Gluten Free Pate Choux Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on May 17, 2011

Gluten Free Pate Choux

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 basics, recipes that can be mastered and used in a variety of ways.  Pate 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 or even just sweet rice flour (also known as glutinous rice flour).

Dairy free? No problem, here is a  recipe for gluten and dairy free cream puffs. The basics for the dough are the same.

Gluten Free Pate Choux
Get all the ingredients gathered up; flour, water, eggs, butter and salt.

Crack the eggs into a measuring cup or spouted pitcher.

Gluten Free Pate Choux
Heat the water, butter and salt in a heavy saucepan until it comes to a simmer.

Gluten Free Pate Choux
As soon as the butter and water mixture comes to a simmer, dump in the flour all at once.

Gluten Free Pate Choux

Stir vigorously.

Gluten Free Pate Choux

Keep stirring over the heat until the ingredients come together in a thick dough, it will take about a minute or two.

Gluten Free Pate Choux

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.

Gluten Free Pate Choux

Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next.

Gluten Free Pate Choux

Mix on medium-high speed until the mixture becomes a thick, sticky cohesive dough, two to three minutes after the last egg is added.

Gluten Free Pate Choux

Like this.

Gluten Free Pate Choux

Line baking sheets with silicon 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.

Gluten Free Pate Choux

Dip the ice cream scoop in water and scoop out the dough spacing about 1 inch or so apart.

Gluten Free Pate Choux

Bake in a pre-heated oven (425 degrees) for 20 – 25 minutes depending on the size.  They shoud 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.

Gluten Free Pate Choux

Pierce the side of each puff with a sharp knife to let any steam out.  Let cool on a wire rack.

Gluten Free Pate Choux

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 Choux

Gluten Free Pate Choux Recipe


1 cup water
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
1 pinch kosher or fine sea salt
1 cup pastry quality gluten-free flour or sweet rice flour
4 large eggs


Assemble ingredient before starting. Break the eggs into a liquid measuring cup or spouted pitcher. Preheat oven to 425 degree. Line 2 baking sheets with silicon 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.

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes depending on the size, until the dough has risen and is golden brown. 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.


This gluten free recipe makes 24 cream puffs, one inch.

Ready for dessert?

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“I can now have recipes I know I can count on for every Dessert and Breakfast occasion! I’m thrilled!” – A. M.

“I am amazed! This recipe is BETTER than the ‘regular-with-gluten’ recipe! Thanks so much, Carol” – V. P.

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  • Jenn

    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!

    • Carol Kicinski

      Thanks Jenn! Good luck :)

      • Jenn

        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 :)

        • Carol Kicinski

          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?

        • Cheryl

          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.

  • Brenda Gutierrez

    They look great!! Can I use your flour blend from your cookbook in this recipe??

    • Carol Kicinski

      Yes Brenda, that’s what I use!

  • Lisa

    oh wow – how wonderful! I have printed this recipe and cant wait to try my hand at using them to make profiteroles!

    • Carol Kicinski

      Thanks Lisa, I am sure it will be wonderful!

  • laurent – recette sans gluten

    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.

    • Carol Kicinski

      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.

  • Shirley @ gfe

    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!


    • Carol Kicinski

      Thanks Shirley – I am lazy so I use the mixer :) Yes, they always impress!

  • InTolerantChef

    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!

    • Carol Kicinski

      That’s why I didn’t attempt choux for so many years! It just looked like to much work.

  • Becky @ The Mixing Bowl Diary

    wow! those look fantastic.

    • Carol Kicinski

      Thank you Becky!

  • CassidyS

    Wow!!! I will making these for sure!

    • Carol Kicinski

      Thanks Cassidy!

  • Melissa

    I cannot wait to make these! I plan to fill mine with lemon custard.

    • Carol Kicinski

      Thanks Melissa – yum! Lemon custard sounds soooo good!

  • Stephanie Mckenzie

    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 :)

    • Carol Kicinski

      Well good, now you can make your own – gluten free!

  • Erin Swing

    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,……

    • Carol Kicinski

      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!

  • Kim (Cook It Allergy Free)

    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.

    • Carol Kicinski

      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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  • Tressa @ Hecka-Good Recipes

    Amazing!!!! I am so excited to try these. :)

  • kelly

    WOW. That’s all I have to say :-) xoxo

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  • Elaine

    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!

    • Carol Kicinski

      What a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

  • Barbara Estabrooks

    How do I adjust the gluten free pate a choux for altitude of 6,500 ft.?

  • Kavitha

    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.

    • Carol Kicinski

      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.

  • Jenny

    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!

    • Carol Kicinski

      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!

    • Shannon Lim

      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!

      • CarolKicinski

        I have never made this recipe without using the mixer – you really have to beat it well! Better luck next time.

  • Alison

    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?

    • Carol Kicinski

      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!

  • Kimbelry

    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.


    • Carol Kicinski

      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.

  • Lisamarie

    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…

    • Carol Kicinski

      Wow! I wish I was at your house!!! Thanks and I am so happy you liked the recipe.

  • Donna

    Would this recipe work with coconut or chick pea flour?

    • Carol Kicinski

      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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