Baked Camembert is a delicious indulgence, gooey, melting and delicious. Perfect for dipping, spreading and sharing, served with good bread, fruit or crudités.
Easy baked camembert
Baked camembert is one of the easiest dishes you can make, and a popular classic on restaurant and pub menus.
Rich, creamy and strongly flavoured, this gooey melted cheese is perfect for dipping. We like to share one between four as a starter or between the two of us for a simple main on cooler evenings.
It is one of those dishes that is SO easy to make at home. With my easy, fuss free hacks your baked Camembert will go from good to absolutely, sublimely amazing. The best baked camembert you will ever have.
Don’t hold back. The entire thing is good, from the melting centre to the rind.
Why make baked Camembert
- It is easy – 2 minutes of prep, a little garnishing of that fabulous cheese, and that is it!
- It is delicious. Richly flavoured melted creamy cheese! Yum!
- No fancy ingredients. And no fuss.
- It is fast – ready in about 20 minutes with 2 minutes hands on time.
- It is ideal for entertaining. This simple dish is a real crowd pleaser. Almost everyone will enjoy this, and it is just as easy to double up the recipe to make a sharing platter for a party.
- You bake it in the box, so there’s no washing up! None at all.
What is Camembert?
Camembert is a soft, surface ripened unpasteurised AOC cheese from Normandy in northern France. It is similar to Brie but softer. It is also stronger in flavour and shares the same white blooming rind.
While Brie is usually sold in triangular sections, Camembert usually comes whole, in a small wheel. The traditional round wooden box is perfect for baking the whole the cheese. This is one of the reasons this cheese tends to be first choice for cooking in this way.
Baked Camembert ingredients
- Camembert – You need a whole Camembert in a box. For presentation, a traditional wooden box is better, but card is also fine. Because we are going to bake the cheese it does not need to be ripe, or an especially good camembert. You also do not need a special baking Camembert. If your cheese comes wrapped rather than boxed, you will need a dish in which to bake it.
- Olive Oil – Just a little glug of a good quality oil.
- Woody Herbs – I have used thyme, but rosemary or oregano would also go well.
- Garlic – a small fresh clove
- Honey – Cheese and honey is a classic pairing and the sweetness and flavour really add to the dish.
- Seasoning – sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of chilli flake if you like it
How to make baked Camembert – step by step
Before you start, read my step-by-step instructions, with photos, hints and tips so you can to make this perfectly every time.
Scroll down for the recipe card with quantities and more tips at the bottom of the page.
Before you start – Ideally take the camembert out of the fridge about an hour before you are ready to cook, so it is at room temperature when you put it in the oven. If you forget, however, it really doesn’t make that much difference.
Step One – Heat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas 4.
Remove the Camembert from its waxed paper wrapping and then flip the lid of the box over. Stand the base in the lid. Put the camembert back in the box.
Wrap some foil around the box to prevent any leaks.
You can also bake it in a dedicated camembert baker (if you love baked camembert it might be worth getting a cheese in a baker to reuse the pot), or small shallow oven proof dish about the same size as the cheese. Do not be tempted to just plonk it in a baking tray, because as it melts it will run everywhere!
Helen’s Fuss Free Tip
With a wooden box, turn the lid so the joins on the lid and base of the box are well away from each other. The box can start to spring apart when baking, because the wood dries out. This will help keep its shape. (I forgot this time, as you can see from the photo.)
Step Two – With a sharp knife, slash the top of the Camembert into a diamond pattern. I find the easiest way to do this is to cut along the lines that are already on the cheese. Then cut across at a 45 degree angle.
Cutting the rind on the top of the cheese allows it to expand as it cooks. It means that steam can escape and the flavours you add to the top of the cheese can soak in.
Helen’s Fuss Free Tip
For some reason, cutting diamonds rather than squares looks so much more professional. Using the lines already on the cheese as a guide makes it easy to cut regular shapes.
Step Three – Cut the garlic into slithers and then poke a few pieces into the cheese, using more or less as you prefer. Then drizzle the honey and olive oil over the top. Sprinkle on the seasoning. Finally, add a sprig of thyme.
Bake for 15 minutes until the cheese is melts and the top is slightly puffed. It will feel fluid and runny inside, similar to a filled water balloon.
Cooking for longer will not make a runnier cheese. Instead it will dry out and harden again, and the rind will become tough. Don’t do it!
Step Four – Carefully remove the foil. Then transfer the cheese (still in its box) to a serving platter. Remove the herb sprig you used, which will have become dry, and replace with a fresh one.
I like to serve baked Camembert with a selection of toasts, bruschetta and crackers for dipping, as well as some dried fruit and nuts.
If you really want to impress, serve with homemade tortilla chips and/or melba toast. Both are perfect for scooping up that delicious melted cheese. If you prefer something softer, however, fresh homemade bread is good too.
For a fresher contrast with the cheese, you can also make a crudité platter or include some fresh fruit. Figs, apples, or grapes would be a good choice.
A baked Camembert is pretty epic without any extras, so you can leave them off entirely if you want. Less is more when you want to show off good ingredients, so go easy. Don’t pile on too many flavours together. You don’t want to overpower the cheese.
- Vary the herbs Any woody herb works well. Thyme, rosemary and oregano are all good. I think that fresh is far better but you can use a pinch of dried herbs.
- Add some spice – I like a pinch of chilli flake but a pinch of a blend like za’atar is also good.
- Add a shot of alcohol – It is a must-have in a fondue, and 1 tbsp vermouth, dry sherry, dry white wine or kirsch, poured over will go very well.
- For Christmas / Thanksgiving – top with a tablespoon of cranberry sauce.
This really is not one for making ahead. You can prepare to step 3, put the cheese back in the fridge for a few hours and then bake it. I prefer to bake from room temperature.
In the unlikely event there are any leftovers, these can be kept in the fridge in a covered container over night. Use them the next day to fill a toastie, or for cheese on toast.
Hints and Tips
- Don’t skip the honey as it really adds to the flavour.
- Contrary to what you might think, cooking for longer will not make your Camembert runnier. Instead, it will spoil the dish, because the cheese will harden.
You baked it too long! 15 minutes is enough.
Yes, and it’s good. Don’t waste it!
It’s fine to bake your cheese in a dish. Choose one close in size to the cheese, so that it doesn’t collapse.
Not all Camembert is vegetarian but you can buy versions that are.
More Recipes You Will Love
- Hot cheese dip – ooey gooey cheddar cheese dip
- Stilton Sauce – the best Stilton sauce – delicious on steak or chicken.
- Cheesy Chips – the British takeaway classic – hot chips smothered in a melted cheese sauce!
- Cream Cheese Pasta – the best and quickest Philly pasta recipe for when you need dinner in a hurry.
Best Ever Baked Camembert
- 250 g 1 Camembert
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tsp honey
- 2 tsp olive oil
- ½ tsp chilli flake
- sea salt
- woody herbs – thyme, rosemary or oregano (a couple of sprigs)
- If you can, take the cheese out of the fridge about an hour before you are ready to cook, and let it come up to room temperature.
- Heat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas 4.
- Remove the Camembert from its waxed paper wrapping, flip the lid of the box over and stand the base in the lid. Rotate the joins on the lid and base of the box so they are opposite each other, to help keep the shape of the box. Put the cheese back in the box. Wrap some foil around the box to contain any leaks.250 g 1 Camembert
- With a sharp knife, slash the top of the cheese into a diamond pattern. I find the easiest way to do this is to cut along the lines that are already on the cheese and then cut across at a 45 degree angle.
- Cut up the garlic clove. Poke a few pieces of garlic into the cheese, using more or less according to taste. Then drizzle the honey and olive oil over the top. Sprinkle on the seasoning. Finally, add a sprig of thyme.1 clove garlic, 2 tsp honey, 2 tsp olive oil, ½ tsp chilli flake, sea salt, pepper, woody herbs – thyme, rosemary or oregano
- Bake for 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and the top is slightly puffed. It will feel fluid and runny inside, similar to a filled water balloon. If needed give it another few minutes. Cooking for longer will not make the cheese runnier. Instead it will harden up and go lumpy.
- Carefully remove the foil and transfer to a serving platter. Remove the herb sprig you used, which will have become dry, and replace with a fresh one for decoration.
Baked Camembert recipe originally published June 2007. Completely updated with new photos, step by steps, hints and tips September 2021.