Wylie Dufresne's Soft-Scrambled Egg Grilled Cheese

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: Wylie Dufresne, an early leader in the molecular gastronomy movement, gets around the classic custardy-eggs-must-happen-slowly rule in a smart and rather deviant way—he cranks up the heat and whisks swiftly, finishing his tiny-curded eggs in about a minute. Then he makes up for the punishing treatment by melting in a generous amount of cream cheese, which quickly restores the eggs to custard-like status. Recipe adapted slightly from Du's Donuts via Bon Appetit (March 2018). To see the full story, head here.Genius Recipes

Serves: 3
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 10 min


For the scrambled eggs:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 small pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese

For assembly:

  • 6 slices American cheese
  • 6 thick slices Martin’s Potato Bread or other white bread
  • Unsalted butter (for the pan)
In This Recipe


  1. To make the scrambled eggs, whisk the eggs and cayenne in a small bowl; season generously with salt (about 1/4 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt or 1/8 teaspoon fine salt is good).
  2. Heat the 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. As soon as it begins to foam, add the eggs and cook, whisking constantly, until they have set in small curds and are beginning to look dry, about 1 minute. Immediately remove from heat and whisk in cream cheese. Note: Eggs can be scrambled 2 hours ahead, then spread into a single layer in a sheet pan. Store tightly covered at room temperature, then trim into squares to fit each sandwich. Don't worry about the initial shape being perfect, as you can press any lingering scraps of egg into the sandwiches as well—no waste!
  3. When you’re ready to make the sandwiches, divide the cheese between the slices of bread and top with egg mixture. Close up sandwiches.
  4. Heat a dry large skillet over medium-low and brush very lightly with butter. Toast sandwiches until the bread is golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 3 minutes per side. Serve immediately.
  5. Note: At Du's, Dufresne also serves a bacon version. To make your own: cut 2 slices of bacon per sandwich into lardons, pan-fry to render out the bacon fat, then drain the crisped bacon on paper towels, reserving the fat. Scramble the eggs in a mix of half butter, half bacon fat. Fold the crisped, drained bacon into the eggs with the cream cheese.

More Great Recipes:
Sandwich|American|Egg|Cheese|Cream Cheese|5 Ingredients or Fewer|Pan-Fry|Quick and Easy|Make Ahead|Sheet Pan|Summer|Fall

Reviews (5) Questions (0)

5 Reviews

Nora J. February 20, 2019
Added a splash of Siracha Ketchup to finished sandwich. Just the kick needed.
Cody E. November 19, 2018
Oh my, oh my! This is a very decadent breakfast for being so simple a recipe! I have made this both at home and camping and it has been a huge hit with family and friends! I understand what other reviewers say about "lacking" some flavor, but it was so rich and so creamy, melty oooey gooey goodness!
Clay H. July 30, 2018
I made this as I love a good grilled cheese. I got some decent American cheese and some really good quality potato sandwich bread to make sure I wasn't playing with a deck stacked against me. I scrambled the eggs to the perfect point of doneness and not too dry, mixed in the cream cheese and began to build the sandwiches themselves. I kept checking the recipe for details and closely monitored my pan as the sandwich cooked. When the crust finally reached perfection, I pulled the sandwiches out of the pan and put them on the cutting board for a diagonal cut. Everything was perfectly melty inside. We dug in and, 'Meh.' I think some tomatoes or something was needed. It just lacked acid and variety. This was just too boring as prepared.
seeabigail January 23, 2019
hahahaha i was waiting for the sweet release of delight at the end of this but all i got was a mediocre meh!
Victoria C. July 4, 2018
I usually make recipes the exact way the first time, but this time I know I'm going to adapt it right out of the box. I make my own bread from Jim Lahey's original recipe, upped to 600 grams of flour, baked in the new Emile Henry Long Loaf, which gives me a great loaf, not round, of bread with a serious crust. So I will make cheese toast with my own bread and American cheese (I use Kraft deli slices, not singles) and then add the just cooked eggs.