Chocolate Soufflé


If you're looking for a dessert that's impressive enough for a dinner party but easy enough to make for a casual meal at home, this chocolate soufflé is it.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 20 mins

Forget all you heard about soufflés being complicated and unpredictable. Our chocolate soufflé recipe is one of the most deceptively simple sweets out there. A cacao lover's dream and a great recipe for beginners, its delicate yet indulgent flavor will impress and satisfy all of your guests. (Just watch the jaws drop as you set your masterpiece on the table!)

Yet all you need for this showstopping dessert is a few pantry staples—eggs, chocolate, and sugar—and a little patience. And while a soufflé is elegant enough for a fancy dinner party, it's also simple enough for a family dinner.

What Is a Soufflé?

A soufflé is an indulgent dish made by lightening a base of sugar and egg yolks with whipped egg whites and baking until tall and puffed. As it bakes, the egg whites expand with air, allowing it to rise. Egg whites are key to keeping every soufflé delicate and light as air. Some recipes call for flour or cornstarch, but when egg whites are whipped to the proper consistency, there's no need for extra stabilizers.

Soufflés can be sweet (think lemon, vanilla, or chocolate) or savory (cheese being the best known). Either way, they are rich and will melt in your mouth.

Why Our Recipe Works

Our chocolate soufflé recipe relies on the tried-and-true French technique of folding whipped egg whites into a mixture of sugar and egg yolks. By mixing yolks into a cooled chocolate-sugar mixture, you don't run the risk of curdling the eggs. Some recipes will slowly mix yolks into a hot sugar mixture, but that can be tricky for even the most experienced cook.

The Secrets to Chocolate Soufflé Success

  • Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature before you begin. Cold egg whites are not as strong or structurally sound, which means your soufflé won't rise as high and will sink more quickly than one made with room-temperature eggs.
  • No peeking! As tempting as it may be to open the oven to watch the soufflé rise, you don't want to disturb the dish until it has puffed up to perfection. Opening the door will let in a draft, which could disturb the delicate soufflé, causing it to collapse.
  • Serve straight away. Soufflés only hold their lofty heights for a short time, so serve immediately before your dessert deflates.


  • Unsalted butter, room temperature, for baking dish

  • ¼ cup sugar, plus more for baking dish

  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped, or semisweet chocolate chips (1 cup)

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten, plus 4 large egg whites

  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar


chocolate souffle

Romulo Yanes

  1. Preheat oven and prepare baking dish:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 1 1/2-quart tall-sided baking dish. Coat with sugar, tapping out excess. Set dish on a rimmed baking sheet.

    It's important to coat the baking dish with butter and granulated sugar. This ensures the soufflé will rise evenly and won't stick to the sides of the ramekin. If preparing a savory soufflé, swap the sugar for plain breadcrumbs.

  2. Melt and cool chocolate mixture:

    In a large heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, combine chocolate, vanilla, and 1/4 cup water. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, 20 minutes.

  3. Add egg yolks to chocolate mixture:

    Stir egg yolks into cooled chocolate mixture until well combined. Set souffle base aside.

  4. Beat egg whites with sugar:

    In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-high until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 5 minutes (do not overbeat).

  5. Fold in egg whites:

    In two additions, fold egg-white mixture into souffle base: With a rubber spatula, gently cut down through center and lift up some base from bottom of bowl. Turning bowl, steadily continue to cut down and lift up base until just combined.

  6. Bake soufflé and serve:

    Transfer mixture to dish, taking care not to get batter on top edge of dish; smooth top. Bake soufflé until puffed and set, 30 to 35 minutes. (Do not open oven during first 25 minutes of baking.) Serve immediately.

    chocolate souffle in white ramekin
    Romulo Yanes

The Best Dish for Baking Soufflé

Your soufflé will be its tallest, most camera-ready self when it cooks in a straight-sided baking dish with tall sides. Dishes with sloped sides don’t allow a soufflé to rise evenly.

You can make six individual soufflés using ramekins rather than one shareable dish. If you opt for individual ramekins for this recipe, follow the same steps to make the soufflé batter, but pull them from the oven 10 to 15 minutes earlier than the recipe notes.

Serve Soufflé Quickly

If you are serving soufflé for dessert, pop it in the oven right before you start to eat dinner. This way, the soufflé will be ready to serve around the time you finish the entree.

And, most importantly, serve the soufflé straight away—it will begin to lose its lift and collapse as it cools.

Serving Suggestions

  • Dust lightly with confectioners' sugar for an easy finishing touch.
  • Make it even more decadent by adding a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream to each portion.
  • Finish fresh by serving with seasonal berries such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, or a mix.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between chocolate mousse and soufflé?

While both are light and airy chocolate desserts that contain eggs, mousse is custard-based, usually contains milk or cream, and is served cold. Soufflé has fewer ingredients, and is baked and served hot.

Do you eat soufflé hot or cold?

The short answer is hot: Soufflé should be served and eaten as soon as it comes out of the oven. It will begin to deflate as it cools and lose its impressive height.

Can you overcook soufflé?

Yes. The main indication of an overcooked soufflé is when it starts to sink in the oven. As soon as the soufflé is puffed and airy, that means it's time to serve.

Other Soufflé Recipes to Try:

Updated by
Riley Wofford

Riley is an associate food editor for Martha Stewart Living.

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