Homemade cheese puffs are light, airy, buttery, and extra cheesy.
These fancy French pastries are easy to make (and even easier to eat). They’re perfect served as an appetizer or a side dish or even with a glass of wine.
I am excited to have partnered with Cabot Cheese to share this recipe!
What are Cheese Puffs?
Cheese puffs are a French pastry known as gougeres. The dough for these cheese puffs is a choux pastry and easy to make. This is similar to a dough you would use for cream puffs/eclairs. While cheese puffs are often made with Gruyere or Emmenthal cheese, we absolutely love the flavor of Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar in this recipe.
A choux pastry sounds difficult but it really is easy. In this dough, you will cook the butter and milk and then stir in the flour let it cook a little bit. Finally, add in the egg and cheese.
- Light & fluffy on the inside with a crispy exterior, these hand-held puffs are perfect as a side dish for soup, stew, or any saucy entrée!
- Kids and adults alike love the cheesy flavor Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar adds to these buttery bites.
- These cheese puffs are freezer-friendly. Just toss them in a freezer bag & thaw as needed!
Cheese Puffs Ingredients
CHEESE: Cheese is the main flavor of these puffs so it’s important to use a high quality cheese with great flavor like Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar. This cheese has been aged a minimum of 18 months and adds a bold nutty flavor. Finely shredding the cheese with the smaller side of a box grater ensures every bite is packed with cheddar flavor.
Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar is great in any recipe where you’d like a nice bold cheesy flavor (like Beer Cheese Soup). Cabot is a co-op of dairy farmers of New England and NY founded over 100 years ago (and they really do make the best cheddar)!
BASE: Milk (or water), butter, flour, and eggs are the base for perfect cheese puffs, but the key is in the preparation technique (don’t worry, it’s easy)! Milk can be replaced with water but we find a richer flavor with milk.
How to Make Cheese Puffs
- Boil milk, butter and seasonings per the recipe below. Reduce the heat, and stir in flour to make a dough. Cook until the dough holds together.
- Whisk in eggs & cheese. Place dough in a pastry bag.
- Pipe circles of dough on prepared pan & brush with egg.
- Bake per recipe below until browned & serve warm.
Storing Cheese Puffs
Keep cheese puffs in a zippered bag at room temperature for 4-5 days. Freeze cheese puffs in a zippered bag with the date labeled on the outside for up to 8 weeks.
Gently reheat in the oven at 350°F for about 8 minutes or until heated through.
More Cheesy Favorites
- Cheese Bread (Quick Bread)
- Ham and Cheese Drop Biscuits
- Quick Cheese Muffins
- Cheddar Cheese Scones
- Air Fryer Grilled Cheese
- Garlic Cheese Toast
Did you make these Cheese Puffs? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!
- 1 cup milk or water
- 1 stick butter unsalted (½ cup)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
- 1 cup flour
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar finely shredded
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium saucepan, combine milk, butter, salt and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Turn heat to low and add all of the flour at once. Stir until very smooth. Continue cooking and stirring until it forms a dough that doesn't stick to the sides/bottom of the pot and is no longer sticky, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.
- While the flour mixture is cooling, completely whisk eggs in a separate bowl. Remove 2 tablespoons of the eggs for an egg wash and set aside.
- Add the egg mixture to the dough a little bit at a time, stirring with a spoon after each addition. Once the eggs are completely incorporated, stir in the shredded cheese.
- Place the mixture into a freezer bag or a piping bag and pipe into 1" circles (about 3/4" high) on the prepared baking sheet. With wet fingers, smooth the top of the mounds.
- Whisk the reserved egg with 1 teaspoon water and brush over the puffs. Sprinkle with additional cheddar if desired.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 425°F and then lower the temperature to 350°F and cook for 18-19 minutes or until they are puffed and browned.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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hey just wandering if edam cheese will work okay
I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure Summer, but that should work just fine. If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out!
Do you think I can bake these then freeze them?
These cheese puffs are freezer-friendly. Just toss them in a freezer bag & thaw as needed!
These were so delicious! My son especially loved them, so I ended up making them 2 nights in a row because the first batch got eaten so quickly! The second time, I sprinkled a bit of cheese on the tops and like them even more that way! They remind me of a cheesy popover. We have reheated them in the toaster oven and eaten them for breakfast. :) Thanks for the wonderful recipe!
That makes us so happy to hear, Amy! I am glad they were a hit with your family.
Do you think a small cookie scoop would work instead of piping?
I think it would work, the dough is a bit sticky so even maybe drops from a tablespoon. If you need to shape them a little, try moistening your hands with a bit of water. Let us know how it goes!
Can you make the dough early and then bake when needed?
I haven’t tried making the dough and I’m not sure if it would have the same texture. I would place it in the piping bag and refrigerate until you’re ready to pipe it. Let us know how it goes!
What would be a good side dip for the cheese-puffs? or is one even needed?
Hi Brandi, These are delicious on their own but we do love dipping these in soup or stew, or heating them up and spreading butter on them.
I would love to make this recipe. What type of flour are you using in this recipe? All purpose or self rising? Thanks
We used all-purpose flour for this recipe.
Question: How many ounces are in your 1 cup of finely shredded cheese?
Hi Eileen, it is approximately 4 ounces of cheese.
Can you use Gluten-Free flour?
I haven’t tried this with GF flour so I can’t say for sure if it would work. Let us know how it goes if you try it!
Looks great! Did you use the packaged, fine-shredded cheese? I have read that the packaged cheese has cellulose or some other anti-caking, or anti-sticking, stuff – – which might “ruin” the recipe. Therefore does pre-shredded, packaged cheese work OK in this recipe? Or is it best to buy a block of cheese + shred it ourself?
We used a block of Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar in this recipe and shredded it on the smaller side of a box grater. A nice bold cheese is needed for flavor in this recipe.
Excellent – I will do the same!
Cabot cheeses are always in our house, and the Seriously Sharp is our absolute favorite! You have given me the perfect solution for my dilemma of something different for a church function on Sunday. I haven’t made choux pastry in years, but reading your description and instruction brought it all rushing back! Thanks.
I hope you love them as much as we do Gabrielle!