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These German Pancakes (or sometimes called Dutch Babies or Dutch Baby Pancakes) are a simple and delicious oven baked classic, perfect for special occasions or holidays. A simple batter is whisked together and poured into a hot, buttered dish and baked until puffed and golden. Not quite a traditional fluffy pancake, but more of a cross between a crepe and yorkshire pudding.
What Are German Pancakes?
So, here’s the deal: German Pancakes are not like a traditional American pancake that you pan fry, even though ‘pancake’ is in the title. The batter is similar to a crepe batter: more milk and eggs then flour, giving you a thin batter that you pour into a hot pan with plenty of melted butter.
Traditionally, it is served hot and fresh from the oven once it has puffed up and gotten golden brown. It will immediately start to deflate (which is totally normal!) and is served with powdered sugar, lemon juice and butter.
Pro Tips Before You Begin
If you are hesitant to even attempt this recipe, read this first! I promise its easier to make than you think and a lot of things you might be nervous about are generally pretty normal.
- Any kind of baking dish can work. In the directions, I state that you can use a glass 9×9 baking dish, and round cast iron skillet or a heavier bottomed casserole dish. As long as its on the smaller side (not a 9×13), then you should be fine!
- Preheat the oven with the pan IN the oven. You want a big, puffy german pancake and you get that with a piping hot pan. Don’t pour the batter into a cold pan because you won’t get the results you’re looking for.
- Brush the butter across the bottom and up the sides. This helps prevent sticking and helps give that brown and crispy edge. Between the melted butter in the batter and in the pan, these are awfully tasty.
- Serve Immediately. Just like a souffle will fall after baking, so will a German Pancake! This is totally normal, so make sure you are serving it immediately with any toppings you’d like for maximum impact.
Doubling this Recipe
While one batch of these German Pancakes will feed about four comfortably, it can easily be doubled. The only thing you need to do is adjust your baking pan accordingly. The easiest way to do that is use a 9×13 pan, glass preferred. The metal pans can give you much darker edges in a shorter cooking time which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but something you need to be aware of.
How to Make German Pancakes
While this may seem like a fancier kind of breakfast, rest assured it couldn’t be easier! Lots of simple ingredients with a hot bake in the oven.
Preheat Oven and Baking Dish
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F with a 9×9 glass dish, smaller casserole dish or 9-inch cast iron skillet IN the oven to get hot. You are preheating both. Having a hot dish to pour your batter is what gives you that puffy German Pancake.
Make the German Pancake Batter
In a large bowl or blender, whisk milk, eggs, vanilla and melted butter together until well combined. Whisk in the flour and salt until batter is mostly smooth (a few small lumps are fine!). Set aside until oven is preheated.
Pour Batter into Hot Pan and Bake
Once your oven and hot pan is preheated, remove hot pan and melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Work quickly to brush the butter across the bottom of the pan and up the sides. Pour in the prepared German Pancake Batter and return to the oven. Bake 20 minutes or until puffed and the edges are deeply golden brown.
Remove From Oven and Serve
Immediately once finished baking, remove your German Pancake from the oven, top with butter, powdered sugar, lemon juice and any other toppings you’d like. Cut into pieces and serve. See notes below about different topping options.
Just like a traditional pancake or crepe, you can serve just about anything on top of a fresh German Pancake. Here are a few of my favorites:
- fresh raspberries
- sliced strawberries and homemade whipped cream
- maple syrup and butter
- sugar and lemon juice
- lemon curd and blueberries
- fruit salad and whipped cream
Making German Pancakes Ahead
While I don’t recommend making this recipe in its entirety ahead of time, you absolutely can make the batter up to 24 hours in advance. Simply store in the refrigerator and whisk again briefly before pouring into your hot pan.
Love German Pancakes? Try these Other Sweet Breakfast Ideas:
- Cinnamon Rolls
- Buttery Monkey Bread
- Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread
- Homemade Glazed Donuts
- Apple Fritters
Anyways, I hope you love this recipe as much as me and my family have loved this recipe! It’s a good one that is easier than you think. Have a great day!
German Pancakes (Dutch Baby)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add 9×9 glass baking dish, 9 inch cast iron skillet or smaller rectangular baking dish to the hot oven to preheat.
- In a blender or large bowl, stir together milk, eggs, vanilla, sugar, salt and flour until smooth.
- Melt butter in hot cast iron skillet and brush to cover bottom and sides, working quickly. Pour in batter to hot pan and bake 20 minutes or until puffed and golden.
- Serve immediately with any desired toppings: powdered sugar, raspberries, syrup, etc..