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Pancakes Fit for a King


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If you like crepes, you’ll love this old family recipe for German Pancakes. Unlike most of the German Pancakes I’ve stumbled across, these contain no potatoes. They don’t have any leavening either, which makes them quite different from your run-of-the-mill breakfast pancake.

I first learned to make these as a young bride, taught by my mother-in-law, whose ancestry traces back several generations to a royal baker for the ruling house of Bavaria — back when there was a ruling house of Bavaria. Whether this recipe’s roots stretch back that far, I can’t say. I only know it’s been a favorite of my husband’s family for generations.

Please note this most important point. They’re not crepes. Not at all. No siree, no way, no how, just ask my mother-in-law, who insists they’re not at all like crepes and will then detail the many ways in which crepes and German Pancakes differ. Maybe it’s cultural pride. Maybe it’s stubborness. My guess is the main difference is the family didn’t prepare them quite in the way that crepes generally are served. They folded their German Pancakes into thirds and slathered them with syrup or other sweet stuff. Plus crepes tend to be a lot smaller.

Rebel that I am, I wrap my big unleavened German Pancakes around fruits and other such foods one might find in a dish featuring crepes. That is, when I’m not eating them fresh.

One other thing — they’re not a low-calorie breakfast. If you really must watch your calories or cholestrol, you can eliminate the butter, use non-stick cookware, spray the pan with Pam-light or something of the sort. You can even use skim milk if you must. I’ve done all of that. I like the full calorie version better though.

Here’s how to make them:

Measure out 1 cup flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 3 eggs, 1 1/2 cups milk and mix well.

I toss it all into the blender and puree until it’s smooth with no lumps or bits of flour sticking to the sides. Melt 1/3 stick of butter. Ten to 15 seconds in the microwave should do it. Drizzle the melted butter into the mixture while blending so that it mixes thoroughly and remains smooth.

Using a medium setting, heat a skillet, and lightly coat with butter to keep the pancake from sticking.

My favorite pan for cooking German Pancakes is this stainless steel electric skillet, set on 325 degrees F. I set it up on a table on the front porch when I want to avoid heating up the kitchen any more. I’ve also used this skillet to make this recipe in a camper and even in the break room at the office. It’s that simple and portable.

Add about a third cup batter to the skillet.

Quickly, before the batter sets up, tilt and turn the skillet around to spread the batter into a large circle.

Cook until the bottom browns slightly. The edges should lift easily without sticking. If the pancake does stick, you’ve not used enough butter. Carefully lift and flip the pancake.

It should feel loose and floppy, and it’ll tear easily. I usually mangle one or two from each batch. Fortunately, the messy ones still taste wonderful.

Fold the cooked pancake into thirds and remove from the skillet.

You can dust lightly with powdered sugar or drizzle with syrup at this point. That’s how I was introduced to this dish many years ago. Or eat it plain.

I can rarely resist snacking on the first one that comes out of the skillet, and I don’t need all that sugar anyway. German pancakes are particularly good with apple butter or applesauce, or just about any type of jam, actually. I like them with whatever fresh fruit is in season.

That’s peaches this week, with whipped cream, of course, if you’re in the mood to splurge on the calories.

The recipe —

German Pancakes


1 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/3 stick melted butter
additional butter for oiling skillet between pancakes

Measure out 1 cup flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 3 eggs, 1 1/2 cup milk and mix well. I toss it all into the blender and puree it smooth. Melt 1/3 stick of butter. Add to mixture and mix thoroughly.

Warm the skillet using medium heat and lightly coat with butter to prevent sticking. When butter bubbles, add 1/3 cup batter to the skillet. Quickly tilt and turn the skillet to spread the batter in a large circle. Cook until the bottom browns slightly. Flip over and cook until lightly browned. Fold the cooked pancake into thirds and remove from the skillet. Repeat until all batter is used. Serve with fresh fruit, syrup, or lightly dusted with powdered sugar. Makes 7-8 pancakes.

Find this recipe on Farm Bell Recipes for the handy print page and save it to your recipe box:
German Pancakes

You can also find LauraP at The Land of Moo.

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Posted by on August 23, 2010 | Permalink  

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13 comments | RSS feed for comments of this post

  1. 8-23

    Those do look “fit for a king”!

  2. 8-23

    Oh! That does look good! Thank you, Laura!

    Question, do those keep well warmed? Like if you’re going to make a bunch. When I make pancakes, I put them in a hot pan, could I do that with these?

  3. 8-23

    CindyP – I’ve never tried keeping them warm. My usual challenge is theft prevention – the family snaps them up as soon as they’re out of the skillet. Maybe I’ll experiment today while everyone’s gone.

  4. 8-23

    OOOH Grandma pancakes! Delicious. I tried to make them for years after she was gone, but I never had the exact ingredient mix. I ended up finding a really good buttermilk recipe instead to keep FabHub pancaked up. I will have to try this recipe. This is another reminder to get those old recipes from the relatives written down/typed out now. Thank you!

  5. 8-23

    Perfect! My daughter just got home from a sleepover, we’ll be having these for breakfast today!

  6. 8-23

    Ok, just tried making these and the batter was way too thick to swirl in the pan. Then I noticed your photo shows a measuring cup with what I’m guessing is milk in it, but didn’t see that in the ingredient list or directions. I added a little milk and they turned out OK.

  7. 8-23

    Those look totally awesome! I’m gonna have to try those soon!

  8. 8-23

    Marianne – You’re right! I skipped a line when I typed this to send in. It should have 1 1/2 cup milk.

  9. 8-23

    The milk is now added to recipe above and in the recipe section!

    Still can’t wait to try them ūüôā

  10. 8-23

    These look just like blintzes. Served with a soft cheese filling. I was told at the time that they were German, but that my liking them with apricot syrup was not. To which I would reply that it was OK, since I was not German either! But those cheese blintzes sure were good with apricot syrup…

    Thanks for the recipe!

  11. 8-24

    My mom learned how to make these from my father’s uncle and taught me how as a teenager. The only thing different was we did not add melted butter and we spread the batter out with the back of a large spoon. Also, there was no measuring….it was “about so much milk and so much sugar” etc. My great-uncle and mom called them “Swedish Pancakes”. Now I want to try them with the melted butter.
    When I make them I turn the oven on low and have a pie plate to place each pancake in after it is done. I eat them as if they are pancakes, with butter and syrup. It takes quite a few to make a decent stack.
    Here’s a tip to keeping syrup from spilling off of your plate and onto your table: Serve your pancakes, French toast or waffles in a warm pie plate. That way the syrup stays where it should.

  12. 8-24

    Great pictures! Thank you for showing each of the steps. And thank you for topping it with extra whipped cream.

  13. 2-16

    Oh dear. I now have to talk myself out of making these for a lunchtime dessert. I am starting to realise this website is LETHAL to my diet plans;)

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