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Amazing Homemade Crepes: Everything You Need to Know

3 Berry Homemade Crepe

Crepes are a thin and delicate French-style pancake made without any leavener.  They differ from normal pancakes because they don’t rise or puff at all when cooked.  The batter is easy to make, and it comes together in just a few minutes with only 6 ingredients! 

Typically, crepes are eaten for breakfast or brunch, but since they can be filled with sweet or savory options, you could easily modify the filling to fit any meal. 

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Ingredients for Crepes
Equipment
Making the Crepe Batter

Whisk together the eggs and sugar until combined.  Pour the approximately ½ cup (121g) milk into the bowl and whisk to combine. 

Making crepe batter

Add the flour in small amounts at a time and whisk to combine.  There will be lumps at this point, but that’s ok. 

Pour the vanilla extract into the milk and slowly add the remainder of the milk to the batter.  Whisk constantly to break up large lumps and to incorporate the wet ingredients completely. 

Removing Batter Lumps

Since crepes are very thin when baked, it’s important to minimize any lumps in the batter.  I like to pour my batter through a strainer to remove the lumps.  Use the back of a spoon or the whisk to push the batter lumps through the strainer. 

Making crepe batter

Set the batter to the side for about 30 minutes before cooking the crepes.  This will allow time for the flour to absorb the liquid and for the gluten to relax.  This will make your crepes tender rather than chewy and rubbery. 

Crepe Makers

Crepes are traditionally cooked on a billig (originating in Brittany, France). This is a flat cast-iron cooktop without sides or a raised rim.  You can easily spread the batter on these crepe makers and because the sides are low, you can easily slide a spatula under the crepes. 

Since it’s unlikely most people own a crepe maker, I’ve provided three alternatives you can use at home.

Alternative 1: Skillet
Crepe batter in frying pan/skillet

Use a heavy bottomed skillet or a cast-iron skillet to cook crepes.  Because a skillet has raised sides, pick it up and rotate it to help evenly spread the crepe batter on the bottom of the pan.  The sides make it a little more difficult when flipping the crepe because it can be tricky to get the spatula under the crepe for flipping. 

Alternative 2: Griddle

This option can be electric or placed on top of the stove. It provides a larger cooking surface that is completely flat.  Typically, this will have raised edges along the sides, but because the surface is so much larger than a skillet, it’s easier to maneuver a spatula under each crepe.  This option is great if you want to make multiple crepes (or even homemade pancakes) at a time. 

Alternative 3: Baking Steel
Spreading crepe batter

This is very similar to the griddle. It is a piece of food-grade steel that is placed on top of the stove or inside the oven to cook or bake food.  Nabil and I have a large baking steel that he commissioned so we can make restaurant-style pizza in our home oven.  This was the perfect surface for us to use since we had a ton of space to make the crepes. The entire surface was flat, which didn’t interfere with my offset spatula.  This option is also ideal if you need to make a large number of crepes in a short period of time. 

Cooking the Crepes

Once you’ve chosen your baking surface, heat it to medium.  You can tell when it’s ready by flicking a small amount of water onto the metal.  If it sizzles and evaporates, it’s ready.  If the water droplets stay without sizzling, keep heating your pan.  During cooking, if you notice the crepes are cooking too quickly (e.g., the batter won’t spread to the edges of the pan before setting, holes appear, or the crepes have uneven thickness), adjust your heat lower.  Depending on your cooking surface, you might need to lightly grease the pan between crepes so they don’t stick.  I kept a paper towel near my baking steel with a small amount of melted butter on it so I could re-season the pan when necessary. 

Pour approximately ¼ cup of batter into the pan and spread it out to form a thin circle of batter.  If you are using a skillet, the best method will likely be to pick up the pan while tilting and rotating it in a circular fashion to cover the bottom.  If you are using any of the other options (i.e., billig, griddle, or baking steel), use a wooden crepe spreader to make crepes approximately 9-10 inches (23-25 cm) in diameter.  It took me a few tries to get the technique right. Once I realized a few key tricks, I was making beautiful crepes every time. 

Crepe Spreading Tricks

The first trick is to work quickly.  The pan is hot so the batter will cook quickly.  If you take a long time to spread the batter, you will end up with a crepe with rings (almost like the inside of a tree) or a thick crepe, which will likely not cook evenly and will be gummy on the inside. 

The second trick is to keep one end of the spreader in the middle of the crepe at all times.  This will keep your crepe an even size around the entire circle (instead of getting wonky edges). 

The third trick is to use light and even pressure when twirling the spreader in a circle.  Don’t push down AT ALL.  By lightly resting the spreader on the surface of the batter, it will push the batter evenly without digging into it.  If you notice you have a few areas where the batter is a little thick, just twirl the spreader a second time around the middle.  If you notice you have strips of batter being pulled up as you go around, it is likely you are pushing down on the spreader. 

The last trick is to ignore your penchant for perfectionism (or maybe that’s just a tip for me).  There will be times where the crepe becomes a little misshapen or the batter doesn’t spread exactly the way you wanted it to, or it’s too thick in one spot.  Don’t fiddle around with it!  Because crepes are so thin, they cook very quickly.  After about 2-3 twirls around the pan, any additional spreading will likely lead to messing up the crepe rather than making it look better. 

Flipping Crepes

Cook the batter for 1 minute (or until the bottom is set) and then use a spatula to flip it to the other side.  Cook for another 30 seconds to a minute (or until the bottom is set) and then remove the crepe from the pan.  Place finished crepe on a large plate and serve immediately or place on a baking sheet and keep it in a warm oven (100°F/35°C) until ready to serve. 

Crepe Flavor Combinations

One of the best parts of crepes is that you can fill them with any flavor combination you want.  Make them sweet or savory just by changing the fillings and toppings.  If making them savory, leave out the vanilla extract and cut back on the sugar based on your taste.

Below are 3 flavor combinations that I made using this base crepe recipe, but in reality, the options are literally endless. 

Pistachio, Banana, and White Chocolate Drizzle Homemade Crepes

Pistachio, banana, and white chocolate drizzle

Fold the crepe in half and then half again.  Top with pistachios, banana slices, and a drizzle of melted white chocolate for a delicious breakfast meal. 

Strawberry and Nutella Crepes

Strawberry and Nutella

Spread a thin layer of chocolate-hazelnut spread (e.g., Nutella) on half of the crepe and cover the Nutella with slices of strawberries.  Fold the crepe in half and then half again.  Add some decorative whipped cream flowers and enjoy.  This is also delicious with a maple drizzle of maple syrup or reduced strawberry puree. 

3 Berry Homemade Crepe

3 Berry

Put a small amount of whipped cream across the middle of the crepe and add a combination of raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries.  Fold the sides of the crepe around the berries to form a wrap.  Add a decorative dollop of whipped cream, more berries, a sprinkle of powdered sugar, and a drizzle of maple syrup. 

What is your favorite filling combination?  Let me know in the comments below!

Storing Unfilled Crepes

Crepes are best the day they are baked, but they will keep in the fridge for 1-2 days in an airtight container before getting dry and stale. 

If you want to keep them longer than that, allow the crepes to cool completely to room temperature, stack them with a sheet of parchment or wax paper between each crepe (this will keep them from sticking to each other), place in a freezer bag (or completely wrap the stack on top of a plate with plastic wrap if the crepes are too large to fit in a freezer bag), and store in the freezer for up to a month. 

Strawberry Nutella Crepe, 3 Berry Crepe, and Pistachio, Banana, and White Chocolate Crepe

Reheat crepes in skillet or place them on a baking sheet and put in a 325°F/160°C oven and heat until thawed and warm.  The oven option is helpful if you need to reheat more than 1 crepe at a time. 

Looking for More Breakfast Ideas?
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Homemade Crepes

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Batter Resting Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Servings: 40 crepes

Equipment

  • Whisk
  • Large bowl
  • Large liquid measuring cup
  • Strainer
  • Cooking surface (e.g., billig, skillet, griddle, baking steel)
  • Crepe spreader (optional)
  • Offset spatula or silicone spatula

Ingredients

  • 6 large (331g) eggs
  • ¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 4 cups (970g) milk
  • 4 cups (500g) all-purpose flour
  • tsp (7g) vanilla extract
  • Toppings of your choosing

Instructions

Making the Crepe Batter

  • Whisk together the eggs and sugar until combined.  Pour the approximately ½ cup (121g) milk into the bowl and whisk to combine. 
  • Add the flour in small amounts at a time and whisk to combine.  There will be lumps at this point, but that’s ok. 
  • Pour the vanilla extract into the milk and slowly add the remainder of the milk to the batter.  Whisk constantly to break up large lumps and to incorporate the wet ingredients completely. 
  • Pour the batter through a strainer and use a spoon or whisk to push the lumps through the strainer.
  • Rest the batter for 30 minutes to allow the flour to absorb the liquid and the gluten to relax.

Cooking the Crepes

  • Heat your cooking surface to medium and lightly grease it with a thin layer of butter. Re-season between crepes as necessary.
  • Pour approximately ¼ cup of batter into the pan and spread it out to form a thin circle of batter. If using a skillet, pick up the pan while tilting and rotating it in a circular fashion to cover the bottom. If using a billig, griddle, or baking steel, use a wooden crepe spreader to make crepes approximately 9-10 inches (23-25cm) in diameter.
  • Cook the batter for 1 minute (or until the bottom is set) and then use a spatula to flip it to the other side. Cook for another 30 seconds to a minute (or until the bottom is set) and then remove the crepe from the pan.
  • Place finished crepe on a large plate and serve immediately or place on a baking sheet and keep it in a warm oven (100°F/35°C) until ready to serve.

Crepe Spreading Tricks

  • Work quickly when spreading to avoid torn or overly thick crepes.
  • Keep one end of the spreader in the middle of the crepe at all times to decrease wonky edges.
  • Use light and even pressure when twirling the spreader in a circle. Don't push down AT ALL.

Filling Crepes

  • One of the best parts of crepes is that you can fill them with any flavor combination you want. Make them sweet or savory just by changing the fillings and toppings. If making them savory, leave out the vanilla extract and cut back on the sugar based on your taste.

Storing Unfilled Crepes

  • Crepes are best the day they are cooked.
  • Keep unfilled crepes in the fridge for 1-2 days in an airtight container before getting dry and stale.
  • Freeze crepes by allowing them to cool completely to room temperature, stack them with a sheet of parchment or wax paper between each crepe to avoid them sticking to each other, place in a freezer bag (or completely wrap the stack on top of a plate with plastic wrap if the crepes are too large to fit in a freezer bag), and store in the freezer for up to one month.
  • Reheat crepes in a skillet or place them on a baking sheet and put in a 325°F/160°C oven and heat until thawed and warm.

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