If you're looking for a delicious pastry that's not too difficult to make but impressive to serve, these Orange Cream Eclairs are just the ticket.
A word to the wise, however, you may want to make a double batch because they'll be gobbled up quickly.
If you've been intimidated about making homemade profiteroles before (aka Eclairs), I'm here today to take away some of your fears and show you just how easy they are to make.
Plus you won't need any special kitchen equipment. A saucepan and wooden spoon are basically all you'll need. However, if you do have a stand mixer (or food processor), you'll save your arm muscles a pretty intense workout.
**Please Note - The printable recipe card with detailed instructions, complete ingredient measurements, and nutritional information for making Orange Cream Eclairs is available near the end of this post. OR click on the "jump to recipe" button (found above) to be taken directly to the recipe.
The ingredients for making the pastry:
- All-Purpose Flour
Kitchen equipment for making choux pastry profiteroles:
- Medium-Size Saucepan
- Wooden Spoon
- Whisk (optional)
- Stand Mixer (optional)
- Food Processor (optional)
- Baking Sheet
- Pastry Bag (optional)
- Round Pastry Tip (optional)
- Parchment Paper or Silicone Baking Mat
- Paring Knife or Skewer
Ingredients for making the orange curd whipped cream:
Kitchen equipment for making the orange curd whipped cream:
- Stand Mixer with the whip attachment (optional)
- Large bowl
- Wooden spoon or spatula
- Measuring cups and spoons
Tips for making homemade choux pastry:
- Bring the eggs to room temperature before starting.
- Do not over-cook the butter and water mixture. Simmer just until the butter has completely melted. Turn off the heat under the pan.
- Quickly add the flour to the butter/water mixture and then stir like crazy until the dough forms one large lump. *Note - The vigorous stirring will help develop the gluten and make for a light and airy pastry.
- Allow the mixture to sit and cool slightly before adding the eggs or the eggs will cook and not incorporate into the dough.
- Add the eggs (one at a time) to the dough, and after each egg addition, beat like crazy until each egg is fully incorporated into the dough. Do this for each and every egg. Do not be concerned if, after the first egg or two, your dough looks like it's broken and a mess. After you've vigorously beaten all of the eggs into the dough, it will be smooth and glossy. Just what you're looking for.
- After spooning (or piping) the choux pastry onto a baking sheet, dampen a finger with water and pat down any pointy edges.
- Immediately upon pulling the baked profiteroles from the oven, pierce them with a paring knife or wooden skewer to release the steam which has built up inside. If this isn't done, the profiteroles will become soggy and they will deflate. You're looking for nice puffy profiteroles which are dry and hollow in the center.
What are some of the best fillings for homemade eclairs?
- For me, I like them all, sweet and savory (known as gougeres). But I have to say that my very favorite of all (to date), is this one I'm sharing with you today for Orange Curd Whipped Cream. My recipe for homemade orange curd is one of the best, and once it's made all you need to do is fold it into some freshly whipped cream and you're ready to fill the eclairs.
- Custards and pastry creams are also popular choices to fill profiteroles, but if you want to think out of the box, what about pie fillings, mousses, ice creams, and puddings?
Here are some other filled profiterole (aka Eclair) recipes I think you'll also enjoy!
- Homemade Eclairs with Peanut Butter Mousse from Sally's Baking Addiction
- Homemade Boston Cream Eclairs from Will Cook for Smiles
- Peaches and Cream Eclairs with Bourbon Caramel Sauce from Epicurious
- Chocolate Covered Strawberry Filled Eclairs (pictured below) from (yours truly) Kudos Kitchen
The step-by-step instructions for making choux pastry:
- Bring water, butter, and salt to a low simmer in a heavy bottom saucepan.
- Simmer on low until the butter is completely melted.
- Turn off the heat and immediately add the all-purpose flour.
- Stir vigorously until the mixture comes together to form a soft dough.
- Allow the dough to cool slightly before adding the room-temperature eggs.
- One by one, add the room temperature eggs, beating well after each addition.
- After the fourth egg addition, the choux paste will become smooth and glossy.
- Pipe or spoon 12 choux paste mounds onto a parchment (or Silpat) lined baking sheet.
- Use a finger dipped in water to gently tap down any spiky edges of the raw pastry dough.
- Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for 30-35 minutes until they're puffed and golden in color.
- Remove them from the oven and immediately pierce them with a paring knife or skewer to release the steam from inside the pastry. *Note - failure to complete this step will deflate the pastry and cause a soggy interior.
- Cool the eclairs completely and then use a serrated knife to gently slice the top off each one, reserving the tops to replace on the profiteroles after filling.
- Gently pull out any dough from the center of each eclair to make room for the filling (if needed).
- Spoon or pipe the filling into the eclair shells and replace the lid on top of each one.
- Sprinkle with confectioners sugar, and refrigerate until serving.
Can profiterole dough be frozen?
- YES! You can definitely make the dough in advance, and then freeze it before baking. Spoon the prepared dough into a zip top bag or a piping bag and store in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
- To bake, simply allow the dough to thaw and continue as directed.
Below is the printable recipe card along with the nutritional information for today’s Eclairs with Orange Cream Filling.
When you make this recipe, and I hope you do, I'd appreciate it if you'd take a moment to leave a star rating on the recipe card and briefly comment on why you rated it as you did. FYI - Google appreciates recipe ratings and, in turn, will share my recipes with more people. Thank you so much!!
Printable Recipe Card
Orange Cream Eclairs
For the choux paste:
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup butter
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
For the orange curd whipped cream:
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream very cold
- 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup prepared orange curd store-bought or homemade
- ½ teaspoon orange zest
- Preheat oven to 400-degrees.
To make the profiteroles:
- Bring the water, butter, and salt to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the flour and stir vigorously until the mixture comes together to form a dough. Allow it to cool slightly (approximately 10 minutes).
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating extremely well with a wooden spoon after each addition. Continue until all four eggs have been incorporated, and the choux paste is smooth and glossy.
- Spoon (or pipe) 12 mounds of choux paste, evenly spaced, onto a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Tap down any dough spikes or points with a finger that has been dampened with water.
- Bake the profiteroles in a preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until they're puffed and golden.
- Remove the profiteroles from the oven and immediately pierce each one with a paring knife or skewer to release any internal steam.
- Allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Using a serrated knife, gently cut the tops off each eclair, reserving the tops for later.
- Gently pull out any internal dough (if needed) so each puff is now a shell and ready to be filled. Set aside.
To make the orange curd whipped cream:
- Add the heavy cream to a very cold bowl that has been chilled for at least 20 minutes.
- Whip or whisk on high speed until the cream becomes thick and soft peaks form.
- Whisk in the confectioner's sugar and vanilla extract to combine.
- Gently fold in the orange curd and orange zest (optional) until completely combined.
- Spoon the orange curd whipped cream into the prepared profiterole shells, and gently set the reserved tops in place on each eclair.
- Sprinkle the cream puffs with additional confectioners sugar and chill until ready to serve.
I sincerely hope you've enjoyed today's recipe for Perfect Profiteroles with Orange Curd Whipped Cream Filling as much as I've enjoyed bringing it to you!