Profiteroles

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Profiteroles are made from choux pastry baked until puffed and crisp. They are filled with homemade pastry cream and topped with a drizzle of warm ganache.

Side view of profiteroles on a cake stand.

Profiteroles are one of those desserts that can be finicky. But with my tried and true recipe, you will have success.

Typically choux pasty gets piped but I prefer to scoop the batter with a cookie scoop instead. This yields the most uniform, even pastries. They bake up perfectly.

Once baked and cooled, they are filled with my fool-proof pastry cream that works every time. It thick yet creamy and full of vanilla flavor.

The filled pastries are topped with a warm chocolate ganache but they work with a caramel drizzle as well.

Why This Recipe Works

  • The choux pastry bakes up crispy on the outside and hollow on the inside making it perfect for filling.
  • The pastry cream filling is thick so you can pipe pretty swirls if you decide to slice open the profiteroles like I did. The other option is to poke a hole and fill the pastries without cutting them.
  • Chocolate ganache is the perfect consistency for drizzling. It sets to soft chocolate once cooled and pairs perfectly as a topping.
Three profiteroles on a countertop.

Ingredients

For the ingredient measurements and the entire recipe, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the blog post where the recipe card is located.

  • Sugar: White granulated sugar is used to sweeten the filling. I haven’t experimented with sugar alternatives so I can’t say how that would turn out.
  • Cornstarch: This is the thickener for the pastry cream. I’ve tested flour and hands down prefer cornstarch.
  • Milk: Use whole milk. The fat content will make all the difference in your filling.
  • Eggs: The filling requires 4 egg yolks while the pastry requires 4 whole eggs. Use the leftover white from the filling to make macaroons.
  • Butter: Unsalted butter is used in both the filling and pastry. This allows you to control the amount of salt in the recipe.
  • Vanilla: I prefer to use vanilla bean paste when it comes to pastry cream but you can use vanilla extract. Just choose pure vanilla for the best results.
  • Water: This is the base for the choux pastry.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour is what you want to use for the pastry shells. I can’t guarantee the recipe with work with other flours.
  • Salt: A little is added to the pastry.
  • Chocolate: Semisweet chocolate is my go-to for drizzling over profiteroles.
  • Heavy cream: This is warmed with the chocolate to create a luscious chocolate ganache.

Step by Step Directions

For the full recipe instructions, scroll down to the bottom of the blog post to the recipe card.

Make the Pastry Cream

  1. Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together in a medium pot.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks and milk together in a liquid measuring cup.
  3. Slowly pour the milk mixture into the sugar mixture, whisking to combine as you pour.
  4. Add the butter and place the pot over medium heat.
  5. Cook until thickened.
  6. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla.
  7. Press the cream through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  8. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before using.

Make the Choux Pastry

  1. Add water, butter, and salt to a medium saucepan.
  2. Cook over medium-high heat until butter is melted and water is boiling.
  3. Add all the flour, stir vigorously until fully combined.
  4. Reduce the heat and keep stirring until the mixture forms a ball.
  5. Remove from the heat and let cool until just warm.
  6. Slowly stir in the eggs mixing well after each addition.
  7. Scoop batter on to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. I like to use a 1.5-tablespoon cookie scoop for this.
  8. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes then reduce to 350°F and bake for another 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and hard on the outside.
  9. Transfer to a wire rack until completely cooled.

Fill the Pastry Shells

  1. Once cooled, cut the profiteroles in half using a serrated knife, creating a base and top hat.
  2. Fill the bottom shell generously with pastry cream using a spoon or piping bag.
  3. Replace the top hat.
Choux pastry filled with pastry cream.

Make the Chocolate Ganache

  1. Add the chocolate and cream to a microwave safe bowl.
  2. Heat in 30-second intervals, stirring in between until the chocolate is fully melted and mixture is well combined.

Tips For Success

  • Make sure the dough is cool before adding the eggs. If the dough is too warm, it will cook the eggs. This will ruin the pastry.
  • Mix the eggs in thoroughly. The dough will split when you add the eggs but keep mixing and it will come together.
  • Don’t remove the pastries from the oven too soon! If they are not crisp and dried out, they will deflate once you remove them from the oven. Make sure they are super golden brown and feel hard when touched.
  • Don’t open the oven door until they are finished baking. Opening the door too soon will cause the temperature to drop resulting in collapsed shells.
Three profiteroles on a white plate.

FAQ

What is the difference between a cream puff and a profiterole?

They are essentially the same thing. The pastry is made the same way using choux dough. Cream puffs are usually filled with whipped cream or diplomat cream. Profiteroles are filled with pastry cream and sometimes ice cream. Profiteroles also tend to be smaller than cream puffs.

How to store profiteroles?

Prepared choux dough can be stored for later use. Allow the dough to cool to room temperature. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap touching the surface and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Baked and unfilled shells can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day or frozen for up to 2 months.

Profiteroles

5 from 2 votes
Side view of profiteroles on a cake stand.
Profiteroles are made from choux pastry baked until puffed and crisp. They are filled with homemade pastry cream and topped with a drizzle of warm ganache.
Jen Sobjack
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Serving Size 21

Ingredients

For the Pastry Cream

  • ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (28 g) cornstarch
  • 1 ½ cups (360 ml) whole milk
  • 4 (56 g) egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or pure vanilla extract

For the Choux Pastry

  • 1 cup (240 ml) water
  • ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (130 g) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 4 large (200 g) eggs, at room temperature, slightly beaten

For the Chocolate Drizzle

  • 4 ounces (125 g) semisweet chocolate, coursley chopped
  • ½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream

Instructions

Make the Pastry Cream

  • In a medium pot, whisk the sugar and cornstarch together until well combined.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the milk and egg yolks together until well combined.
  • Slowly pour the milk mixture into the sugar mixture while whisking to remove any clumps. Add the butter.
  • Cook over medium heat, whisking continuously until bubbles start to burst through the surface. Once boiling, continue to cook while whisking for a full minute. The pastry cream will become thick like pudding. It should register 200°F on an instant-read thermometer.
  • Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla paste until well combined.
  • Press the pastry cream through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any bits of egg that may have scrambled.
  • Cover with plastic wrap touching the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before using it.

Make the Choux Pastry

  • Measure out all the ingredients and have them set out on your work surface. Use weight measurements for best results.
  • Combine the water, butter, and salt in a medium stainless steel pot. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the butter melts completely and the mixture comes to a full boil.
  • Add all of the flour and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until no traces of dry flour are visible.
  • Turn the heat down to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly for 5 minutes, until the paste pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a smooth ball. You will notice a skin has formed on the bottom of the pot.
  • Remove from heat and set aside to cool, stirring occasionally, until the paste feels slightly warm to the touch. If it's too hot it will cook the eggs and ruin the pastries.
  • Add about ⅓ of the eggs and use the wooden spoon to vigorously mix until smooth and creamy. The dough will break but it will slowly become creamy. Once the dough is smooth and creamy, add another ⅓ of the eggs. Mix until the dough become smooth and creamy again then mix in the final ⅓ eggs. Stir until the mixture becomes smooth, stiff, and shiny. (You may not need all the eggs. Test the batter as you go. It should fall off the spoon in a v-shaped ribbon. Or drag your finger along the surface of the dough to create a trough. If the sides stay up, the dough has enough egg.)
  • Let cool to room temperature before using.
  • Meanwhile, Set the rack in the middle of the oven and heat at 400°F for 30 minutes before baking.
  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Use a little of the dough in the corners to secure the parchment paper in place.
  • Using a 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop, drop mounds of dough 3 inches apart on the baking sheet. This technique yields uniform pastries.
  • Bake for 15 minutes then reduce the temperature to 350°F and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until they are brown and completely hard on the outside. Do not open the oven during baking or they might collapse.
  • Transfer the pastries to a wire rack and immediately poke a skewer all the way through to release the steam trapped inside. Allow pastries to cool completly.

Make the Chocolate Ganache

  • Place cream and chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until chocolate is fully melted and the mixture is combined. Cool until slightly warm, then use for drizzling.

Assemble the Profiteroles

  • Cut the profiteroles in half using a serrated knife, creating a base and a top hat.
  • Fill the profiteroles generously with the pastry cream using a spoon or a piping bag.
  • Drizzle with chocolate and serve!

Notes

  • Filling: American-style profiteroles are filled with ice cream. Choose your favorite instead of using pastry cream.
  • Chocolate ganache: The ganache will be very runny while warm. As it cools it will thicken to a soft chocolate consistency.
  • Make ahead: Prepared choux pastry can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before using it. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap is touching the surface of the dough to prevent a skin from forming.
    • Baked and unfilled pastry shells can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day or freeze them for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
    • Filled pastry shells will keep for up to 2 days stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Read my detailed post about making Pâte à Choux (Choux Pastry).
  • Read my detailed post about making Pastry Cream (Creme Patissiere).

Nutrition

Serving: 1profiterole | Calories: 181kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 81mg | Potassium: 87mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 383IU | Vitamin C: 0.03mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition information provided is for convenience and as a courtesy only. It is not guaranteed to be accurate because nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator and input the exact ingredients and brands you used in the recipe.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These are beyond beautiful, and look just as (if not more) delicious. The perfect little bite of sweetness!

  2. 5 stars
    These are beyond beautiful, and look just as (if not more) delicious. The perfect little bite of sweetness!