Three baked pastries on a baking sheet

What Is Choux Pastry? Recipe and Tips

Choux, or pâte à choux, is a French pastry that uses a special technique to combine flour, water, eggs and butter and can be used to make a variety of sweet desserts and savory appetizers. Before baking, the mixture falls somewhere between a batter and a dough and is often piped into shapes for baking.

Understanding how to make choux pastry opens up more recipe possibilities for you to explore. Read on below to learn more about choux pastry, its uses and how to make it at home.

Ham and cheese pastries Ham and cheese pastries

What is choux pastry used for?

Choux pastry is the base for several widely-enjoyed recipes, like cream puffs filled with whipped cream, eclairs topped with rich chocolate ganache, churros dusted with cinnamon sugar and even gougères stuffed with meat and cheese

Choux pastry recipe

You can experiment with a variety of new recipes once you learn how to make your own pâte à choux with the help of your stand mixer and the flat beater accessory.

Yields
  • 6 servings

Ingredients
  • Eggs

  • Butter

  • Water

  • Milk

  • Flour, like all purpose or bread flour

  • Sugar (optional)

  • Salt

Tools
Prep Time
  • 15 minutes

Bake Time 
  • The bake time for your choux pastry may vary depending on the recipe. Bake times can be anywhere from 15–40 minutes long.

Total Time
  • 60–90 minutes

KitchenAid® double wall oven

Step 1: Preheat oven and prep your stand mixer

Before you start making your choux, preheat your oven to 400ºF. Attach the flat beater accessory to your stand mixer and plug in the appliance.

Pink KitchenAid® tilt-head stand mixer

Step 2: Combine butter, milk, water, sugar, salt and flour

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Once completely melted, stir in milk, water, salt and sugar (if using) until fully incorporated and bring the mixture to a slow boil. Reduce the heat, then quickly stir in all of your flour and cook the mixture for 2 minutes while stirring constantly.

Four eggs on a wooden platter

Step 3: Mix in eggs

Transfer your choux into the mixing bowl of your stand mixer and turn it to speed 2. Add your eggs one at a time, allowing them to mix into the batter for at least 30 seconds before cracking in another. Stop and scrape the bowl, then beat the mixture for 3 more minutes.

Eclairs next to a cup of coffee

Step 4: Pipe onto baking sheet and bake

Add your choux to a piping bag, then pipe the batter into your desired shapes on a parchment-lined baking sheet making sure to leave at least an inch between each pastry. Place the baking tray in the oven. Choux pastry baking times vary depending on whether you’re making cream puffs, eclairs or gougères.

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Red KitchenAid® stand mixer next to grated cheese and butter Red KitchenAid® stand mixer next to grated cheese and butter

Is choux pastry the same as puff pastry?

Choux and puff pastry use different methods to achieve their rise. While puff pastry gets its volume from fat, choux relies on the steam produced within the dough thanks to its high water content. Despite their similar structure, choux and puff pastry can’t be used interchangeably.

What is the texture of choux pastry?

Though raw choux pastry has dense and fatty consistency, the baked result is a light and airy texture with a crisp outer shell and slightly hollow center. The texture is created by a high moisture content of the batter and the structure is the result of when and how the ingredients are combined.

Cooking the flour in the butter, milk and water mixture helps to thicken the batter, giving it the stretchy consistency needed when piping it into shapes.

What does butter do in choux pastry?

The butter in your pâte à choux does more than just provide rich flavor. It is a crucial ingredient that helps to prevent the flour from clumping during the initial mixing process. The fat in the butter protects the flour from the water and milk that can create clumps and may alter the consistency.

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What is the best flour for choux pastry?

Though the standard recipe calls for all purpose or bread flour, you can use a variety of wheat flour types to make your own choux pastry. All wheat flours have the necessary gluten-forming proteins that allow the dough to expand while cooking, helping to achieve choux pastry’s signature texture.  

What can I serve with choux pastry?

Choux pastry is a confectionary chameleon as it can be served with sweet or savory pairings. Homemade eclairs pair well with vanilla ice cream or a rich and bold cappuccino, while cheesy gougères can be the perfect accompaniment to an herbaceous lemon thyme roasted chicken or a juicy grilled ribeye with chimichurri

Cream KitchenAid® stand mixer with a beige mixing bowl Cream KitchenAid® stand mixer with a beige mixing bowl

Explore KitchenAid® Stand Mixers

Whether you're mixing in eggs for choux pastry or whipping up meringue into stiff peaks, KitchenAid® stand mixers are designed to help you get creative in the kitchen. Browse the entire line of stand mixers from KitchenAid brand, and explore stand mixer attachments to unlock even more culinary potential.

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