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?
We once made German Pancakes on a vlog at The Dashleys, and immediately people were curious. It has probably been one of our most requested recipes next to my Chicken Noodle Soup. And here at The Dashley's Kitchen we give the people what they want!
Now is there a perfect meal? It is hard to say. I've watched a lot of cooking and baking shows, namely and foremost, The Great British Baking Show. And from these shows I have learned there are two types of "great" meals. First, the type that takes real cooking skill and second, the type that doesn't. German Pancakes are 100% in that second category.
Which in part is why I love them so much. Simple. Easy. Only 6 ingredients. But, so, so, so delicious. And there you have it, a literal masterpiece people will drool over, something best eaten family style.
The German Pancake sometimes called a "Dutch Baby" is really just one big, giant pancake. It is the Americanized version of the German Apfelpfannkuchen. So where did this German dish get it's Dutch nickname? I mean is it a German dish or not? Is there a feud between the two countries on who is the real creator of this heavenly breakfast dish?
No not nearly that exciting of a story, although it is a cute one. The name "Dutch Baby" actually came about by mistake! These pancakes were served in a diner in Seattle known as Manca's Cafe in the early 1900s. The owner's daughter struggled to pronounce Deutsch, (the German word for German) and instead would pronounce it Dutch.
Both her father and their customers thought it was adorable and the name just stuck. So whether you know it as German Pancakes or a Dutch Baby I think we can all agree, this dish is a gift from the gods.
Pro Chef - Mom Hack
Don't worry, I know I said these were simple. But I have a handful of baking tips and tricks I am going to share with you on this recipe that will make you feel like a total pro.
Blend or Whisk Eggs
If you own blender or a kitchen aid mixer with beater attachments this is where you'd want to pull those bad boys out and get to work. But if not, my next suggestion would be to grab your handy dandy whisk and get your arm workout in for the day. Want to hear something funny? Promise you won't laugh? When whisking I always make sure to switch arms half way through so my muscles don't get uneven ... (I'm serious, I really do). You will know the eggs are done when they appear bright yellow or lemon colored and all the yolks and whites have been combined.
Did you know there is a right and wrong way to measure flour? I recently learned I've been doing it wrong my whole life. I grew up always just grabbing my measuring cup, sticking in the flour container, scooping out what I needed and then leveling off the top. This however is technically not the right technique and can totally make or break a recipe depending on what you are cooking or baking. See when you scoop flour directly from the container it becomes compacted, ultimately giving you more flour than was originally intended.
The proper technique for measuring flour instead is to place your measuring cup on a flat surface. Then using a smaller measuring cup or spoon, fill the desired measuring cup till full with small scoops or spoonfuls. Then if needed, gently level off the measuring cup. Who knew!? How have you always measured flour? Was I the only one doing it wrong all this time? (I also learned for an even more exact measurement the most pro of chefs measure their flour by weight for an exact amount every single time.)
Prep the Pan
To grease our pan we want go ahead and melt that butter in the microwave. You want your butter to be HOT so let it go for at least a minute. The butter needs to be HOT when the batter goes in. This helps the pancake to rise properly before the flour has a chance to weigh it all down.
So after hot and melty, add it 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 in the cook of the center of your German or Dutch Baby Pancake.
Prep the Oven
Alright, when it comes to prepping the oven, first things first. 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. So leave that oven off until you've got everything in place. You can make sure the top rack is set to the middle of the oven though in preparation for go time.
Q & A
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 you use 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 skip the butter and just use 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.
Best Ways to Enjoy 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!
Breakfast or Brunch Lover?
Love a classic breakfast or brunch? Check out these other great recipes on our website to kickstart your day! Serve alongside our Baked Oatmeal, Mini Cinnamon Caramel Rolls, Green Smoothie Waffles, or Best Bran Muffins for a filling and delicious breakfast. Or pair it up with our favorite Watermelon Chia or Orange Julius Smoothies for a lighter start!
- 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