Vanilla Soufflé

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Four to six


Appears in

Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer

Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1969

  • About


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Using the fingers, rub the inside of a -quart soufflé dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Make certain the butter covers all the bottom and sides of the dish. Sprinkle the inside of the dish with 1 tablespoon of sugar and shake it around so that the sides are coated. Place the dish briefly in the freezer, or refrigerate until ready to use.

  3. Melt the remaining butter in a saucepan. Stir in the flour, using a wire whisk. When the mixture is blended, add the milk, stirring rapidly with the whisk. Bring the sauce to a boil, stirring constantly. When the mixture is thickened and smooth, add the remaining sugar and the salt. Continue cooking and stirring for about 1 minute.

  4. In a small bowl, blend together the cornstarch and water and add to the sauce, stirring constantly. Continue cooking for about 1 minute. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

  5. Break the eggs one at a time, letting the whites fall into a mixing bowl. Drop the yolks into another small mixing bowl. Beat the yolks lightly.

  6. Using a rubber spatula, add the yolks to the sauce and beat rapidly with the whisk. Return the sauce to the heat and cook over very low heat, stirring. Let the sauce bubble, stirring constantly, for about 3 seconds, no longer.

  7. Using a rubber spatula, transfer the sauce to a round-bottomed mixing bowl. Let the sauce cool for about 10 minutes at room temperature.

  8. Beat the egg whites with a wire whisk, rotary beater, or electric mixer until they are quite stiff and stand in peaks. (It is all right to add the beaten egg whites to the sauce while the sauce is warm BUT NOT HOT.) Scoop half the beaten egg whites into the sauce and whisk them well into the sauce, using a rubber spatula or a wire whisk.

  9. Scoop the remaining whites into the sauce. Using a cutting-in motion with a rubber spatula, cut down to the bottom, scoop around the bottom, and bring the spatula up. Do this several times. Do not overfold or the soufflé will not puff properly. Leave some white specks showing.

  10. Using the spatula, pour the mixture into the prepared soufflé dish. Place the soufflé in the oven and immediately turn the oven down to 375 degrees. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes. Some people like a soufflé with a moist interior, and for this the soufflé should be baked for the shorter period of time. For a soufflé with a firmer interior, use the longer cooking time.

  11. Meanwhile, as the soufflé bakes, whip the cream and sweeten it with half the confectioners’ sugar. Refrigerate until soufflé is cooked.

  12. When the soufflé is removed from the oven, sprinkle it quickly with the remaining confectioners’ sugar. The best way to do this is to hold a small sieve over the soufflé and to put the sugar in it. Shake the sieve this way and that over the soufflé until the top is coated. Serve the soufflé quickly with the whipped cream served on the side.