Vol-au-vents are an impressive party snack to serve when you have guests. Here’s how to make the easiest vol-au-vent cases from shop-bought puff pastry. Make a batch today and pack them with your favourite fillings for a quick and easy party canape!
There is a good reason why vol-au-vents were so popular back in the 70s. It is simply because they were so quick to prepare and taste so delicious to eat. Who doesn’t love a crispy, melt-in-the mouth puff pastry case packed with mouth-watering fillings of savoury goodness.
It’s a pity that these tasty morsels seem to have gone out of fashion, because they are one of the easiest snacks to make and serve. Let me show you how to make your own homemade vol-au-vent cases from shop-bought puff pastry. I’ve got ideas for loads of delicious fillings too so that you can impress your Christmas guests with plates of tasty snacks.
Ingredients for vol-au-vent cases
Whenever I read a recipe I like to have a look at the ingredients to see whether I have everything I need. To make it easy for you – I’ve listed the ingredients below. You can get the full list of ingredients and quantities in the printable recipe card further down in the post.
This has got to be the shortest shopping list ever!
- Puff pastry – you can buy ready-rolled puff pastry, or you can buy it in a block that you have to roll yourself.
That’s it. That is all you need to make vol-au-vent cases.
How to make vol-au-vent cases
- Place your puff pastry on a floured board. Using a rolling pin, roll it out into a rectangular shape, roughly 24cm x 36 cm. If you have ready-rolled pastry, you can just unroll it.
- Cut the pastry into equal-sized squares. Make an even number of squares. You will need 2 squares for each vol-au-vent.
- Take half of your squares and cut another square on the inside. Leave a rim around the edge. This will form the sides of your vol-au-vent as it cooks.
- Mix the egg with a little water or milk to form an egg wash. Brush the edges of the UNCUT squares with it.
- Take the squares with the cut in the centre and arrange them on top of the uncut squares. You will now have squares of pastry with 2 layers each.
- Brush these with egg wash, but be careful not to get it on the sides otherwise your vol-au-vents will not rise properly.
- Pre-heat the oven to 190C/375F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment or baking paper and arrange the squares on it.
- Place in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes until well-risen and golden.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
- Carefully remove the centre of each vol-au-vent and reserve to place on top of the filled vol-au-vent.
- Allow to cool and then fill with your favourite filling.
Your questions answered
How large should I make the vol-au-vents
How large you make them is entirely up to you. As you will see from the pictures in this post, the ones I made are quite large and are the ideal size to serve as a starter.
You can make much smaller ones for serving as canapes. Just cut your squares to the size you want.
Can I make different shapes?
Yes, you could use a scone cutter to make circular shapes. Use two sizes, one larger one to cut the initial circles, and a smaller one to cut the inner circles.
Can I freeze these?
You can freeze the vol-au-vents either cooked or uncooked.
To freeze uncooked vol-au-vents – assemble the vol-au-vents and then freeze them on the baking sheet until they are hard. Transfer to a plastic bag and store in the freezer until you are ready to use them. To use, place the frozen vol-au-vents on a parchment-lined baking tray and let them defrost. Bake as per recipe instructions
To freeze cooked vol-au-vents – place the cooked vol-au-vents in a rigid container and place in the freezer. To use, remove from the freezer and allow to defrost. Then place in a hot oven for a few minutes to warm and crisp. Fill the warm vol-au-vents with your favourite filling and enjoy.
Can I make these in advance?
Do not fill the vol-au-vents too far in advance of serving as they will absorb moisture from the filling and will go soggy.
Instead keep the cooked vol-au-vents and the filling separate until just before you want to eat them, then fill and serve immediately.
Ideas for fillings
There are so many yummy fillings you could put in these vol-au-vents. You are limited only by your imagination.
Here are some savoury ideas to get your started.
- chicken and mushrooms in a creamy sauce
- chopped hardboiled eggs and ham mixed with mayonaise
- cream cheese and smoked salmon topped with chives
- shredded beef mixed with horseradish
- prawn mayonaise
- coronation chicken
- chopped cherry tomatoes and black olives mixed with cream cheese
If you wanted to make sweet vol-au-vents then try these
- Cream mixed with chopped strawberries or other fruit
- Chopped bananas mixed with custard
- Chocolate mousse topped with a glace cherry
- Homemade orange curd and mandarin oranges
Convert your recipes
To help you convert your recipes, I have created a handy Cookery Conversion Calculator which will convert ingredients between grams, ounces, tablespoons, cups and millilitres. I hope you will find it useful.
If you live at a high altitude you may find you need to adjust your baking recipes to compensate for this. You can read about how to do this in this post on baking at high altitudes.
This recipe was number 4 on my top 10 recipes for December 2019.
Recipe – Homemade vol-au-vents
- Rolling Pin
- Sharp Knife
- Pastry brush
- Baking tray
- Baking parchment
- 1 roll frozen puff pastry defrosted
- 1 small egg
- 1 Tablespoon milk or water
- Allow the puff pastry to defrost.
- Preheat oven to 190°C / 375°F
- Unroll the puff pastry. If using a block rather than a sheet, roll it into a rectangle, roughly 24cm x 36cm
- Cut the puff pastry into equal squares.
- Take half of the pastry squares and cut a smaller square from the centre of each one. Leave the cutout piece in place.
- Beat the egg lightly with the milk or water to form an eggwash and brush the edges of the uncut squares with the eggwash.
- Place each of the squares with the cutout on top of the eggwashed squares
- Place each vol-au-vent on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and eggwash the top of each one.
- Place the baking tray in the oven and bake for approximately 15 to 20 minutes until well risen and golden
- Remove from the oven and switch off the oven.
- Allow to cool then carefully cut out the centre square from each vol-au-vent. Set aside for using as a topping when you fill the vol-au-vents
- Fill with your favourite fillings and serve.
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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