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Jan 8, 2018

Gougères: French Cheese Puffs

Gougères are a crispy, cheesy, custardy, and airy French appetizer, often served with kir or a glass of champagne at a cocktail party, before dinner, or at a fête pâtissier.

Gougères: French Cheese Puffs

Gougères are a cheesy appetizer made with a choux pastry, which is a mixture of water, butter, flour, and eggs. They are crispy on the outside and airy on the inside... and so good!

Even though there isn't any yeast, baking soda, or baking powder in the recipe, the dough rises and puffs up, creating a "crispy on the outside and custardy on the inside" hollow puff!

Gougères: French Cheese Puffs

Choux pastry, or pâte à choux, is the basis for pastries such as èclairs, cream puffs, profiteroles, St. Honoré gâteau, and croquembouches. To create a choux pastry, you simmer water and butter, add the flour, and then stir it until it quickly comes together in a sauce pan. Once the mixture comes together, you add eggs to create the final dough.

In the case of gougères, you add lots of cheese, typically gruyère, and then pipe the dough onto baking sheets and bake them in a super hot oven until they puff up and turn a light golden brown.

Gougères: French Cheese Puffs

You can play around with the cheese in these by choosing a cheese that is similar in texture to gruyère, such as an aged Gouda, Comté, Manchego, or Emmentaler. You can also play around with the spices.

This was my first time baking with pâte à choux. To make it, you have to work fast. I was a little worried when I added the eggs to the hot water, butter, and flour mixture, but I did not end up with scrambled eggs as I had feared.

Instead of piping the dough onto the baking sheets, I used two spoons to portion the dough, and then smoothed out any rough edges of the dough with my fingers, which I had sprayed with spray oil.

Gougères: French Cheese Puffs

I was thrilled with how these turned out. They are fabulous warm from the oven. They can also be frozen and then re-crisped and reheated in a 300 degree oven.

For a light and cheesy appetizer, make these! The cheesy aroma when they are baking is to die for.

More Cheesy Appetizer Recipes:

French Bread Cheese Puffs

Cheddar Pecan Crisps

Brazilian Cheese Bread

Spinach, Ham, and Cheese Puff Pastry Bites


This month, the Baking Bloggers, hosted by Palatable Pastime and A Day in the Life on the Farm, are making choux pastry. Be sure to check out the links to more choux pastry after the recipe.

P.S. I'm feeling very French as you can tell by the number of accent-y words in my post!

Yield: 24 gougères

Gougères: French Cheese Puffs Recipe


  • 2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg white
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chopped
  • Pinch of cayenne powder
  • 2 1/2 ounces (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 4 ounces grated gruyère cheese


  1. Place an oven rack in the upper middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Stack two baking sheets together and line with parchment paper. Have a food processor ready (with the feed tube open) for mixing the dough. 
  2. In a 2 cup Pyrex-style measuring cup, whisk the eggs, the egg white, and the salt together. The final mixture should equal 1/2 cup. If there is more, pour off the excess. 
  3. In a small saucepan, heat the water, butter, and cayenne over medium. When it begins to simmer, reduce the heat to low, add the flour, and stir with a wooden spoon. Continue to cook and stir until the mixture is thick, about 30 seconds. 
  4. Transfer the dough to the food processor, and with the feed tube open, process for 5 seconds to slightly cool the dough. Slowly pour in the egg mixture in a steady stream while the food processor is running. Stop the processor and scrape down the sides. Add the cheese and process for 30 to 40 seconds.  
  5. Using an actual measuring tablespoon, measure a level amount of dough, and scrape it out with a smaller spoon onto the baking sheet. Continue to portion out the dough, each mound about 1 inch apart, with four across and six down, with 24 mounds of dough total. 
  6. If the mounds of dough are irregular, you can spray your fingers with spray oil, and smooth out any large peaks or creases. 
  7. Bake until the gougères are puffy and the top two thirds are light golden brown, 14 to 20 minutes. The bottom will still be pale. Turn the oven off and leave the gougères in the oven with the door closed until they are uniform in color (10 to 15 minutes). Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for five minutes before serving. 
  8. Leftovers can be wrapped and frozen in a zip lock bag for up to a month. Re-crisp in a 300 degree F oven for about 7 to 10 minutes. 
Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated, Jan/Feb, 2018

More Choux Pastry Recipes:
Gougères: French Cheese Puffs #gougeres #cheesepuffs #appetizer

Would you like to comment?

  1. This was my first time too Karen and I was thrilled at how they turned out. Yours are gorgeous and perfect for a cocktail party.

  2. The gougeres look light as air and perfectly delicious! Thanks for baking with the group.

    1. Thank you for getting me to flex new baking muscles!

  3. Okay, I need these in my life! Thanks for sharing, Karen.

  4. Absolutely beautiful! These sound delicious!

  5. I almost made a small batch when I made eclairs, but decided I had enough going on (I know myself too well...)

    but they are on my list to make very soon...

    yours are absolutely gorgeous as usual, Karen...

    1. Thanks so much Sally. I saw that you made Dorie Greenspan's version (yes, I stalked your blog before attempting these). I definitely want to try that version too, but these were incredibly easy.

    2. I love being stalked... yeah, I am kinky that way... ;-)

  6. These mini balls - gougeres are so delightful.


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