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close up of classic cheese soufflé showing crown

Classic Cheese Soufflé

Classic Cheese Soufflé is a show stopping side dish that is incredibly simple to make. Eating this soufflé is like eating a delightful, cheese-flavored cloud. 

Course Side Dish
Cuisine French
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 400 kcal
Author My Recipes


  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter divided
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 oz sharp Cheddar cheese shredded
  • 6 large eggs separated
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar


  1. Preheat oven to 370 degrees.

  2. Generously butter a 2-quart soufflé dish with one tablespoon of the butter.

  3. In a 2- to 3-quart pan over medium heat, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. Add flour and stir until mixture is smooth and bubbling. Stir in milk, cayenne, and salt, and continue stirring until sauce boils and thickens, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat.

  4. Add shredded cheese to the pot with the milk mixture and stir until melted. Add egg yolks (one at a time) and whisk after each addition until the mixture is blended and smooth.

  5. In a bowl, with a mixer on high speed, beat egg whites using the whisk attachment with cream of tartar until short, stiff, moist peaks form. With a flexible spatula, fold a third of the cheese sauce into whites until well blended. Add remaining sauce and gently fold in just until blended.

  6. Scrape the prepared soufflé batter into the buttered dish until it is 3/4 of they way full. Pour any extra batter into buttered ramekins.

  7. Bake in the preheated oven until top is golden to deep brown and cracks look fairly dry, 25 to 30 minutes for large soufflé, 15 to 20 minutes for small ones. Serve immediately, scooping portions from single soufflé with a large spoon.

  8. Before baking the soufflé run a table knife around the edge of the soufflé batter - about 1-inch from the edge of the dish - this will create a pretty "crown" that puffs up in the middle of the soufflé as it bakes.