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.
HOW TO MAKE ECLAIRS
Let’s watch the eclairs video tutorial first:
Today’s eclairs have 3 components:
- choux pastry
- peanut butter mousse filling
- 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.
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 (reusable or disposable) fitted with 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.
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.
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.
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!
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 (reusable or disposable) 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.
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!
- Lemon: fill with lemon curd, top with lemon glaze
- Blackberry: fill with blackberry cream cheese filling, top with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar
- Maple: fill with whipped cream (use 2 Tbsp maple syrup instead of confectioners’ sugar), top with maple glaze
- Salted Caramel: fill with whipped cream, top with salted caramel
- Pumpkin: fill with pumpkin cream cheese filling, top with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar or the brown butter icing from this peach Bundt cake
- Raspberry: fill with raspberry jam, top with vanilla icing or a dusting of confectioners’ sugar
- Nutella: Swap peanut butter for Nutella in the mousse recipe below
- Mocha: fill with mocha whipped cream, top with chocolate ganache. For mocha whipped cream, add 1 teaspoon espresso powder to homemade whipped cream.
Which will you try first?!Print
Homemade Eclairs with Peanut Butter Mousse Filling
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
- Yield: 16 eclairs
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: French
Using a simple homemade choux pastry (pâte à choux), you can create delicious French pastries like these chocolate peanut butter eclairs!
- 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
- 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
- two 4-ounce semi-sweet chocolate bars (226g), finely chopped
- 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.
- 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.
- Transfer choux pastry dough to a piping bag (reusable or disposable) 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.
- 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.
- 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 (reusable or disposable) 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer | 5-qt Tilt-Head Glass Mixing Bowl | Glass Mixing Bowls | Glass Measuring Cup | Wooden Spatula | Saucepan | Baking Sheet | Wilton #12 Piping Tip | Ateco #809 Piping Tip | Reusable Piping Bags or Disposable Piping Bags | Pastry Brush
- Peanut Butter: I don’t suggest using a natural style peanut butter for the mousse as it would separate.
Keywords: Homemade Eclairs with Peanut Butter Mousse Filling
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. 🙂
Reader Comments & Reviews
Hi Sally! I tried this recipe today and had some issues and was looking for advice! The dough, before adding the eggs, was very greasy. I continued as instructed, but the eclairs didn’t puff up and the bottoms were very doughy. Would you have any advice on the issues? I followed and measured as instructed in the steps.
Hi Afton, It could be a variety of things. Make sure that you’re following the recipe closely. Cook the choux on the stove precisely following step 2. Let the mixture cool down for a few minutes before adding the eggs. It could be that too much egg was added to your dough in the first place. Beat the 4 eggs together in a bowl, then add a little less than what’s in the bowl. Your mixture could simply be too moist. Does that make sense?
Is it possible to freeze eclairs that are already filled and dipped?
Hi Shelby, yes it is possible– however when thawing, the filling can leave off quite a bit of liquid and the pastries end up a bit soggy.
Hi Sally! These look amazing but my family isn’t big on cream cheese, I love the idea of filling them with peanut butter so is there any substitute or alternative filling you would recommend?
Hi Ayla, The mousse doesn’t taste like cream cheese, but you can certainly just use peanut butter frosting in the center if you wish. We have many other filling ides in the section above called “Alternate Eclair Flavors” Let us know what you try!
If I were to use pastry cream instead of the peanut butter mousse, would I need to change the amount of each ingredient in the Boston pie recipe or would it make enough to fill the eclairs?
Hi Jay, you may want to make two batches of the pastry cream. We recommend about 4 cups of filling total for 1/4 filling for each eclair, and the Boston Cream Pie recipe yields 4 generous cups. Hope this helps!
HELP PLEASE SALLY!
Our bakery fills these with a vanilla pudding type filling. I’m looking for something like that to fill them. I have only found whipped cream filling. Do you know of any recipe for that type of filling? Would GREATLY appreciate any help you can give! I tried this recipe without peanut butter but it just tasted like whipped cream. Loved it but am still looking for a heavier, creamy filling.
Thank you in advance!
Hi Diane, The pastry cream from our Boston Cream Pie recipe would be delicious.
The peanut butter mousse and chocolate ganache cream puffs were a hit. The only comment I got was could I make them have a little more peanut flavor. So the next batch will get a touch more peanut butter for my peanut butter lovers.
I just wanted to share that the recipe is easily doubled. I made single batches several times so that I was comfortable with what the consistency of the choux pastry should be. I doubled the peanut butter mousse, but I find that a single batch of the chocolate ganache is plenty for the topping.
I couldn’t believe how simple it was to make choux pastry! With Sally’s directions and video assistance I feel like I can bake anything! The peanut butter filling and eclairs were so delicious, light, and even better the next day! I made a Nutella ganache (in an effort to use up the last of my Nutella) and topped them with crushed peanuts – so delicious! Choux pastry was on my baking bucket list, so big thanks to Sally and her wonderful recipe!
These were so delicious and heavenly!! They tasted and looked as if I bought them at a very expensive bakery.
I put them in the fridge and they were even better!
(Imagine that!!!I ) I actually cut the ganache recipe in half and it was perfect! ALL OF YOUR RECIPES ARE 100% EXCELLENT! Thank you, Sally!
Amazing recipe! I made the eclairs and then made the peanut butter mousse again for a filling in a chocolate layer cake. It was fantastic both ways. Your recipes were easy to follow and everything turned out as expected! Thank you! I will definitely be trying alternate flavours in the future.
Found this mousse recipe and wondering if I can use as the filling for your Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake. Since the whipped cream filling calls for 1 cup of cream, should I half this mousse to fill the roll? Or just use the extra as little PB mousse cups?
Hi Bridget, that sounds incredible! We would make the full batch of mousse just to make sure you’ll have enough – PB mousse cups sound like the perfect solution to leftover mousse. Let us know how it goes!
Had fun making these! The eclairs were a little flat (my bad) but still worked, and the family totally melted over the peanut butter mousse!! 😛 Will make again
Could I use the peanut butter mousse recipe to fill heart shaped chocolate molds? Also looking to find a cheesecake filling.
Hi Debbie, some readers have used this no bake cheesecake filling. For peanut butter, I’m sure this mousse filling would work. Chocolates made with either should be refrigerated.
Another perfect recipe that comes out right the first time!
Is there any way the cream and ganache can be frozen? Possibly in the eclairs themselves? I’m planning a big party and really want to get as much in my freezer as possible!
Hi Em, yes it is possible– however when thawing, the filling can leave off quite a bit of liquid and the pastries end up a bit soggy.
I’d like to make this with a chocolate filling. I was looking at your Sky High Chocolate Mousse Pie recipe. Can this be adapted as a filling? Or do you recommend something else? I might make half with this PB filling and half with chocolate (for the picker kid!). Thanks. I’m so excited to try making choux for the first time!
Hi Heather, Yes you can use that chocolate mousse to fill these eclairs. YUM!
I’m so excited to try this recipe. I may try a salted caramel mousse instead of peanut butter. The possibilities are endless ❤️
Kendra – if you DO make a salted caramel mousse, would you let me know how it turns out? I’m wildly curious!
Great recipe! Especially for pâte à choux which was effortless to make. I am not a huge fan of peanut butter so I opted for the recipe provided for traditional pastry cream. My only suggestion would be to use a bismark tip instead of a 1A tip. I found that since I wasn’t able to stick the tip in very far, I ended up over stuffing several eclairs. The pastry cream recipe was able to (over stuff) 10 eclairs. I think if I stuffed them less, they would have all been filled! But that is my only change to make in the future. I can’t wait to make these again! And other pâte à choux recipes! Thank you, Sally!
Hi Sally! This didn’t occur to me until I was adding the ganache, but – what’s the point of the egg wash? They came out of the oven and were absolutely gorgeous! But then the ganache covers that all up. So there must be a benefit other than aesthetics, right?
Hi Sue, I’m just seeing your comment/question now so my apologies on the delay responding to you. No real benefit, but it does add a slight crisp/crunch to the exterior.
Loved this recipe! I had extra ganache and peanut butter filling- mixed them together and let them set in the fridge overnight and made the most AMAZING chocolate truffles!!!
I’d like to make these in a smaller size (I’m thinking of piping through a 1.5cm opening, about the length of a credit card). How should I adjust the baking times at the two temperatures?
Hi Batool, For mini eclairs the bake time would be less but we are unsure exactly how long they will take. Use your oven light (don’t open the oven during baking!) to keep your eye on them and bake until they are golden brown. Enjoy!
First time I made eclairs I followed it exactly and eclair shells were perfect. Second and third time I did the exact same and my shells rose beautifully in oven and looked a perfect shade of brown but after I took them out they collapsed . Totally disappointed. Not sure why it was different. The all purpose flour was probably a different brand but that was it. Any ideas?
I tried cooling them inside the oven after finished baking- half still collapsed. I tried piercing hole on one end immediately after taking out but they all still collapsed. They were also softer than last time.
Ritu – I did make those a while ago and thought they were ready a little bit before they were cooked all the way. So I took them out and around 20% of them collapsed and were a lot softer. That’s due to my oven having hot spots (most ovens do), so when I took them out a bit early a portion of them were under baked. My thoughts are that you accidentally made the second two batches a bit bigger so they needed more time to bake. And when you took them out a bit early they were softer and collapsed like a portion of mine did. Try baking them a bit more ( a couple of minutes extra will do) and I’m sure they will turn out great
I have made Choux pastry for the past 50 yrs but adding the beaten eggs with a mixture is a life changer (I always beat one egg at a time, by hand). Like some others, I had more ganache than I knew what to do with, but just barely enough peanut butter mousse, which may be due to me tasting it by the spoonful! Another great recipe. You are definitely my go to person for all things dessert!
When you say heavy cream is that 35% whipping cream, or just heavy cream?
Hi Joanna, You can use heavy cream or heavy whipping cream here.