Vanilla Crepes

20 Jul

Who doesn’t like crepes? They’re a culinary hit no matter where you find yourself in the world. I believe crepes are originally French, but they’re very much a staple in Belgium as well. Millions of breakfast tables are adorned with a steaming stack of hot, buttery crepes every day, and an equal number of eager wee little fingers clumsily spread butter, jam or sugar on them as we speak. Crepes or ‘pannekoeken’ are not just for children, though. As a matter of fact, many Belgians will often gather with friends or family at their local coffee shop or ‘koffiehuis’ on dreary grey afternoons, and catch up on life and kids over a steaming hot cup of coffee and a freshly baked crepe or crispy waffle. It’s as much part of everyday life in Belgium as it is to run your car through any kind of drive-thru here in America.

Crepes are easy to bake, albeit a bit finicky and perhaps an acquired skill. Despite of what kitchen supply stores want you to believe, you actually do not need any sort of specialty crepe-making equipment. My grandma Jozefa used a regular pan, and her recipe has long been praised as the standard in crepe-baking.


(adapted from a recipe by my omoe Jozefa)
– 7 oz of pastry flour or self-rising flour
– 4 eggs
– 2 cups of whole milk
– 3/4 oz of butter
– 2.5 oz of white sugar
– 2 vanilla beans

Melt the butter and combine with flour, eggs, milk & sugar. Split vanilla beans and with the tip of a knife scrape out the seeds. Add vanilla seeds to batter. The batter should be a thick liquid, that can easily be swirled or poured.

In a non-stick lightweight pan, heat a teaspoon of peanut oil until your pan is very hot. Depending on the size of your pan, pour about 1/3 cup of your batter in the pan and immediately swirl it around so you get an even, thin coating. Use a bit less for smaller pans, a bit more for larger pans. You want to achieve a thin pancake or crepe.

Crepes cook quickly, and you’ll notice tiny bubbles appear on the top within a matter of 1-2 minutes. When you see these tiny bubbles or air holes, it’s time to flip your crepe and cook the other size. Loosen the edges and use a spatula to flip your crepe, or go ‘pro’ and try to flip it in the air.
Don’t be alarmed if your first crepe came out a mess. Every Belgian knows the first one is always a dud!

Serve with butter, sugar, honey or jam. They’re delicious hot or cold.


4 Responses to “Vanilla Crepes”

  1. Aruna Panangipally July 20, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    Sounds delicious…. Good crepes are a rarity in India and so I am delighted to have this simple recipe.

    In South India, we have dosa, which is a kind-of savoury crepe. The first one is always a mess but helps season the griddle. All other dosas are then just perfect. A small world, eh? 🙂


    • thehungrybelgian July 20, 2013 at 10:01 am #

      It sure is, Aruna! I’ve had the pleasure of eating dosa, an thoroughly enjoyed them. Our local Indian restaurant here serves them with a yummy cardamom-almond cream. They’re so delicious. As a matter of fact, Indian cuisine is one of my favorites. Glad you liked my simple recipe. Enjoy!


    • thehungrybelgian July 20, 2013 at 10:05 am #

      Oh and one more idea… You could actually omit the sugar & vanilla in this recipe and add a pinch of salt and/or cracked pepper, and fill these crepes with any savory filling you like. Just a thought…



  1. Banana Butter | The Hungry Belgian - July 24, 2013

    […] this sweet butter goes great with the crepes I posted the other day, or melt a slice of the butter into some warm dark rum for a tasty hot […]


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