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Gougères (French Cheese Puffs)

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Gougères

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Gougères are savory French cheese puffs—the perfect appetizer to enjoy with sparkling wine or cocktails.

Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs)

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’re the perfect little bite to pop in your mouth between sips of sparkling wine or cocktails. This version comes from 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.” Gougères are best served warm from the oven, so 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.

What you’ll need To Make Gougères

ingredients for gougeres

Step-by-Step Instructions

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

Pan of milk, butter, and salt.

Add the flour all at once. Flour in a pan with a milk mixture.

Lower the heat to medium and start stirring energetically with a wooden spoon.

Wooden spoon in a pan with dough.

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 makes puffier puffs.

Ball of dough in a pan with a wooden spoon.

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).

Dough in the bowl of a stand mixer.

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.

Egg and dough in the bowl of a stand mixer.

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.

Smooth dough in the bowl of a stand mixer.

Beat in the mustard, then add the cheese. Shredded cheese in a bowl with dough.

Mix to combine.

Gougeres dough in the bowl of a stand mixer.

Give the dough a last mix-through by hand. Scoop or spoon out heaping tablespoon-sized balls of dough and drop the dough on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between the mounds.

Mounds of gougeres dough on a lined baking sheet.

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.

Gougeres on a lined baking sheet.

Serve immediately — these are best directly from the oven.

Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs)

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Gougères (French Cheese Puffs)

Gougères are savory French cheese puffs—the perfect appetizer to enjoy with sparkling wine or cocktails.

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

Ingredients

  • 1 cup low-fat milk (or ½ cup whole milk + ½ cup water)
  • 1 stick (½ 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 ⅔ 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.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (30 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 Gougère
  • Calories: 92
  • Fat: 7 g
  • Saturated fat: 4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 4 g
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Sodium: 82 mg
  • Cholesterol: 43 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • Hi Jenn,

    Just curious why you recommend using half water if you are using whole milk?

    • — Margie on December 17, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Margie, the original recipe called for using half water and half whole milk. I thought that was strange, so I added low-fat milk as an option with the half water and half whole milk as an alternative. Hope that clarifies!

      • — Jenn on December 21, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Thanks so much for answering my previous questions. I’m on a real time crunch for a holiday party. Can I make the balls of dough the night before, store in the fridge and then cook it about 5:00pm the following day?

    This is one of my most fav appetizers. All guests love, love, love them. 🙂

    • — Rose on December 8, 2022
    • Reply
    • Glad you like these! Yes, what you’re proposing is fine. Hope everyone enjoys!

      • — Jenn on December 9, 2022
      • Reply
  • Prepared exactly as the recipe states and turned out perfect. Brought to a dinner party and had every guest and the host ask for the recipe! Will be making for the holidays again!

    • — Susan DeCarlo on December 6, 2022
    • Reply
  • These were a huge hit at my party last night. This recipe is more precise and helpful than others I’ve read.
    Although it may be my oven and/or baking sheets, I had the best results when I baked one sheet at a time, on the middle oven rack.

    • — CMR on December 4, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen,
    I know I can make this ahead and refrigerate.But, can I keep the dough whole til ready to bake or do I have to make into balls before refrigerating?
    Thanks!

    • — Jay Cahill on November 7, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Jay, it’s fine to keep the dough whole.

      • — Jenn on November 8, 2022
      • Reply
  • These were sooooo good! I made for my cafeteria patrons to sample and they flew off my tray so quickly!

    • — Macy on October 6, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made these for an Oscars party back in March, and boy, was that a clean tray in no time flat. These are fantastic!

  • I just made these. They worked! Perfectly! Puffed up nice and high. I followed instructions to the letter- Including stirring ANOTHER 2 minutes after the flour had been added and the dough had formed a ball (I wonder if this might be where some people are off course). Thank you Jenn. Baked 2 as sample run. Freezing the rest unbaked.

    • — Sherry@Kelowna
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen,
    I love your recipes and can’t wait for your new cookbook! A few questions on the cheese puffs.
    Can I make them in the morning and refrigerate them and then bake them around 5:00pm? Should I let them get to room temp before baking them? If that’s not necessary, how much additional time should I add to the baking time? Thanks so much!

    • — Rosalie Blomberg
    • Reply
    • Yes, you absolutely can make the dough ahead of time and store in the fridge! It should only add a minute or two to the bake time.

      • — Christy on November 28, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen,
    You are my most favorite chef ever! Your recipes never disappoint! I’m so looking forward to your next cookbook. I pre-ordered weeks ago. 🙂

    A few questions on this delicious recipe…can I make the dough in the morning and refrigerate it until I’m ready to bake it at about 5:00pm? Should I let it get to room temp before baking? If that’s not necessary, how much additional cooking time would it take to bake them directly from the fridge? Thanks so much!

    • — Rosalie Blomberg
    • Reply
    • Thank you so much — happy to hear you like the recipes! ❤️
      Yes, you can make the dough in the morning and refrigerate it. No need to bring it to room temperature; you can put them straight in the oven. They may just take a few extra minutes to be completely baked. Enjoy!

  • Hey Jenny,
    Thanks for another great recipe 🙂

    I saw that some people had troubles with the recipe, so I’d like to make some precision.
    The pâte à choux has 2 very important steps : the step where you dry the dough, and then the step when you add the eggs. French pastry chefs would had the eggs, lightly beaten together, little by little, to get the exact right texture of the dough, but it’s all about ratio between the ingredients really ! And since we’re making gougères, it’s not that critical.
    If you want some science about it, I found that website very useful :
    https://www.seriouseats.com/choux-pastry

    Also don’t worry if your gougères are a bit flat, it’s normal. We French don’t mind flat gougères, because they always taste so good anyway, and homemade doesn’t have to look perfect 🙂

  • Hi Jenn, About to make gougères according to your recipe. I don’t have a stand mixer with paddle, just a hand- held mixer with dough hooks or egg beaters. Will either of those work?

    • Hi Jan, You can use a hand mixer here – you’ll just need to increase the mixing time a bit. Enjoy!

      • I made these, and I thought I followed the recipe to the letter. I know it’s important with baking. My “dough” was more like a “batter”. Somehow they still came out great. Not sure where I went wrong. So light and fluffy. My wife loved them and now I’m stuck making them for every holiday for the rest of my life. Thanks lol.

        • — Brian from Baltimore on November 15, 2022
        • Reply
  • I made these last night for a friend’s birthday. I followed the recipe exactly (only reducing the salt to 3/4 t.) THEY WERE PERFECT. So happy there are some in the freezer. THANKS!

  • Hello, Jenn,
    I always appreciate the precision and clear instructions you include with your recipes! My question today, is why is the extra egg white needed? Wouldn’t that tend to make the dough a bit too wet? I have made gougeres with just the 4 whole eggs and perhaps an application of an egg yolk wash on top before baking to provide extra shine and browning. I suppose that if I did use the extra white in the batter, then I would not have to waste the egg yolk, but use it for the egg wash! 👍😊

    • Hi Karen, This recipe is actually Dorie Greenspan’s so I’m not sure what motivated her to use the extra egg white. I see your point though and have seen versions of this without that additional egg white. Hope that clarifies!

  • Gotta love a cheesy appetizer with make ahead /freezer instructions! I used the whole milk/water and Gruyere cheese. I pop a couple in the oven for my husband and I to have a special cocktail treat. My oven baked them in 25 minutes. Thank you Jenn again!

  • These are a delicious treat! I made a batch for our New Year’s Eve celebration, trying to make our low key evening a little more special. While pâte à choux sounds a little intimidating, it came together just as promised. I made smaller puffs and froze them to be pulled out as we want them. I think these would be super good as an accompaniment to tomato soup or maybe even baked off and filled.

  • Oh my goodness!!! I have made gougères for many years, but Jenn, your recipe and techniques make the most delicious, perfectly puffy and light gougères we’ve ever had! I always follow Jenn’s recipes exactly, and everything always turns out perfectly – and these definitely do. We used mostly gruyère and added a a couple of tablespoons of sharp cheddar – yummy! And they do freeze beautifully. Thanks again, Jenn, for your recipe and clear instructions!

  • I gave this recipe 5 stars, they were great. I found a recipe by Alain Ducasse, a French pastry chef, and his recipe calls for sprinkling cheese on top prior to baking. My daughter who has had gougeres in France said that this is more traditional. So the next time I make them I will try deducting 1/3 cup and using it for sprinkling.

    • — Arnold Y. (bakingdancer)
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen, I would love to try these. When you say low fat milk, do you suggest 1%, 2%? I keep fat free in the house and want to know what will work best. Also I have White Lily flour and their label says to add 2 Tbsp. of flour to a recipe that calls for one cup. Would you recommend this conversation?

    • Hi Noreen, either 1 or 2% milk will work here. I’d recommend sticking to the all-purpose flour as opposed to the white lily flour for the most reliable results — but if that’s all you have, adding 2 tablespoons is the correct conversion. Hope that helps and that you enjoy!

      • Looks amazing. I have never noticed them in France, but will try them next time and try your recipe. Do you have any suggestions for crepes? I have added a touch orange blossom water to give an amazing taste.

        • Hi Jessica, I don’t have a recipe of my own for crepes — I’ll have to add that to my list of recipes to potentially develop! 🙂

  • Do you have any nutritional information on this recipe? Calories?

    • Hi Deb, I just added nutritional info to the recipe. Hope you enjoy if you make them!

  • I made these for Thanksgiving Appetizer last year, and WOW. I made them ahead of time, froze them, and used my toaster oven to cook them, keeping the oven free for the turkey. The whole family raved (granted, they were mostly drunk….but even completely sober these are exceptional). The next week my husband asked “how hard were those cheese puff things to make?” – a sure sign that he wants to eat them. We’ve kept some in the freezer on and off. They’re such an easy, fancy, comforting treat. Thank you for the clear instructions, informative pictures, and excellent recipe.

    • This review made me laugh. Thank you! Sounds like my family around the holidays 🙂

      • — Jill m Rushton
      • Reply
  • Can I use mozzarella instead? I just have mozzarella left in my fridge.

    • Hi Chia, Technically, it will work, but they won’t be nearly as flavorful.

  • I made this as an appetizer for our 34th anniversary dinner. Usually we would go out, but this year that’s not possible. This was as good as, or better than any restaurant appetizer I would have had, ond really not a lot of trouble to make. I beat it by hand because I couldn’t be bothered to get my stand mixer out, and it didn’t take long to come together. I use smoked old cheddar for the cheese and we really liked the flavour. Thanks for a great recipe!

  • First time I made these and they were perfect! Easy to follow directions. I froze them and cooked them frozen according to directions and they were crispy on the outside and moist and perfect inside. New favorite go-to recipe!

  • I made these for my daughter’s wedding shower. I was able to freeze the puffs and bake the day of the shower. Fantastic! Guests all wanted to know where I bought them! A very impressive bite served with bubbly. Festive and delicious 😋 thank you.

  • I just made these, and my husband and I enjoyed a couple fresh out of the oven with a glass of wine. They are superb! I could eat more, but I’ll be good.

    • — kathleen daniel
    • Reply
  • Jenn, I have been making these since before you were born, but I forgot about them. So easy and so good. I put the dough in my food processor and I actually have frozen them both baked and unbaked. If unbaked, just defrost for 15 minutes and then bake for 30 minutes. Can’t remember, but I think that they might be better this way,

    • — Carol Winkelman
    • Reply
  • Thanking you for ths recipe, I tried making them but the minute I noticed the gougeres started puffing up nicely, they sunk miserably afterwards; what did I do wrong? I hadn’t opened the oven door.

    Thanking you so much in advance!

    • — Veronique Sponza
    • Reply
    • Hi Veronique, Sorry to hear you had a problem with these. While these don’t rise super high (to about the height of a thick cookie) they shouldn’t deflate while still in the oven. If you try these again, you may want to try it with King Arthur all-purpose flour. I find I get the best results when baking with it. Or, if you don’t want to buy additional flour, you can use your current all-purpose flour but add few more tablespoons. Hope that helps and that you have better luck the second time around!

  • Hi. I just finished cooking these for 15 min on the top rack and for 12 to 13 min on lowest rack at back of rack. They puffed up nicely and were dark on the bottom almost but not quite burned. They tasted really good but how doughy should they be inside? I’m wondering if perhaps in spite of being nice and golden and dark on the bottom they may have been undercooked as my cook time on the bottom rack was less than you suggested. I’m wondering if I should reduce heat to 350 and bake a bit longer? I have some in the freezer that are raw that I plan to cook for company in a couple of days so would really appreciate your advice.

    • Hi Lesley, These actually do have kind of a doughy, eggy texture inside, so they may not have been undercooked. That said, if the outside was a little brown for your liking and you’d like them to cook a little more slowly, feel free to reduce the oven temp by 25 degrees.

      • Hello Jenn
        I live in the UK and I would love to make the French puffs. Are you able to tell me how much milk in fluid ounces or millilitres. Many thanks Gail

        • Sorry about not including that, Gail — you’ll need 236 ml. (I just updated the recipe.) Hope you enjoy!

  • These were divine!! I’ve made gourgeres before, but these were the best I’ve done so far. I did tweak things a bit (like I usually do!); omitted the mustard and added about a heaping 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg. Sprinkled a tiny bit of the grated cheese on top before baking. Served them with a bourbon fig compote.

  • I’m glad I made these the day before my event (planning to freeze) because they were a huge FAIL. I followed the directions to the T. My dough looks just like yours in the photo. I’m not sure what went wrong:
    a) not drying the dough long enough? (I did exactly what was recommended)
    b) maybe my eggs were larger so there was too much liquid? It would be nice to have a more precise weight here
    c) making the puffs too large? I used a Tablespoon and scooped a bit extra.

    I made a small tray today for my kids to taste test to make sure they came out right.
    I had to cook them almost 30 minutes extra, and they still seem barely cooked~ Definitely NOT golden and not puffed. They taste good! Who knows?
    I’m surprised because I love every recipe from Jenn and have never had a fail. These seem trickier~ perhaps more guidance or emphasis (drying dough, for example) is needed.

    • Hi Meg, So sorry you had trouble with these! Did you by chance use extra-large eggs?

  • So I made this for a dinner party. I followed the directions to the letter. The dough never got dough-like and was very soft. I added a little more flour as you would with other doughs. When cooked they were very flat.

    My guess is that I did not cook long enough on the stove and there was too much moisture – but did cook it for several minutes. The flavor was great and I will try again. Any suggestions??

    • Hi Brendan, sorry to hear that these did not turn out quite as you had expected. Just a heads up that while they do puff up in the oven, they don’t rise super-high (to about the height of a thick cookie). Also, they do deflate some when you take them out of the oven. That said, if you make them again, I would cook the mixture little longer on the stovetop until it appears drier. Just be careful not to burn it. Hope that helps!

      • Will do. Thanks!!

  • Delicious!! It’s very easy to make and takes little time. They look and taste amazing. Thank you for the recipe. I will definitely make it again for my next party 😀

  • The biggest issue I had with this recipe is that I didn’t double it to make more! Easy to make, they came out of the oven perfectly and my dinner guests devoured them in minutes. Thank you Jennifer for another terrific recipe. It deserves 6 stars!

  • These melt in your mouth!

  • These were amazing and made me look like a superhero hostess. Definitely will keep this on hand in the freezer! Thanks Jenn!

  • These were to die for! Very empressive to look at and better yet the reviews from your family when you make them!

    • — Nancy Burroughs
    • 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

  • 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!

    • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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
    • 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!

  • So easy, yet so elegant. Great addition to our dinner party!

  • I made these last night and served them with tomato soup instead of bread. Delicious!

  • I just made these. They fell flat and were incredibly salty. I followed the recipe exactly.

    • 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!

  • Will 2% milk work?

  • Do you think there would be any problem making these with plain soy milk?

    • Hi Erica, I think soy milk will be fine. Enjoy!

  • Can I use a hand mixer for these?

    • Sure, Tracey – you’ll just need to increase the mixing time a bit.

  • 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?

    • Hi Victorie, You could try emmental or jarlsberg but I think sharp cheddar is the best option.

  • Can I use almond milk instead or low fat or whole? Thanks!

    • 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!

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