Choux au Craquelin with Salted Caramel Cream

Is there anything more beautiful or dainty than cream puffs? I would say the only thing more dainty and cute is a cream puff with choux au craquelin and salted caramel cream! These little craquelin cream puffs are so delightful and delicious that you’ll hardly be able to stop at just one. Read below for the recipe.

Choux au Craquelin with Caramel Cream

French Patisserie 101: Part 5

Now that we’ve made two kinds of eclairs, we are moving onto another type of choux pastry. This is actually similar to a chouquette in shape, but we are making a very fancy version of a cream puff with choux au craquelin.

If you need a refresher on pate a choux or any of the other parts of the series, you can find them below.

What is Craquelin?

Craquelin is a simple sweet French dough consists of butter, brown sugar, flour, and sometimes salt. This sweet dough gives cream puffs a crackly texture, a sweeter flavor, and a beautiful exterior.

To use craquelin, we roll it out thin and then top unbaked pate a choux with the dough. When they bake, the craquelin melds to the pate a choux and turn a beautiful golden brown color. It also adds this amazing flavor that enhances the cream puffs.

Choux au craquelin is also very versatile. You can add other flavorings or spices to the mix to create variations. The basic recipe is a classic, but there are a lot of other good variations.

choux au craquelin

Is Choux au Craquelin Easy to Make?

Yes! Choux au craquelin or craquelin dough takes just a couple of minutes to make.

There are just 4 simple ingredients required: butter, brown sugar, flour, and salt. We mix these four ingredients together to create a smooth dough. We then roll it out to an 1/8 of an inch between two pieces of parchment paper. Lastly, cover and freeze the dough so that it is easy to work with.

If you do not freeze the choux au craquelin, working with the dough will be difficult as it tends to be too soft and sticky. It also thaws very quickly, so I find that it’s easiest to cut out the rounds as long as the dough stays stiff. If it gets soft, I put the dough back in the freezer to prevent it from stretching and sticking to my hands.

When the dough is frozen, however, it is really easy to work with since the craquelin is firm and won’t stretch.

Caramel Cream Puffs

What is Salted Caramel Cream Filling?

The salted caramel cream filling consists of amazing caramel sauce and whipped cream. It is also okay to use store-bought caramel if you don’t want to make homemade.

However, the flavor will not be quite as good and pure as it is with homemade caramel sauce. Salted caramel sauce only takes a few minutes to make, and the flavor payoff is big. You can store it in the fridge for a few weeks, so it’s easy to make ahead.

Craquelin cream puffs with caramel cream

How to Make a Cream Puff with Craquelin

After making, rolling, and freezing the choux au craquelin, take the dough out of the freezer. Then use a small circle cutter slightly bigger than the piped pate a choux mounds.

Work quickly so the dough stays cold and is easy to transfer without stretching.

Once you place the choux au craquelin on top of each mound, bake for 6 minutes at 400 F, then drop the temperature to 350 F and bake for another 25-35 minutes. That’s all there is to it!

Choux au Craquelin cream puffs

Essential Baking Tools for This Recipe

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close up of craquelin

Choux au Craquelin with Salted Caramel Cream

close up of craquelin cream puff with caramel cream inside

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  • Author: Camille
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 45 1x
  • Category: french desserts


Units Scale
  • 127 g (9 Tbs) unsalted butter, softened
  • 100 g light brown sugar
  • 90 g all-purpose flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 recipe Pate a Choux
  • 1 recipe Salted Caramel Sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream


  1. Make the salted caramel sauce and refrigerate so it has time to cool.
  2. To make choux au craquelin, mix softened butter, salt, and brown sugar with a hand mixer until thoroughly combined and creamy. 
  3. Mix in flour just until dough starts to come together.
  4. Next, roll out the craquelin choux to 1/16 – 1/8 inch thick on a piece of wax paper. Cover and freezer for at least 30 minutes.
  5. While craquelin is chilling, prepare the pate a choux according to the recipe directions.
  6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and pipe pate a choux onto parchment lined baking sheets as instructed in the recipe.
  7. Take the craquelin choux out of the freezer, let it thaw for 2-3 minutes, and then use a circle cookie cutter to cut out circles to cover the tops of the cream puffs.
  8. If you want the choux au craquelin to cover the entire puff, make sure the circle is slightly larger than the diameter of the piped choux pastry. Reference the picture above to see what it should look like.
  9. Bake for 5 minutes at 400 F, then reduce the temperature to 350 F and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until they are deeply golden brown.
  10. If the craquelin is browning too fast, lightly cover with foil. Be careful though! Weight on the puffs can make them deflate, so keep the foil slightly arched over the puffs.
  11. When the craquelin come out of the oven, turn each one over and poke a small hole in the bottom so they can dry out for a couple of hours. 
  12. Next, whip heavy cream to stiff peaks and fold salted caramel sauce into the whipped cream.
  13. Fill the cream puffs in two ways: first, fill by using a piping bag fitted with a #6 or #7 tip. Pipe the cream into the choux puffs by making a small hole in the bottom. The second method is to cut off the tops and pipe a pretty design with a star tip.
  14. Craquelin choux puffs are best eaten within 1-2 days, but they can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 7 days.


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