White Chocolate Dipped Croquembouche Filled with Eggnog Pastry Cream

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Let’s celebrate the Christmas season with this stunning White Chocolate Dipped Croquembouche Filled with Eggnog Pastry Cream! Trust me, this croquembouche will be the talk of the party. Homemade choux pastry that’s only a handful of pantry staple ingredients, filled with a luscious eggnog pastry cream, and finished with melted white chocolate to give every bite an extra touch of sweetness! It’s not only simply stunning to look at, but it’s absolutely delicious to eat and so much easier to make than you might think. Serve as a gorgeous dessert this Christmas or at a party anytime this holiday season. It’s sure to be something everyone will love!

croquembouche on marble cake tray with flowers around, a stack of plates behind, glass of eggnog, and two gold ornaments hanging to the right.

About The Recipe

Even though we’re only just a little over a week into December, my mom and I have been having SO much fun planning and making recipes for the blog. This time of year is ALWAYS my favorite, especially when it comes to baking/cooking.

This year, we decided to do things a little differently than we have in the past. We wanted to tackle recipes that we’ve been wanting to make for YEARS, but always told ourselves we’d make them another time.

One of the first things on that a list? A croquembouche!

A croquembouche has been something my mom and I have wanted to make for as long as I can remember. Though, it just always seemed like such a daunting task that we never got around to it…until now!

We’ve been talking about this recipe for about a month now. Admittedly, it took us a while to really figure out what it is we wanted to do.

Originally, we were going to make this recipe a little bit more traditional, but the more we talked about it…the more we just wanted to have fun and make something a little bit easier with a fun flavor in the middle!

Which is how we landed on eggnog pastry cream (custard) filled cream puffs that are dipped in white chocolate rather than caramel.

Though, the first time attempting this recipe didn’t exactly go as planned…

angled photo of croquembouche with white flowers aorund, bowl of white sprinkles, glass of milk, and stack of plates behind.

The form we originally bought for this recipe was about 18 inches tall. And, admittedly, everything was going really well!

While I was building, I ran out of choux pastry and had to make more. I piped and filled more than 150+ choux buns the other day (and my hand is still aching from it!).

It was…a lot. But, I built it! The croquembouche was almost 2 feet tall and absolutely gorgeous…until I placed the last two choux buns on top.

One back row fell. I quickly built it back, but it fell again. And again. Then, the left side fell off entirely. Then, the front. It was eight hours worth of work that day and all I had was an eight pound pile of cream puffs splayed out all over the counter.

Lesson learned. No 2 foot tall croquembouches built with white chocolate!

cropped close up of croquembouche with two gold ornaments behind and small glass of eggnog.

So, here we are. My mom and I went out and bought a new form the other day. This time, it’s only 9 inches tall! We started again and, admittedly, this time was SO much easier.

Less weight + not having to stop and make choux pastry and pastry cream = a perfect croquembouche that’s not only a more manageable size, but still very impressive and just as delicious!

At the last minute, I decided to decorate each layer with white sprinkles as I was going up to really give this the look of a Christmas tree.

It was SO much fun to assemble, as well as make, and I was completely through with this croquembouche in a little less than 4 hours, which was a drastic (and welcome) change from the 8+ hours the other day!

So, if you’re in need of an impressive dessert this Christmas, you simply GOTTA have this Eggnog Croquembouche!

What is a Croquembouche?

If you’ve made it this far and are still wondering what the heck a croquembouche is, let me explain. Pronounced krow-kuhm-boosh, this French dessert is a cone shaped (or Christmas tree shaped😉) tower of cream puffs (choux pastry filled with a pastry cream or a mousse) that is traditionally held together by caramel.

Ours is a slightly easier take on the classic dessert. Instead of using caramel to hold the dessert together, we opted for white chocolate to compliment the flavor of the eggnog filling, as well as make the dessert quite a bit easier and safer to make!

Why You Will LOVE This Eggnog Croquembouche

  • A show-stopping dessert!
  • Easier to make than you might think.
  • Ready in 4 hours or less.
  • Can be prepped ahead of time, if needed.
  • Unlimited ways to decorate!
  • Perfectly sweet and full of luscious eggnog flavor.
hand taking off the top cream puff from the croquembouche.

Equipment Needed

Ingredients

(Full ingredient amounts and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post)

For The Choux Pastry:

  • All-Purpose Flour – No fancy flour needed here! Just plain all-purpose creates the perfect choux pastry every time.
  • Whole Milk – Use regular whole milk for this recipe.
  • Water – Lukewarm/room temperature water works best!
  • Salt – Just a dash of salt to enhane the flavor.
  • Granulated Sugar – You’ll need a little sugar to lightly sweeten the choux, but also help with the browning!
  • Unsalted Butter – For this recipe, we prefer to use unsalted butter help control the amount of salt going into this recipe.
  • Large Eggs – Be sure to get the eggs out about an hour or so ahead of time to allow them to come to room temperature!
milk, flour, butter, water, salt, sugar, and eggs on marble surface

For The Eggnog Pastry Cream:

  • Egg Yolks – You will need just the egg yolks, as they create a rich and luscious pastry cream. Though, be sure to save the egg whites and make some Chocolate Swirled Meringue Cookies!
  • Cornstarch – Our preferred thickening agent for pastry creams! Though, if plan to freeze the pastry cream, you will need to use all-purpose flour instead.
  • Eggnog – DUH! Instead of cream, we are using eggnog to give this pastry cream flavor. Feel free to make your own with our recipe, or simply use store-bought. Both work really well! If you do use homemade, remember to not put the bourbon in it!
  • Salted Butter – Salted butter is the way to go for this pastry cream, as the little bit of salt helps counter the sweetness from the eggnog.
eggnog, butter, corn starch, and egg yolks on marble surface.

For The Topping:

  • White Chocolate – A high quality white chocolate is a must-have! We love Ghirardelli for this recipe as it melts easily and holds well, which is important as this is the only thing holding the croquembouche together!
  • Coconut Oil – Oil helps the chocolate melt better. If you don’t have or don’t like coconut oil, feel free to use vegetable oil or any neutral flavored oil you have.
white chocolate chips and coconut oil in separate glass bowls on marble surface.

How To Make A Croquembouche

Step 1: Make the choux pastry

Sift the flour and set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine milk, water, salt, sugar, and butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat.

Remove from heat and stir in the flour. Return to the heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture cleans the sides.

Transfer to stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Continue beating until smooth and glossy.

Step 2: Pipe and bake

Spoon the choux pastry into piping bag. Snip end of bag to a ½ inch opening.

choux dough in piping bag on marble surface

Pipe into ½” rounds onto prepared pans, about 26 per pan. Tap down peaks with a wet finger. Bake for 10 minutes. Immediately reduce temperature. Bake 20-25 minutes, until golden brown on the outside and dry in the center. Allow to cool on pans.

Step 3: Make the pastry cream

In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and corn starch until smooth. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat eggnog until bubbly around the edges.

eggnog in large pot on marble surface.

Whisk hot eggnog into egg yolk mixture a little at a time.

Return to saucepan. Cook and stir over medium low heat until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and whisk in the butter.

Let cool slightly before spooning into a piping bag fitted with a #10 tip.

pastry cream in large piping bag on marble surface.

Step 4: Fill Choux Pastry

Poke a small hole in the bottom of each choux pastry. Insert bag tip and pipe in the pastry cream until pastry is filled.

Step 5: Prep for assembly

Cover tree form in parchment paper, using melted white chocolate to stick parchment paper together.

christmas tree form wrapped in parchment paper on marble surface.

Combine white chocolate and coconut oil in a medium bowl. Microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring after each, until chocolate is melted and smooth.

Step 6: Build the croquembouche

Working with one filled pastry at a time, dip the top in melted chocolate. Place beside the form. Continue dipping and placing pastries until you have completed the bottom ring around the tree. Make sure the pastries touch!

Repeat for the next layer, and so on until you reach the top. Place one pastry on the top and let set completely.

built croquembouche on marble surface with white sprinkles decorating tops of choux buns.

FAQ’s and Troubleshooting

How do I know when my choux is the right consistency? After beating in the 6 large eggs, it should be the perfect consistency, but if you want to check, then the best way is to dip your beater blade into the mixture (or a wooden spoon) and pull it up out of the pastry. If you see a “V” form, your choux is perfect!

Why did my pastry deflate? This is the most common issue when it comes to making choux. The main reason this happens? The oven door was opened too early! So, to keep this from happening, be sure to keep the oven door CLOSED until a full 25 minutes has passed.

How to tell when the choux pastry is filled enough? This is always one of the hardest things to judge! The best way to tell by weight. Once the choux begins to feel heavy while you’re piping, it should be enough. If the pastry cream comes pouring back out from the bottom, this means that there was too much pastry cream added.

What do I do if my chocolate starts to harden while I’m assembling? If the chocolate begins to get too thick/harden, no worries! Just place the bowl back in the microwave and reheat at 15 second intervals, stirring in-between each, until smooth and melted again. Do this as many times as you need to!

Should I take the form out? Since this recipe is built with only white chocolate, it’s best to keep the form inside the croquembouche, as the white chocolate is not as strong as caramel. You

How do I move my croquembouche once it’s built? If you need to move the croquembouche to a serving tray or cake plate, do so very carefully! I used a large cake lifter/spatula to help me move it.

croquembouche off-center with two gold ornaments behind and stack of plates.

Decorating Ideas

Once the croquembouche is built, you can really decorate it however you wish! I used white assorted sprinkles as I was building and while the white chocolate was still wet. Though, here are a few ideas you can do to make this croquembouche extra special!

  • While the white chocolate is still wet on each layer, add decorative sprinkles or edible glitter!
  • Make mini gingerbread cookies or small sugar cookies cut like stars or snowflakes to attach to the croquembouche after assembling
  • Decorate with dried citrus slices or whole spices like star anise.
  • Tuck in sugared cranberries or sugared rosemary for an extra snow-y vibe.

How To Store

Once the croquembouche is assembled, it can be kept, uncovered, in the fridge for a few hours. Though, admittedly, the best way to store this is disassembling and placing in an airtight container or bag and keeping the cream puffs in the fridge for about 2 days.

Though, you can prep this recipe ahead of time! The choux pastry can be made in advance and kept in the fridge for 1-2 days, if uncooked. If the choux is already baked, then you can keep it in an airtight container and in the fridge for up to 5 days. Though, the best way to keep the baked choux is definitely in the freezer! It’ll last up to 3 months.

The pastry cream can also be made in advance and kept in the fridge for 3-5 days.

Looking for more recipes like this? Here are a few you may like: Chocolate Mousse Filled Cream Puffs, Chocolate Fudge, White Christmas Cake, Eggnog Chai Tea Cookies

croquembouche on marble cake plate with gold ornaments and fairy lights hanging behind. A stack of plates, a glass of eggnog, and small white flowers around on marble surface.

Expert Tips

  • If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can mix the eggs in by hand for the choux pastry, but it will take longer and be more difficult.
  • A paddle attachment is the same thing as flat beater or K beater.
  • To check if your choux is the right consistent, lift the beater and see if the batter forms a V when falling off. If it’s too liquid-y, do NOT add more flour. You will need to start over. If the batter is too thick, you may need to add another egg.
  • You can use a zip top bag instead of a piping bag to pipe the choux.
  • Don’t skip tapping down the tops of the choux pastry! This is very important.
  • While the choux is baking, do NOT open the oven door until the end of the total baking time.
  • Use a sharp knife or the end of a thermometer to poke holes into the bottom of each baked choux pastry.
  • When making the pastry cream, make sure the egg yolk and corn starch mixture is smooth and liquid-y consistency. You don’t want it lumpy!
  • Make sure you whisk in the butter while the mixture is still hot! The butter needs to melt and be mixed in thoroughly.
  • Don’t skip straining the pastry cream! You don’t want to bite into a little bit of cooked egg!
  • When filling the choux, you should feel it begin to become heavy. Once you feel a little bit of weight, the choux should be properly filled and can be dipped.
  • When assembling the croquembouche, try and make sure each cream puff is roughly the same size! This helps keep it level and more sturdy.
  • Do not build the croquembouche higher than 9-10 inches tall. Any taller and it may become too heavy and collapse.

When you make this White Chocolate Dipped Croquembouche Filled with Eggnog Pastry Cream, leave a comment down below! We love hearing from you and answering any questions you might have! Also, be sure to tag us on social media and hashtag it #BakersTable.

croquembouche on marble cake tray with flowers around, a stack of plates behind, glass of eggnog, and two gold ornaments hanging to the right.

White Chocolate Dipped Croquembouche Filled with Eggnog Pastry Cream

Traci
This oh so pretty White Chocolate Dipped Croquembouche Filled with Eggnog Pastry Cream is the show-stopping dessert you NEED to have this holiday season! So much easier to make than you think, ready in 4 hours or LESS, and truly so delicious.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 4 hrs
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Servings 45
Calories 143 kcal

Ingredients
 

Choux

  • cups all purpose flour, sifted
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1⅛ teaspoons salt
  • 1⅞ teaspoons granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature

Eggnog Pastry Cream

  • 11 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • Tablespoons corn starch
  • cups eggnog
  • 7 Tablespoons salted butter, room temperature

To Finish

  • 2 cups white chocolate
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil

Instructions

Choux

  • Heat oven to 375 °F.
  • Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Sift flour. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine milk, water, salt, sugar, and butter.
  • Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour.
  • Return to heat.
  • Cook, stirring continuously, until mixture cleans the sides of the pot, about 1 minute.
  • Transfer to stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment.
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  • Continue beating until smooth and glossy.
  • Spoon into piping bag.
  • Snip end of bag to a ½" opening.
  • Pipe into ½" rounds onto prepared pans, about 26 per pan.
  • Tap down peaks with a wet finger.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Immediately reduce temperature to 350 °F. (Do NOT open oven door.)
  • Bake 20-25 minutes, until golden brown on the outside and dry in the center.
  • Allow to cool on pans.

Eggnog Pastry Cream

  • In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and corn starch until smooth. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat eggnog until bubbly around the edges.
  • Whisk hot eggnog into egg yolk mixture a little at a time.
  • Return to saucepan.
  • Cook and stir over medium low heat until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Whisk in butter.
  • Let cool slightly.
  • Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a #10 tip.
  • Poke a small hole in the bottom of each choux pastry.
  • Insert bag tip.
  • Pipe to fill.

To Finish

  • Cover form in parchment paper, using melted white chocolate to stick parchment paper together.
  • Place a sheet of parchment paper underneath form.
  • Combine white chocolate and coconut oil in a medium bowl.
  • Microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring after each, until chocolate is melted and smooth.

Putting It Together

  • Working with one filled pastry at a time, dip the top in melted chocolate.
  • Place beside form.
  • Continue dipping and placing pastries until you have completed the bottom ring around the tree. Make sure the pastries touch!
  • Repeat for the next layer, and so on until you reach the top.
  • Place one pastry on top and let set.

Notes

  • If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can mix the eggs in by hand for the choux pastry, but it will take longer and be more difficult.
  • A paddle attachment is the same thing as flat beater or K beater.
  • To check if your choux is the right consistent, lift the beater and see if the batter forms a V when falling off. If it’s too liquid-y, do NOT add more flour. You will need to start over. If the batter is too thick, you may need to add another egg.
  • You can use a zip top bag instead of a piping bag to pipe the choux.
  • Don’t skip tapping down the tops of the choux pastry! This is very important.
  • While the choux is baking, do NOT open the oven door until the end of the total baking time.
  • Use a sharp knife or the end of a thermometer to poke holes into the bottom of each baked choux pastry.
  • When making the pastry cream, make sure the egg yolk and corn starch mixture is smooth and liquid-y consistency. You don’t want it lumpy!
  • Make sure you whisk in the butter while the mixture is still hot! The butter needs to melt and be mixed in thoroughly.
  • Don’t skip straining the pastry cream! You don’t want to bite into a little bit of cooked egg!
  • When filling the choux, you should feel it begin to become heavy. Once you feel a little bit of weight, the choux should be properly filled and can be dipped.
  • When assembling the croquembouche, try and make sure each cream puff is roughly the same size! This helps keep it level and more sturdy.
  • Do not build the croquembouche higher than 9-10 inches tall. Any taller and it may become too heavy and collapse.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pastryCalories: 143kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 3gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 102mgPotassium: 75mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 294IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 54mgIron: 0.5mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

When you make this recipe, remember to tag @bakerstble or hashtag it #BakersTable!

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