Gougères Recipe

Gougères - I have these little cheese puffs in my freezer, ready to bake, nearly always. This version, a favorite, is made with whole wheat flour, sharp white cheddar cheese, fennel, and ale.


Gougères are my secret weapon this time of year. This means a bag in the freezer, always at the ready. I make the dough ahead of time (any afternoon I have a few extra minutes) then bake them straight from the freezer whenever I fancy. There is something irresistible about the way they explode in size. The way they bake into golden pom-poms of cheese-crusted magic. Like soufflés, I think there is a perception that they're tricky to make. But, I promise, with a little practice (and know-how) you can have an impressive platter piled sky-high with puffery with next to no effort. I made this batch with ale, cheese, and fennel. I love the maltiness beer brings to the dough, set off by the bite of sharp cheddar cheese.


A couple things. There are a number of approaches people take when making gougères. I opt for the path resulting in the least amount of dishes and devices to wash after. Meaning, a one-pan method, stirring by hand. I don't bother with a mixer. And I push dollops of the dough onto parchment lined baking sheets from a spoon rather than piping from a bag.

This recipe calls for beer and milk as the liquids in the batter, but the direction you take the flavors is adaptable. You might trade out the beer for water, tea, or other flavorful liquid. I like a bit of milk in the batter, as I think it helps the dough bake into that lovely golden-brown color. Also, don't feel married to this combination of cheese and herb/spices, it's a favorite, but I certainly vary each batch based on what is on hand.


Important things you don't want to learn the hard way: be sure to use large eggs (not extra-large). Prep all your ingredients ahead of time. And one note related to baking, let the gougères brown all the way, particularly up the sides, before pulling them from the oven. The resulting structure will prevent the tops caving.

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I've included a bunch of tips and things in the main post. If this is the first time you've made gougères, be sure to give that a quick read-through first, before jumping in.

2/3 cup / 160 ml beer / ale OR water
1/3 cup / 80 ml milk
8 tablespoons butter, thickly sliced
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
scant 1/2 cup / 65 g / 2.25 oz all-purpose flour
scant 1/2 cup / 65 g / 2.25 oz whole wheat flour
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 cup / 3 1/4 oz / 90 g sharp white cheddar, grated on box grater
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed w/ mortar + pestle

Preheat oven to 425F / 220C, with a rack in top third. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Bring the beer, milk, butter, and salt just to a boil in a large (thick-bottomed) saucepan over medium-high heat. Dial back the heat a bit. Add the flours and use a wooden spoon to stir, stir, stir. Really go at it. Keep going for a couple minutes, until the dough comes together smoothly, and gives off a faint toasty scent. Remove from heat and let cool, stirring occasionally to let heat out, for about five minutes. Long enough that the eggs won't cook when you attempt to work them in.

One at a time, add each of the four eggs, stirring vigorously after each addition. Stir in 1 cup of the cheese, and right away scoop gougères onto the prepared baking sheet in heaping tablespoon-sized dollops, leaving at least 1 1/2 inches between each. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and fennel seeds. Place in the oven, bake for FIVE minutes, then dial the heat back to 375, and bake another 20- 25 minutes, or until gougères are deeply golden all over, puffed, and well set. If you notice the gougers in the back browning much more quickly than the ones in the front, spin the sheet 180 degrees about 2/3 through.

Alternately, if you aren't baking the gougères immediately: shape pans of gougère dough, sprinkle with cheese, and freeze for 1/2 hour. Transfer to a freezer bag at this point, until you're ready to bake. Bake straight from the freezer, same as above, with a couple extra minutes.

Makes ~ 2 dozen 3-inch gougères.

Prep time: 10 minutes - Cook time: 30 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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yum! i've never heard of these but they sound so interesting! i might use guinness for the recipe :) Katie x


I make gougeres every Christmas day for my family. Everyone loves them, even the teenagers. You're right, they are not difficult and puff like magic. The first time I made them I was so proud! (I'm not a baker). Must try this whole wheat version this year. It would be fun to make the traditional version and the whole wheat/beer and serve them together. Thanks Heidi and merry Christmas!


I love gougères and always bake some, but I wanna try your beer & fennel seeds ones !!! I trust you every time, you're such a taste goddess..! Thanx for sharing, really.

Catering Deneuve

What a delicious combination of flavours! I've never made gougeres before but these look wonderful!


Beer flavoured gougeres? Awesome! I'm thinking maybe a little mustard in this would be terrific too.


I never would have thought of making gougeres with beer. I always kind of assumed the milk was a mandatory part. This has opened up a whole new world of possibilities.


Oh how I love gougeres. I've been making Dorie Greenspans recipe for awhile now and love how they freeze...I am so inspired by your beer & whole wheat version...wonder if I can fit this into the cookiepalooza going on in my kitchen this week


Gougeres are delicious. I have never made them, but plan too. I had them with Gruyere cheese. I am sure cheddar or blue cheese is delicious too.

Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet

i've never had these before - but i have all the ingredients. will give it a shot!

lynn @ the actor's diet

These sound like a fabulous idea--nothing in the ingredients that I wouldn't like and I love the idea of something homemade being freezer ready.


Wow, I've only ever made these with water and milk. Never would I have thought of beer! I can only imagine the depth of flavor it would give to these fluffy cheesy pillows! Yum.


Ever since I've seen these on Smitten Kitchen, I've been meaning to make these, but now must be the time, I love the addition of beer!

Angela @ Angie's Veggies

Okay, this is just genius! I would never have thought to freeze these and bake them straight from the freezer. I'll definitely be whipping up a batch of these in the near future. I've always loved Gougeres.

Redd H from Salted Spoon

These look delicious! I've made gougeres using David Lebovitz' recipe, but I would have never dared to use any substitutions for fear of flat, disk-like biscuits. I've made a batch that didn't rise, and managed to salvage them a bit by taking them out a few minutes early. The insides were a bit softer, and I made little sandwiches out of them, filled with boursin and small leaves of arugula.


I admit that til I read this, I didn't even know what a gougères was! But anything with beer in the batter and cheese....yeah, I'm sold!

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

I've been looking for good appetizers to serve for the holidays and these gougeres look perfect!

Christine @ Fresh Local and Best

I've always wanted to try Gougeres and you make it look so easy. I'll give these a go. Thanks. PS - I have your Super Natural Every Day book and I make the yogurt biscuits so often. I love that recipe and how easy it is to adapt. Thank you.


Cheddar! Beer! These sound wonderful!

charlotte au chocolat

I have some gougères in the freezer waiting for party times, and had been wondering about subbing some of the white flour out. I was worried that they won't puff up as well.


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