Bavarian Cream-Filled Eclairs

September 28, 2009

Those Evil Desserts

I make these Bavarian Cream-Filled Eclairs every year about this time of year, and they are so easy it’s mind-boggling. I take them to meetings, and they are gobbled up very quickly. The only thing to know is that they do not keep well– serve them within a few hours of making them, or they will get soggy. They are absolutely scrumptious– I guarantee you will have no leftovers! Not exactly nutritious, not exactly suitable for colon cleansing or other delightful medical benefits…. but you will have gained some adoring fans along with your weight!


I recommend that you read these instructions completely in their entirety before undertaking the recipe. OK, here goes:

Bavarian Cream-Filled Eclairs
makes 12 eclairs or so

For the Eclairs:
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup boiling water
1 cup white flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs

For the Bavarian Cream filling:
2 packages instant vanilla pudding
2 1/4 cups very cold milk
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Note: Do not make the pudding mix until ALL your eclairs are baked!
Note: Depending on how well you stuff your eclairs with Bavarian Cream, you may have some left over. I find it very yummy to eat from a spoon. ;)

Optionals for the eclair topping:
Ready-made frosting

Important tools you will need:
Wooden spoon
Two metal spoons
An empty condiment container or other kind of squeezing container with a long nose
A funnel

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Grease a karge cookie sheet and set it aside.

In a saucepan that has your boiling water, melt the butter into it. Add the flour and salt all at once, and stir vigorously. Cook and keep stirring until the dough forms a ball that does not separate. Remove from the heat and cool for a minute. Now add your eggs, one at a time, stirring vigorously until the dough is smooth. The eggs are slippery and this requires some oomph– but be sure to stir well.

Drop the dough by heaping spoonfuls onto your greased cookie sheet, about 3-4 inches apart (the dough will expand). Bake in your hot oven for 15 minutes, then turn the heat down to 325 degrees and bake for 25 more minutes. When the time is up, turn off the stove and open the door for a minute or two. Leave the cookie sheet in there. Close the over door and allow your eclairs to sit in the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes. This sounds odd, but the remaining heat in the oven will help to dry out your eclairs, so the dough will not be spongy.

When the eclairs are sufficiently dried and cooled, you can turn your attention to the Bavarian Cream: Pour your milk into a large bowl, and add the instant pudding and nutmeg. Quickly whisk the ingredients until the pudding powder is dissolved. Work quickly, as you don’t want the pudding to gel too quickly– you need the pudding to be somewhat watery so you can get it into the condiment container to squeeze it into the eclairs. I use a funnel and spoon the cream into the container. This task is a little messy, so be sure to wear an apron!

Once your condiment container is filled, gently work the long nose into a crack or hole in the puffy eclair. Squeeze some cream in, as much as you think is suitable. I sometimes tap the eclair on the counter to force the cream further back into the eclair’s cavity. Do not overfill! Otherwise, when your guest bites down into the eclair, he/she will have a lapful of cream.

Repeat this procedure until all eclairs are filled: fill the condiment container with cream, insert condiment nose into eclair and fill with cream, tap eclair to move cream inside.
Once all the eclairs are filled, spread frosting onto the eclairs and sprinkle with decorations.

Serve eclairs at once, or if you must wait, store them in the refrigerator and serve within a few hours. The cream will set into pudding (which I like), but the eclairs will be slightly soggy. I’ve never received any complaints about it, though. :)

Photo courtesy of Joe Pastry, who also has some great photos on how to fill the eclairs.

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8 Responses to “Bavarian Cream-Filled Eclairs”

  1. Carole Says:

    Wow. I can’t imagine myself making those successfully, though it might make for a very entertaining blog post! :-P I’m going to think it over though… A question: what kind of frosting exactly did you use for them? From a can? In the pic it looks like a thinner frosting? They do look really good. Beautiful, actually.

    • Rebecca Says:

      I avoided making these for a long time, but tried it and was surprised at how easy they are! (Plus, the kids can eat any mistakes, eh?). I was able to customize the recipe to my own liking, and it’s worked well for many years.

      I use frosting straight from a can. But you can easily add a little water or milk to the canned frosting to make it creamier. In this photo, melted chocolate is used. That’s not my photo- I haven’t taken one yet of my eclairs. I got it from a food blog.

  2. Jill Mann Says:

    That recipe sounds easy. I am going to try them and give them to the teachers at school. Thanks so much.

  3. Shelbi Says:

    I live in WA and for the longest time couldn’t find a Bavarian cream eclair anywhere. I finally got fed up, searched for a recipe and came across this page. I couldn’t find a condiment container with a long nose, so I used a “flavor injector” that I had for flavoring turkeys. I used that and it worked like a charm. Granted, it took me a lot longer to fill them than it would have with a condiment container… I also came across a problem: the needle was so small that after filling only two doughnuts, my pudding had frozen into a big jello blob, lol. If you’re having that same problem, a good solution would be to put it in a small microwavable container with a little bit of milk (a couple tablespoons or so) and microwave for 45-60 seconds. stir it well and you should be good to go. This recipe makes delicious eclairs and everyone has loved them so far. Thanks so much for sharing this with us!!

    • Rebecca Says:

      Hi, Shelbi! I’m so glad you could use the recipe! This is a favorite, I make it every year. Thanks for your comment!

  4. Shelbi Says:

    You’re so welcome! I loved this recipe and I’ve already made them again since then. Needless to say, this page has been bookmarked in my web browser ;)

  5. Amanda Says:

    I just have to say this was so easy to do i think filling them was the only trouble I had and it wasn’t even that bad they taste great and my friends really liked them and so did I so thank you for sharing this recipe.