This basic recipe breaks down how to make crepes step by step. You can use this as the base for sweet or savory crepes!
What Is a Crepe?
If you’ve never tried a crepe before, you’re seriously missing out! Essentially, crepes are a type of pancake that originated in France.
Unlike fluffy American pancakes, crepes are incredibly thin. They’re often stuffed with a sweet or savory filling and then folded to contain the filling.
Today I’m sharing a basic crepe recipe that can be used to make sweet or savory crepes. You don’t need any special equipment to make crepes at home, just a large skillet and a few basic ingredients.
You’ll notice that the ingredients needed to make homemade crepes are very similar to what’s required for traditional American pancakes. However, there’s one key ingredient missing from a French crepe recipe — baking powder. Because we want the crepes to be very thin, there’s no leavening agent in the batter.
Let’s go over the ingredients needed to make crepes. Note that if you want to use this recipe to make savory crepes, you can omit the granulated sugar and pure vanilla extract.
- All-purpose flour: You should spoon and level the flour when measuring it. If you scoop the flour from the bag using a measuring cup, you’ll compact it and will likely measure out too much.
- Granulated sugar: Just 1 tablespoon of sugar is all you need to sweeten the batter. Crepes themselves aren’t super sweet, but the fillings can be.
- Salt: You need a pinch of salt to flavor the batter and balance out the sugar.
- Whole milk: The fat in the whole milk keeps the crepes moist and pliable.
- Eggs: Since the batter has to be chilled before making the crepes, there’s no need to bring the eggs to room temperature like you would if making a cake.
- Butter: I always use unsalted butter because the amount of salt in salted butters can vary between brands.
- Vanilla extract: Please use pure vanilla extract. It has the strongest flavor and is what makes these crepes so delicious!
How to Make Crepes at Home
You may think French crepes are a fancy breakfast item, but they’re actually so easy to make! Simply combine the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. I prefer using a blender because it creates a smoother crepe batter.
Once blended, transfer the batter to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for one hour.
Refrigerating the batter gives the flour time to absorb the liquid and the gluten time to relax. This creates crepes that are more tender and not at all rubbery. It also allows the bubbles to subside, so the crepes are less likely to tear while cooking.
After one hour, take the batter from the fridge. Preheat an 8- or 9-inch skillet over medium heat and brush the skillet with butter.
Lift the pan off the heat and quickly pour the crepe batter into it. You only want a thin layer of batter in the bottom of the pan. I find that a scant 1/4 cup is perfect for an 8- or 9-inch skillet.
Make sure to pick up the pan from the heat, slowly pour in the batter, and quickly swirl the pan in a circular motion. Return the pan to the stovetop and cook for one to two minutes, or until the edges start to lift off the sides of the pan and the bottom is lightly browned. Carefully loosen the crepe with a thin spatula and flip to cook the other side.
Once cooked, transfer the crepe to a wire rack and finish making the batch. It’s okay to stack the crepes on top of each other while they cool.
Do I Have to Use a Blender?
If you don’t have a blender, you can whisk the batter together by hand. Simply whisk together the dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls.
Then, make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and gradually pour the wet ingredients into it, making sure to whisk well. I recommend straining the batter through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any lumps of flour before refrigerating it.
Different Filling Ideas
You can fill your crepes with any filling you’d like. Sweet or savory — whatever you’re craving! Here are some crepe filling ideas to get you started:
- Microwave Lemon Curd
- Dulce de Leche
- Blueberry Sauce
- Strawberry Sauce
- Salted Caramel Sauce
- Fresh berries
- Sliced bananas
- Lemon juice and granulated sugar
- …any combination of the above!
- Be sure to chill the batter for at least one hour. The longer you chill it, the better the crepes will be!
- If you’d like to make savory crepes, simply omit the sugar and vanilla from the batter.
- Use a non-stick skillet and brush the pan with butter between every crepe you make. You don’t want the batter to stick to the pan whatsoever.
More Sweet Breakfast Recipes to Try!
- Grandma’s Cinnamon Rolls
- Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Classic Buttermilk Pancakes
- The Best French Toast
- Classic Scones
- 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
- 1 tablespoon (12 grams) granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups (360 ml) whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons (30 grams) unsalted butter , melted and slightly cooled (plus more for the pan)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth, about 15 to 20 seconds.
- Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least one hour.
- Heat an 8- to 9-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Brush the skillet with some melted butter.
- Lift the pan off of the heat and quickly pour a scant ¼ cup of the crepe mixture in the center of the pan, swirling the pan in a circular motion so that the mixture evenly coats the bottom.
- Return the pan to the stovetop and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the bottom is lightly browned and the edges begin to lift from the pan. Carefully loosen with a spatula and flip to cook the other side.
- Remove from the heat and slide the crepe onto a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining batter, lightly coating the pan with melted butter as needed. You may stack the cooked crepes on top of each other while the rest of the batter is cooking.
- Top with fresh fruit and dust with powdered sugar or fill with your favorite fillings.