I loved German Pancakes growing up and it’s a holiday brunch tradition I still love. This german pancake recipe (aka dutch baby pancakes) tastes just like my childhood — and it’s dairy-free so it’s friendly for those who have food allergies or restrictions.
Growing up, my five brothers and I would always try to convince our mom that we each deserved the prime piece of German Pancakes. (Since I am the youngest and only daughter, I’m pretty sure I had an advantage in the convincing game.) What is a prime piece of German Pancake, you might wonder? The one that is the puffiest. Now granted, the characteristic puff quickly deflates so it doesn’t really matter, but if you dig in fast enough, you’ll get the airy, buttery goodness from a corner piece. And as an adult, yes, I still want the corner piece with the biggest puff.
My family always had the puffy pancakes on Christmas morning, and Tommy and I also make them on Christmas morning. It’s been fun to introduce his family to them as well since they had never heard of them before I joined the family. If you’ve never heard of a german pancake, maybe you’re familiar with the name dutch baby pancakes. And unlike pancakes made on a griddle, these are made in the oven, which is nice for breakfast that’s a little more hands-off (but like traditional pancakes, you want to make sure to eat these when they’re warm! There’s nothing sadder than a room-temperature german pancake, trust me).
Just a heads up: these are fabulous, so you may want to plan to double the recipe ;).
My Mom’s German Pancakes Recipe – the best fluffy pancakes ever
How do you make fluffy pancakes in the oven?
German Pancakes, by their nature, fluff up as long as you beat the eggs thoroughly! A few tips to get the ultimate fluffiness:
Pre-heat your pan in the oven while you prep the batter. A hot pan works best. You could use a cast iron skillet if you have one. Then, melt the butter in the pan in the oven for 1-2 minutes so that gets hot too. A hot oven and making sure the butter is key.
Mix your batter very well. The blender helps whip the eggs, which helps these have the fluffy texture! I use my Vitamix, which is a must-have in any kitchen. (It’s truly worth every penny. I’ve had mine for 8 years, use it multiple times a week, and it’s still going strong!) If you don’t have a blender, whisk very well in a bowl.
Then make sure you’ve keep your heat on in your oven and pour the batter. Swirl the batter mixture into the pan, rather than just dumping all in one spot.
Gluten-Free German Pancakes
To make this a gluten-free dutch baby pancake (or german pancakes), I took my mom’s recipe and made just a few simple tweaks, and even my non-gluten-free husband said he wouldn’t have known the difference. It’s super simple, actually. I’ve tried lots of gluten-free flour blends for german pancake and I like Pamela’s all-purpose gluten-free flour blend best. (It’s a rice flour gluten-free blend so it’s not paleo or keto.) I got it from Whole Foods but Thrive Market and Amazon also carry it. If you can’t find Pamela’s, Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 or King Arthur’s gluten-free blend is my second choice.
If you need a dairy free version, you can use Earth Balance to replace the butter and any nondairy milk. I prefer Ripple Milk or cashew milk since those are typically thicker like cow’s milk. I avoid coconut milk since I don’t want that flavor in my pancakes.
What do you put on German pancakes?
As a kid, I loved them plain! I like the rich buttery taste without anything on it. My family always did a sprinkling of powdered sugar and maple syrup though.
Now, as an adult, I still like the buttery taste the most, but sometimes I’ll add a little pure maple syrup. 🙂 I still pass on the powdered sugar. I just love adding the fresh berries.
My sister-in-law introduced me to topping German Pancakes with powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice. It sounds a little weird but it’s SO GOOD. That’s probably my favorite topping of all time.
This is the recipe my mom made for us every Christmas growing up. It takes 5 minutes to prep and kids love the puffy corners!
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Place an un-greased 9×13 baking dish in your oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, with the empty pan in there.
Prepare your batter.
Place the eggs, milk, flour, salt and vanilla in a blender and combine until smooth.
Once the oven reaches 450, melt the butter in the pan until hot.
Pour batter into baking dish, over the hot, melted butter. Don’t just dump it into one spot – pour in circles or figure 8s, swirling as you pour. This creates the characteristics peaks — the best part! – throughout vs. just in the corners!
Bake, for 22-25 minutes or until edges are golden brown and puffy.
Serve with berries, maple syrup, and/or powdered sugar. Fresh lemon juice squeezed over powdered sugar is also a really good combo!
Keywords: german pancakes, gluten free
If you grew up with eating these, I’d love to hear what you topped them with! And let me know if you called them German Pancakes or Dutch Baby Pancakes!