German Baked Pancake

Last weekend Kayte introduced me to the German Baked Pancake.  More like an enormous popover than a pancake, the entire thing is baked in an oven-proof skillet and served in wedges.  I don’t know how I managed to live nearly thirty years without knowing about this dish.  Shameful!

In my subsequent research I learned that the German pancake is also commonly referred to as a “Dutch Baby” or (even better) a “Big Dutch Baby”.  I found no mention of it in any of my usual sources, and its Wikipedia page is downright creepy…so I will go on the record to say its origins are dubious, and possibly German.  It seems to thrive in family tradition, like how Kayte had it all the time growing up, but I had never heard of it.  How hip is this thing?

In the oven it puffs up like a souffle.

But moments later the middle deflates, leaving high, curved sides and a custardy, eggy bottom layer.

Tradition calls for lemon juice and powdered sugar, but I also added cinnamon.

Forks are optional if you keep the toppings light.  Feel free to go at it pizza-style.

The final addition of a drizzle of pure maple syrup sealed the deal for me.  I usually go for eggs and toast on Sunday mornings, but  if you’re craving something sweet, this is a superb alternative.  I also like that it doesn’t make you stand at the stove flipping 10 separate pancakes or pieces of french toast before you can eat.

Slide this baby into the oven, then spend the next 20 minutes making coffee, washing the prep dishes, and finding something good to watch or read while it bakes.  I went with an old Dateline NBC interview with Aron Ralston, since I saw “127 Hours” with my sister yesterday and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.

This is an easy and impressive breakfast dish.  I enjoyed it simple-style, but future versions will definitely include whipped cream and fresh fruit…or a savory version with cheese, mushrooms, and onions.

Maybe even a dessert version with ice cream, berries, and chocolate shavings?

The delicious possibilities are endless.

Have you ever had this dish before under any of its names?  Was it for special occasions?  What did you (or would you) put on it?

German Baked Pancake, aka Dutch Baby
Inspired by Kayte.  Adapted from GQ magazine clipping on Kayte’s fridge.*

3-4 large eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup heavy cream (or milk, half-and-half, etc.)
4 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract (if making a sweet variety)

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Place butter in a 10 or 11-inch oven-proof skillet, cake pan, or pie plate.  Place skillet in the oven to melt the butter.
  • Meanwhile, vigorously whisk together eggs, flour, cream, and vanilla.
  • Once the butter is melted, pour in the batter and bake for 20 minutes.  The pancake will be gloriously puffy when you remove it from the oven.
  • Add a few squirts of lemon juice and a dusting of powdered sugar.  Cut into wedges and serve immediately.

Print Version

*Because this recipe comes from GQ magazine I think the intention was for men to add this to their repertoire of “impress your lady” foods.  We like it when you cook things for us.  We like it even more when we don’t have to ask.  This dish will impress, so take note and make it soon!

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19 Comments on “German Baked Pancake”

  1. February 27, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

    I love German pancakes! Whenever I’m home I ask my mom to make this for breakfast, We actually always have it with sauteed apples, butter, and maple syrup.

    • Aimee
      February 28, 2011 at 1:31 am #

      Mmmm. The apples sound like a terrific addition! This dish seems made for moms…

  2. Kayte Ellsworth
    February 27, 2011 at 7:30 pm #

    YES!!! Thanks for spreading the word!

  3. Robin
    February 27, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

    We used to get Dutch Babies at our favorite breakfast place, “The Original Pancake House” (not to be confused with IHOP). I like my Dutch Babies with fresh cut strawberries, powdered sugar, lemon and fresh whipped cream, YUM.

    • Aimee
      February 28, 2011 at 1:32 am #

      I have never heard of the ORIGINAL pancake house…is that a New Jersey thing? Your combo sounds divine!!!

    • Anonymous
      February 27, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

      Me too! Are you from CInci?

  4. February 27, 2011 at 8:26 pm #

    omg that looks so good!!!

  5. February 27, 2011 at 10:14 pm #

    Ooh! This looks lovely–and tasty! But I really want that bird plate to serve mine on if I make it… Better get myself to the antique store.

    • Aimee
      February 28, 2011 at 1:33 am #

      Amber, the plate was from Pier One – they come in 4 colors….and they might still carry them!!

  6. Jaime G.
    February 28, 2011 at 12:08 am #

    Hey Aim,

    Look up David Eyre’s pancake recipe for some history or more info. It comes from a 1965 New York Times cookbook. It’s a very similar recipe intended to be done in a cast iron skillet with the addition of nutmeg. Recently stumbled upon this also, and it’s AMAZING!!!

    • Aimee
      February 28, 2011 at 1:37 am #

      Wow – good timing! Thanks for the info, Jaim! That is definitely an important piece of the puzzle I wasn’t able to find. I will have to update my post!

      I hope Bowie has had a taste of this fun pancake!!

  7. Laurie
    February 28, 2011 at 3:00 am #

    When I first saw the photo, I thought it was a bread bowl. As in the vessel for soup we often ordered at Charley’s in the Pheasant Lane Mall. I believe it was some sort of very thick clam chowder, which could be classified as a hearty stew. We were always angry that the teenage waiters never gave us rolls before we ordered because we thought they assumed we had no money! :D

  8. February 28, 2011 at 9:20 am #

    That pancake is so interesting. On first glance I thought it was a ginormous yorkshire pudding!

  9. February 28, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

    This looks so delicious! Your description really makes me want to try the recipe myself, and it made me wonder if a vanilla sauce might taste great with this.

    • Aimee
      March 1, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

      Krista, I think it most definitely will! And this recipe is so easy, you can try new combinations over and over….and over! :)

  10. March 1, 2011 at 3:20 am #

    My first Nana recipe was for Dutch Baby. We eat them sprinkled with powdered sugar and spoonfuls of homemade jam. I used to make them for my slumber parties as a kid–they never failed to impress my pals.

  11. Shannon
    March 2, 2011 at 10:07 pm #

    I did make one a long time ago. I had no idea what would happen in the oven though. Mine got HUGE! What a fun surprise. Funny how they deflate after removing them from the oven. These truly are a yummy alternative to plain-old pancakes though. Maybe I’ll try one this weekend. Definitely strawberries and powdered sugar… Thanks for the inspiration, Aimee!

  12. Chuck
    March 11, 2011 at 11:04 pm #

    Looks great! I’ll have to give it a try. Thanks for the blog advice.

  13. March 15, 2011 at 1:07 am #

    In our home we call it planet because it looks like a funky planet. I’m glad you discovered this dish.

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