German pancakes are scrumptious egg-rich pastries with the texture of a crepe and the sweetness of a buttermilk pancake that your family will love. They’re an impressive dish yet so easy to make because the steam from the hot oven, the pan, and the mix do all the work for you in just fifteen minutes. You can even make the batter the night before to make it even easier.
Best of all, you can make a variety of German pancakes so it never gets boring: fruited, sweet, savory, or even just plain with a bit of syrup. Here, we’ll tell you how to make your German pancakes into any dish you want.
Get the Right German Pancake Pan and Mixes
Though pancake is in the name, using a pancake mix and a basic skillet will not work for German pancakes. A German pancake mix has a slightly different list of ingredients than your typical buttermilk pancakes, specifically with the lack of a leavening agent. They work with steam, not leavening.
The steam from the oven causes the batter to expand around the pan and begins to creep up the sides of the pan to form a bowl shape. That’s why it’s important to get the right type of pan. A slick non-stick surface and a gentle curve instead of sharp corners at the bottom of the edges allows the batter to climb rather than get stuck and collapse. Our Dutch Baby Pan is made just for German pancakes and pannekoeken.
Get the German Pancake Kit (complete with the Dutch Baby Pan, two German Pancake mixes, and two syrup mixes) here.
Make Foolproof Traditional German Pancakes
Anyone can make German pancakes. They look impressive and intimidating, but as long as your oven is hot enough, you use the right pan, and remember to melt the butter in the pan–all you have to do is pour the batter into the pan and pop it into the oven. The steam from the hot oven will do all of the difficult work for you.
- Place one-half cube of butter in a Dutch Baby pan or an ovenproof skillet with rounded sides.
- Preheat your oven to 400 or 425 degrees depending on the recipe. Put the rack in the center, not the top, shelf. When you turn the oven on, place the pan with the butter in the oven. When the oven reaches 250 degrees the butter should be melted. Remove the pan from the oven.
- Whisk the eggs and the salt in a medium bowl. Add the milk. Whisk in the flour until nearly smooth. Your batter is now ready.
- Pour the batter into the pan. Cover with toppings if desired.
- Bake for 11 minutes. Serve hot.
Use Your Seasonal Fruits with Fruited German Pancakes
Fruited German pancakes are perfect ways to take advantage of the seasonal fruits. Our favorites are peaches or strawberries and whipped cream, but you can use your family’s favorite fruits or whatever’s available–there’s no limit on what fruit goes well with German pancakes.
You can turn it into something sweet with a touch of chocolate or whipped cream or just keep it a simple fruity breakfast with a drizzle of syrup over top.
To add fruit to your German pancake, you can either pile it into the middle once it’s baked, or you can bake the fruit into the German pancake by putting the thin slices into the center of the batter before baking. Keep in mind that the fruit will weigh the pancake down, so it won’t get as fluffy, but it still tastes great.
Enjoy Breakfast for Dinner with Savory German Pancakes
German pancakes are the perfect versatile dish because you can have them for any meal of the day, whether you want them sweet or savory. Since they take the form of a bowl, you can fill them with meats, cheeses, veggies, or whatever your family loves. You could also cook your savory fillings into the German pancake, but once again, it will weigh down the pancake.
In this way, savory German pancakes are like a perfect cross between a pancake and a deep-dish pizza because you get the best of both. There’s no way your family could say no to having savory German pancakes as breakfast for dinner.
Make Mini German Pancakes as Dessert Cups
This last one is a personal favorite. Mini German pancakes are cute, little, and fun to make and eat. You’ll have fun desserts or individual meals in just fifteen minutes. Make them just as you would a regular German pancake, but bake them in a jumbo muffin pan instead for individual-sized German pancakes. They’re perfect for when everyone in the family wants something different in their German pancake.
Use your mini German pancakes as dessert cups to hold pastry fillings, cream, ice cream sundaes, or any other sweet treat. Or you can fill them with more savory goodies and pack German pancakes for lunches. Either way, it’s fun for the whole family.
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