Classic French Vanilla Soufflé

Vanilla soufflés in white ramekins

The Spruce

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
296 Calories
14g Fat
33g Carbs
8g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 296
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 19%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 174mg 58%
Sodium 317mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 33g 12%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 8g
Calcium 117mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

We may think of soufflés as a fancy dessert that we have to preorder in an elegant restaurant because it takes time and is certainly not something we could possibly make at home and serve. But this recipe for a vanilla dessert soufflé may change your mind.

With just seven ingredients that are probably already in your kitchen, and a few simple steps, including whipping egg whites, you will have a beautiful vanilla soufflé in under an hour. It is as light as a cloud and full of sweet, unadulterated vanilla essence. Before you make it, however, make sure your equipment is spotlessly clean (dirty equipment can impede the soufflé's rise) and that all your ingredients are at room temperature, measured, and ready to go. The word soufflé, after all, comes from the French verb souffler, which means to puff up or blow up.

It's also a recipe you can prepare for any menu—from a special occasion to an everyday meal. It feels just right when served after a roasted chicken, or after filet mignon, but there's no reason why it can't follow a simple pasta dinner, too. Finish it off with a dusting of confectioners' sugar and serve with a few plump berries for a treat that's at once visually spectacular and surprisingly easy.

Ingredients

  • For the Soufflé Dish:
  • Butter (enough to coat the dish)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • For the Soufflé:
  • 1 1/3 cups milk (divided)
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs (separated)
  • Garnish: confectioners' sugar (for dusting)
  • Optional: fresh berries

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat the oven to 350 F.

  2. Gather the ingredients.

Coat the Soufflé Dish

  1. Butter a large soufflé dish and sprinkle in 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, tilting the dish to make sure the entire interior surface is covered.

  2. Set aside the prepared soufflé dish.

Make the Soufflé

  1. Bring 1 cup of the milk to just steaming in a medium saucepan set over low-medium heat.

  2. In a bowl, stir together 1/3 cup of the granulated sugar, the all-purpose flour, and the remaining 1/3 cup milk until it forms a smooth batter.

  3. Slowly whisk half of the hot milk into the batter, making sure to combine the ingredients until they are completely smooth—this is called tempering.

  4. Add the tempered batter back to the hot milk in the pan and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly. Stir and cook the mixture until it has thickened, about 1 minute.

  5. Stir the unsalted butter into the mixture until combined.

  6. Allow batter to cool at room temperature for 10 minutes, then stir in the vanilla extract.

  7. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until they become foamy, and then add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Continue beating the egg whites on high speed until they hold stiff, glossy peaks.

  8. Gently stir 1/3 of the egg whites into the vanilla mixture, then carefully fold in the remaining whipped egg whites. The vanilla mixture should be evenly colored and light and bubbly, without egg white streaks or marbling.

  9. Spoon the soufflé mixture into the prepared dish and allow it to rest, covered, for up to 30 minutes (or you can bake it right away).

  10. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes (slightly longer at high altitudes) until the soufflé has risen and has a crusty exterior.

  11. Serve the soufflé with a dusting of confectioners' sugar and a few plump berries, if desired. Enjoy.

Tip

  • Don't skip coating the soufflé dishes, as this is one of the most important steps. If you do, the batter may stick to the sides of the ramekin and the soufflé won't rise properly.
  • It is not an old wives' tale that opening the oven door while a soufflé is cooking can cause it to sink; it's true that this can happen. A sudden rise or fall in temperature during cooking will have that effect.
  • Soufflés need to be served immediately because they rise so much in the oven, and when a hot soufflé hits the cooler air, it deflates.