Gluten Free Craquelin Cream Puffs (with Dairy-Free Options)

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Walking the streets of France, you’ll no doubt run into a bakery or two that offers cream puffs topped with cracked sugar. That’s exactly what I offer you here, except they’re gluten free, of course. Gluten free craquelin cream puffs are no different than their gluten counterpart. They are a delight. Once you have them, you may never make standard cream puffs again.

Dairy-Free: I haven’t tested the dairy-free version of the craquelin yet, but I beleive what I suggest as a replacement for butter will work. The dairy free cream puffs recipe, however, is tested.

Gluten Free Craquelin Cream Puffs

You can make gluten free craquelins just like professional pastry chefs by following this no-fail pate a choux dough recipe. Learn the key methods and baking times to ensure perfection.

Course Dessert
Cuisine French, Italian
Ingredient Keyword pate a choux
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 24 craquelin cream puffs

Ingredients

For the Craquelin:

  • 1/2 cup packed light/golden brown sugar 100g
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter cubed, at room temperature (85g) (or 5 tbsp coconut oil + 1 tablespoon full-fat coconut milk)
  • 3/4 cup Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour Blend 100g
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

To Make the Craquelin:

  1. In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the sugar and butter using the paddle attachment, (if you have one), on medium speed.
  2. Add the flour blend and beat until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute.
  3. Lay a sheet of parchment paper out about the size of a baking sheet. Flatten the craquilin dough with your hands and cover with another sheet of parchment. Roll out to the thickness of a nickel (.077 inches (1.95 mm). Do not make them any thicker than a nickel or the cream puffs won't rise as much as some craquelin may fall off once baked. Lay the dough along with the parchment sheets on a baking sheet or flat surface and freeze.
    Gluten Free Cracquelin Dough near a Nickel
  4. Decide what you will use to cut the craquelin. Whatever you use, a round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter, it should be between 1 and 1-1/2 inches.

To Make the Cream Puffs:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
  2. While the craquelin freezes, make the cream puff dough.
  3. Pipe the cream puff dough onto the baking sheets the same size the craquelin disks will be. Just realize that the cream puff dough will puff out as well as up. If you pipe out a 1-1/4-inch circle, make it about 1-inch high. You can also pipe the cream puff dough a little smaller than the disks so that the craquelin will also be on the top portion of the sides of the cream puffs once baked, as shown in the featured photo.
    Gluten Free Cream Puff Dough Piped on Silicone Baking Mat
  4. Remove the craquelin from the freezer. Using a 1 to 1-1/2-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter, cut the dough in round disks. Top each cream puff dough with a disk. Bake on the center rack of the oven for 10 minutes.
  5. Lower the oven to 350ºF without opening the oven door. Bake an additional 20 minutes. Lower the heat to 200ºF and bake an additional 10 minutes. If making 1-inch cream puffs, remove them from the oven. If making 1-1/2-inch cream puffs, turn the oven off and allow them to rest in the oven for an additional 10 minutes. Once done, remove them from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
    Gluten Free Craquelin Cream Puff
  6. Slice the top one-third off of each cream puff and fill with sweetened whipped cream, pastry cream, or a combination of the two. Add the lids and serve immediately. Do not fill in advance or they can become soggy.
    Gluten Free Craquelin Topped Cream Puffs

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