Poffertjes or mini dutch pancakes are easy to make at home for breakfast or dessert! These popular market snacks are made with just a few ingredients and best enjoyed warm with a dusting of icing sugar and drizzle of maple syrup!
Growing up, my absolute favourite food to grab when at the local markets was always poffertjes, the little dutch pancakes still warm from the pan and dusted with icing sugar and a drizzle of maple syrup.
I loved them so much that my brother bought me an electric poffertjes pan so that I could enjoy them anytime (and for a lot less than $10 a plate!). I made them at home a few times, but ultimately I forgot I had the pan, and it has sat in the back of a cupboard for quite a few years now.
But as I was putting together my 12 Days of Christmas recipes for this year in the middle of a kitchen renovation, I was thinking about alternative ways to cook without an oven and remembered the pan and I am so glad I did because these little pancakes are incredible.
You can get an electric version of the pan like I have or one that goes on the stove top. Mine was definitely sold as a poffertjes maker however I don’t know if it’s because I just got back from a trip to Japan, but for the first time I noticed a little octopus design in the cast iron so I believe it was originally made as a takoyaki pan (octopus balls). So really, either type of pan will work!
And if you don’t want to have to have a special pan, you can just use a frying pan instead, you just may not get exactly the same shape and ‘puff’ but they will still be delicious!
Poffertjes, pronounced poff-er-jes, are a traditional Dutch street food found often in the winter months (yes think Christmas markets) and are made from a yeast and buckwheat flour based batter. For this recipe, we’re just using regular flour instead to make these a little easier for the home cook but you can certainly find more traditional recipe variations online if you would prefer to use buckwheat flour.
They are usually eaten for breakfast or served as dessert. Either time of the day, these mini dutch pancakes are a perfect extra special and delicious dish the whole family will enjoy!
The poffertjes batter uses just 5 simple ingredients.
Note all ingredients and their quantities are laid out in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Dairy free milk – use any milk you like, but I am keeping these dairy free and using oat milk. Regular milk, soy milk or almond milk will also yield similar results.
- Instant dry yeast – yeast is what makes this batter unique and technically not a pancake. The yeast gives the poffertjes their ‘puff’.
- Plain flour – to keep things simple we’re just using regular plain flour, also known as all purpose flour in the US.
- White sugar – adding just enough to make the batter a little sweet and help feed the yeast.
- Egg – make sure your egg is room temperature as we’re adding it to a warm batter.
- Toppings – I am using just icing sugar and maple syrup as that’s what I grew up eating but more traditionally is just butter and icing sugar. You could also elevate them with Nutella or Biscoff spread which would be delicious!
As mentioned above, to make poffertjes you will need a special pan that has the indentations allowing you to get the shape. Other than that, you’ll need a couple of bowls, a whisk and a skewer or fork to flip the mini pancakes.
As this is a yeast based batter, we need to start by activating it by heating the dairy free milk in the microwave until warm but not too hot. Whisk in the instant yeast and let sit for a moment for the milk to go frothy. If this doesn’t happen, it’s likely your yeast is dead so you’ll need to try again with fresh yeast.
Next, make the batter in a large mixing bowl. Add the plain flour and sugar and mix to combine. Add in the milk mixture and the egg. Gently whisk everything together, incorporating the wet ingredients with the dry until a smooth batter forms.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a tea towel and place in a warm location for 45 minutes to let the batter rest. Once the batter has risen and is bubbly on top, you’re ready to cook the poffertjes.
Heat your poffertjes or takoyaki pan over medium heat and lightly grease the indentations of the pan with cooking oil spray. You could also use butter but I find cooking spray much easier!
Spoon the batter into the indentations, filling each about halfway. Similar to cooking pancakes, cook until the edges start to set and the bottoms turn golden brown. Carefully flip each poffertje with a skewer or fork, and cook the other side until golden brown and cooked through.
Once you’ve cooked all of the batter, serve up your plates of poffertjes with a dusting of icing sugar and a drizzle of maple syrup. I also added some fresh raspberries to contrast the sweetness. Enjoy immediately while still warm.
Poffertjes are great served on a large plate to share and people can dig in using a skewer or fork.
More sweet breakfast recipes:
Poffertjes (Mini Dutch Pancakes)
- 1 ½ cups dairy free milk
- 1 ¼ teaspoons / 7 grams instant dry yeast
- 2 cups plain flour
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 egg room temperature
- Icing sugar
- Maple syrup
- Heat the dairy free milk in the microwave until warm but not too hot, approx 1 ½ minutes. Add your instant yeast and whisk to combine.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the plain flour and sugar and mix to combine. By now your milk should be frothy. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients, followed by the egg.
- Gently whisk the batter together, incorporating the wet ingredients with the dry until a smooth batter forms. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a tea towel and place in a warm location for 45 minutes.
- Once the batter has risen and is bubbly on top, you’re ready to cook the poffertjes. Heat your pan over medium heat and lightly grease the indentations of the pan with cooking oil spray.
- Spoon the batter into the indentations, filling each about halfway. Cook until the edges start to set and the bottoms turn golden brown. Carefully flip each Poffertje with a skewer or fork, and cook the other side until golden brown and cooked through.
- Remove from the pan, again using the skewer or fork and set aside. Repeat with the remaining batter until it has all been used.
- Serve immediately while still warm, topped with icing sugar and maple syrup.
Nutritional information is provided as a guide only and is calculated using automated online tools, therefore we cannot guarantee the accuracy. We encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe.