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Gougères (French Cheese Puffs)

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Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs)

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Oh so French, gougères are savory cheese puffs made from pâte à choux, or cream-puff dough, with a generous amount of cheese folded in.  Slightly warm with a crisp shell and a cheesy, pillowy interior, they are the perfect little bite to pop in your mouth between sips of sparkling wine or cocktails. This packed-with-flavor version comes from one of my favorite new cookbooks of the season, Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan. Dorie, who lives part time in Paris, writes that gougères have been her signature nibble for guests for 20 years: “It’s a testament to their goodness that I’m still crazy about them after all the thousands — truly, thousands of them — that I’ve baked.”

Since gougères are best served warm from the oven, Dorie suggests keeping the scooped dough in the freezer, ready to bake. You can slide them into the oven straight from the freezer before your guests arrive; just allow a few extra minutes in the oven.

how to make gougeresTo begin, bring the milk, butter, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat.

how to make gougeres

Add the flour all at once. how to make gougeres

Lower the heat to medium and, using a wooden spoon, immediately start stirring energetically.

how to make gougeres

The dough will form into a ball and there will be a light film on the bottom of the pan. Keep stirring for another two minutes or so to dry the dough: Dry dough will make puffier puffs.

how to make gougeres

Turn the dough out into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or work by hand in a large bowl with a wooden spoon and elbow grease).

how to make gougeres

Let the dough sit for a minute, then add the eggs one by one, followed by the white, beating on medium speed until each one is incorporated before adding the next.

how to make gougeres

The dough may look as though it’s separating or falling apart — just keep going, and by the time the egg white goes in, the dough will be beautiful.

how to make gougeres

Beat in the mustard, then add the cheese. how to make gougeres

Mix to combine.

how to make gougeres

Give the dough a last mix-through by hand, then scoop or spoon out heaping tablespoon-sized balls of dough (I use a 1.5-tablespoon cookie scoop), and drop the dough on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between the mounds. (The scooped dough can be frozen on the baking sheets.)

how to make gougeres

Slide the baking sheets into the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 375°F. Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate thepans from front to back and top to bottom. Continue baking until the gougères are puffed, golden, and firm enough to pick up, another 15 to 17 minutes.

how to make gougeres

Serve immediately — these are best directly from the oven.

Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs)

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My Recipe Videos

Gougères (French Cheese Puffs)

Servings: 28 to 30
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 50 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup low-fat milk (or 1/2 cup whole milk + 1/2 cup water)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg white, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups coarsely grated cheese, such as Comté, Gruyère and/or sharp cheddar

Instructions

  1. Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat it to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Bring the milk, butter, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the flour all at once, lower the heat to medium and, using a wooden spoon, immediately start stirring energetically. The dough will form into a ball and there will be a light film on the bottom of the pan. Keep stirring for another two minutes or so to dry the dough: Dry dough will make puffier puffs.
  3. Turn the dough out into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or work by hand in a large bowl with a wooden spoon and elbow grease). Let the dough sit for a minute to cool, then add the eggs one by one, followed by the white, beating on medium speed until each one is incorporated before adding the next. The dough may look as though it's separating or falling apart -- just keep going, and by the time the egg white goes in, the dough will be smooth. Beat in the mustard, followed by the cheese. Give the dough a last mix-through by hand.
  4. Scoop or spoon out heaping tablespoon-sized balls of dough (I use a 1.5-tablespoon cookie scoop), and drop the dough on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between the mounds. (The scooped dough can be frozen on the baking sheets.)
  5. Slide the baking sheets into the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 375°F. Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate the pans from front to back and top to bottom. Continue baking until the gougères are puffed, golden, and firm enough to pick up, another 15 to 17 minutes. Serve immediately -- these are best directly from the oven.Storing: Although the puffs are best served hot out of the oven, they are still nice (although flatter) at room temperature that same day. If you want to keep baked puffs longer, freeze them and then reheat in a 350°F-oven for a few minutes.
  6. Make-Ahead/Freezer Instructions: Scoop the dough and freeze on a parchment-lined baking sheet, then pack them in an airtight container. You can bake them straight from the freezer; just give them a few more minutes in the oven.
  7. Note/Variation: Dorie adds 2/3 cup walnuts or pecans, lightly toasted and chopped, to these gougères. My family prefers them without nuts but it's a nice variation to try. Add them along with the cheese.

Reviews & Comments

  • These melt in your mouth!

    • — Olga on January 7, 2019
    • Reply
  • These were amazing and made me look like a superhero hostess. Definitely will keep this on hand in the freezer! Thanks Jenn!

    • — Robin Kay on December 27, 2018
    • Reply
  • These were to die for! Very empressive to look at and better yet the reviews from your family when you make them!

    • — Nancy Burroughs on December 25, 2018
    • Reply
  • These were an absolute hit at our Holiday Party last night!!! I was a little anxious, as I had never tried making them before, but just followed the recipe and directions step by step and they came out Perfect!!! Do be mindful of the timing aspect. Our guests were a little late and they had been out of the oven longer than I had planned and feel like they would have been even better if served right from the oven as Jenn suggested. Will definitely be my Go-To party appetizer. ;D

    • — Julie Roedell on December 24, 2018
    • Reply
  • These are delicious but mine puffed up nicely on top while the bottom sort of “caved in” why did this happen?? I will make again as they are easy and so good!

    • — Margie V. on December 24, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Margie, My guess is that they were slightly undercooked; I’d keep them in the oven a few more minutes next time. Glad you enjoyed them!

      • — Jenn on December 25, 2018
      • Reply
  • I always keep some of these in the freezer to serve when friends come over or to enjoy by ourselves. Try different kinds of cheese, add some herbs, etc. Super easy to make.

    • — Jeanne on December 22, 2018
    • Reply
  • Just another top notch recipe. It was my first time to ever make a pate a choux dough before and it turned out great for our Christmas celebration at the in-laws.

    • — Deanna on December 20, 2018
    • Reply
  • Your recipe says to bake and serve right away…I would like to bake them and take with me to a dinner party, total time from oven to table 20-30 mins…would they be ruined or okay?

    Thank you!

    • — Donna Davenport on December 20, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Donna, they are best right out of the oven. They will still be good after 20 – 30 minutes – they’ll just be a bit flatter. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 20, 2018
      • Reply
  • So easy, yet so elegant. Great addition to our dinner party!

    • — Sara on December 19, 2018
    • Reply
  • I made these last night and served them with tomato soup instead of bread. Delicious!

    • — Gary on December 18, 2018
    • Reply
  • I just made these. They fell flat and were incredibly salty. I followed the recipe exactly.

    • — Judy on December 18, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Judy, So sorry you had trouble with these. I’m curious, what type of cheese did you use? I made them a few times with gruyère and didn’t find them to be too salty, however I did notice that the recipe calls for more salt than Dorie’s other gougères recipe in her previous book, Around My French Table). I have reduced the amount of salt just in case. The key to making them puffy is drying out the dough on the stovetop, so next time give them a little more time. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on December 18, 2018
      • Reply
  • Will 2% milk work?

    • — Carol Baran on December 17, 2018
    • Reply
    • Yep!

      • — Jenn on December 17, 2018
      • Reply
  • Do you think there would be any problem making these with plain soy milk?

    • — erica on December 17, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Erica, I think soy milk will be fine. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 17, 2018
      • Reply
  • Can I use a hand mixer for these?

    • — Tracey L on December 17, 2018
    • Reply
    • Sure, Tracey – you’ll just need to increase the mixing time a bit.

      • — Jenn on December 17, 2018
      • Reply
  • I have a holiday party coming up and these will be perfect! If you can’t find Comte or gruyere cheese in your local grocery store and you want a similar flavor profile what would you recommend besides sharp cheddar?

    • — Victoria on December 17, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Victorie, You could try emmental or jarlsberg but I think sharp cheddar is the best option.

      • — Jenn on December 17, 2018
      • Reply
  • Can I use almond milk instead or low fat or whole? Thanks!

    • — Simone on December 13, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Simone, I haven’t tried this with almond milk, so I can’t say for sure, but I suspect it should work. Please LMK how they turn out if you try them!

      • — Jenn on December 13, 2018
      • Reply

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