Lemon Dutch baby pancake - a quick and simple showstopping breakfast! Baked in a cast iron skillet, and topped with berries, whipped cream and powdered sugar. Perfect for a weekend brunch with friends!
We spent this past winter (well I guess it’s still winter…) traveling around the Midwest to visit family and friends. And most excitingly we got to meet a new baby!! A new nephew joined the family 🙂
Spending some quality time in my hometown of Rochester, MN, on several occasions we drove by an old familiar building, formerly full of life. Although they’re no longer in business, Pannekoeken was the first place I ever experienced a Dutch baby pancake.
Vivid childhood memories bring me right back to Pannekoeken hearing the staff yell “Paaannekooeken” as they raced around to serve those Dutch baby pancakes before they fell flat. Quite the fun atmosphere! I’m sad to see they’ve closed down, but I hear rumors of another location opening up??
These pancakes aren’t actually Dutch, but rather believed to be Pennsylvania Dutch. Dutch baby pancakes are light and fluffy, kind of like an American popover. Fresh from the oven this baby will be fully puffed up, but will deflate within a minute or so.
My joyful memories of those deliciously puffy and fluffy Dutch baby pancakes have inspired me to make my own. They’re actually pretty darn easy to make too!
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Dutch baby pancakes are a super simple and impressive breakfast. Perfect for brunch with friends or for a quick family breakfast. Here's what you'll do:
1 - Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, and place your cast iron skillet in the oven to preheat.
2 - Combine eggs, flour, sugar, milk, salt, vanilla, and lemon zest in a blender, and blend until smooth. It should be almost soup-like in texture. Let the batter rest for 10-15 minutes.
Resting the batter is optional if you're short on time, but it can help improve the texture of the pancake (it gives the flour some time to absorb the liquid), especially if you're using a whole grain flour.
3 - Once your oven and cast iron skillet are properly heated, carefully remove the cast iron from the oven, add the butter and swirl the pan so the butter (or olive oil) evenly coats the bottom of the pan.
4 - Next add the pancake batter, again swirling so it evenly coats and covers the entire bottom of the pan. Take care not to burn yourself on the hot cast iron.
5 - Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the pancake has risen and is golden brown.
6 - Remove from oven and serve right away for a strikingly puffy pancake. It will likely fall flat shortly after being removed from the oven.
7 - Optional: Yell “Paaannekooeken”.
The Path to a Perfect Dutch Baby Pancake
- Start with a hot (oven-safe) cast iron skillet.
- Make sure the fat is hot (use olive oil, butter, or coconut oil).
- The pancake batter should be smooth and thin, almost soup-like.
- Fully coat the bottom of the skillet with the butter, add the batter, then pop it in the oven.
- Wait to add any other ingredients (fruit, veggies, herbs, etc.) until after the pancake has been cooked. Adding other ingredients before cooking the batter will weigh it down and impede rising.
- Enjoy a quick 20-minute clog dance, then pull out your inflated Dutch baby pancake!
Dutch Baby Pancakes: Tips, Tricks, and Tools
Use the whole lemon - Since this recipe only calls for lemon zest, zest a lemon and save the fruit for a recipe that calls for the juice. I like to save the lemon zest in the fridge or freezer from lemons that I only need the juice from. So I always have lemon zest at the ready. Check out more ways to use up the whole lemon.
An oven-proof skillet - A cast iron skillet is the usual go-to for a Dutch baby pancake, but not a necessity. Find our exact model here, or go on an antique/thrift shop/garage sale adventure to find your own! Our 12-inch skillet makes enough for 2-4 servings. You can also use any oven-proof skillet or a glass pie dish.
A blender - A smooth and well-combined batter is essential for a fluffy Dutch baby pancake. So a blender is your best bet for a smooth pancake batter.
Find balance - To make it go a bit further (and to balance out the meal), we’ll serve a slice of the pancake with a side of eggs, avocado, and kale.
Whole grain flour - We used spelt flour for our pancake, but any flour will work. I would recommend using a whole grain flour for extra nutrients and fiber.
Serve like a regular pancake - With syrup, fruit, and powdered sugar. Or if you prefer savory flavors, try topping with eggs, herbs, cheese, pesto, you name it.
Storage - Store Dutch baby pancakes in a glass container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. The pancakes may get soggy over time, but don't worry, they're still delicious. When reheating, crisp them up again on the stovetop or in the oven.
You'll love this deliciously simple Dutch Baby Pancake
This is your showstopping breakfast. Not tedious like regular pancakes, Dutch baby pancakes are very simple, and always fun to watch rise in the oven.
Love this simple showstopping recipe? Check out other delicious breakfast recipes like this Carrot Cake Oatmeal and Spiced Pear Oatmeal Bake.
Did you enjoy this recipe as much as we do?
Comment below and rate the recipe to let us know how it turned out! Save these dutch baby pancakes for later by pinning to your Breakfast Board and make sure to tag us at our The Crooked Carrot Instagram to show us your Dutch Baby pancake creations!
"There has never been a sadness that can't be cured by breakfast food." - Ron Swanson
Lemon Dutch Baby Pancake
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup spelt flour or other whole grain flour
- 1 cup milk regular or plant-based
- 2 tablespoons sugar omit for a savory pancake
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract omit for a savory pancake
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 lemon zested
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place 10-12 inch cast iron skillet (or other oven-proof skillet) in the oven to heat up.
- Combine eggs, flour, milk, sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and lemon zest in a blender and blend until smooth. Let the batter rest 10-15 minutes so the flour can absorb the liquid.
- Bake: Using oven mitts, remove the skillet from the oven, add butter and return to the oven, just until the butter melts (keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn). Once the butter has melted, swirl it around the pan so it coats the entire bottom of the pan, add the batter to the skillet and return to the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the pancake is fluffy and golden.
- Remove the pancake from the oven, cut into wedges and serve immediately with desired toppings. I especially like thawed frozen berries, a dollop of yogurt (or whipped cream), more lemon zest and a dusting of powdered sugar. Enjoy!
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