Gougères AKA French Cheese Puffs are a savory cream puff, or pâte à choux, flavored with Gruyere cheese. A marvelous starter for when you have company!

I’ve been making cream puffs since I was a teen, but a plain version. My mom’s technique was a tad different from Dorie’s, but these turn out just as tasty.

Gougères in a white bowl with herb garnishes.

Why You Must Make

  • This is Dorie Greenspan’s recipe. That tells you that it’s exceptional.
  • Gougeres make an elegant, delicious appetizer.
  • Once you know how to make gougeres, you will be able to make their cousins—eclairs and cream puffs!

A dear friend sent me the fabulous new cookbook from (affiliate link) Dorie Greenspan: Around My French Table. I was delighted to join a group of bloggers to cook along with them from this cookbook and post about it each Friday. Our first assignment was one of my favorite hors d’oeurves, gougères. I made a lot of pâte à choux growing up…I fondly remember stirring in the eggs with “the” wooden spoon in the kitchen…and helping my mom pull out the soft and delicious interiors in preparation for stuffing.

3 cheese puffs on a square white plate.

Expert Tips

  • Start by preparing your sheet pans by lining them with parchment and preheating your oven. PRO-Tip: Having a hot oven will help start the choux to puff!
  • Have the butter cut into tablespoon-sized pieces and add it to the liquids and bring to a vigorous boil.
  • Remove pan from heat (or just lower the heat) and mix in the flour. Stir with a wooden spoon until the flour is well incorporated, and there is a slight floury coating on the sides of the pan.
  • Next, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing each until it’s incorporated before adding the next. The resulting dough should be smooth and glossy. PRO-Tip: Let this mixture cool a bit, by stirring to prevent your eggs from scrambling when you add them to the dough.
  • You may also use a mixer fit with the paddle attachment to mix the choux pastry.
  • Finally, stir in the seasonings and cheese.
  • You can either scoop out mounds of dough or pipe the dough onto the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake as directed, noting that cheese puffs must be thoroughly baked as if the interior is still moist, it will soften the walls and cause the choux to collapse.
  • PRO-Tip: If you want to make cream puffs for dessert, leave out the pepper, mustard, and cheese and add 1 tablespoon of sugar to the dough.
3 cheese puffs on a square white plate.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Gougeres?

A gougère, a French cheese puff, is a “baked savory choux pastry made of choux dough mixed with cheese,” usually a Swiss cheese such as Gruyere, Emmenthal or Compte. I typically use Gruyere. The French term for these cheese puffs is pate a choux, which translates to choux pastry or “cabbage” pastry. Since they are visually similar to little cabbages, they were given this unique name!

How Do You Store Gougères?

Gougères can be stored in an airtight container for about 3 days. You can also freeze them in an airtight container for about 3 months. Just reheat in a 350-degree oven for a few minutes before serving.

Dorie recommends freezing dough mounds, then baking directly from the freezer as needed, adding a couple of minutes to the baking time. To do this, scoop out mounds onto a lined baking sheet, then place the pan in the freezer until the dough is frozen solid. Place frozen dough mounds in a freezer-safe ziptop bag and store in the freezer until needed.

Why Did My Gougères Deflate?

If the cheese puffs are not cooked long enough, the exterior will soften from a still wet middle. The exteriors need to be firm to give the gougeres stability. Also, the liquid to flour ratio may be off. The dough should pipe into nice mounds. If they are flat, you have too much liquid.

How Do You Pronounce Gougères?

This French culinary term is pronounced: goo/zhehr

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Gougères AKA French Cheese Puffs on a white plate with one broken open to see the inside texture
Photo circa 2010

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Bowl of cheese puff with chive and thyme garnishes

Gougères

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Yield 8 servings

A savory, cheesy cream puff that is a marvelous appetizer

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375º.
  2. Bring water, butter, salt, and pepper to a boil in a medium saucepan. Turn off burner.
  3. Add flour and mix well with a wooden spoon.
  4. Once the dough has cooled a bit, add 4 eggs, one at a time, mixing in well before adding the next. Stir in cheese, mustard, and cayenne.
  5. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes till firm and golden.

Notes

Recipe from my sister, Katie

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 258Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 140mgSodium: 368mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 9g

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