A Dutch baby pancake, sometimes called a German pancake, is the answer to all your pancake prayers. Unlike traditional pancakes or the German pfannkuchen (essentially a crepe), the Dutch baby requires no flipping and comes out perfect every time. Even the worst cooks can manage to pull off an impressive breakfast with this easy recipe.
I use my trusty Griswold cast iron pan for this, but you can get the job done with a pie pan as well. If you’re in the market for a cast iron, read here for tips on what to look for. I picked up my Griswold in perfect condition in Lubbock, TX from a flea market for $12 — they clearly had no idea what they had.
Dutch Baby Pancakes are versatile, whether you use fruit, nuts or just a simple, plain pancake with powdered sugar and a squirt of lemon on top. I love pears and they’re practically in season year-round. Just stop by your local farmers market and pick up whatever they have available.
Turn the oven on to 375°F, put your cold butter in the middle of your cast-iron pan, and place it in the oven. You’re going to preheat the pan with the oven.
Mix your cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar in a medium bowl and set to the side.
Peel and then slice your pear into thin slices, but not too thin — you want them to soften easily in the oven but not burn. Once you’re finished slicing, toss them into your medium bowl and coat them with your mix of spices.
Pull your hot pan out of the oven and make a single layer of sliced pears on top of your melted butter, then put the pan back in the oven. The pears are going to cook for a few minutes while you mix the batter.
Crack your eggs into the medium bowl you used to coat the pear (remember, I don’t like doing dishes, so I’ll reuse as much as possible). Whisk in the vanilla and milk, then incorporate the flour a little at a time. You can leave some tiny lumps — you don’t want to over mix, but you also don’t want globs of flour hanging out in there.
Once your oven reaches 375°F, take your pan back out and pour your batter over the delicious buttery pears that are now filling your kitchen with a most delicious scent. I don’t know about you, but it smells like Christmas morning in my kitchen right now.
Put the pan back into the oven, and leave it in there for 18 – 20 minutes. You want the edges of your pancake to brown and the middle to be golden. Don’t worry that your pancake looks like a hot air balloon preparing to take flight, it will deflate once you take it out of the oven.
This next part is dealer’s choice. I take my dutch baby without any additional sugar, but I also eat my pancakes without syrup. Blame it on my hippie parents and sheltered upbringing, but I’m not a huge fan of sugar — we’ll talk more about that later. That said, if you like a little more sweet for your tooth, lightly dust your dutch baby with powdered sugar, cut into pie-like pieces and serve warm. If you manage to make it out of breakfast with leftovers, cut the remaining pancake into slices and put them into a plastic container to nuke in the microwave when you’re ready to eat again.
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup flour
- ½ cup milk
- 1 pear
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 3Tablespoons sugar
- Turn your oven to 375F, put your butter in your pan, and put it into the cold oven to preheat.
- Mix the nutmeg, cinnamon and sugar in a medium sized bowl.
- Peel, core, and slice the pear into ⅛" slices.
- Toss and coat your pear slices in your cinnamon-sugar mix.
- Pull your pan out of the oven and layer your pear slices on the melted butter. Place the pan back in the oven.
- Whisk your eggs in the medium sized bowl, add the milk and vanilla, then incorporate the flour slowly.
- Once your oven reaches 375F, remove your pan and pour the batter over the caramelized pears.
- Place the pan back in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, until the edges are brown and the middle is golden.
- Slice once the pancake has "deflated" and serve warm.