These gougère bites are the perfect party appetizer! This dairy-free version tastes as "cheesy" as the real thing.
Gougères. They sound fancy, right? There's a backward accent in the name and everything!
I stumbled upon a Martha Stewart recipe for these fantastic French appetizers when I was in my twenties and we were hosting Christmas dinner. They impressed guests back then, and they are still crowd favorites to this day!
What is a gougère?
Gougères may sound fancy, but they are simply pillowy puffs of cheese-filled dough. When kids ask me what they are, I just say "cheese puffs." In essence, that's what they are.
Gougère Bites: the Perfect Party Appetizer
I love making gougère bites for parties. These French appetizers are perfect for entertaining a crowd:
- They can be made up to two months ahead. In fact, it's a great recipe to make well ahead of the busy holiday season so you have one less thing to worry about come party time!
- The bite-sized bundles of cheesy (dairy-free) joy deliver a lot of flavor in one little bite.
- Gougères are fantastic finger food: easy for people to snack on as they are mixing and mingling. No plates required!
- They taste delicious both hot out of the oven, and at room temperature.
Making Dairy-Free Gougères
I've made this recipe exactly as it is with both regular dairy products AND dairy-free alternatives. The appetizers turn out deliciously addictive using both options, and I love that it's an easy 1:1 substitution across the board.
The egg wash before baking gives each bite a beautiful shine. You can forego this step if you want to make this egg-free. Or, you can melt a little dairy-free butter and do a light butter wash on top instead. My preference is for the egg wash.
Can you freeze gougère dough?
Absolutely! If you want to make these well in advance, you clan pipe them onto parchment-lined baking sheets then put in the freezer. Once frozen, transfer gougères to freezer bags or freezer-safe containers and freeze for up to two months.
Can you reheat gougères?
Yes! You can reheat gougères that are baked but not frozen in a 350° oven for 3-5 minutes.
Gougère Bites Recipe
Gougère Bites: Dairy-Free Cheese Puff Appetizers
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- Prep two baking sheets with parchment paper
- In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring almond milk, water, vegan butter, and salt to a boil.
- Lower heat to medium-low, then add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon to mix the ingredients and form the dough. Soon the dough will start to form a ball and pull away from the edges of the pan. Stir until the dough is smooth.
- Add the dough to a stand mixer with paddle attachment (or large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon). With the mixer on low, beat in eggs one at a time. The dough will be shiny and smooth.
- Mix in the dairy-free cheese shreds, chives, salt, and pepper just until fully incorporated into the dough (do not overmix in this step!).
- Spoon dough into a large pastry with a #4 pastry tip (or plastic ziplock bag with one corner cut out to pipe) and pipe about 1 tablespoon of dough onto the prepared parchment sheet-lined baking sheets. Pipe them about 2 inches apart.
- In a small bowl, whisk together one large egg yolk with 1 tsp water. Use a small pastry brush to brush yolk wash onto the tops of each piped gougere.
- Bake at 375°F for 24-26 minutes, rotating and switching out pans halfway through. Allow to cool slightly on pans at room temp before serving.