Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Éclairs at Fauchon in Paris
Éclairs at Fauchon in Paris
Place of originFrance
Associated cuisineFrench cuisine
Main ingredientsChoux pastry, flavoured cream filling, icing
A classic éclair

An éclair (English: /ɪˈklɛər/ ih-KLAIR[1] or /ˈklɛər/ ay-KLAIR,[2] French: [eklɛːʁ] ; lit.'lightning') is a pastry made with choux dough filled with a cream and topped with a flavored icing. The dough, which is the same as that used for profiterole, is typically piped into an oblong shape with a pastry bag and baked until it is crisp and hollow inside. Once cool, the pastry is filled with custard (crème pâtissière), whipped cream or chiboust cream, then iced with fondant icing.[3] Other fillings include pistachio- and rum-flavoured custard, fruit-flavoured fillings, or chestnut purée. The icing is sometimes caramel, in which case the dessert may be called a bâton de Jacob[4] (lit.'Jacob's staff'). A similar pastry in a round rather than oblong shape is called a religieuse.


Bakers in Belgium using a machine to make éclairs

The word comes from the French éclair, meaning 'flash of lightning', so named because it is eaten quickly (in a flash);[5] however some believe that the name is due to the glistening of the frosting resembling lightning.[6]


The éclair originated during the nineteenth century in Lyon,[7] France where it was called pain à la Duchesse[8] ('Duchess-style bread') or petite duchesse ('little duchess') until 1850.[9] The word is first attested both in English and in French in the 1860s.[10][11]

North America

Dunkin' Donuts markets Long John doughnuts as eclairs in the United States.[12] National Eclair Day is celebrated on June 22 in the U.S.[13]

See also


  1. Oxford Learner's Dictionary. Archived
    from the original on 2014-06-19.
  2. ^ "éclair". Macmillan Dictionary. Archived from the original on 2013-11-30.
  3. ^ (Montagné 1961, p. 365, Éclair)
  4. ^ Éclair Archived 2014-01-04 at the Wayback Machine, Dictionnaire de l'Académie française, 8th edition
  5. ^ "Éclair - Why is It Named After Lightning?". www.lexicolatry.com. Retrieved 1 April 2022.
  6. ^ "Les éclairs : leur histoire et leur fabrication chez MBC". Boulangerie Pâtisserie artisanale (in French). 2021-05-10. Retrieved 2023-02-01.
  7. ^ (Gouffé 1873, p. 288)
  8. ^ (Montagné 1961, p. 357, Duchesses)
  9. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 1861. Petit Larousse, 1863.
  10. ^ (Gouffé 1873, p. 288) "On a changé, depuis une vingtaine d'années, le nom de ces gâteaux [pains à la duchesse] : on les désigne actuellement sous le nom d'éclairs."
  11. ^ "Dunkin Donuts Menu". dunkindonuts.com.
  12. ^ "Eclairs with a twist: Visit these Greater Hartford bakeries on National Eclair Day". Hartford Courant. 22 June 2022.


  • Gouffé, Jules (1873). "Deuxième Partie, Chapitre IX, "Pains à la duchesse au café"". Le livre de pâtisserie.
  • Montagné, Prosper (1961). Larousse Gastronomique, The Encyclopedia of Wine, Food & Cookery (English translation).

External links