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How to make crepes – best crepe recipe

12 November 2020

This is my favorite, the best, crepe recipe! They are super thin, soft in the middle, slightly crunchy at the edges, easy to cook and flip over. Contrary to popular belief, crepes are really easy to make! Homemade crepes are one of our favorite breakfast recipes, they can be filled with countless kinds of fillings (sweet or savory).

A delicious variation of the traditional crepes are these chocolate crepes.

A stack of crepes on a blue plate. Lemons, sugar, and sauteed apples in the background.

What are crepes?

Crepes are thin and delicate French pancakes. They can be sweet or savory and be filled with many different kinds of fillings.

What is the difference between crepes and pancakes? The crepe batter is much thinner than pancake batter. No leaveners (baking powder or baking soda) are being used, so they are completely flat instead of thick and fluffy. They taste similar, though!

Crepes are very popular throughout Europe, not only in France. Very similar are British, German / Austrian (called Palatschinken), and Polish crepes (called naleśniki).

Ingredients:

I’ve long searched for the perfect ingredient ratios for crepes. It really makes a difference! My perfect crepes are thin, easy to turn over, soft and easy to roll up but also have crispy thin, lacy edges.

The best crepe batter ratio is, in my opinion: 1 cup flour + 1 1/4 cups milk + 3 eggs. Additionally, I’m adding butter (2 Tbsp), sugar (2 Tbsp), and salt (a pinch) to my crepes.

Labeled ingredients needed to prepare crepes.

Ingredients:

Flour – I used plain all purpose flour. I haven’t tested this recipe with other flour types.

Eggs – 3 large eggs make the crepes more elastic and easier to turn over. The eggs bind the dough together but also make them more chewy. The recipe will also work with 2 eggs but I prefer it with 3 eggs as the dough is so much easier to cook and the pancakes aren’t tearing as much.

Milk – I used cow’s milk but you can also use any plant-based milk, like almond or oat milk.

Butter – butter added to the crepe batter makes them more soft, delicious, and easier to turn over. It also prevents them from sticking to the pan. You can also use unrefined melted coconut oil or vegetable oil instead (the same amount). The best flavor will be with butter.

Sugar – you can use any type of sugar: white sugar, brown sugar, or other sugar alternatives like xylitol. If you’re making savory crepes you can omit it or add just 1/2 tsp.

Salt – a pinch of salt enhances the sweetness.

What you could also add:

  • for sweet crepes, you can add vanilla extract or cinnamon to the batter
  • for savory crepes, you can add some dried herbs, grated Parmesan cheese to the batter and season them with salt and pepper

How to make crepes step by step:

Making homemade crepes is really so easy!

A collage of 3 photos showing preparation steps of crepe batter.

STEP 1: Prepare the crepe batter

Simply mix all the ingredients. You can do that with a blender, hand mixer, an immersion blender, food processor, or even by hand (with a whisk). I prefer to mix the batter with a blender – it’s the quickest way to mix the ingredients and the batter is more smooth. If you’ll whisk the batter by hand it will have small lumps, but this is also ok and your crepes will be fine.

STEP 2: Leave the batter to rest

Cover the bowl with plastic foil or a kitchen cloth and leave it on the counter for about 30 minutes.

Does crepe batter need to rest? This is optional. Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary to rest the crepe batter. You can cook them straight away but leaving the batter to rest keeps crepes soft and makes cooking them a little bit easier – they are more elastic and less prone to break (the difference is not huge but if you’re struggling with cooking crepes, leave them to rest). In terms of flavor, it changes nothing. I often cook my crepes right away but since you often need to make the filling, you can leave the batter to rest while you’re preparing the filling.

Crepe batter in a black pancake pan.
Crepe is being turned over in a black pan.

STEP 3: Cook the crepes

  1. Brush the pan with a small amount of butter (I’m only adding the butter before the first crepe, but you can brush the pan with butter between each crepe if you wish) over high heat. The pan should be well heated. Holding the pan in one hand (it shouldn’t be on the burner) and the bowl or blender jar in the other, pour in a small amount of batter, tilting and swirling the pan simultaneously until the batter evenly coats the bottom of the pan. Place the pan on the burner and cook for about 30 seconds.
  2. When the edges of the crepe look dry and lacy and its bottom is golden brown, it’s ready to be turned over.
  3. Slide the spatula under the crepe (make sure it doesn’t stick to the pan), loosen its edges, and flip it over.
  4. Cook on the other side just briefly, for about 10 seconds, until set. Transfer on a plate. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Note about the temperature: I’m cooking my crepes over high heat but this can be different on your burner and with your pan. These pancakes are very thin so they need to be cooked very quickly but if your crepes come out burned, reduce the temperature. Cooking time can also be different for you – it will depend on the temperature of the burner and the type of the pan.

How to keep the crepes warm: Pile your crepes onto a pie plate and cover them with foil to keep them warm. You can also keep them in an oven preheated to the minimum temperature until you’re finished cooking all the batter.

What kind of pan is best for cooking crepes: These pancakes are very thin and delicate so it’s necessary to use a non-stick pan. Really any non-stick pan/skillet will do but the best is a pancake pan! If you love making any kind of pancakes or fritters you will be happy with the purchase. This pan has low rims which makes flipping any kind of crepes/pancakes/fritters much easier (the pan is shown in the photos).

Filling ideas:

Crepes can be sweet or savory – the batter itself (add sugar to the batter for sweet crepes, or omit it for savory crepes), and also the fillings.

Sweet filling ideas:

  • the easiest filling: lemon sugar crepes: sprinkle them with granulated or caster sugar and squeeze some lemon juice over – so delicious
  • apple crepes – filled with sauteed cinnamon apples
  • Nutella and strawberries or Nutella and bananas
  • strawberries and cream (fresh strawberries and whipped cream)
  • jam
  • lemon curd and blueberries
  • cream cheese filling (cream cheese + sugar + vanilla extract)
  • sweet vanilla cottage cheese and raspberry sauce (check out this chocolate crepes recipe)
  • peanut butter and jelly or peanut butter and banana

Savory filling ideas:

  • smoked salmon + herbed cream cheese + honey mustard sauce (recipe here: smoked salmon pancakes)
  • spinach + sun-dried tomatoes + feta cheese
  • ham and cheese
  • roasted veggies or sauteed veggies (like ratatouille – check out this cheesy vegetable crepes recipe)
  • pesto + chicken + mozzarella + basil

How to fold crepes:

  • fold them in half – quesadilla-style or omelet-style, I like to do that especially for savory crepes, when the filling is kind of chunky
  • fold them into triangles
  • roll them up
  • make a crepe cake – spread the crepes with a filling without folding them at all, then stack them up high to form a cake that can be sliced into wedges

How to keep warm / make ahead / store and freeze crepes:

How to store crepe batter: Can crepe batter sit overnight? Yes, the crepe batter can be made ahead. Store it in the fridge for up to 24 hours, whisk well before using.

How to store cooked crepes: They can be cooked and then reheated. Layer each crepe between parchment paper (to keep them from sticking together), then wrap the whole stack tightly with plastic wrap and put in an air-tight container. If they’re not wrapped properly they will dry out and be crumbly. The crepes can also be stored in a stack without parchment paper in between (they need to be tightly wrapped in plastic foil, though), but they a little harder to separate – leave them on a counter for a while until they are warm then separate and reheat.

How to warm up crepes: Reheat them on a dry non-stick pan until warm or in a microwave.

How to reheat filled crepes: melt some butter in a pan, when hot and bubbling, add the crepes and cook briefly on both sides until warm and lightly golden.

How to freeze crepes: layer each crepe between parchment paper and wrap in plastic foil, then freeze for 2 months. Thaw in the fridge then reheat in a pan or a microwave.

Top tips for success:

  • For the best results use a blender to prepare the batter. It’s the quickest way to mix the ingredients and yields the smoothest batter. Don’t blend it for too long!
  • Let the batter rest – this is optional but makes cooking crepes a little bit easier (they hold together better and are less chewy).
  • Use a non-stick pan (the best is a pancake pan but the recipe will work on any good non-stick pan).
  • The pan should be well heated. If your pan will be not hot enough, your pancakes may stick to the pan and tear.
  • Butter the pan before the first crepe.
  • Cook them over medium-high or high heat (this will depend on your burner). Generally, these thin pancakes cook very quickly, cook them only until set and not for too long or they will be tough.
  • Swirl with the pan immediately after pouring in the batter to get a thin crepe.
  • Don’t flip them too soon so they won’t tear.
  • If you’re already a crepe pro, you can try cooking them on two pans simultaneously!

FAQ / Troubleshooting:

Why are my crepes crispy / too tough?

They have been cooked for too long. Crepes cook very quickly, cook them only until set and still soft.

Why are my pancakes burned?

The temperature was too high, try to reduce it and cook them a little bit longer.

How thick should crepe batter be?

It should be like heavy whipping cream.

Why are my crepes tearing?

You’ve tried to flip it over too early or the pan was not hot enough.

How do you know when to flip a crepe?

The batter is set and doesn’t look wet, the edges of the crepe are dry and lightly browned, the bottom of the crepe is lightly browned.

Why are my crepes gummy?

The batter was not rested or was overmixed.

A close up photo of a stack of crepes on a blue plate. Lemons, sugar, and sauteed apples in the background.

How to make crepes – best crepe recipe

This is my favorite, the best, crepe recipe! They are super thin, soft in the middle, slightly crunchy at the edges, easy to cook and flip over. Homemade crepes are one of our favorite breakfast recipes, they can be filled with countless kinds of fillings (sweet or savory).
Stack of crepes on a blue plate. Lemons, apples, and sugar in the background.
Print Recipe
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 9 crepes
Calories 124kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup (300g) milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter melted
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  • Prepare the crepe batter: Simply mix all the ingredients. You can do that with a blender, hand mixer, an immersion blender, food processor, or even by hand (with a whisk). I prefer to mix the batter with a blender – it’s the quickest way to mix the ingredients and the batter is more smooth. If you’ll whisk the batter by hand it will have small lumps, but this is also ok and your crepes will be fine.
  • Leave the batter to rest: Cover the bowl with plastic foil or a kitchen cloth and leave it on the counter for about 30 minutes.
  • Cook the crepes:
  • Brush the pan with a small amount of butter (I’m only adding the butter before the first crepe, but you can brush the pan with butter between each crepe if you wish) over high heat. The pan should be well heated. Holding the pan in one hand (it shouldn’t be on the burner) and the bowl or blender jar in the other, pour in a small amount of batter, tilting and swirling the pan simultaneously until the batter evenly coats the bottom of the pan. Place the pan on the burner and cook for about 30 seconds.
  • When the edges of the crepe look dry and lacy and its bottom is golden brown, it’s ready to be turned over.
  • Slide the spatula under the crepe (make sure it doesn’t stick to the pan), loosen its edges, and flip it over.
  • Cook on the other side just briefly, for about 10 seconds, until set. Transfer on a plate. Repeat with the rest of the batter.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • Note about the temperature: I’m cooking my crepes over high heat but this can be different on your burner and with your pan. Crepes are very thin so they need to be cooked very quickly but if your crepes come out burned, reduce the temperature. Cooking time can also be different for you – it will depend on the temperature of the burner and the type of the pan.
  • Ingredient notes:
    • you can use any milk, also plant-based milk
    • instead of butter, you can use coconut oil or other vegetable oil like canola oil
    • sugar – you can use any type of sugar: white sugar, brown sugar, or other sugar alternatives like xylitol. If you’re making savory crepes you can omit it or add just 1/2 tsp
  • How to store crepe batter: Can crepe batter sit overnight? Yes, the crepe batter can be made ahead. Store it in the fridge for up to 24 hours, whisk well before using.
  • How to store cooked crepes: The crepes can be cooked and then reheated. Layer each crepe between parchment paper (to keep them from sticking together), then wrap the whole stack tightly with plastic wrap and put in an air-tight container. If they’re not wrapped properly they will dry out and be crumbly. Reheat them on a dry non-stick pan until warm or in a microwave.
  • Calories = 1 crepe (1/9 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!
  • The recipe yields 9 (9-inch/23cm) crepes.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine French
Keyword crepes, homemade crepes, how to make crepes

Did you make this recipe? Let me know how you liked it and give it a star rating in the comments below! You can also add a photo of your creation!

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