Crepes are one of those show stopper recipes everyone needs to know how to make. This tutorial for how to make basic crepes perfectly is all you need to turn simple ingredients into a delicate light treat that can be both sweet and savory. I spent most of my adult life thinking I could never make these, but I was proven wrong. This recipe is simple, easy to follow, and ideal for serving guests.
Basic Crepes Recipe
One of my favorite things to do is to entertain. I love hosting friends and family at my home. Big Sunday dinners after church are part of my childhood, and I learned from both my mom and grandma just how much joy can come from sharing a meal with those you love.
In the past, I've hosted gourmet meals, pizza nights, a basic pot roast dinner, sandwiches with chips and dips, and finger food meals. One thing I always wanted to host is a weekend brunch with friends. I've perfected many classic recipes, but the crepe is one that just recently became part of my skillset.
This recipe takes all of the fear and mystery out of these delicate crepes. They will soon become a favorite on your menu and used as a base for many delicious additions of sauce, cheese, meat, and berries.
What is the Difference Between Crepes and Pancakes?
While both crepes and pancakes contain many of the same ingredients, the amounts are just different enough to make the crepes a thinner batter and resulting food.
Pancakes are thicker and fluffier. They usually include a bit of baking powder or baking soda in the batter that helps make it fluff when you cook. Crepes are a thin batter that cooks in seconds and is made to fold easily into wedges or to stuff and roll like you would an enchilada.
What are Crepes Made Of?
The basics of crepes include eggs, flour, milk, butter, and flavoring like vanilla, cinnamon, or similar. This is the good thing about making crepes, you most likely already have the ingredients on hand in your home.
They are traditional French food but are one of the least complicated and easiest to make foods you will find in French cuisine. Rather than fear making them, dive in and use this recipe to make sure your crepes turn out perfect every time you serve them.
What Can You Stuff Inside Crepes?
Stuffing crepes is a common way to serve them. My first introduction to crepes was actually when at a restaurant for brunch. I enjoyed ham and swiss stuffed crepes that day and discovered just how delicious they could be with a stuffing. Since then, I've enjoyed all manner of toppings and stuffings on crepes, but I always go back to that as my favorite. Below are a few more ideas.
- Whipped cream cheese with fresh fruit
- Nutella and sliced strawberries
- Ham or bacon and eggs topped with hollandaise sauce
- Cheddar cheese with sauteed onions, bell peppers, or mushrooms
Any of the same items you would top a crepe with can also work inside them.
What Can I Top My Crepes With?
Anything you want! There are many more traditional options that pair well with crepes, but a few come to mind immediately. Serve them with anything you like, or alone and topped with fresh fruit and honey. Below are a few popular options for inside crepes.
- Fresh berries like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries
- Peaches or apples cooked down with sugar and cinnamon
- Whipped cream or whipped topping
- Cinnamon sugar, brown sugar, or powdered sugar sprinkled on top
- Maple syrup, fruit syrups, or honey drizzled over the top
- Cocoa powder and chocolate shavings
- Chocolate or caramel syrup with sliced bananas
Can You Make Crepes Ahead of Time?
Crepe batter is best when it is allowed to cool in the refrigerator for at least one hour before cooking. That means it is ideal for making ahead. I would recommend using within 2 days of making.
Just keep it in a covered or airtight container that won't pick up other smells from the refrigerator. I prefer pouring it into a bottle or jar that has a tight lid. That makes it much easier to pour into the pan later down the road.
You can make them ahead of time, store them, and save in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before use, but I find the texture and flavor to be better when freshly made.
Do I Have to Refrigerate Crepe Batter Before Cooking?
While I find the best results when I allow the batter to chill for one hour, you can cook it immediately after making the batter. The results won't always be as nice and sometimes will cook a bit too fast. If making for the first time, I highly suggest following the recommended chill time.
Why Are My Crepes Crispy?
If your crepes turn out too crispy, then it is most likely you have cooked them in a pan that is too hot. Your pan should be over medium heat, and shouldn't be so hot that when you pour the batter into the pan it immediately sets up.
Reduce the heat and cook your crepes slower for the best results and a perfectly cooked and lightly browned crepe rather than crispy or overcooked crepes.
How to Make Crepes
In a large bowl, combine the eggs and flour using a hand mixer to combine until blended.
Add in the milk and water then whisk until smooth.
Next, add in the salt and melted butter and stir until mixed.
Lastly, mix in the vanilla (or other extract and flavor) and then cover and set aside to refrigerate for one hour before cooking.
When ready to make your crepes, spray with nonstick spray and then heat a large skillet or crepe pan over medium heat.
Pour ¼ cup batter into the center of the pan, then spread or swirl outwards to coat in an even layer.
Cook the crepe for 2 minutes or until lightly browned, then flip and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes or until cooked through.
Remove from the pan immediately and fold or stuff then serve. I top mine with powdered sugar, honey, and fresh berries.
Crepes are part of a full breakfast or brunch and should be served alongside more of your favorites. I always start with this oven baked bacon. My kids always want to see my best French toast on the buffet alongside some fluffy Belgian waffles. I almost always add a pan of these cinnamon rolls with cream cheese glazeas well on the sweet end of the buffet.
I like to also add this burst tomato frittata with fontina cheese and even this sausage and tater tot breakfast casserole. My husband really loves these Italian baked eggs alongside his crepes and bacon.
The easiest way to make a crepe is to use a crepe pan. They are relatively affordable and make it much easier to get the right form and easy to flip the crepes. I recommend a 12" crepe pan for best results.
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup water
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Mixed berries
- Honey or Syrup
- Powdered sugar
- Beat together the eggs and flour in a large bowl using a hand mixer until they are combined and form a wet dough;
- Add in the milk and water, then whisk the mixture together until smooth, you may do this by hand or use a mixer or blender if desired;
- Pour in the melted butter and salt and stir to combine;
- Add vanilla extract and stir;
- Cover and refrigerate the batter for one hour;
- When ready to prepare your crepes, heat a large skillet or crepe pan that has been lightly sprayed with oil over medium heat;
- Pour ¼ cup batter into the center of the pan then swirl to spread it out into a thin layer;
- Cook for 2 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes or until just cooked through;
- Serve immediately with fresh berries, powdered sugar, honey, syrup, or whipped cream.
Add different extracts or spices and herbs to the batter to elevate the flavor to match your toppings.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 423Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 111mgSodium: 258mgCarbohydrates: 78gFiber: 2gSugar: 45gProtein: 8g