If my Instagram feed is any indication, Dutch baby pancakes have soared in popularity during these last few weeks in quarantine. But in my household, our obsession is far from new. My 5-year-old has been enamored of Dutch babies for years! It’s the most thrilling breakfast either of us know how to make — a super-hot pan and fluffy batter create a magic puff in the oven, resulting in a crispy-creamy pancake big enough for all of us.
Whipping up a Dutch baby together has become a weekly ritual, and we don’t wait until the weekend to make it happen: I pinkie-promise that Dutch baby pancakes are so easy and quick that you can make them on a weekday morning. Here’s how to do it.
My family’s strategy for weekday morning Dutch babies
Dutch baby pancakes, with their impressive puff and dusting of powdered sugar, are fancy-seeming dishes but deceptively simple. The batter, which can be mixed up in advance, is just eggs, milk, sugar, flour, a splash of vanilla and a pinch of salt. Memorizing the recipe portions has helped speed up the process for me, but even if it’s your first go-round, prep time still clocks in at just 10 minutes.
To make Dutch babies a reality on weekday mornings, we mix up the batter in a small smoothie blender. (This means I don’t have to drag out the food processor or our heavy-duty blender, which, to be honest, I don’t like doing on the weekends, either.) We also add the ingredients in a slightly different order so that I can dirty just one measuring cup: The two eggs go in first, followed by 1/2 cup flour, a pinch of salt, and a spoonful of sugar. Then, I use the same measuring cup to measure 1/2 cup milk (in this case, it doesn’t make a difference whether you use a wet or dry measuring cup for the milk).
We let the batter rest in the blender while we pop a cast iron skillet in the oven and crank it up to 425 F. The oven takes about 20 minutes to get to temperature — we use this time to get dressed, brush our teeth, or just watch an episode of “Paw Patrol.”
When the pan is hot, we add a knob of butter and give the batter a quick buzz again in the blender, which helps it puff in the oven, before pouring it into the hot pan. In the time it takes for the Dutch baby to bake (just 15 minutes), we chop some strawberries or bananas for topping. (If you have a 5-year-old, you already know that 15 minutes is easy to fill with chopping practice).
Out of the oven, we cover the Dutch baby with powdered sugar and serve up slices with the chopped fruit and more “Paw Patrol” or a quick game of Uno. This easy breakfast feels like a treat to my kids, but it has a little more protein than traditional pancakes and takes a fraction of the time than it takes to flip a whole batch (and way less hands-on cooking time). But if you have the time, you can use the following traditional recipe for Dutch babies.
Dutch Baby Pancakes
(Recipe by Emma Christensen)
Serves 2 to 4
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole or 2% milk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Powdered sugar, maple syrup, and jam, for serving
1. Blend the batter: Place the flour, milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt in a blender or food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Blend for 10 seconds, scrape down the sides, and then blend for another 10 seconds. The batter will be quite loose and liquidy.
2. Rest the batter: Leave the batter in the blender and set aside to rest 20 to 25 minutes. This gives the flour time to absorb the liquid.
3. Heat the pan and oven: Meanwhile, place the skillet you’re using on a middle rack to warm along with the oven. Heat the oven to 425 F.
4. Melt the butter: When ready to make the pancake, remove the skillet from the oven using oven mitts and place it on top of the stove. Add the butter and swirl the pan to melt the butter and coat the bottom and sides of the pan.
5. Add the batter: Pour the batter on top of the butter. Tilt the pan if needed so that the batter runs evenly to all sides. Place the skillet in the oven.
6. Bake the Dutch baby: Bake until the Dutch baby is puffed, lightly browned across the top, and darker brown on the sides and edges, 15 to 20 minutes.
7. Serve while hot: You can either serve from the pan or transfer the Dutch baby to a serving platter. Dust with powdered sugar. Cut into wedges and serve with maple syrup or jam.
Recipe notes: For a fruit-filled Dutch baby, arrange fruits like blueberries, raspberries or sliced peaches over the bottom of the skillet and then pour the batter over top. (Scattering fruit on top of the batter will keep it from rising as impressively.)
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