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Cream Puffs (and Éclairs!)

Prep: 20 min Bake: 40 min Filling: 15 min
One of the hardest things about going gluten free is giving up well-loved recipes from childhood, foods that are linked to great memories and family traditions. Every year, my mom would whip up a batch of puff dough at Easter to make platters of mouth-watering tender and gooey Cream Puffs and Éclairs. For years, I was afraid to try this recipe gluten free, assuming it would never work. But with a few simple tweaks, I was thrilled to discover that these were every bit as delicious as what I remembered. Puffs are easy to master, and versatile - just change the filling! They're elegant and irresistible for Easter brunch, or a birthday party. Kids love them, adults covet them, dogs swallow them whole without chewing, and everyone is shocked to learn they're gluten free.


Puff Dough
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup gluten free flour
  • 5 eggs
  • ½ tsp vanilla, or to taste
  • ¼ tsp salt
2 cups whipped cream, lightly sweetened to taste with powdered sugar (start with half cup) and vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease baking sheet, or line with parchment paper.
  2. In medium non-stick saucepan, combine water and butter and bring to rolling boil.
  3. Add flour [1], stirring constantly over low-medium heat until mixture forms a ball, ~2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Add eggs one at a time [2], beating vigorously to incorporate before adding the next. Dough will be sticky.
  5. Spoon 1-2 tablespoon rounds onto baking sheet [3]. Makes 12 large puffs or 16 small puffs.
  6. Bake 15 minutes at 400°F [4]. Then reduce heat to 350°F and bake additional 20-25 minutes.
  7. When puffs are dark gold in color and firm to touch, remove from oven. Cool on metal rack.
  8. After cooling, cut a lid at the top of each puff and gently scoop out wetter dough to form a pocket in the middle.
  9. Fill pocket with whipped cream [5], [6]. Replace cap, and dust with powdered sugar.

Gluten Free Pro Tips

  1. Replace wheat flour with your favorite GF blend. Dough should be wet. If dry, add a small amount of milk or water.
  2. Fully incorporate each egg - 1 at a time! - into your butter/flour mix. Vigorously beating each egg into the dough with a wooden spoon gives your puffs a light, airy, tender interior.
  3. Dough may also be piped for a smoother appearance.
  4. Resist the urge to open oven while baking. This releases heat, which may cause your puffs to collapse. Best indicator of "doneness" is a dark golden color.
  5. For Éclairs, fill puffs with vanilla pudding and drizzle with chocolate glaze.
  6. Most boxed puddings are gluten-free. But a 15-minute luscious homemade vanilla pudding is easy and so delicious!