If there’s one breakfast that can instantly transport me to my childhood, it’s my grandma’s pancake recipe. Although some people call these a Dutch baby, we always called them Gram’s puffy German pancakes.
There are tons of dutch baby recipes on the internet, each a little bit different. I’m sure they’re all good. But the truth is that there’s really nothing Dutch about them. They’re German. I like this very plain version that doesn’t include spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg in the batter so you can really taste the egginess of the pancake. My family recipe also doesn’t have any sugar. That’s what the toppings are for!
I often cut this recipe in half to make a single pancake for myself, and I eat it straight out of the pan. The toppings change depending on my mood, but the ones my mom used the most when I was growing up were a smattering of powdered sugar and either fresh-squeezed lemon juice or pure maple syrup. Fruit preserves are also a yummy option.
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I have always used a 9-inch cake pan to make these puffy German pancakes because that’s how my mom and grandma did it. But you could also use a cast iron skillet. A word of caution: Be sure to wear an oven mitt when you pull the pan out of the oven because it will be hot (duh) while you’re trying to get the butter spread all along the bottom and the sides. I typically use a mitt on one hand and hold a kitchen towel in the other to help slide the pan smoothly to rotate it.
Puffy German Pancakes
Yield 2 people
These light and fluffy pancakes are also known as Dutch baby pancakes.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 large eggs, scrambled
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- Toppings I suggest: sifted powdered sugar, pure maple syrup, fruit preserves
- Preheat oven to 400º F.
- Place one tablespoon of butter in each 9-inch cake pan and place in the oven just until the butter melts. It should not be left in long enough to brown or for the milk solids to separate. Remove from the oven with an oven mitt and turn the pan to completely spread the melted better along the bottom and sides of the pan.
- In a mixing bowl, scramble eggs, milk and salt. Whisk in flour until mostly smooth. It’s OK if the flour looks slightly lumpy, but don’t over-mix.
- Pour the batter into the cake pans, dividing evenly. Bake on the middle oven rack for 17-20 minutes, or until the pancakes puff up and start to get golden brown on the edges. (If you use a convection toaster oven, it will only take about 10 minutes to cook.)
- Remove from oven, let cool for a minute and then use a spatula to loosen them from the cake pans and transfer to plates if desired. Serve with maple syrup and other toppings you like.