Cheese Soufflé Recipe

Base formulas for savory soufflées — their ratios of eggs, flour and liquid — are remarkably consistent from one recipe writer to another, at least in my experience. Where they differ is usually in the amount of flavoring added and the types of seasonings, though sometimes in the type of liquid used as well. Below is a recipe that’s almost identical to Julia Child’s, except that it calls for a little cream of tartar to help stabilize the egg whites. I’m providing recipes for both of the most common sizes of forms, 6-cup and 8-cup.

For a 6-Cup Form

2 1/2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup simmering milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
4 egg yolks
4 ounces cheese, grated
5 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

For an 8-Cup Form

3 1/2 tablespoons butter
4 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups simmering milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
6 egg yolks
6 ounces cheese, grated
8 egg whites, room temperature
3/8 teaspoon cream of tartar


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Grease a form and coat it with bread crumbs or finely grated parmesan cheese. Pour the milk into a small saucepan and set it to simmer. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a separate saucepan and add the flour. Whisk until the butter and flour are combined — you’ll have what’s known in cooking circles as a roux — and cook the mixture, letting it bubble away for about two minutes (this is important to “cook out” the flour’s starchy taste and mouthfeel). Remove the roux from the heat, pour the simmering milk into the roux and whisk. It will thicken in a matter of seconds into a dense béchamel sauce. Whisk in the egg yolks and seasonings, and set the pan aside. You can keep this mixture for up to two days in the refrigerator if you like. You can even freeze it for up to two months.

When ready to make your soufflé, pour the room temperature whites into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whip attached. Whip to soft peaks, add the cream of tartar and whip to stiff peaks.

To bring the batter together, pour the béchamel sauce into a large, preferably shallow bowl and fetch your broadest scraper. Add 1/4 of the whipped whites to the sauce, plus all but a tablespoon or so of the cheese. Stir all that in, not caring about the consequences. Now then, gently fold in the remaining whites a third at a time until you can only see a few streaks of egg white.

Gently scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the batter if need be with a scraper. Sprinkle on the last of the cheese, put the pan in the oven and immediately turn the heat down to 375. Bake for about 25 minutes for a 6-cup soufflé and 35 for an 8-cup. Though stories about soufflés falling with the opening of an oven door are mostly just that, stories, it’s better to leave the door closed and the soufflé undisturbed for the full time. When the time’s up, check the soufflé, it should be rising nicely. Bake another 5 minutes for a 6-cup and 10 minutes for an 8-cup until the puff comes a full 2 inches over the rim of the form and the crust is well browned.

Remove the soufflé from the oven, carry immediately to your waiting family — singing La Marseillaise all the while — and serve with great ceremony.

8 thoughts on “Cheese Soufflé Recipe”

  1. Can you tell me if I can make mini-souffles in small ramekins using this recipe? If so, what temperature and duration would I bake them?

    1. This should work just fine for mini soufflées, Heather. The general rule is that as sizes go down, temperatures go up. But don’t increase it by much 25 degrees is plenty. As far as baking times I can’t really tell you now knowing the size ramekin. But start checking after 1/3 of the time has elapsed. Have fun!

      – Joe

  2. Ok, I’ve been stalking your site for the last week or so..and I am a little in love. The way you explain everything is so succinct and makes so much sense! I made this souffle for my fiancee and some friends last night and it turned out beautifully. I was quite excited 😀 (I am fairly new to “serious” baking..that is..not boxed cookie mixes!). Though I’ve never had a souffle before and therefore have little with with to compare it to..i was impressed with the recipe and instructions and the taste..oh lord the taste. Thank you!

  3. This was so great! I added more salt (to suit our tastes) to the bechamel, and I halved the 8 cup recipe to fit in a 4 cup mold. Egg whites get supercharged at our elevation – the souffle was at least 3 inches above the rim when it was done! I served the souffle with pickled beets, and it made a perfect, easy dinner for two on a late night. Thanks so much!

    1. Wow, Catherine! Can I come next time? Pickled beets are one of my favorite things ever.

      Cheers and thanks for the note!

      – Joe

  4. Thank you so much for creating this website! i’ve been looking for something like this for years! I really don’t know how to cook and this helps me a lot and for that I thank you. I wanted to ask you if the recipe for chocolate or raspberry soufflé is the same as this one as I watched on a TV show that it wasn’t the same base but I really don’t know why. Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Jaclyn!

      Thanks so much for the kind words! I’m sorry to say I don’t have a chocolate soufflé recipe that I prefer over others, at least not right now. But that’s a great idea for a project! Hope you have fun with the site. Please feel free to asks any questions you might have!


      – Joe

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