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!

20 thoughts on “German Baked Pancake

  1. Megan says:

    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.

  2. Robin says:

    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.

  3. Jaime G. says:

    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 says:

      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!!

  4. Laurie says:

    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! 😀

    • Aimee says:

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

  5. Sarah says:

    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.

  6. Shannon says:

    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!

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