This large, puffy and golden Dutch pancake is perfect for breakfast or brunch. This classic American dish takes just 5 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes in the oven. Served with fresh lemon and icing sugar it is a simple and delicious way to start the day.
I am pretty excited to share this recipe today. It is something that possibly my American readers will be familiar with, but as an Aussie it was a recipe that was quite new to me. And because of that, it is also one of those recipes that has a story about how it came into my life.
Years ago when my husband and I were travelling in the US, we stayed with friends we had met on an earlier trip to Fiji at their house at Lake Arrowhead in California over Christmas.
During our time with them I learnt a lot about American home cooking and how it differs so much to what I was used to in Australia.
And while the food didn’t always excite me (basically no one puts mustard on a sandwich in Australia) this Dutch pancake was incredible.
The only reference I had to a Dutch pancake was the little poffertjes covered in syrup and icing sugar that you used to be able to buy at the local markets. I had never heard of this large version made in the oven. As it turns out this pancake doesn’t originate from the Netherlands at all unlike the little, fluffy pancakes I was used to, but rather it is a American creation originating in Pennsylvania.
We ate this pancake for breakfast and I hurriedly scribbled down the recipe in my notebook so that I could make it again myself once I got home.
This was many years ago and from time to time I would think about finally making it but the notebook was nowhere to be found!
That was until I found it in the back of a cupboard just last month. I don’t actually know what the original source of this recipe is, all I know is that it was what I copied down that day as we made it, and it makes an incredibly delicious sweet breakfast that you really need in your life.
So what exactly is a Dutch pancake?
A Dutch pancake, sometimes called a Dutch baby or Dutch puff, differs quite a bit from a traditional pancake.
First of all it is always cooked in the oven rather than fried on each side on the stove, and is usually baked in a cast iron pan.
It is unique in the way that it puff ups as it cooks and then deflates as soon as it is removed from the oven, meaning that you really need to dig in straight away. You will notice in my photos it has gotten a bit flatter than yours will look when you pull it out of the oven as I wasn’t quick enough with my camera!
It is still made with the basic combination of sugar, flour, eggs and milk, but it’s the ratios that make all the difference here. The quantity of eggs is quite high which gives the end result a more dense, almost custardy finish and a texture that is not what you would expect from a traditional pancake.
Once out of the oven it is traditionally served with a dusting of icing sugar and some fresh lemon, but of course maple syrup is always a popular option.
How to make a Dutch pancake
It is actually so easy to make this Dutch pancake, all you need is the right equipment. A heavy based cast iron pan is going to be your best bet, however a large glass baking dish with high sides will also work here.
The other thing you’ll want is a blender. This wizzes everything together super quickly making the eggs light and frothy without you ending up with a sore arm.
The other key thing is to preheat your pan. Throw the butter (or in this case dairy-free butter which works the same) into the base of your cast iron pan and place in the oven and let it get hot. The butter should be bubbling and starting to brown.
Add all your ingredients to your blender and mix until a batter forms. Pour this straight into the your bubbling butter and immediately place the pan back into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes without opening the oven. Opening the oven is going to cause it to deflate and you won’t get the desired puffiness. So please, withhold the urge to open that door.
Once puffy and golden, place the pan straight on the table and serve straight away with your desired toppings.
Can this be made in advance?
No. This is a cook and eat straight away sort of dish. I had some leftovers that I tried the next day by heating it for 30 seconds in the microwave, and while it still tasted fine the texture had completely changed and the fluffiness was gone making it more like a rubbery baked custard and that’s not really what you want.
Next time you are looking for something a bit different to make for breakfast or brunch but don’t want anything too complicated, then give this a try.
If you do make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and rating below! And tag any of your creations on Instagram with #eightforestlane as I would love to see.
- ½ cup (125 grams) dairy-free butter
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup plain flour
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup dairy-free milk
- ¼ cup orange juice
- Preheat the oven to 220°C. Add the dairy-free butter to a 30cm cast iron skillet and place in the oven until the butter melts and starts to brown.
- Meanwhile, add the rest of the ingredients to a blender and blend for 1-2 minutes until light and creamy.
- Once the butter is bubbling, remove skillet from the oven and pour in the batter. Place the skillet back into the oven for 20 minutes. The pancake will puff up, but try not to open the oven until the 20 minutes is up or the pancake will deflate.
- Remove the pancake from the oven and serve straight away with a dusting of icing sugar and fresh lemon, the pancake will deflate as it cool and is best enjoyed immediately.