Looking for a halloween dessert sure to impress? Try these pumpkin-shaped cream puffs topped with a sweet and crispy layer of craquelin! Fill your choux au craquelin with your favorite pumpkin filling or use our thai tea pastry cream to get that beautiful shade of orange!
These little choux au craquelin pumpkins are the cutest way to celebrate halloween! Our pumpkins are actually filled with thai tea pastry cream — partly because we were a bit pumpkined out and partly because the color worked so well. But really any type of creamy or custard-like pumpkin filling would also work great in these fall-inspired treats!
choux au craquelin
These little pumpkins are made of choux pastry covered in orange craquelin. You’ll start by whipping up a batch of choux dough, which is easy enough to make but does require a little technique. If you’re looking for more detailed information on making choux pastry, you can check out this recipe.
And then before baking you’ll top each portion of piped choux with a round of craquelin, which is a cookie-like dough that creates a crackly, lacey layer over the choux. Craquelin adds a bit of sweetness and crunch, while also helping to moderate the expanding choux and giving it an even shape. Orange craquelin is absolutely perfect for this recipe because it makes the cream puffs look like tiny pumpkins!
To make the craquelin you’ll need butter, sugar, flour and food coloring. While brown sugar is most commonly used, I decided to go with regular granulated sugar here to make it easier to get the perfect shade of orange.
After combining the ingredients, roll out the craquelin dough to ⅛ inch (3 mm) thickness and then place the craquelin in the freezer for at least 10 minutes. You’ll then cut out circles and place them on top of the piped choux before sending them off to the oven. The craquelin will gradually melt and encase the cream puffs in a deliciously sweet and crunchy layer!
Just one note on how much craquelin to use per cream puff. If you use too much craquelin, the mixture will pool around the bottom of the cream puff and begin to burn. You can clean this up before serving, but it won’t look as neat. After a bit of trial and error, I found that using a round of craquelin that is the same diameter as the choux makes for a perfect fit!
Any orange pastry cream will work well for the filling. We used our thai tea pastry cream for a beautiful burnt orange color, but something pumpkin flavored would be even more festive!
And now we’re ready for assembly! You’ll first want to cut the tops off of the cream puffs (like little jack o’ lanterns). This step can be a bit tricky as the craquelin can easily break off, especially if you’ve been heavy handed with the craquelin. Make sure to use a sharp knife and cut them soon after they’re cool enough to handle.
And the finishing touch on our little pumpkins — a mini chocolate chip as the stem! I just plopped the chocolate chips on top of each pumpkin and they stayed well enough, but if you need to transport these halloween desserts somewhere you might need a little extra adhesive. I would recommend a bit of royal icing or even a drop of melted chocolate to hold each chocolate chip in place!
For more dessert ideas perfect for your fall celebrations, check out these recipes!
- chewy spice cookies + pumpkin cream cheese frosting
- spiced pumpkin pie
- apple fritters with pecans
- spiced brown butter snickerdoodles
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