Growing up I had no idea what a crepe was. What I did know was “Thin Cakes”. They were my Dad’s most famous dish and everyone in our family looked forward to thin cake Saturdays when he would stand at the stove-top with an enormous bowl of batter and a few hot skillets in front of him. The rest of us would stand around the island just waiting to be next in line for a hot one to land on our plate- we topped them with butter and maple syrup and rolled them up burrito style. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized what we were eating were crepes! Some people are intimidated by crepes, but they couldn’t be easier. Like many foods, success is really in the technique. So below I’ll show you some of my tips to get perfect crepes every time. I’ve also used fancy recipes and fancy equipment, but this recipe is the most basic form that any home cook can make. Chances are you have everything you need right now! Eggs, sugar, oil, flour, and milk.
Ingredient and Equipment Notes
- Eggs – use large or extra large eggs. If using small eggs, you might want to add an extra!
- Melted Butter or Canola Oil – either one works just fine. I use oil more often because it’s easier without the step of melting, but butter adds great flavor.
- Sugar – Use regular granulated sugar. I use more for sweet crepes and less for savory crepes.
- Flour – All purpose flour works great, though for a more traditional (and gluten free) French crepe you can try buckwheat flour.
- Milk – Any milk will do, though the lower the fat content, the more fragile the crepe. For casual eating at home, I use what’s in our fridge (1%) but if I’m planning ahead for a special occasion, I’ll use whole milk.
- Toppings/Fillings– Crepes are wonderful filled with either sweet or savory fillings. At the end of this article, I’ll share some of my favorite fillings for both options.
- Pan – there are all kinds of fancy machines and pans, but honestly a simple non-stick skillet works just great. I prefer a 10″ size. This simple crepe pan is a favorite, here!
- I like to combine all ingredients in a blender, it’s quick and easy and mixes the batter smooth! If mixing by hand though, you’ll want to combine the wet and the dry together slowly, at first creating a thick mixture so you can get all the lumps out, and then adding the rest of the liquid until smooth.
Note: Your batter will be very thin. A very common mistake people make with crepes is adding too much flour because they’re used to a pancake or waffle batter consistency. Growing up making these with my Dad, he always told me the consistency was the key and he was right!
2. Heat a nonstick skillet to medium heat. I like an 8-10″ pan. There are all kinds of fancy crepe machines, but a basic nonstick skillet works best for me. You can vary the size depending on how large you want the finished product. I keep a stick of butter with the wrapper half off right next to it for easy greasing. It’s essential that your pan is pre-heated before you put the batter in. I give the pan a quick rub with the stick of butter and then while holding the pan with my left hand, I pour batter with my right, tilting and turning the pan as I pour to get just a thin layer of batter on the pan surface. Then I place the pan down on the stove.
You don’t need to actually measure the batter, you just want to pour it in, but in case you’re needing a visual, I’ve noted that you’ll need roughly these amounts for the skillet size:
8″ skillet: 2 1/2 Tablespoons batter
10″ skillet: 3 1/2 Tablespoons batter
Cooking and Flipping: A flexible rubber spatula is what I use most. Look at the edges of my crepe in the picture below. It doesn’t take long at all for the crepe to set. the Top surface will go from looking wet to dry, and you’ll see little lacey edges around the edge of the pan and you’ll be able to run the edge of your spatula around the entire edge of the crepe. One you can do that and it easily lifts, you can then flip. I use my spatula to gently lift up the edge and then I grab it with my fingers and just flip it over.
Cooking the second side literally only takes about 15 seconds and after that you can flip it onto a plate. Either keep them warm in the oven or stack them and let them cool.
Thin Cakes: In our house growing up a thin cake was made in the largest pan we had. They were as big as the plate. And they’re eaten hot off the skillet. Right when it gets plopped on your plate we rub it with butter and then drizzle with maple syrup and roll it up.
If you want to take a more traditional route , you can fill and either fold them up into quarters, or roll burrito style. They can also be made ahead of time. Just stack them between sheets of waxed paper, pop them in a zip-lock bag, and store in the fridge or freezer.
Crepes can be eaten either savory or sweet, and hot or cold. Most people in the US are used to sweet crepes, but meat ,cheese, and vegetable fillings are delicious too! Ham and cheese is a French classic that I love. Just sprinkle cheese (I like havarti or gruyere) on the crepe as soon as you flip over the first side. I like to fold them in quarters and eat with our hands!
More traditional sweet fillings you can try are pastry cream, pudding, nutella, the chocolate mousse from this cake, and fruit of all kinds. Try topping with Strawberry Sauce, Buttermilk Caramel Syrup, Hot Fudge, or just a dusting of powdered sugar and sweetened whipped cream.
This simple recipe produces tender crepes, perfect for filling with sweet or savory things. In our family, we love an untraditional combo of butter and maple syrup, rolled up!
- 2 large or extra large eggs
- 2 tablespoons melted butter or canola oil
- 3 tablespoons sugar for sweet crepes, 2 teaspoons for savory
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 1/3 cup milk, 2% or higher recommended, but anything works!
- Additional butter for cooking
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse until combined. If whisking by hand, mix all dry ingredients first, and mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Slowly add wet ingredients to dry until a thick batter is achieved, whisking constantly to remove lumps. Add remaining liquid while whisking until smooth.
- Let batter sit for at least 10 minutes, and up to 30.
- Heat a non-stick skillet to medium heat. I like to use a whole stick of butter with the wrapper still on, but open on one end, to grease my pan. I just hold the butter stick and run the open end quickly over the surface of the pan to coat.
- Hold pan with one hand while you pour the batter with the other hand. Twirl the pan in a circular motion pouring just enough batter to coat the bottom of the pan. Place on cooking surface and cook until edges are set and you can easily run a rubber spatula around the edge of the pan, usually about 30-60 seconds. The very edges should appear lacey and slightly browned. Flip crepe and cook an additional 15-20 seconds. Remove crepe from pan and either keep warm in the oven or cool to room temperature.
- Fill with your choice of savory (meat, cheese, vegetable) or sweet (pudding, mousse, pastry cream, fruit) filling. Top sweet crepes with with Strawberry Sauce, Buttermilk Caramel Syrup, Hot Fudge, or just a dusting of powdered sugar and sweetened whipped cream.Unfilled crepes can be stacked between sheets of waxed paper and refrigerated or frozen. To thaw, leave at room temperature.
Makes 12-14 8″ crepes
*This post contains affiliate links.