Cream Puff “Crack Buns” (Choux au Craquelin)

cream puff "crack buns"
cream puff "crack buns"

Cream Puff "Crack Buns" (Choux au Craquelin)

Who needs a sweet treat? Is there any dessert more satisfying than a cream puff? Please see the Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream recipe for an amazing filling for these!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Course Dessert


For Craquelin Crust

  • 3 tbsp butter (softened)
  • ¼ c light brown sugar
  • 6 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch salt

For Choux Pastry

  • ½ c cold water
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ½ c all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 bar dark chocolate, chopped (4 ounces)


  • Mix butter, brown sugar, flour, and salt together in a large bowl using a spatula. Place dough between two sheets of waxed paper or inside a zip-top bag. Press or roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Trim off the edges slightly to get a rectangular shape, if desired. Freeze crust until ready to use.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat.
  • Combine water, butter, and salt in a saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add flour; stir with a wooden spoon until mixture comes together into a smooth dough and pulls away cleanly from the bottom of the pan. Transfer to a bowl and spread out with a whisk to speed up cooling. Cool until warm, about 10 minutes.
  • Whisk eggs, one at a time, into the pastry, mixing well after each addition. Finish mixing with a spatula. Scoop pastry into a pastry bag and pipe into 6 to 8 buns on the baking sheet. Smooth out tops with a wet finger.
  • Use a cookie cutter to cut crust into circles about the diameter of the buns. Lightly push crusts onto the buns, just enough to secure them.
  • Place buns in the preheated oven. Immediately reduce heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and bake until browned and fully puffed, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer buns onto a cooling rack and place rack back on the baking sheet. Place in the turned-off oven, leave door partially open, and let cool completely, at least 20 minutes.
  • Melt chocolate in a microwave-safe glass or ceramic bowl in 15-second intervals, stirring after each interval, 1 to 3 minutes.
  • Spread a few teaspoons of melted chocolate onto the bottom of each bun. Gently press each chocolate base back on the baking sheet to spread it evenly. Let chocolate harden, about 1 hour.
Keyword cream, puff

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