Craquelin choux buns

Craquelin choux buns

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  • 12
  • Medium
  • 45 minutes
  • 40 minutes

“These profiteroles were inspired by the film The Grand Budapest Hotel, where towers of magical puffs were served at Medi’s bakery. The craquelin choux stack was one of my favourites. I must confess to eating them hot out of the oven – they are the equivalent to a nice warm hug.” – Hannah Lewry


  • 1 cup water
  • 120 g salted butter
  • 125 g cake flour, sifted
  • 2-3 large free-range eggs
  • For the craquelin topping:
  • 100 g butter, softened
  • 100 g sugar
  • 100 g flour
  • salt a pinch

Cooking Instructions

1. Place the water and butter in a small saucepan over a medium-low heat. Allow the butter to melt. As soon as the mixture comes to a simmer, remove from the heat.

2. Add all the flour at once and use a wooden spoon to bring the mixture together. Return the pan to the heat and cook for 1–2 minutes until the mixture comes away from the sides of the pan.

3. Place the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer, then spread out inside the bowl
and stir to cool down the mixture.

4. With the whisk attached, add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. It might not be necessary to add all the eggs. You're looking for a thick, sticky pastry that will hold its shape and can be piped. If it seems too thick, add another egg, or a little water, to loosen the mixture. Set aside.

5. To make the craquelin topping, combine the butter and sugar in a bowl. Using a stand mixer or whisk, beat until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the flour and salt and mix with the paddle attachment or wooden spoon until a crumbly dough has formed.

6. Tip the dough onto a work surface and use your hands to bring it together into a smooth ball.
It might be a bit sticky but don’t add extra flour.

7. Press the dough into a rectangular shape on a sheet of baking paper. Cover with another piece of baking paper the same size as the first. Roll out to a thickness of 4 mm. Chill for about 20 minutes (or freeze for 5 minutes) until firm.

8. Remove from the fridge or freezer and peel off the top sheet of baking paper.Cut out circles 3 cm in diameter.

9. Spoon the choux mixture into apiping bag fitted with a plain nozzle. Pipe small rounds onto a sheet of greaseproof paper on a baking sheet and top each one with the craquelin. Bake at 200°C for
15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 180°C and remove the buns from the oven.

10. Quickly make a small incision into the bases to release steam. Return to the oven for a further 10 minutes to dry out. Remove from the oven and place onto a cooling rack.

11. Make the fondant icing and drizzle over the buns before serving.

Cook’s note: The craquelin topping can be left off if you prefer. Bake the choux buns in the same way.

Find the recipe for fondant icing here. 

Find more sweet treat recipes here.

Photograph: Jan Ras
Production: Abigail Donnely and Hannah Lewry
Food assistant: Josh van Zyl and Tahila Pillay

Hannah Lewry Recipe by: Hannah Lewry
View all recipes

Woolworths TASTE’s Food Editor is passionate about conjuring up fresh ideas for fast and easy dishes that taste as great as they look. Turn to her expertise for everything from time-saving mid-week food to lazy weekend meals. You’ll have a lot of fun in the kitchen while you’re about it.

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