Gluten Free Pate a Choux Recipe
If there is one thing I want people to take away after visiting this site, it is that fabulous gluten-free food is not just possible, it can be an everyday reality.
I was making my gluten-free cream puffs with a friend, Ashley, the other day. Ashley is a trained pastry chef who actually worked for Wolfgang Puck at Spago. To say I was a little intimidated is an understatement. I am not a pastry chef. I never went to culinary school. I only took one semester of home-ec in high school and to be honest I don’t think I earned a very good grade. Everything I know about cooking and baking I have learned by trial and error; real life education, having to feed myself and my family. But does that make my knowledge any less valuable? I don’t think so and I guess neither does Ashley, as she told me that my cream puffs were the best she had tasted, gluten-free or not! And I have to agree. Something about the lack of gluten makes the pastry for cream puffs so light and ethereal.
Cooking and baking well (gluten-free or not) is all about learning a few basic recipes that can be mastered and used in a variety of ways. Pate a choux is a baking basic, it is the base for cream puffs, éclairs and all sorts of other treats, sweet or savory.
Here is a step by step of how to do it.
Note that for the flour you can use a pastry quality gluten-free flour blend.
Dairy free? No problem, here is a recipe for gluten and dairy free cream puffs. The basics for the dough are the same.
Get all the ingredients gathered up; flour, water, eggs, butter and salt.
Crack the eggs into a measuring cup or spouted pitcher.
Heat the water, butter and salt in a heavy saucepan until it comes to a simmer.
As soon as the butter and water mixture comes to a simmer, dump in the flour all at once.
Keep stirring over the heat until the ingredients come together in a thick dough, it will take about a minute or two.
Put the dough into a mixer (or use a handheld mixer) and mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds until the dough cools a little.
Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next.
Mix on medium-high speed until the mixture becomes a thick, sticky cohesive dough, two to three minutes after the last egg is added.
Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats (preferred) or parchment paper. You can pipe the dough into mounds or logs if you are good at piping. I am not good at piping so I use ice cream scoops. Select a size of ice cream scoop that fits your needs, big for individual desserts, smaller for bite sized.
Dip the ice cream scoop in water and scoop out the dough, spacing about 1 inch or so apart.
Bake in a pre-heated oven (425 degrees) for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 and cook another 30 -35 depending on the size. They should be risen and golden brown. Turn off the oven and let them sit in the oven for another 20 minutes. They should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom and feel light.
Pierce the side of each puff with a sharp knife to let any steam out. Let cool on a wire rack.
Pate choux is such a versatile recipe, you can add finely grated cheese into the dough before baking for cheese puffs, split and fill with pastry cream for cream puffs, fill with ice cream and top with chocolate sauce for profiteroles. They can also be served with some jam for breakfast or a savory filling for appetizers; the possibilities are almost endless.
Gluten Free Pate a Choux Recipe
- 1 cup water
- 1 stick butter
- 1 pinch kosher or fine sea salt
- 1 cup pastry quality gluten-free flour
- 4 large eggs
- Assemble ingredients before starting. Break the eggs into a liquid measuring cup or spouted pitcher. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
- Place the water, butter and salt in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer. Add the flour all at once and stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a thick dough. Continue to cook while stirring for about 1 minute.
- Dump the dough into the bowl of an electric mixer preferably fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds to cool the dough slightly. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. After all the eggs have been added continue to mix, increasing the speed to medium-high, until the dough is smooth, thick and shiny, about 2 or 3 minutes.
- Pipe the dough onto the prepared baking sheets in mounds or logs or use an ice cream scoop to scoop out the batter, spacing about 1 inch apart. If piping, moisten a finger with water and res down the peaks so they don't burn.
- Bake for 10 minutes, turn the oven temperature down to 350 and bake for another 30 - 35 minutes depending on the size, or until the dough has risen and is golden brown and the cream puff has a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom. Turn off the oven and leave the puffs in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and pierce the side of each puff with a sharp knife to let the steam escape. Let cool.
I used my own Carol’s Gluten Free All Purpose Flour for this recipe. Learn more about my flour here:
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Have you tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and let us know your thoughts in the Ratings & Reviews section below.
Gorgeous!!! I’ve made four attempts of pâte à choux this week and have yet to achieve a really good version – I will have to try yours!
Thanks Jenn! Good luck :)
Haha I’ve tried 7 different types of gougères lol. I used your ingredient ratio using sweet rice flour today, and sadly they did not puff really at all – when I scooped them onto the pan they spread out flat very quickly…. can I ask what prepackaged GF mix you used or were the ones in your photos from using the sweet rice flour?? Or I’m wondering if maybe I didn’t beat them long enough…. pâte à choux remains a mystery to me! Until I get them to work I will just admire yours in awe :)
Hi Jenn, I used my own flour but I have made them in the past very successfully with just sweet rice flour – in fact the photos for th epost I did on dairy free cream puff was with just sweet rice flour. Hmm, I am thinking that you are not beating each egg in well enough before adding the next and then not beating enough after the finall addition. Did you use an electric mixer?
I made these this afternoon using the sweet rice flour and they are pretty underwhelming. The batter was incredibly goopy and hard to handle, there was butter weeping out of it. I added an extra tablespoon of rice flour, but it was still weeping. They spread on the tray and the flavor is very very blah, even with sweetened cream.
I’m taking a pavlova tomorrow instead.
It works better with all purpose gluten free flour and it sounds like maybe the eggs weren’t beaten in properly …
Maybe her batch was too wet. Maybe try adding the egg more slowly next time and do’t be afraid to hold some back. A batch I made last week (I made multiple batches) was too egg heavy and they did not puff. When we scoop “flour” sometime we get more and sometimes we get less, sot he recipe can get out of balance. Hope this helps.
I’ve succeeded on my first attempt. Thank you so much!
From the comments, it seems REALLY important to mix well and long after the eggs. It was tempting to skip that because it seemed well mix after a short while.
Thanks Carol for sharing this recipe!
First time trying gf pate a choux (yes I was very scared lol) and let me say this recipe did NOT disappoint! For the Love of God, please follow the recipe; temperatures, HOW to beat in the eggs, how LONG to beat the mixture and the consistency it should look like, cooling and letting steam out properly!!!!) I do not own a mixer so i beat this all by hand, even the whipping cream i filled them with :) My batter was pretty stiff yet perfectly gooey and I scooped them on a baking sheet with an ice cream scoop. I was dead shocked when they puffed up at Least double in size so don’t be heavy handed with the batter as I was tempted to do so ;) They tasted WONDERFUL, just like I remember when I was able to eat gluten! From the bottom of my heart,(and a belly full of half dozen cream puffs) THANK YOU for sharing
Thank YOU for the wonderful comment. I’m glad you enjoyed them!
They look great!! Can I use your flour blend from your cookbook in this recipe??
Yes Brenda, that’s what I use!
oh wow – how wonderful! I have printed this recipe and cant wait to try my hand at using them to make profiteroles!
Thanks Lisa, I am sure it will be wonderful!
Your recipe is great.
You can use a pastry bag to make the choux .It’s more easy
I posted on my blog a recipe for gluten-free Chouquette. I use brown rice flour and the result is also good.
Hi Laurent I am pastry bag challanged so I use ice cream scoops, for me it is easier. If it is easier to use a pastry bag for others then go for it! Eaither way they are lovely.
Carol, I make these whenever I have parties. I just call them puffs. ;-) They are so easy. I don’t even use my KitchenAid. I just use a wooden spoon. They always impress and delight! Great tutorial with wonderful photos, my dear!
Thanks Shirley – I am lazy so I use the mixer :) Yes, they always impress!
Where can I find your flour recipe? Just found out a good friend has siliacs (sp) she said the only thing she would “die for, or kill for before treatment if she were to become poisoned” would be a cream puff! I HAVE to figure out how to make her some! She has always loved my lemon bars, thought I could fill them with the lemon curd I use on my bars.
That’s so sweet of you to make your friend some treats!
Here’s a link to the flour recipe: https://glutenfreeandmore.com/blog/2014/09/carols-gluten-free-flour-blend.html
You can also buy my all-purpose flour blend here: https://glutenfreeandmore.com/carols-all-purpose-flour
Hope your friend enjoys the cream puffs!
Normal choux is easily made with a wooden spoon. This is impossible without a blender (although it climbs the beaters, which is really annoying).
Maybe, I just don’t have the patience to beat with a wooden spoon so I use my mixer. haha
Great minds think alike, I have a post on these planned soon too! When I had to make these at culinary school, we had to do them by hand without the mixer and it was HARD work! Yours look lovely and yummy!
That’s why I didn’t attempt choux for so many years! It just looked like to much work.
wow! those look fantastic.
Thank you Becky!
Wow!!! I will making these for sure!
I cannot wait to make these! I plan to fill mine with lemon custard.
Thanks Melissa – yum! Lemon custard sounds soooo good!
Thanks so much for the recipe and showing us how it’s done, looks so easy! Just in time too, since I was having a craving for cream puffs after looking at my friends homemade gluten-full version :)
Well good, now you can make your own – gluten free!
Carol – I love how your present pate a choux: beautiful, simple, and extremely versatile! I make mine with all sweet rice flour. No gums needed with all of the amylopectin gellatinized in the cooking process. It gets amazingly elastic. This month, for the GFreeRally, I’m hosting pate a choux. Looking forward to all the amazing goodies everyone comes up with. Now I have to figure out what I’m making…. churros y chocolate, hazelnut moussline filled puffs, goat cheese & herbs mousse filled gourgeres,……
Thanks Erin. I often just use sweet rice flour too – it works perfectly well! I can’t wait to see what you all come up with this month. Your comment is making me salivate!
Forever I thought that these were so so complicated. Your tutorial makes it seem that these are so easy! I will totally be making these. What a fun treat! And I love that you use your ice-cream scoop. I, too, am pastry bag challenged, much to the TOTAL chagrin of my mother who seems to be a complete expert at it.
Seriously Kim, I think we are twins seperated at birth – except by many years (me older than you, not the other way).
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Amazing!!!! I am so excited to try these. :)
WOW. That’s all I have to say :-) xoxo
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So easy and the kids loved them. I actually used this to make pigs in a blanket (pre GF – sausage stuck inside croissant dough). The kids have been requesting them so I experimented by making this dough and just sticking the mini sausage inside. It wasn’t quite the same as before, but close enough. My oldest ate 7 of them at one time!
What a great idea! Thanks for sharing.
How do I adjust the gluten free pate a choux for altitude of 6,500 ft.?
Crunchy looking recipe. My daughter is allergic to wheat, milk and egg, can u suggest a substitute for eggs in ur recipes.
Terribly would love to try the recipes in ur website.
For most recipes you can make an egg substitute with 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal or chia seeds stirred into warm water and let sit for 5 minutes to gel up. This works fine for most recipes when there are 2 or less eggs. I am not sure how to substitute for this particular recipe.
I realise this is quite an old blog post now but I just wanted to say how amazing this recipe is! My boyfriend has been pestering me for the last year to make gluten free eclairs for him, branching out from my usual sponge cakes and things.
I’ve tried several times but it has never risen, he has happily eaten up my little rock solid sticks of attempted choux but today they have puffed up. In fact, they are HUGE!! I can’t wait to let him try them when he gets in.
I received a lovely new mixer, just like yours in the pictures, for Christmas and I wonder how much the mixing power has helped but I am so impressed!
Whay a good boyfriend you have :) YAY – I am so happy for both of you. I think that mixing pwer is certainly part of it – you are incorpoating air into dough so more power = more air!
I also have the same problem, I made 2 batches (using hand muscles) with sweet rice flour with cheese, both times never puffed up, but they were gone in minutes! I use soft cheese, and the batter was kinda watery (compared to wheat flour batter), so I thought the soft cheese is too wet for the batter. I will try with a mixer next time.
Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe!
I have never made this recipe without using the mixer – you really have to beat it well! Better luck next time.
I am new to GF baking. I have had a few successes and a equal number of hilarious failures. I love choux pastry so I am excite to try your recipe with my GF flour blend. I didn’t see any gum added to the recipe. is gum needed?
Hi Alison, I know what you mean! No if you use sweet rice flour, you don’t need to add any gums. If you use an all-purpose gluten free flour blend that has xanthan or guar gum already in it, that’s ok too. Enjoy!
I’m new to the GF world and so far I have used many of your recipes and even subscribed to your magazine which I love! I would love to try this recipe this weekend to practice with but you mentioned that you could make a savory filling for it I believe. Do you have anything in particular? I would love to showcase these at baby shower that I’m hosting in March but I’m looking for something along the savory side because I already have so many sweets planned.
Hi Kimberly, thanks so much for your kind words! I serve this often with Teriyaki Mushroom Pate, I love it! Here’s the link to the recipe.
I can’t believe I made gluten free chocolate and butterscotch eclairs with this recipe…this recipe is now kitchen tested, taste and stomach tested. I will rate this recipe 6/5 stars.. Awesome…
Wow! I wish I was at your house!!! Thanks and I am so happy you liked the recipe.
Would this recipe work with coconut or chick pea flour?
Hi Donna, coconut flour absorbs a whole lot more liquid so I do not recomend it at all. You can probably use chick pea flour. I have not tried it but see no reason it wouldn’t work.
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My spouse and I stumbled over here different website and thought I might check things out.
I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward
to looking over your web page for a second time.
Yay! I’m happy to hear you enjoy it!
Would I be able to replace the regular butter with equal parts dairy-free butter?
If you use the dairy-free buttery sticks then yes, it should work with that. I also have a recipe for dairy-free cream puffs, if you want to take a look at that too: https://glutenfreeandmore.com/blog/2010/01/gluten-free-dairy-free-cream-puffs.html
I just made them today and realized that I should have baked them a little longer. The insides are a little gummy. However, they will be filled with egg salad, so it should not be an issue. As I incorporated the flour into the hot water and butter mixture, I noticed that the butter would separate out. Is this normal? I only used sweet rice flour. Never saw that with wheat flour. They really flattened out before baking. I beat the heck out of them when I added the eggs one at a time. I will try again and be a little heavier handed with the flour. I may not have measured out enough flour as I went by weight. They are tasty and will make for a different type of sandwich for tomorrow’s potluck lunch.
The butter can separate out, but all you need to do is stir the mixture well with the flour, and the ingredients will come together no problem.
Make sure that you add the eggs one at a time, and fluff the dough enough, best with an electric mixer.
And I’m so glad you like them Claire! :)
Best of luck!!
I’m on a grain free diet with no dairy (I can eat eggs though)… do you think I could make these with coconut oil and a flour made from half coconut flour and half plantain flour? That combo of flours works nicely for flatbreads, muffins, pancakes, and the like.
No unfortunately, coconut flour is not really interchangeable because the quality is so much different than regular all purpose flour. There’s a cookbook called Paleo Patisserie by Jenni Hulet, she has a recipe in there using almond flour, shes kind of perfected the grain free thing, I would check her blog http://urbanposer.blogspot.com/ xo, Carol
My hand mixer had this dough flying all across the room. I am so glad my husband was not in the kitchen to see that! O_o. Even the cat was like, whoa! Anyways they puffed beautifully and I can not wait to try these! Also a stand mixer is now on my wish list.
haha Laura! I’m happy to hear the turned out well. xo, Carol
I have one awesome tip for anyone who tries to make these and -like me- ends up with their puffs trying to hold hands while baking, resulting in blobby-looking patties instead of tidy little puffs: Mini muffin tins. I have had amazing success every time after I started using mini muffin tins. Perfect little puffs every time! You do it just like you would with making cupcakes; don’t fill the tin to or over the top, just a simple little dollop at the bottom of each tin.
These are a beautiful little dessert! I’ve three people in my life who are celiac, so I love having recipes on hand so that I can have something for them when they visit :) There’s SO many things you can do with these, it’s quite exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!
Julie, did you butter the tin or what? I mad a half batch, for the first time, to see how they would turn out. I followed the recipe to the letter and had a thick batter, not dough. Tried baking 2 of them. They flattened right out. They puffed up with baking, sort of like a biscuit, but as they sit in the oven are un-puffing! Your idea seems good, just not sure since the baking sheet was to be lined with parchment paper.
I don’t butter the pan. I use parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Also, it’s really important to take your time when beating those eggs. Flour and humidity could possibly make a difference, too.
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Did anyone test this recipe before it was posted. When I added the flour to the water it was the consistency of white sauce. It never came together even with an additional cup of flour. I ended up using an extra cup of flour and the whisk attachment of my standing mixer and it was still the texture of thin cake batter. Since the oven was hot and the ingredients already wasted, I put them in cupcake papers in a muffin tin. I’ll let you know how that worked out.
Yes every recipe is tested before it gets posted here. In fact the photos in this post show exactly how it was made, step-by-step. What kind of flour did you use? Perhaps that made a difference…
Hi Carole, just made this recipe and they turned out perfect, nice and hollow in the center. I only made half of the batch into puffs and the other half into Tulumbi (Macedonian dessert – frying the puffs dough in oil then dipping them in home made sugar syrup. They turned out almost as good as the original, had a nice hard finish that I couldn’t achieve previous. ) Thanks for the recipe ☺
Wow Biljana! That sounds fabulous! I’m happy you enjoyed them :)
This turns out very well. I sifted my gluten free flour just to make sure it was desert quality. Just follow directions to the dot.
Great recipe, they turned out perfect, thank you
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Just came across a recipe that could be used with the gluten free pate choux over at cinnamon and toast. She has a recipe for Baked Honey Crullers. Her recipe uses a regular pate choux so just using this one should work nicely. Here’s the link http://cinnamonandtoast.com/baked-honey-crullers/
Yes! this worked. The first batch I tried with a different recipe and I didn’t put the eggs in one at a time. Wish I could post a pix of the two. These look beautiful. I did sift the flour like Frankie above.
After years of trying to get a decent GF puff ,this recipe is fantastic.It worked perfectly. I used a commercial GF flour readily available here in Australia. I doubt anyone could tell the difference in this gF one to a wheat flour one they turned out so well.
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I have been reading cream puff recipes all morning and am determined to make some! Your recipe links pretty amazing. I wonder what makes the puff? Some recipes had baking powder…
It’s the steam that makes it puff. Ive never used baking powder in mine.
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First time making, and they turned out great…never thought it would be so easy! Did it with a hand mixer, and the dough kept climbing, so I just held a wooden spoon between the mixer and the…thingies…so, as you can see, I am no professional baker, lol, but wow, these sure impressed everyone!
This is a very good recipe, it worked fine for me. I made the pastry for some eclairs, delicious!
I’m surprised so many people had trouble with this. I used the flour blend from Costco and they puffed up perfectly, no butter seeping or anything laying out flat like other are saying.
I made some savory ones with cheese and filled the rest with whipped cream. Thanks so much for sharing this simple recipe!!!
That’s great Jessica!
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Carol, Thanks for an amazing recipe. I am a very average baker and wanted to try out something simple yet impressive for a house party. And oh boy, did they turn out good!! I had to hold myself back from eating them before my guests arrived.LOL.
That’s wonderful! I’m so glad you enjoyed them :)
Just out the oven & I am amazed at how much ‘puff’ these have, they are light, and airy, now to wait until they cool to make dessert with them. I used a plain flour (White Wings) which is available here in Australia.
What is the mix of gluten-free flour?
I used my own gluten-free flour blend: https://glutenfreeandmore.com/carols-all-purpose-flour but you can use any good-quality gluten-free all-purpose flour blend (that contains xanthan gum).
Can you make a Keto version
Good question. I don’t know of a keto flour that subs in exactly the same as a regular gluten-free flour, but if I ever come up with a keto pate a choux recipe I’ll definitely share it on my blog.
I made this with Bobs red mill 1 to 1 gf baking flour and vegetables shortening (lactose intolerant) and it turned out so good!!! I’ve never made this before lmao
Can you freeze these after baking? If so, for how long?
Yes, they can be frozen for 2 months.
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