German or Dutch Baby Pancakes make for a simple, quick hot breakfast … or lunch or dinner. If I’m honest, we eat them all the time. They are our go to last minute meal plan. 5 ingredients, 30 minutes and so, so, so delicious. I mean what is better than a baked pancake with tall, crispy edges and a tender, custardy bottom?
These baked pancakes are a literal masterpiece. Everyone is sure to drool over them and ask for seconds. German or Dutch Baby pancakes are especially great for serving on holiday mornings or for a weekend brunch. If you are looking for other brunch inspiration you’ve got to check out our favorite Buttermilk Waffles or yummy Bran Muffins!
How are German Pancakes different than American Pancakes?
German pancakes use a whole lot more eggs and no added leavening agent. German Pancakes are also baked in the oven to a golden perfection. Whereas the traditional American pancake uses baking soda or powder to help it fluff up and is cooked on a hot stovetop or grill and is much fluffier when done.
Why is it called German Pancakes?
The German Pancake sometimes called a “Dutch Baby” is really just one big, giant pancake. It is the Americanized version of the German Apfelpfannkuchen. It would also be in the same family as a Yorkshire pudding or popover.
So where did this dish get it’s nickname? Is it a German dish or not? The name “Dutch Baby” actually came about by mistake. These pancakes were originally served in a diner in Seattle in the early 1900s. The owner’s daughter struggled to pronounce Deutsch, (the German word for German) and instead pronounced it Dutch.
Both her father and customers thought it was adorable and the name just kind of stuck. So whether you know these pancakes as German or Dutch Baby, I think we can all agree, this dish is a gift from the gods.
How to Make German Pancakes
Blend or Whisk Eggs
Using a blender or hand mixer mix your eggs. You will know the eggs are ready when all the yolks and whites have been combined and the egg mixture appears bright yellow or lemon colored. Next add milk salt and vanilla to blender.
Add flour to blender and mix till smooth. Be sure to measure your flour properly. There is a right and wrong way to measure flour. I grew up grabbing a measuring cup, sticking it in the flour container then scooping out what I needed and leveling off the top. But this is NOT the right way to measure flour. Measuring this way can totally ruin a recipe. Scooping flour directly from the container compacts it into the measuring cup ultimately giving you more flour than was originally intended.
How do you measure flour?
The proper technique for measuring flour is to place your measuring cup on a flat surface. Using a smaller measuring cup or spoon, fill the measuring cup with small scoops or spoonfuls till full. Gently level off the measuring cup. For more exact measurements the most pro of chefs measure flour by weight for an exact amount every single time. Mix the batter together in the blender till smooth.
Prepare the Pan
Once the batter is ready it is time to prepare the pan. First melt that butter in the microwave. The butter needs to be HOT when the batter goes in, so let it go for at least a minute. This helps the pancake to rise properly before the flour has a chance to weigh it all down.
So after hot and melty, add butter to the pan tilting it all around to make sure the bottom is nice and coated. There will be extra butter in the bottom of the pan. Do not discard! This butter is super important for cooking the center of the German or Dutch Baby Pancakes. The steam created from the butter and eggs heating up is what gives your pancake everything it needs to rise up and get all puffy.
Prepare the Oven
First things first, DO NOT preheat the oven. Placing the casserole dish in a cold oven is key for an even cook and time for the pancake to rise. If oven is pre-heated, edges will cook quicker and the center does not have as much opportunity to rise and get fluffy. Leave the oven off until ready to put pan on the rack in the middle of the oven.
Bake the Pancakes
Let the pancakes bake for 30 minutes. When you open the oven they will be tall and fluffy. After pulling from the oven they pancakes will fall or deflate. Don’t worry that is exactly what they are supposed to do!
What is the best way to eat German Pancakes?
There are many ways to dress up this decadent breakfast treat. If you are able to exercise a little extra self control, try sprinkling with powdered sugar and serve the traditional way with Meyer lemon juice. Or you can try it my favorite way, slathered in Costco’s berry syrup.
And if neither of those is striking your fancy give Dallin’s way a try, slathered in peanut butter and maple syrup. I’ve also seen others enjoy it with fresh fruit, nutella, butter, or sprinkled with cinnamon. Truly the best advice I can give you, is just to follow your heart and ENJOY!
What to serve with German Pancakes?
One of our favorite things to make alongside German Pancakes are smoothies! They are a great way to add in some fruit and greens. Some of our favorites would be best Green Smoothie, Watermelon Chia, delicious Orange Mango smoothies.
Can you substitute whole wheat flour for white flour?
I’ve tried this before and it isn’t a good idea. All I can say is that weird things happen. Traditionally whole wheat flour makes much denser baked goods. A dense baked pancake is no bueno. Especially a dense German Pancake. It pretty much defies the entire purpose of what you are trying to achieve here with your baked breakfast. If you are set on only using whole wheat flour, this may not be the recipe for you.
Does the kind of milk in a recipe make a difference?
If you are asking my sister, her answer will always be whole milk. If you are asking me… I will tell you whatever you have in your fridge. I am all about simplicity. There is no reason to make an extra trip to the grocery store.
Can I substitute butter for cooking spray?
No, No, NO! The butter is crucial here. It is doing way more than just creating a non-stick environment for your baked pancake. The hot melted butter assists in the lift process for this dish. Do not skip this step. I repeat. DO NOT skip the butter, you will be sad if you do.
- 7 eggs
- 1 cup spooned flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 tablespoons butter
- Add eggs, flour, milk, salt and vanilla in blender. Mix until well combined. *see note about measuring flour properly
- Melt butter in microwave and when hot pour into the 9x13 casserole dish. Making sure to coat both bottom and edges.
- Immediately pour batter into the casserole dish with butter and place on the middle rack of a cold oven.
- Close oven and set temperature to 375° and bake for 30 minutes. **see note about avoiding preheat of oven
- Serve while hot with dusted powdered sugar and lemon juice or whipped cream, fresh fruit and syrup.
- Instead of scooping flour out of the container or bag with a measuring cup, (so that it becomes slightly compacted) spoon flour into the measuring cup till filled to ensure a more accurate measurement.
- Whole milk is preferred but not necessary if not on hand. Any variety will work.
- DO NOT preheat the oven. Placing the casserole dish in a cold oven allows the edges and center of the pancakes to cook a little more evenly. If oven is preheated, edges will cook quicker and the center does not have as much opportunity to rise and get fluffy.
- Do not be alarmed if pancakes seem to grow while in the oven. It will inflate significantly while baking and then immediately "wilt" after pulling out of the oven. It is supposed to do this.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 178Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 177mgSodium: 374mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 8g