Dutch Baby Pancakes

A simple dutch baby recipe that can be both sweet or savory, plus three of my favorite dutch baby toppings

I love a Dutch baby. They can be sweet, they can be savory, it’s a base for any flavors you want. Here I did three versions of these Dutch Baby Pancakes; one with grapefruit and vanilla sugar; one with powdered sugar and maple syrup; and another with ham, egg and some gruyere cheese. Not only is this a great breakfast-for-dinner kinda thing, it’s a great prep ahead for brunch. And, it’s a bit of a showstopper with that giant puff in the oven.

If you haven’t had a Dutch baby pancake before think of it as a big baked crepe or giant pop-over. It’s light and airy on the inside thanks to the very eggy batter and the hot oven it gets cooked in. Where you can get really innovative is in the toppings. Use what you have, whatever you like. I like to make these for dinner and make two or three, keeping the batter stored in the fridge. I’ll use a blender, pour it in a mason jar and when I’m ready to eat, preheat that pan in the oven and I’m ready to Dutch baby.

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Dutch Baby Dutch Baby
...think of it as a big baked crepe or giant pop-over. It’s light and airy on the inside thanks to the very eggy batter and the hot oven it gets cooked in.
Dutch Baby
Grapefruit Dutch Baby

What is a Dutch baby pancake? Is it the same as a German pancake?

A Dutch baby is a large, fluffy pancake that is baked in the oven rather than pan-fried. And, yeah, it’s the same as a German Pancake.The typical Dutch baby batter is made of eggs, flour, milk, and sugar. Or you could omit the sugar for savory Dutch baby pancakes. The batter gets poured into a preheated skillet or baking dish and then baked until it puffs up and becomes golden brown.

Dutch baby pancakes are usually served for breakfast or brunch, topped with powdered sugar, fresh fruit, syrup, or other toppings. One popular variation is a savory Dutch baby with ham, eggs, and cheese. So good.

Why is it called a Dutch baby?

The name “Dutch baby” is likely a mispronunciation of the German word “Deutsch,” which means “German.” It is believed that German immigrants brought this recipe to the United States, and over time, the pronunciation of “Deutsch” was anglicized to “Dutch.”

Dutch Baby

What ingredients do I need to make dutch baby pancakes?

The beauty of a Dutch baby is that the ingredients are simple, and you probably already have them on hand. It’s basically an eggy pancake batter, similar to a crêpe batter.

Eggs

Eggs give the structure and lift in this recipe. Once that eggy batter hits that warm pan, and goes right into the hot oven, it begins to puff up. Use large eggs for this recipe.

Milk whole

You want full fat, whole milk for this recipe. It gives the batter richness. I have not tested this with any non-dairy milks.

Flour

You want all purpose flour for this one. I’m sure you could use bread or pastry flour if it was all you had, but this recipe was tested using all purpose flour.

Butter

Get good butter for this. I always use salted butter, cause it like it, but use whatever butter you like. You’re adding a good bit into the pan before pouring in your batter so make sure it’s something you like.


Special Equipment

The special equipment mentioned here is not required; it just makes your life a little easier and saves some time and elbow grease. You can certainly whisk everything by hand and use any oven-safe dish you have.

Blender

This is the perfect batter to make in a blender. Add all your ingredients and blend until smooth. I like to make the batter the night before (if I remember), but letting the batter rest and allowing the flour to fully hydrate makes for a better final texture.

Cast Iron Skillet

This recipe calls for a 10” cast iron skillet, but you could use an 8” or 12” one if that’s all you have. Adjust the cooking time depending on the size of the pan. Keep an eye on it and check at 15 minutes, adding another 5 minutes of cooking time if needed.

Can I make a dutch baby without a cast iron pan?

Yes, you can use any oven-safe baking dish you have. A thicker dish is better because it retains heat and helps the Dutch baby pancake puff up. A pie dish, casserole dish, or cake pan could also be used.

If you have a baking stone or pizza stone, preheat it in your oven and place it under a thinner baking dish. The stone will retain heat and help the Dutch baby puff up nicely, even with a thinner dish.


How To Make A Dutch baby pancake?

  1. Combine all batter ingredients and mix until smooth. Using a blender is your best bet for this, as it will give you a super smooth batter and only takes a minute.
  2. Preheat your oven and cast iron pan to 425°F, ensuring they are fully preheated.
  3. Add butter to your hot, preheated pan, pour in half of your batter (this recipe makes 2 Dutch babies), and return to the oven to cook for 15 minutes. Once the Dutch baby is nicely inflated and has a slight color on top, remove it from the oven.
  4. Top with whatever you like. For a sweet version, consider using sugar, jam, or maple syrup. For a savory Dutch baby, try ham, eggs, and Gruyere cheese. Alternatively, explore one of the other topping options below:

Dutch Baby with Ham, Egg and Cheese

What should I top my Dutch baby with?

Ham, Eggs, and Swiss or Gruyere

The Dutch baby version of a savory crepe, complete with ham, eggs, and Swiss cheese. I have even made a savory Dutch baby batter using half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour, omitting any sugar. This is a great breakfast or my favorite breakfast-for-dinner option.

Eggs Benedict Dutch Baby

Poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, and either Canadian bacon or smoked salmon.

Cinnamon and Sugar

A sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar is delightful on a Dutch baby. If you want to be a little extra, add an extra bit of butter and a sprinkle of salt.

Grapefruit and Vanilla Sugar

One of my favorites. Segments of red grapefruit with some vanilla sugar sprinkled over the top. Simple and delicious.

Lemon and Sugar

Taken from one of my favorite crepe toppings. Lots of fresh lemon juice and a generous sprinkle of sugar. Tart and sweet.

Maple Syrup

Go for a classic pancake vibe and drizzle on some maple syrup. Powdered sugar might be a nice addition too.

Jam or Preserves

Use your favorite jam or preserve. So simple and easy. If you want to take it a step further, add a dollop of whipped cream. Totally optional but highly encouraged.

Mortadella and Pesto

I love a savory Dutch baby, so this version gets topped like my Pizza Bianca. Pistachio pesto, mortadella, and burrata.

Apple Dutch Baby

One of the most classic Dutch baby toppings, so I couldn’t leave it out. Simple sautéed apples with a touch of cinnamon is a great sweet version to try.

Caramelized Banana Dutch Baby

Last, but certainly NOT least, is a caramelized banana dutch baby. One of my favorites! Top your dutch baby with quick caramelized bananas and some powdered sugar. Delicious!

Go check out the recipe for that here:

Caramelized Banana Dutch Baby


The Video
@mosthungry

Dutch babies. Two ways. 1C milk 4 eggs 1C flour pinch of salt 2-4 tbsp butter Heat oven and cast iron pan to 425F. When oven reaches temp, add 1-2 tablespoons of butter to pan, half of your batter and return to oven to cook for 15 minutes. Once dutch baby is nice and inflated, and has a slight bit of color on top, remove from the oven and top it up. Then eat! And, repeat for your remaining batter. #cookingtiktok #recipe #breakfastfordinner #brunchideas #dutchbaby

♬ original sound – Rachel Lerro


Why did my Dutch baby collapse?

Once you take it out of the oven, your Dutch baby is going to collapse. That’s the nature of a Dutch baby. The hot air inside cools, causing the top to fall down, creating a perfect surface to top or fill with whatever you like!

But there is occasionally the instance that it collapses in the oven or doesn’t seem to rise at all. This could be for three main reasons:

1. Your oven isn’t properly preheated.

   If your oven isn’t hot enough, you won’t get that gorgeous puff. Make sure to FULLY preheat your oven and the pan you are cooking your Dutch baby in. Set it to 425°F and ensure it’s fully preheated.

2. Your cast iron skillet or baking dish isn’t preheated.

   The baking dish for your Dutch baby pancakes needs to be very hot when you add in your batter. Put your dish in the oven and then turn the oven on so it can slowly preheat along with your oven.

3. Your batter was way too cold.

   The best way to ensure your Dutch baby rises is by having room temperature batter. Take your batter out of the fridge to get to room temperature as far in advance as you can, or make it with room temperature eggs and milk if you aren’t letting it rest. If the batter is too cold, it will immediately drop the temperature of the pan or baking dish, and the Dutch baby won’t rise impressively.

How do I tell if my dutch baby pancake is done?

You’ll know your Dutch baby is done when the top is golden brown, fully puffed, and the center looks set. There shouldn’t be any wet-looking batter in the middle. You should also have some crispy, darker browned edges. If your Dutch baby isn’t fully cooked, keep it in the oven for another 5 minutes and check again.

Can dutch baby batter be made ahead?

Yes! And I would recommend it.

Making the batter ahead gives your Dutch baby a really nice custard-like texture. You don’t have to, especially if you’re short on time, but if you can make your batter the day ahead and let it chill in the fridge overnight. Just make sure to take it out and let it come to room temp before you cook it.

Can you freeze dutch baby pancakes?

Absolutely! Cook your Dutch baby (without toppings), then store it in an airtight container in the freezer. To thaw, you can leave it in the fridge overnight or at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Reheat it in the oven at a low temperature of 250-300°F (120-150°C) for 10-15 minutes. Check at around 10 minutes to ensure it’s heated through but not overcooked and rubbery.


Dutch Baby with Ham, Egg and Cheese
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Dutch Baby Pancakes

Light and airy dutch baby pancakes with three variations for toppings.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American, German
Keyword: dutch baby, german pancake, pancake
Servings: 2
Author: Rachel Lerro

Ingredients

The Batter

  • 1 C Milk
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 C Flour
  • 1 Pinch of Salt
  • 2-4 Tbsp Butter

The Toppings

  • Ham, Fried Egg and Gruyere
  • Vanilla Sugar and Grapefruit
  • Maple Syrup and Powdered Sugar

Instructions

  • Combine all batter ingredients and mix until smooth.
  • Heat oven and cast iron pan to 425°F. When oven reaches temp, add 1-2 tablespoons of butter to pan, pour in half of your batter and return to oven to cook for 15 minutes. Once dutch baby is nice and inflated, and has a slight bit of color on top, remove from the oven and top it up. Then eat! And, repeat again for your remaining batter.
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