Classic French Crêpes

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Classic French crêpes are soft, tender & delicious. These are super versatile & can be served with almost anything, at breakfast, lunch or dinner!

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Classic French Crêpes

These classic French crêpes are great served with almost anything! Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert. Here, we’re making pancakes the classic way but with the addition of melted butter & sugar for extra flavour. Super quick & easy to make, these crêpes are thin, soft & tender!

I’ve served my crêpes with a generous amount of maple syrup but they can also be served with pretty much any topping/filling (sweet or savoury). Caramelised orange sauce (crêpes suzette) with a scoop of homemade ice cream would be another great option. The recipe for this is coming soon!

Crêpes vs British Pancakes vs American Pancakes

These pancakes are all made with similar ingredients but have some differences…

  • Crêpes – An incredibly thin French pancake, made with flour, milk & eggs. These take 30 seconds or less to cook on each side & can be served as a sweet or savoury dish. Often folded into triangles to serve. Crêpes Suzette is a classic way to serve these.
  • British Pancakes – Very similar to crêpes but these tend to be smaller & slightly thicker. You’ll find these served all year round but most popularly on pancake day/Shrove Tuesday. One of the most popular toppings for these in the UK is lemon juice & sugar.
  • American Pancakes – The other types of pancakes are thin & large but American pancakes are thick & fluffy. American pancake batter contains raising agents (baking powder & bicarbonate of soda) & often buttermilk, for soft & fluffy, flavourful pancakes. Popular toppings are maple syrup & streaky bacon.

What You’ll Need To Make Crêpes

  • Flour – Plain/ all purpose flour is used in this batter. Don’t worry about sifting it, as we’re using a blender to mix the batter!
  • Milk – For the best flavour, I’d recommend using whole milk. Semi skimmed or a milk alternative can also be used.
  • Eggs – You’ll need two large eggs for this crêpe recipe.
  • Butter – We’re using butter in the batter & to grease the pan when we cook the crêpes.
  • Salt – Just a pinch of fine table salt is needed to season the batter.
  • Sugar – If you’re going to be serving your crêpes with a sweet topping, add a small amount of caster sugar into the batter, for extra flavour & a touch of sweetness.
French Crêpes

How To Make Classic French Crêpes

The full, printable recipe card for these classic French crêpes can be found at the bottom of this post!

  1. Mixing The Batter – This batter takes a matter of seconds to come together! All we need to do, is place all of our ingredients into a jug blender then blitz for 20 seconds or so, until smooth.
  2. Resting The Batter – This next step is optional but will help make soft & tender crêpes. I find that a 15 minute rest at room temperature does the trick nicely.
  3. Cooking – To cook the crêpes, place a 10″ frying pan/skillet over a medium heat then once hot, grease with a small amount of butter or oil. Next, pour in a small ladle full of batter (around 4 tbsp/60 ml) into the pan then tilt so that the batter completely covers the bottom, in a thin, even layer. Cook for 30-40 seconds, until the bottom is lightly browned & the top looks dry then flip over with a spatula & cook for another 30 seconds. Remove from the pan & repeat with the remaining batter.
  4. Serving – Once cooked, serve immediately or stack on a plate, to keep warm. To serve, I like to fold my crêpes in half then half again, to make triangles. Alternatively, you could stuff & roll the crêpes or serve them in a stack.

What To Serve With Crêpes

The great thing about crêpes, is that they can be served with almost anything!

For a sweet breakfast, I like to top them with a generous amount of maple syrup, stuff them with Nutella or coat them in lemon juice & sugar. For a savoury option, you could top with bacon or stuff with scrambled egg! Or for a dessert, add a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream.

Tips & Tricks For Making Crêpes

  • Use a blender to make the batter – This mixes the batter in a matter of seconds! It also removes any lumps that might have formed.
  • Rest the batter before cooking – Resting the batter relaxes the gluten which results in soft, tender pancakes. I find that 15 minutes at room temperature does the trick but an overnight rest in the fridge will also work.
  • Cook until just set – Crêpes take around 30 seconds to cook on each side. You’ll know when to flip because the top will look dry & the underneath will be a light golden brown.
  • Grease the pan – Greasing the frying pan with butter or oil prevents the crêpes from sticking & helps them brown nicely.
  • Serve warm – Crêpes are best served warm! After cooking one, you can either serve straight away or stack on a plate to keep warm.

Cooking Crêpes On An Aga

With all of my recipes, I include cooking instructions for conventional ovens, fan ovens & also Agas. Here’s how to cook this recipe in an Aga…

Cook the pancakes on the boiling plate. If your pan gets too hot, move over to the simmering plate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does crêpe batter need resting?

A quick 15 minute rest helps rest the gluten in the batter, resulting in a softer, more tender pancake. If you’re short on time, don’t worry about resting, the crêpes will still taste great!

Can a milk alternative be used for crêpes?

An alternative milk can be used in crêpe batter, just make sure that it is a similar consistency to whole milk. Oat or soya milk will work, just keep in mind that you might need to adjust the amount of milk slightly (the batter should be the consistency of pouring cream). You can also replace the butter in the batter & when cooking for veg oil (or a vegan butter) for a dairy free batch of crêpes.

Can crêpe batter be made in advance?

To make up to a day in advance, mix the crêpe batter without the salt & refrigerate until needed. Before cooking, whisk in the salt & leave to sit for 30 minutes at room temperature. If the batter is a little thick, whisk in a splash of cold water.

Can crêpes be cooked in advance?

Crêpes can be cooked in advance then stored in the fridge until needed (although they are best eaten freshly cooked!). To reheat, you can either microwave for 15-20 seconds, warm through in a low temperature oven or pan fry over a low heat.

What pan is best for cooking crêpes?

A 10″ frying pan or skillet works best to cook large, thin crêpes. Alternatively, you could use a specially designed crêpe pan or a crêpe maker. If you’d like to make smaller crêpes, use a smaller pan & reduce the amount of batter used.

How long do crêpes take to cook?

Crêpes take a matter of seconds to cook (30 seconds or less on each side) over a medium heat. It’s important not to overcook them as they will be tough. You’ll know when they’re cooked as they’ll be just set & a light golden brown.

Equipment Used

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More Breakfast Recipes To Try!

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Classic French Crêpes

Classic French crêpes are soft, tender & delicious. These are super versatile & can be served with almost anything, at breakfast, lunch or dinner!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: French
Servings: 9 Crêpes
Author: Ben Racey

Equipment

  • Jug Blender
  • 10" Frying Pan
  • Spatula

Ingredients

  • 25 g Unsalted Butter Plus Extra For Cooking
  • 130 g Plain Flour
  • 15 g Caster Sugar For Sweet Crêpes
  • 280 g Whole Milk
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • A Pinch Of Table Salt

Instructions

Batter

  • Melt the 25 grams of butter then place into a jug blender along with the flour, sugar, milk, eggs & salt.
    If you haven't got a jug blender, use a stick blender or a whisk to bring the batter together.
  • Blend the batter on a medium speed for 10-20 seconds, until smooth then set aside to rest for 15 minutes.
    The batter can also be rested overnight in the fridge. Make sure not to add in the salt until just before cooking.

Cooking

  • Place a 10" frying pan/skillet over a medium heat then once hot, grease with a small amount of butter or oil.
    Use a pastry brush or a piece of kitchen paper to grease the pan!
  • Next, add a small ladle full (roughly 4 tbsp/60 ml) of batter into the pan then tilt so that the batter completely covers the bottom, in a thin, even layer.
  • Cook the crêpe for 30-40 seconds, until the bottom is lightly browned & the top looks dry then flip over with a spatula & cook for another 30 seconds.
    If the edges of the crêpe need releasing from the pan, use a small palette knife.
  • Once cooked, transfer the crêpe to a plate to keep warm, then repeat with the remaining batter.
  • To serve, fold each crêpe in half, then half again to form triangles. Finish with your preferred topping. I used maple syrup!

Notes

1. Cooking On An Aga – Cook the pancakes on the boiling plate. If your pan gets too hot, move over to the simmering plate.
2. Resting The Batter – I like to give my crêpe batter a short (15 minute) rest before cooking but feel free to skip this if you’d prefer. The crêpes will still taste great! Alternatively, you can make the batter & rest it in the fridge overnight before cooking. If you do this, make sure not to add the salt until just before cooking & let the batter sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
3. Milk – I find that whole milk works best for the batter but semi skimmed or a milk alternative will also work.
4. Blender – Using a jug blender is a quick & easy way to make crêpe batter. If you haven’t got one, you can use a stick blender instead. Or you can whisk the ingredients together by hand.
5. Sugar – If you’re making savoury crêpes, leave the sugar out.

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