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Cheese Soufflé

There are few things as show-stopping as a cheese souffle. Whether brought out during brunch or served with an acidic salad at dinnertime, this impressive dish is easier than it seems and just as delicious as you’d imagine.

What is a Classic Cheese Soufflé?

A classic cheese souffle looks like it came directly from a vintage cookbook—but it dates back much further. Originating in France in the 18th century, souffle is a baked egg dish that can be made either sweet or savory. Served in a large ramekin “casserole” style, a cheese souffle rises dramatically in the oven, thanks to whipped egg whites. The result is a silky, airy main (or side) that by contrast tastes decadent and rich. It’s buttery, cheesy, and deeply savory.


In a cheese souffle, there are a few especially important ingredients:

  • Eggs: This is the single most important ingredient in any souffle. Egg yolks provide richness, while the egg whites give the souffle its loftiness and rise.
  • Heavy Cream: Adding a substantial amount of integrity to a souffle, heavy cream combines with the roux to create the base of the souffle.
  • Roux: A roux consists of melted butter cooked with an equal amount of flour. This mixture is common in French cooking and creates a versatile thickening agent. Without a roux, cheese souffles lack structure.
  • Brie: In this cheese souffle recipe, brie adds a creamy, mild cheesy flavor and makes the dish extremely luscious.
  • Chives: Minced finely and gently stirred into the souffle base, chives not only add a touch of color, but a sharp bite that balances the richness of the other ingredients.
cheese souffle with plate with serving on it

How to Make Cheese Soufflé

Although a bit technical, cheese souffle is not nearly as complex as you might think. It’s relatively approachable and easy to master. Making a cheese souffle involves four main steps—by familiarizing yourself with these stages of the recipe, you’ll find that it comes together easily.

  1. Prep the Ramekin: More than most recipes, preparing the baking dish properly makes a significant difference in the outcome of your cheese souffle. Generously butter the ramekin, then coat the bottom and edges with finely chopped nuts or coarsely grated cheese. This gives the souffle something to climb as it rises. Otherwise, the souffle batter won’t be able to grip the smooth edges of the ramekin.
  2. Make the Base: Make a roux by combining the butter and flour in a small saucepan and slowly whisking in warm heavy cream. Cook until thick, then transfer to a large bowl. Meanwhile, tear the brie into small pieces and finely chop the chives. Add the brie, chives, egg yolks, nutmeg, and salt to the base and stir to combine using a spatula.
  3. Incorporate the Egg Whites: With a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the egg whites with cream of tartar until they reach a stiff peak. Fold the egg whites into the souffle base, one-third at a time. Be gentle—you don’t want to deflate the egg whites.
  4. Bake the Souffle: Transfer the souffle batter to the prepared ramekin and bake until risen, set, and slightly jiggly in the center.
cheese souffle with minced chives

Pro Tips

You don’t need to be a professional to make a perfect cheese souffle. These simple tips can help you avoid any pitfalls in the souffle-making process:

  • Warm the Cream: When making the souffle base, adding cold cream to the roux can cause it to break (what looks like curdling) really easily. By warming the cream, this is much less likely to happen.
  • Stabilize the Egg Whites: Add a small amount of cream of tartar to the egg whites. Cream of tartar is a stabilizer that helps the egg whites retain their peak. While not absolutely necessary, this does help prevent the egg whites from deflating during the folding process.
  • Fold Gently: Use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl, sliding the spatula toward the bottom. Gently lift the contents from the bottom of the bowl over the top, rotate the bowl about one-quarter of the way clockwise, then repeat the process until no white streaks are visible. Fold using as little force as possible, relying only on the motions of the spatula and bowl rotations. Patience is key!
  • Properly Preheat: Make sure the oven is completely hot and at temperature before baking. Typically, ovens take about 30 minutes after being “preheated” to regulate to the correct temperature.
  • No Peaking: Temptations will be high, but resist cracking the oven door to check on the souffle while baking. With a draft of air and dip in temperature, the souffle is much more prone to deflating.

What is the Best Cheese for Soufflé?

For a cheese souffle, you’ll want to choose a good melting cheese. Traditionally, cheese souffle is made with gruyere, but other variations use cheddar, mozzarella, or comte. This cheese souffle recipe uses brie—an admittedly unconventional choice, but a delicious one nevertheless. Brie is mild and melts beautifully, giving this souffle an irresistibly silky texture and unique richness. Paired with the finely chopped walnuts, this cheese souffle is milky and nutty, supple and velvety, airy and decadent.


Cheese Soufflé

Deeply savory, this cheese souffle recipe uses brie for a mild, cheesy flavor profile that is buttery, decadent, and altogether impressive.

Course Breakfast, Main Course, Side DishCuisine American, FrenchKeyword cheese soufflé

Prep Time 25 minutes Cook Time 45 minutes Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Servings 6 people

Author Katie Calton


  • 1.5 quart ramekin or oven-safe shallow dutch oven or enamled deep cast iron skillet


  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 8.5 ounces double- or triple-cream brie room temperature
  • 4 large egg yolks room temperature
  • teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced chives
  • 5 large egg whites room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar


  • Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Soften 1 tablespoon of butter and generously grease a 1.5-quart ramekin or oven-safe shallow dutch oven or enamled deep cast iron skillet. Very finely chop the walnuts, then use them to coat the inside of the greased ramekin. Set aside.
  • Next, make the souffle base. Heat the heavy cream in the microwave until steaming and foamy, about 2 minutes, and set aside. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter to a small saucepan over medium heat. Warm until just melted, then add the flour and whisk to create a paste and simmer for about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the heavy cream until smooth (the mixture will be thick and bubbling). Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thick and pulling away from the sides and bottom of the pan—about 3 minutes. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl and let cool for 10-15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, remove the brie rind and tear the cheese into ½-inch pieces. Add the torn brie, egg yolks, nutmeg, salt, and chives to the souffle base and mix thoroughly to combine with a spatula.
  • Add the egg whites and cream of tartar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 4-5 minutes. Gently fold the egg whites into the souffle base, folding in about ⅓ of the egg whites at a time until no streaks remain.
  • Transfer the souffle mixture to the prepared ramekin. Bake on the middle rack of the oven until the sides are set and the center is slightly jiggly, about 35 minutes. Garnish with additional chives, if desired, and enjoy immediately.