To serve up an extra-special dessert without a lot of effort, why not learn how to make a chocolate souffle? You can prep these fluffy confections in just 20 minutes. And it’s hard to beat the drama of a dreamy treat that seems to float for a few brief—yet beautiful—moments just as its delivered to the table.
Souffles may have a reputation for being fancy and finicky, but we’ll walk you through how to make one step by step. The dish is essentially chocolate and meringue folded together and baked. You can pull this off, and your special guests will be so glad you did.
How to Make a Chocolate Souffle
- 4 large eggs
- 6 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup baking cocoa
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Confectioner’s sugar
- Hand mixer
- 6 souffle dishes
- 2 large bowls
Pro tip: Plan to bake your souffles so they come out of the oven just before you want to serve them. And make sure to bring them to the table right away so your guests can watch the airy sweets gently fall back into their dishes.
Photo: Shutterstock/Vasin Lee
Step 1: Prep the eggs and souffle dishes
Separate the eggs, making sure no yolks get in the whites. If they do, the whites won’t whip up properly. Let the separated eggs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Room temp egg whites will expand more than cold egg whites to give you better volume.
Coat six 6-oz. souffle dishes with cooking spray. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of sugar into each dish, tilting to cover the bottom and sides; set aside.
Test Kitchen tip: Souffle dishes are ovenproof and come in a variety of sizes. Their straight sides help the souffle rise. But to be extra confident, be sure the cooking spray and sugar go all the way to the rim of each souffle dish. Wipe any extra sugar off the rims.
Photo: Shutterstock/Marina Onokhina
Step 2: Make the chocolate mixture
Preheat the oven to 375°.
In a large bowl, whisk the corn syrup, cocoa, egg yolks and vanilla extract until blended; set aside.
Test Kitchen tip: The type of baking cocoa you choose will have a big impact on the flavor of your souffle. We tested five kinds of baking cocoa—find out which brand is right for you. For more flavor options, try almond or mint extract instead of vanilla extract (later, you can garnish with shaved almonds or a few mint leaves).
Step 3: Make the meringue
In a large, dry bowl with clean, dry beaters, beat the egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining sugar on high until stiff peaks form.
Test Kitchen tip: Be careful not to over-whip the meringue. The beaten whites should be just firm enough to form and hold a stiff peak when the beaters are lifted. Here’s what meringue peaks should look like, plus even more of our secrets for making the perfect meringue.
Step 4: Combine the chocolate and meringue
Gently fold a fourth of the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture; this will make the chocolate mixture a little fluffier before you add the remaining meringue. Then, fold in the remaining egg white mixture.
Photo: Shutterstock/ sreville
Step 5: Bake the souffles
Spoon the batter into your prepared dishes. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Photo: Shutterstock/Alp Aksoy
Step 6: Add the finishing touch!
When you pull your baked souffles out of the oven, quickly dust them with confectioners’ sugar. Immediately serve them warm.
Test Kitchen tip: Instead of sprinkling confectioners’ sugar on top, try a little baking cocoa. Even better: Decorate your souffle with a light sprinkle of both!
No doubt, your rich, chocolaty souffles will raise the bar on your dessert game. If your newfound prowess has your guests holding you to a higher standard, might we suggest our flourless chocolate cake for your next shindig? It will not disappoint.