Gougères | French Cheese Puffs {recipe}

gougeres and wine

If you think about it, gougères are not bread, but are, as Julia Child suggests in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, “a very very thick white sauce,” so there is no reason to fear making and baking them…

Of course, I have crippling separation anxiety when it comes to making sauces.

gougeres, baked on pan

Gougères (French Cheese Puffs) {recipe}

adapted from recipe for Petits Choux au Fromage in Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child

Makes about 2½ dozen small gougères


1 cup water
6 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
pinch nutmeg
¾ cup flour
4 eggs
1 to 1½ cup grated Gruyère cheese (Gruyère is a cream-colored Swiss-type cheese, but you can use any semi-hard cheese you like)
1 egg + 1 teaspoon water for egg wash
optional: additional grated cheese or chopped fresh herbs for topping


Preheat oven to 425° F.

In a heavy saucepan, bring water to a boil with butter, salt, pepper and nutmeg and boil until the butter has just melted.

Remove pan from heat and add the flour all at once. Stir to combine; the dough will look like a paste.

Return saucepan to stove. Cook, beating vigorously, for one minute more until dough stays together and starts to create a film on the bottom of the pan.

Remove from heat. Beat eggs into dough one at a time until egg is completely incorporated. In the beginning it won’t look like anything is happening, but then the egg will suddenly magically disappear into the dough. It takes a little bit longer with each egg.

Stir in the cheese. (The cheese may or may not fully “melt” into the dough.)

Using a pastry bag or a large plastic zipper top bag with the corner snipped off, pipe dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Brush top of each gougère with egg wash. If you’d like sprinkle tops with a little extra grated cheese or chopped fresh herbs.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until puffed and golden.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Remove from baking trays. Serve immediately.

It is possible to freeze extra gougeres, though it is unlikely you will have leftovers. Just “re-crisp” them in a 425° oven for 3 to 4 minutes.

gougeres, bowl

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alyson Boyd February 22, 2013 at 9:37 am

These look fantastic! I too have a bit of a fear of pastry. Made apple turnovers this morning and last night decide to cheat and just use store-bought puff pastry.. whoops. Someday soon. But in the meantime I’ll try these!


2 Elizabeth February 22, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Eep, these sound complicated but amazing. I think I would mess them up. But, I like to think that Julia probably messed them up the first time too!


3 PB and Peppers February 25, 2013 at 6:52 pm

Oh my gosh do these puffs look amazing! Nice job!!


4 Tiffany February 27, 2013 at 10:53 am

Looks delicious. I love gougeres! simple but elegant… (Nice site by the way!)



5 Claire D February 28, 2013 at 3:51 pm

You take the fear out entirely and make it seem doable – love your photos


6 Stephanie January 19, 2021 at 1:28 pm

There appears to be an error in this recipe or in the translation of it to this website. The water is almost double of what other recipes are. I tried it anyways and it was just a soupy mess. Do not use this recipe!


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