Cinnamon Eclairs with Pumpkin Cream

Forgive me diet, for I have sinned.

I was raised Catholic. Which meant at 12 years old, I had to do my first confession. Most kids do it around 8…but I was a little late to the party. So there I am, 4 years older than everyone else in the group, and I am one of the last in line to have my first confession. No big deal. I got this…I mean it can’t be that hard right? If all these little kids can do it, so can I. So I am waiting…and waiting…and waiting. Each kid before me has spent a solid 10 minutes in that little room. So I figure Father Charlie (the priest) must be in there talking to them and what not. I mean…they can’t actually be confessing that whole time.

I get in the room and there are two options. Sit behind the curtain or sit in a chair right across from Father Charlie. So, obviously, I take the curtain. Anonymity rocks. But Father Charlie says, no, no come sit in front of me. And since he obviously has a direct line to God, I do as I am told. He smiles at me and says, begin when you are ready. This is where the problem started.

Me: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

:::cross myself all awkwardly because I don’t quite have it down:::

Father Charlie: Ok, go ahead. What are your confessions?

Me: Ummm, well. Ummm. ::silence::   ::crickets::  ::picking at my hair::   I uhhhhh.

Father Charlie: Don’t be nervous, it’s ok.

Me: Ok. Well, I uhhh.  Umm…..  Last week I punched my sister in the face.


Here’s the thing, I DIDN’T PREPARE ANYTHING. Of course I didn’t really punch my sister in the face, or anywhere else for that matter. I totally blanked on anything to confess…so what did I do? I lied. I lied during confessional. I lied to a priest! It was like…everything bad I had ever done just left my head. Instead all I could think about were his purple robes and how he used to sing a song about Holy Guacamole. He gave me 20 Hail Marys for my “sin” and I did 40 to make up for my lie about my “sin”.

That was almost 12 years ago and I hate to say it, but I am not any better at confessing my sins to a priest, or at owning up to my Lose It! app. At the end of every day, I try my hardest to track everything I ate. But it usually doesn’t go as planned.

Me: Hmm I think I ate like 3 cookies.

Lose it! App: That is 460 calories.

Me: Oh no! I am sure I only ate like 2 cookies.

Lose it! App: Oh ok, that’s 310 calories instead.

Me: Oh ok…that’s a little better. I probably really only ate one cookie, so really it’s even half that. Also I don’t think I ate 600 calories worth of pasta. I’m thinking it was pasta made out of lettuce.


So these past few weeks I have been tracking everything I have eaten right after I eat it. No guessing, no forgetting, and no fudging the numbers. But let me just say, it killed me to add the two, yes TWO, Cinnamon Eclairs with Pumpkin Cream I ate. What’s that saying? A moment on the lips, forever on the hips?

Oh well. Who cares how long they stay on your hips when they taste like this! These Cinnamon Eclairs with Pumpkin Cream were pure breakfast-y heaven. The pumpkin was subtle and delicious…and I loved the addition of cinnamon to each layer. While they take a long time to put together, they sure are worth it in the end!

Cinnamon Eclairs with Pumpkin Cream

Recipe Note: I sized this recipe down a considerable amount from the original source. It originally made 50 eclairs! But for me, this made 12 :-)


Cinnamon Eclair:
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 to 3 eggs

Pumpkin Cream:
1/3 cup whole milk
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
a pinch of ground ginger
a pinch of ground nutmeg
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup pumpkin puree

Chocolate Glaze:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 tablespoon corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of cinnamon
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup powdered sugar


Cinnamon Eclair:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the whole milk, water, butter, salt, sugar, and cinnamon in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add the flour, stirring to combine. Return the pan to the heat and continue to stir. Cook until the dough leaves a film on the bottom of the pan.

Put dough in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on low until cooled to 280 degrees F, or until the bowl is no longer hot to the touch. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition and scraping down the bowl as necessary. Add enough eggs to make the dough come away from the sides of the bowl in ribbons (but the dough will not clear the bowl), and the dough looks shiny but not too wet. Use immediately, piping onto the prepared baking sheet with a pastry bag fitted with a round tip.

Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees for another 10 minutes (do not open the oven during this time). Then bake for an additional 15 minutes, reducing the heat every few minutes until it reaches 200 degrees. The higher temperatures cause the dough to puff, the lower temperatures dries it out and finishes the baking. After 35 minutes, cut into one eclair. If the inside is still moist, return it to the oven for a few additional minutes.

Pumpkin Cream:
Combine half of 1/3 cup milk, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat it until bubbles begin appearing around the edges, but do not let it come to a boil.

Meanwhile, combine the remaining milk and cornstarch. Whisk together the egg and cornstarch mixture. When the milk and sugar are heated, add it in a steady stream into the egg mixture while whisking constantly. Return to the saucepan and turn heat to medium. Cook, stirring constantly until mixture is thickened. Add the butter and vanilla extract.

Spoon into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, placing the plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Chill completely.

Whip the whipping cream until stiff. Fold the pumpkin puree into the chilled pastry cream, then fold in the whipping cream. Chill until ready to assemble the eclairs.

Chocolate Glaze:

Combine the butter, milk, corn syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon together in a saucepan and heat over medium heat until butter is melted and mixture is combined. Remove from heat and add the chocolate. Stir until chocolate is melted. Add the sugar and stir until smooth.

To assemble the eclairs:

Poke a hole in the side of each eclair with the tip of a squeeze bottle, the tip of a pastry bag tip, or with another sharp tool, such as a skewer. Pipe the pumpkin cream into the eclairs with either a pastry bag fitted with a small tip or a squeeze bottle.

Dip the tops of each eclair into the warm chocolate glaze and put on a wire rack. Let set completely, about 15 minutes.

The eclairs are best served within a few hours of filling, as the pumpkin cream will make the pastry soggy.