Cheddar Cheese Puffs (Gougeres)
These Cheddar Cheese Puffs (also called Gougeres) are light and airy, and they melt in your mouth. They’re great as an appetizer or served next to a bowl of soup!
I’ve been making biscuits for years. Sometimes I add extra bits of deliciousness – like ham & cheese. Sometimes those biscuits get covered in sausage gravy. Other times those biscuits are destined for a schmear of jam. No matter the style, I love a good Southern-style buttermilk biscuit!
These Cheddar Cheese Puffs? Not biscuits. The ingredient list might look somewhat similar – at least until you get to the eggs. These puffs (also called Gougeres) are amazing. Seriously. They are cheesy little puffs that end up with a golden crisp outside. And the inside? Light and airy and melts in your mouth!
Cheddar Cheese Puffs (Gougeres)
These cheese puffs start with choux dough – the same kind of dough that is used for sweet treats like cream puffs and eclairs. However, instead of going with a sweet filling, that dough gets mixed with shredded cheese. I tossed in a bit of fresh thyme for added flavor, too.
Unlike traditional Southern-style biscuits where the cold butter gets cut into flour, the method for Gougeres calls for melting the butter and making a dough in a saucepan – yup, a “cooked” dough. Once you get the hang of making this dough (it’s not hard – I promise!), you’ll find all sorts of occasions to make these Cheddar Cheese Puffs!
Speaking of occasions, we served these alongside a bowl of soup. Gougeres also make for great finger foods – maybe as an appetizer with a glass of wine or a beer? They are light as air…and the entire basket will disappear before you even realize it!
These Cheddar Cheese Puffs are best served warm right out of the oven. However, if you’re worried about timing, these do freeze well – just freeze the entire pan before you bake ’em. These puffs can be baked from frozen, although you might need to add a few more minutes in the oven. (Just watch for the tops to turn a nice golden brown.)
If you have leftovers, I recommend reheating them in the oven (or toaster oven) on low heat – say like 250°F – for a few minutes. These puffs will soften up when placed in a storage container, and reheating ’em brings back that warm melt-in-your-mouth texture with the crispy outer shell.
Gougeres originally hail from France, and many French grocery stores sell bags of frozen, unbaked Gougeres. You probably won’t find these hanging out in many grocery stores here in the States…so just make your own instead!
I personally enjoyed these with a sharp cheddar cheese (I used Cabot’s Seriously Sharp Cheddar Cheese), but Gruyere and/or Swiss cheeses are also good options. Hmmm – now I’m wondering what would happen if we used a combination of cheeses? I might have to try that next time we whip up a batch!
I hope you give this recipe a try – it’s definitely a new favorite in our house! Happy baking!
Did you bake a batch of these Cheddar Cheese Puffs (Gougeres) at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog) – I’d love to see your version!
Cheddar Cheese Puffs (Gougeres)
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup milk
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese plus more for sprinkling on top (see note)
- 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper; set pan aside.
- Using a medium saucepan, add the butter, water, milk and salt.
- Place over medium heat until mixture begins to boil rapidly.
- Add the flour all at once and stir vigorously to combine. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes, or until mixture forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the pan.
- Transfer mixture into the bowl of a countertop mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low speed for 3-4 minutes to allow mixture to cool before adding the eggs.
- Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition until well combined. Once all the eggs have been added, continue mixing for 2-3 more minutes on medium speed.
- Add cheese, thyme, garlic powder and black pepper; stir until well combined.
- Using a large spoon, drop small mounds of dough on the prepared sheet pan. (Note: Leave ~1” of space in between puffs.)
- Sprinkle more shredded cheddar cheese on top of each mound of dough.
- Bake at 425°F for 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350°F and continue baking for another 15-20 minutes, or until cheese puffs are golden brown in color.
Looking for more cheesy bread recipes? Check out some of these other favorites, too:
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cant wait to make this soon for me can i use vegan butter / almond milk and vegan cheddar cheese i never had cheddar cheese puffs before perfect for my office snacks love your recipes as always brightens up my day everyday after work
I haven’t experimented much with vegan cheeses, Ramya. However, if they melt well then they should work in this recipe! Happy baking!
Anything with cheese is a huge YES for me! I love how versatile choux dough is and that these puff when baked! Perfect with a bowl of soup or salad!
I hear ya, Kathy – I see cheese, and my immediate answer is “yes please!” 🙂 These made for a fantastic side dish next to a bowl of warm soup!
These are so good, and I just realized I haven’t made them in years. I’ve only used Gruyere, but I like what you did! Great photos.
Oh you should make a batch again soon, Mimi! Gruyere is delicious (and traditional), but I found it fun to play around with different cheeses here. The sharp cheddar was fantastic…especially next to a bowl of tomato soup! It’s almost like grilled cheese and tomato soup, but just a bit fancier. Haha! Happy baking!
These look addictive, David! They must have a wonderful texture!
The flavor + texture together is what makes these so addicting! Thanks, Kelly! 🙂
I don’t think i’ve ever made choux pastry. Maybe at school for Home Ec. It always scares me off, with beating those eggs in. These look so delightful david.
Oh no! Don’t be scared, Sherry. Treat this like a new kitchen adventure. It is different for sure, but if I can do it then you can do it! 🙂
I wondered how you made these David, and then I read you use the same kind of dough used for eclairs. I haven’t made choux dough in ages! These excellent Cheddar Cheese Puffs are a good way for me to give that dough a go again! Hope you guys have an excellent weekend!
Yes! I guess you could say these are like savory eclairs. They are light and airy, and they’re great alongside a bowl of tomato soup! Definitely give it a try again soon!
These gougeres look amazing! I’ve always wanted to make them since I usually make the sweet cream puff version! I think my kids would love them!
Oh you should totally make a savory version, Michelle! These were delicious, and they paired so well with a bowl of soup.
Gougeres are my very favorite soup companion in the fall and winter. I typically make them with Gruyere cheese, but love the idea of mixing it up next time using your recipe with cheddar and thyme!
I agree, Marissa – these are great next to a bowl of soup! While Gruyere is indeed delicious, I have to say that this version with cheddar turned out quite well. And we always keep cheddar in the fridge, so that means I can whip up a batch of these whenever we want. Yum!
I remember these well from my time in France. Cheese maven that I am, I *loved* them! But never tried making them at home and I haven’t had them for years… As you say, the recipe sounds really easy. It may be time to break the dry spell. Bookmarked for trying out soon!
You should definitely give these a shot at home, Frank – the dough is different, but it really isn’t that difficult. The cheddar is a fun twist on these compared to the traditional Gruyere – we loved these! Let me know what you think if you get a chance to make ’em.
I’ve never had gougeres before, so clearly I’ve been missing out!! Love the idea of serving these with a bowl of soup on a cold day. Granted, I would probably not need the soup because I’d want to devour more than my fair share of these cheese puffs, lol. Seriously yummy, David! I can see why they’re a new favourite!!
Oh you need to get in the kitchen and make a batch of these ASAP, Dawn! Gruyere is the traditional cheese used for gougeres, but I had fun with the cheddar here. It worked well! And serve these alongside a bowl of tomato soup? Yes, please! It’s like tomato soup + grilled cheese sandwich…but fancier. Haha!
Biscuits and cheddar cheese!! Yummmm! And they are so easy. No rolling out, no using a biscuit cutter. Just drop and go. What a perfect recipe. BTW, the rest of your bread recipes here on this post look fabulous, especially the bacon cheddar one. Home cookin’ at its best.
These really are fun biscuits, Kristy! The dough is different than a traditional bread or biscuit dough, but it’s not all that difficult at all. The result is a light and airy “puff” that is quite delicious. Give these a shot! (And that bacon cheddar bread? One of my all-time favorites!)
That looks really cheesy! Love it, I think it would perfectly pair with a nice soup
These would pair with soup quite well – I hope you enjoy ’em Raymund!