Daisy Bonner's Cheese Soufflé

Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum

Here’s the recipe for the miraculous soufflé that Daisy Bonner prepared the day that her beloved president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, died. Bonner always served this dish with stuffed baked tomatoes, peas, plain lettuce salad with French dressing, Melba toast, and coffee. [Ed. Note: Listen to our interview with The President's Kitchen Cabinet author Adrian Miller to learn more about the decades of influence and historical perspective given by black cooks in the White House.]


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 heaping tablespoons flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

The President's Kitchen CabinetThe President's Kitchen Cabinet
by Adrian Miller


1. Preheat oven to 375° F.

2. Melt the butter in a saucepan and blend in the flour, salt, and mustard. Gradually add enough milk to make a thin sauce.

3. Add the cheese and slightly beaten egg yolks.

4. Set aside to cool until ready to bake.

5. When ready to bake, beat the egg whites stiff with the baking powder.

6. Fold the egg whites into the cheese mixture.

7. Put in a buttered, 8 x 8 baking dish.

8. Bake 30 minutes 375° F.

9. When soufflé is done it should be very high and brown but soft in the middle.

10. Serve immediately.

* * *

Recipe provided by Adrian Miller, reprinted with permission from his book The President's Kitchen Cabinet. Recipe adapted from: Stevens, Ruth, Hi-Ya Neighbor: Intimate Glimpses of Franklin D. Roosevelt at Warm Springs, Georgia 1924-45, New York: Tupper and Love, Inc., 1947, p. 108.

Cook time: 
Makes 5 servings
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Host Francis Lam wins multiple 2017 James Beard Media Awards

Host Francis Lam won several awards at the 2017 James Beard Foundation Media Awards for his work as food writer and cookbook editor.