Havarti Cheese Puffs Recipe (Gougères)

5 from 2 votes

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Light & crisp, loaded with aged havarti, this cheese puffs recipe is a must-try! It takes less than an hour and a few pantry staples to make this gourgeres recipe.

A platter of golden round cheese puffs piled up.


 

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Why you’ll love this gougere recipe:

The savory sister to eclairs and cream puffs, this flaky, delicate appetizer is impossible to resist! 

Mix pâte à choux dough with sharp aged hard cheese and dried herbs to make these savory cheese puffs!

  • Easy – Don’t let the fancy French name scare you. It’s super simple to make these baked cheese puffs! They only require a handful of ingredients and are done in 40 minutes. 
  • Texture – Light, airy, and crisp on the outside while being soft and tender on the inside.
  • Elegant – This sophisticated appetizer will easily elevate a basic cheese platter or charcuterie board

Perfect for large parties and holidays, this outrageously addicting cheese puffs recipe is a keeper! I’m positive you won’t stop at just one! 

A layer of golden cheese puffs.

Key Ingredient Notes:

  • Unsalted butter – Used for a rich, buttery flavor and adds to the crisp, flaky texture. 
  • Spices – Dried dill weed, paprika, and salt enhance the savory flavor. 
  • Flour – Gives the gougères structure as they puff up. 
  • Eggs – Three large eggs are needed to moisten the dough, help the cheese puffs rise, and act as a binding agent. One additional egg yolk is brushed on top of the puffs just before baking for a golden exterior after it bakes. 
  • Harvarti cheese – Only use dry, aged Harvarti cheese or other hard cheeses such as parmesan and aged cheddar. Creamy harvarti won’t work in this recipe. 
Havarti gougeres ingredients.

How to make this gougeres recipe:

Preheat your oven to 425°F, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat

1. Make the cooked dough 

  • Combine water, butter and salt along with spices in a medium (2.5qt) saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. 
  • Once the butter is melted and the mixture is boiling, reduce the heat to medium, and add the flour all at once. 
  • Stir the mixture continuously, using a wooden spoon until the dough starts to form into a ball. 
  • Keep mixing for another 3 minutes, until a light crust forms on the bottom of the pan. 
Step by step photos in a collage of making cheese puff dough in a saucepan.

2. Add the eggs

  • Transfer the cooked dough to a medium bowl. (You can also use an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.)
  • Mix the dough for a few minutes on low speed, until the mixture cools down to room temperature.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Adding the eggs one at a time helps the egg absorb into the dough more quickly. So, don’t rush this step!
Step by step photos in a collage of adding eggs into the cooled choux pastry dough.

3. Add the cheese

  • Grate aged Havarti on a grater with small holes.
Freshly grated aged havarti cheese on a fine grater.
  • Stir in the cheese and fold the batter with a wooden spoon.
Side by side images of adding grated cheese into the choux pastry dough.

4. Shape the cheese puffs

  • Using a medium cookie scoop, drop about 1-inch dough two inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
Scooping cheese puffs dough with a cookie dough scoop onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

5. Brush on Egg wash

  • In a small bowl, mix the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of water to make an egg wash.
  • Using a pastry brush, brush a thin layer of egg wash on each cheese puff dough.
Side by side images of egg wash and brushing on egg wash on cheese puffs.

4. Bake the Cheese Puffs (Gougères)

  • Bake the cheese puffs for 20 to 25 minutes, one baking sheet at a time.
  • When the pastry shells are golden brown, crispy, and puffed up, transfer them onto a cooling rack to cool completely.  
  • Serve warm and enjoy! Gougères are best eaten warm and fresh out of the oven.  
Baked cheese puffs on a baking sheet.

Fix deflated cheese puffs

Continue baking if the puffs fall flat. If they deflate when you remove them from the oven, put them back in and bake for another 3-5 minutes, or until they puff up again.

Tips for Success:

  • Measure the flour accurately using a kitchen scale or the spoon and level method. An accurate measurement ensures you will have the correct consistency in the dough.
  • Use a wooden spoon to mix the dough if you don’t have an electric mixer. It’ll take a bit longer and require more effort, but a mixer is not absolutely required. 
  • Use room-temperature eggs. They’ll mix into the dough more easily, making the dough smoother.
  • Don’t stop stirring the dough when it’s on the stove. This allows more moisture to evaporate, which will help the dough absorb the eggs and become light and fluffy when baked.
  • Use water, not milk, in the dough. Through multiple rounds of testing, I’ve concluded that water is best when making pâte à choux dough. Milk adds too much fat, which can weigh down the light and airy shells, preventing them from puffing up.
  • Use freshly grated cheese. Store-bought shredded or grated cheese will not incorporate well into the dough. It’s best to finely grate the cheese yourself using a box grater.      
Golden cheese puffs torn in the middle exposing a hollow center.

Make-Ahead Tips:

While French cheese puffs are best eaten warm, they can be made ahead of time, too. Your guests will be so impressed when you pull hot and fresh gougères from the oven! 

  • Make the cheese puffs recipe as directed, and store them for later. 
  • When you’re ready to eat, lay the puffs out on a parchment-lined baking sheet. 
  • Warm the cheese puffs in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 350°F. 

Storing Tips:

  • Let the puffs fully cool. Transfer them to a glass, airtight container, and keep them stored for up to 3 days.
  • They should be stored on the counter at room temperature.
  • Gougères can be reheated in the oven or eaten cold.  

Cheese Puffs Recipe FAQs:

What to serve with Havarti Cheese Puffs?

Baked cheese puffs can be served as an appetizer alongside cheese and cracker platters, charcuterie boards, or in place of dinner rolls. They’re also a creative and delicious topping for soups and salads and complement a glass of champagne. 

What is the difference between a gougère and a profiterole?

A profiterole is a cream puff, typically made with a sweet, custard-like filling. Gougères are savory cheese pastries that do not have a filling.  

Can you freeze cheese puffs?

Fully cooked cheese puffs can be frozen for up to 2 months. Let them thaw before reheating in the oven.  

A platter of golden round cheese puffs piled up.
5 from 2 votes

Havarti Cheese Puffs (Gougères)

Light & crisp, loaded with aged havarti, this cheese puffs recipe is a must-try! It takes one hour and pantry staples to make this gourgeres recipes.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 19 cheese puffs

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons (55 g) unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup (150 ml) water
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill weed
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika Note 1
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 3 oz (85 g) aged Havarti cheese finely grated, Note 2
  • 1 egg yolk for egg wash

Equipment

  • 1 medium (2.5qt) saucepan
  • 1 stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, or silicone mat.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine water, butter, dill, paprika and salt and bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat.
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, ½ teaspoon dried dill weed, ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika, ¼ teaspoon coarse kosher salt, 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Once the butter is melted and mixture is boiling, take the saucepan off heat and add the flour all at once and mix it with a wooden spoon.
  • Put the saucepan back on the burner and reduce the heat to medium.
  • Cook the mixture, stirring continuously, for 5 minutes. The dough will start to form into a ball and light crust will form on the bottom of the pan.
  • Transfer the dough into a mixing bowl with paddle attachment and mix it for a few minutes on low speed until the mixture is at room temperature. (Alternatively, you can use a wooden spoon, it’ll just take a bit longer. Mixer is not required here!)
    2 large eggs, 3 oz aged Havarti cheese
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. This will help to get the egg absorbed into the dough quicker.
  • Stir in the grated cheese.
  • Using a medium cookie scoop, drop about 1-inch dough two inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
  • In a small bowl, mix the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of water to make an egg wash.
  • Using a pastry brush, brush a thin layer of egg wash on each cheese puff dough.
  • Bake the cheese puffs for about 20 minutes, one baking sheet at a time. The pastry shells should be golden brown, crispy, and puffed up.
  • Transfer the shells onto a cooling rack to cool completely. (If the puffs fall flat when you remove from oven, it means they are under-baked. Simply put it back into the oven and bake for another 3-5 minutes, or until they puff up again.
  • It’s best to serves these cheese puffs warm, but you can make them ahead and simply warm them up in the oven for 10-15 minutes before serving.
  • Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Tips & Notes

Note 1: I love using smoked paprika. But regular paprika will also work.
Note 2:  Use freshly grated, hard cheese like aged harvarti, parmesan, or aged cheddar. Creamy harvarti won’t work in this recipe. 
Storing Tips: 
– Store leftover cheese puffs in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
– Fully cooked cheese puffs can be frozen for up to 3 months.
– Thaw frozen cheese puffs, and warm them in the oven, or enjoy cold. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cheese puff, Calories: 70kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 38mg, Sodium: 72mg, Potassium: 20mg, Fiber: 0.2g, Sugar: 0.04g, Vitamin A: 162IU, Vitamin C: 0.04mg, Calcium: 33mg, Iron: 0.4mg
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American, French

Hi, I’m Shinee!

Welcome! I’m so happy you’re here! I believe anyone can cook restaurant-quality food at home! And my goal is to help you to become a confident cook with my easy-to-follow recipes with lots of tips and step-by-step photos.

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24 Comments

  1. Did not make this as the quantity is way to much for my use even when halved. Can the dough be frozen in small batches and used as needed?
    It seems like this is a recipe that I would use often.

    1. Hi, Donna. Yes, you can pipe little mounds on a silicone mat and freeze them. Once frozen solid, put them in a freezer bags and take out as needed. No need to thaw before baking. Hope this helps.

  2. Made this and Loved it!! I added left over sautéed mushrooms, onion, garlic, red and yellow peppers and used sharp cheddar. Perfect accompaniment with and dish!!