ends of the eclair if you notice it’s not reaching the other end. (Don’t have a piping tip for this? Slice the eclair in half horizontally, then sandwich peanut butter mousse inside.) Dip the top of each into chocolate ganache and place on a serving plate or cooling rack until ready to serve. Chocolate ganache topping sets in about an hour at room temperature or in about 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  8. Cover and store leftover filled pastries in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Cover and store unfilled pastries at room temperature for 1 day, in the refrigerator for 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before filling and serving.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: See choux pastry recipe for how to prepare the dough ahead of time. Peanut butter mousse can be prepared, covered, and refrigerated for up to 3 days before using. Chocolate ganache can also be prepared, covered, and refrigerated for up to 3 days before using. Microwave the refrigerated ganache for a few seconds until it’s thin enough for dipping/coating.
  2. Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer | 5-qt Tilt-Head Glass Mixing Bowl | Glass Mixing Bowls | Glass Measuring Cup | Wooden Spatula | Copper Saucepan | Baking Sheet | Wilton #12 Piping TipAteco #809 Piping Tip | Piping Bags | Pastry Brush
  3. Peanut Butter: I don’t suggest using a natural style peanut butter for the mousse as it would separate.

Homemade eclairs, and anything made with choux pastry, count as participation in the September Baking Challenge! Keep the entries coming, I love seeing your French pastry creations. 🙂

How to make light and airy choux pastry for cream puffs, eclairs, and profiteroles. Homemade pate a choux recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

78 Comments

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  1. Can I use whole wheat flour in choux pastry?

    1. Hi Anna! You can, but the choux pastry will taste tough and dense.

  2. Thank you. Then I will change desserts. I have this whole wheat flour I don’t exactly know what to use it for (I bought it thinking it was all purpose flour)

  3. Earl C Williams says:

    When you effortlessly make such great pastries, I worship the water you walk on.

  4. I followed the baking instructions and even put a little slit in the side and put them back in the turned off oven to dry. But when I sliced them to fill with the cream they were wet inside. Any idea what happened? Thank you.

    1. Hi Stephanie! It sounds like they are a little under-baked if they’re wet inside. A little moist is great, but they shouldn’t be raw. This is an easy fix if/when you decide to try them again!

  5. Made some today. So great!
    Has anyone tried this recipe with Pillsbury Gluten Free cup-for-cup flour?

  6. WOW – made these on the weekend. Because why not try something completely intimidating while you are isolated lol? I will say, no one can take a complicated French pastry and make it accessible like Sally. The choux pastry is spot on – light, delicious, gorgeous. For filling I went with the pastry cream (linked from the Boston Cream Pie recipe), and it was TO DIE FOR. Prob one of the best eclairs I have ever had.
    One thing: I found it to be way too much ganache. I only used about half and generously dipped all 16 eclairs (“leftover ganache” turned into “quarantine fondue”, so technically not too much after all…?) Just as an FYI for anyone who doesn’t have quite enough chocolate in the pantry, it’s all good.
    For the pastry cream, I did a batch and a half from the Boston Cream Pie recipe, which very generously filled (ok, maybe a little overfilled) all 16 eclairs and tasted completely divine.
    Altogether, homemade eclairs take a lot of steps, but it is a showstopping, absolutely delicious dessert – for when someone in your life needs that little something extra (or when desserts become pandemic currency).
    Thanks again Sally for another huge dessert win xoxo

  7. Katy O'Malley Coumans says:

    Made these today. I’ve been wanting to try Choux pastry for a while. As with all of your recipes, the instructions are easy to follow and meticulous. They were fabulous and my family rated them “a keeper.” Thank you!

  8. Do you think the peanut butter mousse would work as a cake filling between layers?

    1. Yes – YUM! Or if you are looking for something a little thicker you can also use my Creamy Peanut Butter Frosting.

  9. I only have Half & Half on hand, would that work for the ganache?

    1. Unfortunately no. The ganache won’t set up. I recommend sticking with heavy cream.

  10. Denise Young says:

    The pastry came out tasting great but mine had holes on the bottom. The filling came out the holes so it was a little difficult to fill them. Any idea what I did wrong to cause this? It’s a great recipe!

  11. Hi Sally,
    I was wondering if I could skip the cream cheese.
    Thanks
    Nina

    1. Hi Nina, I don’t recommend it because it’s the base of the mousse filling. I’m unsure of any alternatives delivering the same exact texture.

  12. I managed to make these successfully. They are fantastic. Thank you for sharing your expertise with us all. Would never have thought I could have done it if it weren’t for you. Thanks again.

  13. I made these when it was a baking challenge. Very clear instructions. Though I think I made my eclairs on the small size. The cream puffs turned out better. I made the peanut butter mousse – not sure if I liked it or not. If I was brave enough to make these again, I would consider a different filling option.

  14. Made the peanut butter mousse for a chocolate cake I had baked! Don’t be dumb like me – make sure to really blend the cream cheese up or you’ll have little lumps in the mousse. Still delicious, just a little more textured hahaha

  15. Sally, another great recipe!! My taste-testing neighbors LOVED these, and so did I! I can’t believe I made choux pastry, and I certainly can’t believe I made eclairs!!! For other first timers, this did take me a while for a couple reasons. I didn’t know how the pastry portion would turn out if I baked more than one pan at a time, so I had to do 3 batches (I got 21 out of my dough rather than 16). So that was three batches in the oven. I am also kind of inept with the piping bag, so the “nudge the piping tip” into the eclair took a little more work. I ended up making a hole with the tooth pick about the same size as the piping tip, and for some I had to pipe mousse in the other end because it didn’t feel like it was making it all the way through to the other end. Regardless, these were totally worth the effort, and I feel like they will go much faster next time. And there will be a next time!

  16. Hi Sally, I’ve accidentally bought cream cheese (in spreadable), not the usual block texture. Can I still use it to make this recipe?

    1. Hi Nicole, The cream cheese is the base of the mousse and I fear it would not set up properly with the spread.

  17. Huda Desin says:

    Hey sally,
    I am making eclairs right now. I think I piped them too close because some of them are slightly touching. do u think that it’s going to break apart after its done baking?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Huda, If they are stuck together you can use a sharp knife to cut them apart before taking them off the baking sheet.

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