Baker Bettie

Sharp Cheddar and Thyme Cheese Puffs (Gougère)

Learn how to use pate a choux pastry to make this cheddar cheese puff recipe or gougere as they are classically called. Light and airy on the inside and a little crisp on the outside. Traditional gougere uses Gruyere cheese, but I used sharp cheddar here. Any shred-able cheese will do! 

Sharp Cheddar and Thyme Cheese Puffs (Gougère) on a cloth

I feel like I need to start this post out with an apology. An apology that the week of Pate a Choux has turned into a week two of Pate a Choux. I had posts lined up for you last week that have now spilled over into this week.

Treats that had been made and photographed and waiting for me to edit and share with you. But time and energy just didn’t allow it. And I hope you can forgive me.

Just to give you a few excuses about why all the Pate a Choux didn’t get shared last week: it has something to do with the fact that I’m in school full time, while working, and trying to devote a lot of time to this blogging passion I have, and be a decent wife and cat mother.

But mostly it has to do with me trying to detox from caffeine. I say this to you while drinking a cup of coffee at 6pm. But me drinking coffee at 6pm IS me trying to detox from caffeine. Because I had gotten to the point where I needed several cups of coffee AND several energy drinks in one day to function. Which is not okay. Don’t do that.

Take my advice. And never drink a Rockstar Energy Drink, ever. That stuff is crack in a can. You drink a Rockstar and realize you FEEL like a rockstar and game over. Addicted. Just don’t. So I’ve cut back to just two cups of black coffee a day for now. I will cut back more, but so far this much is hell and my body isn’t happy about it. But I know it will be better soon.

Okay, excuses over. On to the Pate a Choux Part Deux!

Top left: Sharp Cheddar and Thyme Cheese Puffs (Gougère). Top right: raw pate a choux batter. Bottom left: Pate a Choux Beignets. Bottom Right: Eclairs filled with cream.

If you are just tuning into this series we are talking Pate a Choux and All it Can Do! Which is a lot! We’re continuing this week with a few more recipes about this amazing pastry dough and just how versatile it can be.

Check out the rest of the series here:

How to Make Basic Pate a Choux

Eclairs with Espresso Glaze and Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Homemade Beignets 

Sharp Cheddar and Thyme Cheese Puffs (Gougère) after being baked on a sheet pan

The last two applications with our pate a choux have been sweet. We talked about adding a few TBSP of sugar to the batter for sweet applications.

Today we’re going savory. This time we will leave out the sugar and add some salt, cheddar cheese, and fresh thyme to make these savory cheesy puffs. In France they call these gougère. I had no clue how to pronounce that and so I elected to call them cheese puffs.

But then I made google tell me how to say it and it sounds fancy. Click here to listen… So fancy. Also note the difference between how google says it in French and in English. Why is English google translate’s voice so much less sexy? We already have the less sexy accent. Can’t you just give us a sexy voice, google! Rude. I digress.

The French would probably roll their eyes at me for calling these cheese puffs, or even worse, cheese poofs! They might also tell me that these are traditionally made with gruyere cheese. Okay, I know! I know! But I had sharp cheddar in my refrigerator so that’s what we went with. Use whatever hard cheese makes you happy!

Side note: I can’t tell you how many times I wrote “cheese puggs” instead of “puffs” while writing this post. I promise we aren’t eating pugs. Not even cheese flavored ones.

A bite taken out of a Sharp Cheddar and Thyme Cheese Puff (Gougère)

These are airy little bites of cheesy heaven. They would be the perfect substitute for biscuits or rolls as a side dish, or as a little snack all on their own. I think I may start making these more often than biscuits for dinner because I like how you don’t have to roll the dough out and get flour all over the counter, the floor, your shirt, in your hair… Is that just me? Probably.

You can use a pastry bag to pipe them out, or you can use a little scooper like I did and just scoop the dough. You could even use two spoons to drop mounds on the baking sheets. Crazy easy. And if you have a dinner party call them gougère to your dinner guests and they will be super impressed. Especially if you use that sexy French accent.

Sharp Cheddar and Thyme Cheese Puffs (Gougère) after being baked on a sheet pan

Sharp Cheddar and Thyme Cheese Puffs (Gougère) in a cloth

Sharp Cheddar and Thyme Cheese Puffs (Gougere)

Yield: About 20 Cheese Puffs
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes

Learn how to use pate a choux pastry to make this cheddar cheese puff recipe or gougere as they are classically called. Light and airy on the inside and a little crisp on the outside. Traditional gougere uses Gruyere cheese, but I used sharp cheddar here. Any shred-able cheese will do! 


  • 1 cup (8 oz, 236.6 mL) water
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup, 4 oz, 113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup (4.5 oz, 127 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup finely grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 TBSP fresh thyme, finely minced


  1. Preheat oven to 425F and line baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats and set aside.
  2. Place water, butter, and salt in a sauce pot over medium high heat. Stir until butter is melted and everything comes to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium. Add flour into the mixture all at once while stirring quickly. Continue to stir and cook off the moisture in the dough until it pulls away from the sides and starts to form into a ball. This should take about a minute.
  4. Place dough into the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl if using a hand mixer. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
  5. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add eggs in one at a time. Do not add another egg until the one before has been completely absorbed into the batter. The batter will look smooth and glossy when ready. (Alternatively, you can mix in the eggs by hand. This just takes a bit longer. Mix each egg until completely absorbed before adding the next).
  6. Mix in the cheese and the thyme.
  7. Pipe or scoop the batter onto prepared baking sheets keeping at least 2" apart. Place baking sheet in the oven and turn the heat up to 450F for 8 minutes (do not open the oven). Turn the heat down to 350F and continue to bake for 8-10 more minutes. They should be puffed and airy on the inside and crusty on the outside.
Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 89

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32 comments on “Sharp Cheddar and Thyme Cheese Puffs (Gougère)”

  1. I love you Baker Betty, you make cooking look so easy and so much fun. Your creativity and variety is excellent. I hope you don't burn out with so much to accomplish. Go easy on yourself. I always look forward to your posts. Thanks and good baking (and eating of course) 🙂

  2. These look divine! I have to definitely try this since I love the texture and savory aspect of these little bites! Thanks for sharing this my friend and hope you are well! Don’t work too hard!!!!!!

    • Thanks Danny! Good to hear from you. I have another savory application coming up with week with the choux pastry. My favorite application yet! Stay tuned!

  3. I made gougeres before and I love these cheesy little bites, so irresistible!

  4. Mmmmmm mmmmm mmmmm!!!! Loving how cheesy and airy these are!!!

    (and you poor thing! good luck with your caffeine detox! You can do it!)

    • Thanks Kayle! I’m 5 days energy drink free! That is a pretty big deal for me. I have been just a liiiiiitle grumpy. 🙂

  5. I had a good laugh sitting there going back and fourth between the French and English… and then other languages! (Ps, Swahilli is much less sexy than English, so we’re not the worst at least!)
    These sound wonderful, I can’t wait to try!

    • That’s it. Instant Bffs. That is exactly what I did. Back and forth: French then English. French then English. And just couldn’t quit giggling. My husband thought I was nuts.

  6. This comment made my day Theresa! That is absolutely my goal. To make baking look fun and easy and to get everyone around me into it! It is hard to burn out when you are having this much fun. Thanks for always following!

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  8. I made these yesterday .. well half of a batch. Two old, fat people live here. I will be making these again! This stuff is FUN! I may have pulled them from the oven a bit early and I see you addressed this on today’s post so I’m ready to try these again! Do you think some bacon pieces would be a problem at the oven temperature they cook at?

    • Hi Twyla! So glad you made them! I’m not sure about the bacon. I think it is a fabulous idea! I would just cook it, crumble it pretty fine and add it to the batter at the end with the cheese. Let me know if it does work out. Did you cook them for the time stated or pull them out earlier than that? Now that I’ve had more success with the cream puffs, I’m thinking about trying the cheese ones again and editing the cook time and temp.

      • My oven runs on the cool side so I baked them the maximum 20 minutes. I don’t believe it was heating when I put them in though … and certainly it would have just cooled off from opening the door! I think your revision in instruction makes perfect sense! Can’t wait to try these again today. I just happen to have some bacon cooked and ready to crumble …. and the time to try them! I’ll let you know how I do this time. Thanks for your help!

        • Ok, Twyla! I just made them again and this is what I did to adjust the time. I did like the cream puffs: heat the oven to 425F then up it to 450F when you put them in. Bake there for 8 mins (since these are littler than the cream puffs), then drop to 350F for 10 more minutes. The turned out awesome! Much more puffy and airy in the middle.

          • You are faster than I am … Mine are still in the oven and their volume is remarkable already! I can hardly wait for them to finish! .
            Baking with you has been the most fun and challenging thing I’ve done lately!

          • I’m so happy Twyla! I’m not usually that fast but I was already making some pate a choux for another tester recipe that turned out fabulous (coming up tomorrow!) so I went ahead and threw these together too! I’m so glad yours are turning out! I am going to edit the instructions to reflect our new way!

          • OMG!!, these are absolute perfection! I used the bamix nut grinder to get the bacon quite small and there were no problems baking them in. I did forgo the parchment paper as I wasn’t sure if the new temps were too high for it. Oh, how i wish you could try these! I’m feeling so much better about my skills already and we have a new item on the menu! These would have been so perfect for my last attempt at serving a brunch for5!
            Thank you! I hope to expand even more on these …. now that you’ve given me the solid foundation for understanding this recipe! Great job!
            And all the best for your future baking!

  9. I want these for breakfast! And normally I'm a sweets for breakfast gal.

    My grandmother has a Jewish pate a choux recipe she calls "Pesach-dicki rolls"- she made them every year for Passover when she hosted it, and I guess she made them the non-rising variety because of the non-leavening deal with Passover? No, really she is just an awful cook; they were usually hard and leathery- only once in a great while did they ever poof! They were always good with a big chunk of butter spread in the middle though. It's a standard pate a choux but made with matzo meal instead of flour. Now I'm craving them…

    I cannot imagine detoxing from caffeine. I usually only drink one (giant) cup a day, if I drink caffeine too late in the afternoon I never get to sleep. Good luck!

  10. I just came across your blog today, and I have to say that I’m now hooked. I find myself already saying to myself, “I’ll try that one… Ohhh, and that one!” So, my roommate came home today and stood dumbfounded in the doorway as she perused how much I’ve baked today. On a more serious note, I wanted to say thank you for making the directions so clear and concise. I normally avoid anything with a French name, denoting it as ‘too hard,’ but these little pastries are divine… I wanted to pounce on passing neighbors and demand, “Eat this!” but my roommate assured me that it would seem too manic. In all, thank you for the recipe and all of the wonderful inspiration.

  11. Just checking out some savoury beignet recipes and came across this post. Seems like great minds etc. as I was going to try them in the oven rather than the fried method (and no yeast) but liking it spicy have decided to add a couple of tbsp of chopped (pickled) red jalapeno as I usually pop some cayenne in the fried ones. One of the other comments mentioned bacon, and yes they go well together, as does chorizo (crisped) of the Spanish variety. As for pronunciation….being english I’m going to do the googly thing…..and hopefully have a laugh!

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  14. Google pronunciations are not the best. I like to use Forvo when I am unsure how to pronounce something. The nice thing about Forvo is that people from the word’s country of origin pronounce it. Here is the link to pronouncing gougere.

    They have lots of culinary terms, and the site has been really handy when I want to know how to pronounce Asian and African dishes.

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  18. I just made these for my daughter’s baby shower on Sunday. They are delicious! It was hard to stop tasting at three. I bagged them up and put them in the refrigerator and my question is at what temperature and how long should I reheat them for?

  19. Thank you so much for this arlicte, it saved me time!

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  21. I’ve always been too chicken to try a pate a choux recipe but these directions seemed to be a nice step by step walk through.  I followed the recipe exactly & they turned out great! Will definitely be added to my go to appetizer meals!

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