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Vol Au Vent Pastry Shells

These rough puff pastry shells are hollow and perfect for stuffing with any sweet or savory filling you want to make. Be aware, you need to have frozen butter so if you don't have any in the freezer, toss some in now!
Empty vol au vent shells on a baking sheet and parchment.

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Vol Au Vent Pastry Shells are the means to hold delicious fillings, savory OR sweet. Charm your family with this old-fashioned pastry bake, stuffed with their favorite filling. They’ll travel back to the 70s with you while enjoying these pastries.

Vol au Vent shells are just Homemade Rough Puff Pastry cases that look a little like a volcano. The cases consist of one flat disk of homemade rough puff, and two more disks on top but with the center cut out.

Finished vol au vent shell with a sweet filling, whipped cream, and a blueberry on top.

They’re held together with an egg wash made of egg and cream. That egg wash is also brushed on top of the upper ring of the Vol au Vent shell to give it a brown sheen. As the shells bake they rise up to form a round hollow case to hold fillings. Vol au Vent means windblown, referring to the lightness of the pastry.

Typically the shells are filled with a savory filling but you can use a sweet filling too. But these cases are neither sweet nor savory they’re just puff pastry flavored.

A cooling rack full of vol au vents filled with blueberry filling.


Pastry Week always panics bakers, and I understand that! This bake left me sleepless for at least one night. I was worried the pastry would slip and slide, which it did for many bakers in the episode.

Empty vol au vent shells on a baking sheet and parchment.

I’d like to say that I know WHY mine didn’t slide everywhere but I’m not 100% sure. I think it’s because I used an egg wash to hold them together and I chilled them right before baking.

Baked vol au vent shells.

Bakes for Pastry Week

  • Signature Bake: Sweet Vol au Vent
  • Technical Bake: Fried Spring Rolls
  • Showstopper Bake: 3D Pastry Scene

I’ve NEVER heard of a sweet, not savory, Vol au Vent before, have you? For some reason, the only ones I’d ever seen were IN cookbooks and full of something akin to a chicken pot pie filling. Or something close to it.

a sweet pastry case with blueberry jam, whipped cream, and a blueberry cut in half.

Sweet Vol au Vents intrigued me, and I HAD to make them. Mostly I just love making rough puff pastry. And I relished the thought of making it again. Also, I REALLY want to spell that RUFF PUFF, not rough puff.

Flaky layers inside a vol au vent.

Things you will need:

  • all-purpose flour
  • butter-some of the butter needs to be frozen the rest can just be cold butter
  • salt
  • water
  • egg
  • milk or cream
  • medium bowl
  • plastic wrap, beeswax wrap, foil, plastic bag
  • baking sheets
  • parchment paper

Any time you work with pastry

KEEP IT COLD. Don’t use warm butter. Don’t overwork it in a warm room or next to a hot oven or stove. When in doubt CHILL IT.

To Store Leftovers

Store cooled unfilled shells in an airtight container. Do not fill the Vol au Vents and then try to store for serving, the filling will melt your pastry shell.

Empty vol au vent shells on a baking sheet and parchment.

Vol au Vent

Published by Laura
These rough puff pastry shells are hollow and perfect for stuffing with any sweet or savory filling you want to make. Be aware, you need to have frozen butter so if you don't have any in the freezer, toss some in now!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 3 hrs
Cook Time 17 mins
Course Bread
Cuisine French
Servings 12 shells
Calories 339 kcal


Vol au Vent Shells

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3/4 cup butter Half of the butter should be frozen, the OTHER half should be straight out of the fridge
  • 9 TBSP cold water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TBSP cream or use milk

Bluberry Filing

  • 3/4 cup blueberry jam I used homemade low sugar jam, use what you have and love
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 TBSP granulated sugar
  • 2 TBSP graham cracker crumbs
  • 12 blueberries


  • mix the flour and salt together
  • cut the cold butter into pieces and work into the flour until its crumbly, use two knives or a pastry blender, or your hands
  • add enough of the water to the flour mix and stir to form a dough, if its still dry you can add more water, you don't want a dry dough
  • once a dough forms knead it lightly in the bowl and then transfer it to the counter
  • pat it out in a rectangle and then roll it out to 12×6 inches with the short end towards you
  • grate the frozen butter directly onto the bottom 2/3s of the dough
  • fold the top third down over the butter, then fold the bottom third up as well, see diagram
  • rotate 90° roll out to 12×6 inch rectangle again, fold the same way
  • cover tightly and refrigerate for 20 minutes
  • remove from the fridge, and put the short end towards you, roll out to 12×6 inch rectangle, fold the same as above and rotate 90°
  • roll out to a 12×6 inch rectangle again, fold again
  • wrap the dough back up and refrigerate
  • repeat the rolling and rotating one more time and the dough is done
  • to make the shells: roll the cold dough out to roughly 18×14 inches, cut 36 circles out of the dough
    Cutting rough puff pastry dough to make vol au vent shells.
  • lay 12 of them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper
  • cut the middles out of 24 of the circles
  • make an egg wash out of the egg and cream, use your finger to put a circle of egg wash on the flat full circle of dough, lay one ring on top, add egg wash, lay final ring on top, add egg wash, be careful not to get egg wash on the sides of the vol au vent shell, that can make it bake up uneven!
    Egg washed rough puff shells going in the oven.
  • when all the shells are assembled refrigerate for 20 minutes
  • preheat the oven to 425°while the shells cool
  • bake the vol au vent shells for 15-19 minutes or until the shells are baked, the bottoms are crispy and they are lightly browned all over
  • cool completely on a wire rack
  • if any of the shells have risen inside the rings pick that out or poke it back down
  • TO SERVE fill with your desired filling, or use my blueberry filling idea, add a TBSP of jam to the shells, make the heavy cream into whipped cream and pipe into the tops of the vol au vent shells add a blueberry and sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs


Serving: 1shellCalories: 339kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 4gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 118mgPotassium: 70mgFiber: 1gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 647IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 26mgIron: 1mg
Keyword GBBO, rough puff pastry
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
laura sampson

About Laura

Laura is on a mission to teach modern family oriented women how to make old-fashioned foods new again. A wife and mom of 3 boys, Laura understands the struggles of trying to serve a home-cooked meal each night. She provides recipes and cooking hacks for busy moms to create dishes they may think take more time or skill than they have to make. Read more...

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