Baked German pancakes are soft, eggy, and custard-like in the center. The batter comes together in just a few minutes and puffs up in the oven before deflating!
What Are German Pancakes?
Also called Dutch pancakes or Dutch baby pancakes, German pancakes are a cross between a baked pancake and a crepe.
They are made with a simple batter featuring flour, eggs, sugar, and milk (I also add vanilla extract and salt for flavor!). Butter is melted in a casserole dish or cast iron skillet while the oven preheats, then the batter is poured on top.
As the pancake bakes, it puffs up like a massive popover and then deflates as soon as you take it out of the oven. The results are slightly crispy edges and a thick, custardy center.
And before you ask, yes, German pancakes are thought to have been invented in Germany! However, they wound up being called “Dutch pancakes” as a spin on “Deutsch pancakes” (Deutsch being the German word for “German”).
Ingredients You’ll Need
These German pancakes call for just seven basic ingredients, plus your toppings of choice. Let’s go over the items you’ll need to make this recipe:
- Whole milk: You need the extra fat in the whole milk to create the custardy center of the pancakes. 2% will work as well, but the pancakes won’t be quite as rich.
- All-purpose flour: Make sure to spoon and level the flour when measuring it to avoid using too much.
- Eggs: With 6 eggs, this is definitely an egg-heavy pancake recipe. The eggs create a thick, crepe-like texture and are essential to the recipe!
- Granulated sugar: To sweeten the pancake. I prefer a sweeter pancake, but you may use less sugar if desired.
- Vanilla extract: Pure vanilla will deliver the best flavor.
- Salt: Just a pinch enhances the vanilla flavor and balances out the sweetness of the sugar.
How to Make German Pancakes
This is essentially a Dutch baby pancake recipe without the cast iron skillet. A well-buttered baking dish works just as well and is perfect for serving a crowd! Here’s an overview of the baking process:
- Preheat the oven: This will need to bake at a higher temperature of 425ºF (218°C).
- Make the batter: Add all of the pancake ingredients except the butter to a blender. Blend just until smooth, about 15 seconds. If needed, stop the blender and scrape down the sides, then blend for a few more seconds to make sure the batter is well combined.
- Melt the butter: Add the cubed butter to a 9×13-inch casserole dish and place in the preheated oven. Let it sit in the oven for about 3 minutes, or until the butter is fully melted.
- Assemble and bake: Remove the casserole dish from the oven and swirl the butter around the pan. Pour the batter into the casserole dish in a figure 8 pattern. Bake until the pancake is puffed, golden, and set in the middle.
- Cool before serving: The pancake needs to cool for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving. This gives it time to deflate, which gives it that custardy, crepe-like center.
Toppings to Try
We love eating our German baked pancakes with a dusting of powdered sugar, a drizzle of maple syrup, and a handful of fresh berries on the side. Other toppings to try include:
- Whipped cream
- Blueberry sauce
- Strawberry sauce
- Salted caramel sauce
- Dulce de leche
- Peanut butter
Storage & Freezing Instructions
Once the pancake has cooled completely, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.
For longer storage, slice into individual pieces, wrap each one tightly with plastic wrap, and freeze in a large freezer bag for 2 to 3 months. Reheat in the oven at 300°F or in the microwave in 20 to 30 second increments until warmed through.
- I prefer a sweeter pancake, so I use 1/4 cup of sugar in this recipe. Feel free to start with just 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar and add more, if desired.
- If you don’t have a blender, you can also make the pancake batter using a large mixing bowl and a whisk. Be sure to mix the batter vigorously — but briefly! — to make it as smooth as possible without accidentally overmixing it.
- Use caution when pouring the batter into the hot casserole dish. The butter might splatter, and it can burn your skin.
- 1 ⅓ cups whole milk (320 ml)
- 1 ⅓ cups all purpose flour spooned and leveled (165 grams)
- 6 large eggs
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter sliced (70 grams)
- Optional: confectioners sugar, maple syrup, favorite berries of choice
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C).
- Add the whole milk, flour, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt to a blender. Blend on high speed for 10 to 15 seconds or until smooth and no lumps remain. If needed, stop the blender, scrape down the sides, and blend for a few more seconds to make sure everything is well combined. Set aside.
- Place the sliced butter into an ungreased 9×13-inch baking pan and place it in the oven until the butter is fully melted, this should only take 2 to 3 minutes. Make sure to keep a close eye on the butter, you don’t want it to burn!
- Carefully, remove the pan with the melted butter from the oven and swirl it around.
- Once the oven is back to temperature, slowly pour the blended batter into the hot-buttery pan in a figure 8 pattern. Do not stand right over the pan, in case any butter splatters.
- Return the pan with the batter to the oven and bake for 22 to 27 minutes or until the pancake is puffed, golden, and looks firmly set.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing and serving. The pancake will deflate as it cools, this is normal!
- Enjoy with dusted confectioners sugar, maple syrup, fruit, etc!