Entertaining - Parties and Events

How to Make an Awesome Croquembouche

When I was planning my son’s baptism celebration in 2021, I asked my twin sister what she thought I should serve our guests. My twin sister, a huge fan of Master Chef, recommended I make a classic croquembouche to wow everyone!

I had no clue what a croquembouche was but was definitely interested in the idea because it sounded super fancy.

I did a little research and discovered that croquembouche means “crunches in the mouth” in French. The dessert consists of choux pastries piled high with caramel to form a lovely cone. This dessert is commonly served in Italy and France to celebrate weddings, first communions and baptisms. Perfect for my son’s baptism party!

But there was one problem… I was not a French pastry chef last time I checked! Making the classic croquembouche involved baking the choux pastries themselves, filling them with custard, and binding the pastries together with homemade caramel to form a cone. All with no base underneath!

Now I understood why this dessert was made on the show Master Chef! That Gordon Ramsay really knows how to challenge his contestants!

There had to be an easier way to make this decadent dessert. I did some research and found the cheater way to do this is to use a Styrofoam cone as the base and replace the choux pastries with donut holes! It was very encouraging to find this out. I was up for the challenge!

For my son’s baptism, I tested out this method and it worked like a charm! I created a darling croquembouche and the guests went nuts for it! It looked uber fancy and it was super easy to build.

Because the croquembouche turned out to be rather easy to construct and a hit among guests, I made two more that summer for my nephew’s 13th Birthday. They were super fitting for the Donut Grow Up party theme.

If you want to create a masterpiece like this for an upcoming event, all you need are the following items:

  1. Donut holes – Three 14 oz boxes/approximately 85-90 donuts
  2. Styrofoam Cone (4.8 inch X 11.9 inch) – https://amzn.to/3POxS2E
  3. Round Wooden Toothpicks
  4. Cake Stand or Platter
  5. Garnishes/Fresh Flowers – optional
  6. 8 inch Paper doily – optional – https://amzn.to/49tw6ea

How to Construct:

  • Starting from the bottom, poke toothpicks into the cone and add a donut hole one by one. The key is to keep the donut holes tight together and minimize the space in between to avoid seeing the Styrofoam. Also work to avoid having the end of the toothpick poke out of the donut holes. The idea is to make it appear as if there is no base underneath. Think Master Chef!
  • Work in a circular pattern around the cone in an upward direction to cover the cone completely with the delicious donut holes. Make your way up until the Styrofoam is disguised as much as possible. Once the base is covered, place a donut hole at the top or peak of the cone. Now you will see a lovely tower has been formed.
  • Garnish – If you can still see some open areas that is not a problem. We used fresh flower stems to not only enhance the tower’s beauty, but to also cover up the spaces where you could still see the Styrofoam. This step is optional but can be a lifesaver if see a lot of gaps. The garnish can really up the ante here. The flowers worked like a charm and made the croquembouche appear to be something served at the Palace of Versailles. Magnifique!
  • Lastly, place the beautiful croquembouche on a cake stand or platter on top of a paper doily. Stand back and admire your work! What you accomplished is truly amazing! Be sure to take pictures of your masterpiece before people start digging in! Have a blast and make memories.


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