Chouquettes (French Sugar Puffs)

Chouquettes are a breeze to make and even easier to love! Just whip up some choux pastry, pipe it into little mounds, and sprinkle with pearl sugar for that perfect crunch. In no time, you’ll have a batch of these delightful treats ready to enjoy.

Sugar pearl topped chouquettes for dessert

Recipe At a Glance

This chouquettes recipe is perhaps the simplest choux pastry dessert you can make.

First, prepare the choux pastry, then pipe small mounds onto parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Next, brush them with melted butter and sprinkle generously with pearl sugar. After baking for 30 minutes, you’ll have a beautiful dessert that tastes fantastic.

If you’d like to take it up a notch, you can fill those mini cream puffs with the filling of your choice.

In short, it’s an easy, highly customizable dessert that’s perfect for any party.

Making chouquettes for the first time? Please read the ingredients notes, step-by-step instructions, and tips. If you’re familiar with the recipe, feel free to jump to the recipe card.

Chouquette anatomy
Chouquette anatomy

Ingredients Notes and Substitutes

Chouquettes ingredients
  • Milk and water. For chouquettes, I like the milk and water combo, but you might as well skip the milk and go with only water. The puffs will rise higher, but they won’t be as tasty.
  • All-Purpose Flour.
  • Unsalted butter.
  • Eggs.
  • Salt and sugar. These turn regular choux pastry (that’s typically pretty tasteless) into something quite good on its own.
  • Swedish pearl sugar. Pearl sugar is the signature ingredient in chouquettes. This sugar variety consists of large, coarse granules that don’t melt easily when heated. Adding the sugar gives the mini puffs a sweet crunch. There are two types of pearl sugar sold: Swedish and Belgian. For chouquettes, you’ll need the former, as Belgian pearl sugar is too large for mini puffs. You can substitute pearl sugar with coarse sanding sugar, which also won’t melt under heat.

How to Make Chouquettes

(Read my article on choux pastry for a more detailed description and tips on working with choux pastry!)

  1. Preheat the oven. Start by preheating your oven to 390°F (200°C).
  2. Melt the butter and bring to a boil. In a pot, combine butter, milk, water, salt, and sugar, then bring the mixture to a boil and ensure the butter is fully melted.
  1. Add the flour. Take the pot off the heat, add all the flour to the mixture at once, and stir until it roughly combines. Bring the pot back to the stove and continue stirring with a spoon over low heat. The dough will thicken and clump quickly, but you should continue stirring the mixture for 2-3 minutes, ensuring all the flour is incorporated and no white floury spots are inside. While stirring, scrape the dough from the sides and bottom to prevent sticking. After 2-3 minutes, the dough should be glossy and easy to detach from the pot, and a thin layer, or film, should form on the bottom.
  1. Transfer. Move the dough to a mixing bowl and cool for about 10 minutes. Spreading it across the bowl can speed up cooling.
Spread choux pastry in bowl to cool
Spread choux pastry in bowl to cool
  1. Prepare the eggs. Crack the eggs into a separate bowl and whisk them.
Whisk the eggs
Crack and whisk the eggs
  1. Melt butter. Melt the butter for brushing the mini puffs.
  2. Make dough. Once the dough has cooled slightly, start mixing it with a hand mixer at medium speed. After 20-30 seconds of mixing, add half the eggs to the dough and mix until incorporated. Repeat by adding half of the leftover egg mixture. Now it’s time to get the dough to the right consistency: you want it thick enough to hold its shape but still pipeable. The V-Shape test is the best way to check for that: Dip your mixer whisks or spatula into the dough and lift it. The dough should slowly fall off, eventually leaving a piece of dough hanging that forms a characteristic ‘V’ shape or a triangle at the end of the whisk or spatula. If the dough is not there yet, continue adding the eggs bit by bit and checking the consistency.
Adding the whisked eggs
Mix the dough at medium speed and add the whisked eggs
  1. Prepare the baking tray. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Optionally, draw 1 1/4 inches circles on the underside of the parchment as guides, spaced about 1/2 inch apart, for uniformly sized chouquettes.
  2. Set up for piping. Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with a round tip or use a plastic food bag with a corner cut off.
  3. Pipe the dough. Start by holding your piping bag with a round tip vertically above the baking sheet. Begin piping by gently squeezing the bag, letting the pastry build into a mound. As you form the mound, lift the bag slowly, still squeezing, to let the pastry stack upon itself. Keep the tip partially in the forming mound, guiding it to expand up and out. Aim for about 1/2 inches in height and 1 1/4 inches in diameter. To finish, stop squeezing and smoothly pull the tip up and away.
  1. Brush with melted butter. Using your fingers, brush all the dough mounds with the melted butter, patting down any peaks. You can use eggwash instead of melted butter if you like.
  1. Sprinkle sugar. Sprinkle the dough generously with pearl or sanding sugar. Don’t worry if it seems like a lot—the dough will rise and spread during baking, distributing the sugar evenly.
Dough sprinkled with pearl sugar
Sprinkle dough with pearl sugar
  1. Bake. Place the tray in the preheated oven, then immediately reduce the temperature to 356°F (180°C). Bake for 30 minutes. Open the door a tiny bit (and leave them open) for the last 5 minutes for any buildup steam to escape. If the puffs start to brown before the 25-minute mark, lower the temperature to 320°F (or 160°C).
Baked chouquettes
Bake for 30 minutes
  1. Cool. Remove the puffs from the oven, let them cool for 10 minutes, then carefully detach them from the parchment paper or silicone mat and let them cool on a wire rack for another 10 to 15 minutes.
Delicious French sugar puffs
Let the chouquettes to cool on a wire rack
  1. Serve. Fill the chouquettes if you like and serve them.
Vanilla cream-filled French sugar puffs
Vanilla cream-filled French sugar puffs

Filling Options

Chouquettes are delightful on their own, but when filled, they’re even better. Depending on the size and puffiness of your croquettes, you’ll need about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of filling.

Filling chouquettes with pastry cream
Stuffing chouquettes with vanilla pastry cream

Pastry creams are an excellent choice for fillings due to their rich flavor and thick consistency, which prevents leaking. Consider these pastry cream variations:

French cream puffs with vanilla pastry cream filling
French cream puffs with vanilla pastry cream filling

For a fruity twist, fruit curds are a great option, though they may be too thin. To thicken them, try this method:

  1. Mix one tablespoon of cornstarch with one tablespoon of water.
  2. Add half of the slurry to the curd while it cooks, and wait for it to thicken.
  3. Add the other half if needed.
  4. Repeat the process if necessary.

Check out my starch 101 article for more info on the topic.

Here are some curd recipes to consider:

Sugar-topped pastry puffs
Bite-sized puffs topped with pearl sugar

Storage

Store unfilled chouquettes at room temperature for 3 to 5 days, covered but not airtight to maintain crispness.

Filled chouquettes should be refrigerated, tightly sealed, for 3 to 4 days. However, they tend to lose their crunch overnight, so it’s best to serve them shortly after filling.

Sugar pearl topped chouquettes for dessert

Chouquettes

Chouquettes are a breeze to make and even easier to love! Just whip up some choux pastry, pipe it into little mounds, and sprinkle with pearl sugar for that perfect crunch. In no time, you’ll have a batch of these delightful treats ready to enjoy.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Chouquettes, Choux Pastry, Cream Puffs
Servings: 36 Chouquettes

Equipment

  • Stand mixer

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup water ~60 ml
  • ¼ cup milk ~60 ml
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter for the choux pastry, ~45 g
  • oz all-purpose flour ~70 g
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • tsp sugar
  • 2 large eggs ~95g after cracking
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter for brushing, ~15g
  • 1 oz Swedish pearl sugar ~30g

Instructions

  • Preheat Oven: Heat oven to 390°F (200°C).
  • Boil Butter Mixture: In a pot, mix butter, milk, water, salt, and sugar. Bring to a boil, ensuring the butter melts completely.
    ¼ cup milk, 3 tbsp unsalted butter, ¼ tsp salt, 1¼ tsp sugar, ¼ cup water
  • Add Flour: Off the heat, add flour all at once and stir. Return to low heat, stirring continuously for 2-3 minutes until the dough is thick, glossy, and leaves a thin film on the pot bottom.
    2½ oz all-purpose flour
  • Cool Dough: Transfer dough to a bowl and let it cool for 10 minutes, spreading it out to cool faster.
  • Whisk Eggs: Beat eggs in a separate bowl.
    2 large eggs
  • Melt Butter: Melt the butter for brushing the chouquettes.
    1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Mix Dough: With the dough slightly cooled, mix with a hand mixer. Gradually add half the eggs, mix, then add the remaining eggs bit by bit until the dough forms a 'V' shape when lifted with a whisk or spatula.
  • Prepare Tray: Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  • Pipe Dough: Fill a piping bag and pipe dough onto the tray in 1 1/4-inch mounds, leaving 1/2-inch space between each.
  • Brush: Using your fingers, brush all the dough mounds with the melted butter, patting down any peaks.
  • Sprinkle Sugar: Sprinkle the dough generously with pearl or sanding sugar.
    1 oz Swedish pearl sugar
  • Bake: Place the baking tray in the oven, immediately reduce temperature to 356°F (180°C), and bake for 30 minutes until slightly browned. Open the oven door slightly for the last 5 minutes of baking.
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