Grand Marnier Soufflé


In 2018, Food & Wine named this recipe one of our 40 best. In the inaugural issue of the magazine, legendary chef Jacques Pépin shared his recipe for the perfect soufflé. This ethereal citrus-scented dessert is as good today as it was in 1978, proving that some dishes are timeless.

Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins

The classic egg-based French dessert is known for its dramatic puff. It’s tender in the center with a delicate outer shell. This recipe comes together with a handful of pantry staples and uses crème pâtissière, orange zest, and Grand Marnier to give it a citrusy essence.

How to Make a Soufflé

Soufflés have a reputation for being difficult to pull off, but are much easier than you might think. Pépin, one of Food & Wine's greatest contributing editors, shared this recipe with us shortly after publishing his tome of French cooking, La Technique. He is the perfect person to teach readers about "towering, golden-roofed, steamily fragrant" soufflés, offering detailed directions on everything from preparing the mold and the collar to beating the eggs properly. He explains that you should make and chill the crème pâtissière before you start to assemble the soufflé. Dusting the buttered souffle dish with a combination of granulated sugar and flour helps the soufflé rise as it keeps it from sticking to the mold; the soufflé will cling to the sugar while it rises. A parchment paper collar keeps the soufflé inside the baking dish so the batter rises instead of spilling out and over. Be sure to chill the mold before you fill it.

As Pépin notes, the key to a successful soufflé is in how you incorporate and maintain the air whipped into the egg whites. You will want to make sure to start with room-temperature eggs for the best results; cold eggs will restrict the volume you can create. Whip the egg whites into stiff peaks. Gently fold the crème pâtissière into the egg whites, being mindful about deflating the peaks. Pour the mixture into the mold and bake it to airy perfection.


Crème Pâtissière

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup whole milk


  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • Unsalted butter, softened, for greasing

  • Crème Pâtissière, at room temperature

  • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier

  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest

  • 6 large egg whites, at room temperature

  • Powdered sugar, for garnish


Make the crème pâtissière:

  1. Whisk together sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla in a medium bowl until mixture is pale yellow and reaches the ribbon stage, meaning that when you lift the whisk, the mixture is aerated enough that it falls into the bowl in thick trails, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add flour; whisk until smooth.

  2. Bring milk to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium, about 3 minutes. Gradually add milk to egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Return mixture to saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium, whisking constantly, about 3 minutes. Boil mixture, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl; press plastic wrap directly onto surface. Let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Mixture can be chilled, covered, for up to 3 days.

    Make the soufflé:

  3. Preheat oven to 375°F with oven rack in lower third of oven. Stir together granulated sugar and flour in a small bowl; set aside. Cut a 24- x 12-inch piece of parchment paper; fold lengthwise 3 times (letter-style). Wrap paper around outside top of a 1-quart soufflé dish to form a collar extending 2 inches above rim; secure tightly with string. Rub inside of soufflé dish and parchment collar with butter. Dust with sugar mixture, shaking out excess. Chill dish at least 15 minutes.

  4. Stir together crème pâtissière, Grand Marnier, and orange zest in a large bowl. Beat egg whites in bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer on medium speed until glossy and stiff peaks form, about 4 minutes. Whisk about one-third of egg whites into crème pâtissière mixture until well incorporated. Gently fold in remaining egg whites until just incorporated. Pour mixture into prepared dish. Place dish on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake in preheated oven until soufflé is puffed and golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.

    Grand Marnier Souffle
    Greg DuPree
Related Articles