Nothing can lift your mood in the morning like a dish of crepes can. This classic French crepes recipe is a simple solution for an easy, healthy, and satisfying breakfast. You only need 20 minutes and ordinary pantry ingredients to make an extraordinary dish. The result is golden, pillowy crepes soaked with syrup for mouthwatering flavors!
How Are Crepes Different From Pancakes?
Pancakes and crepes may seem similar but they have very distinctive textures and flavors once cooked.
Pancakes are a flat round cake and are actually an ancient food with a history of 30,000 years. Thousands of years after spreading to Greece and Rome, pancakes set foot in the US and became an essential part of a classic American breakfast. Pancake batter is usually made up of flour, egg, milk, butter, and sugar.
Originating from Northwest France, crepes are a lighter and less sweet version of pancakes. They’re thinner and often larger in diameter. In terms of ingredients, crepes have the same foundation ingredients as pancakes.
Pancake batter and crepe batter are both flour-based and enriched with eggs and milk. They come in two main flavors: savory and sweet, depending on your choice of toppings (commonly fruits, chocolate, or bacon).
What sets crepes apart from pancakes is that crepe batter can be used immediately, while pancake batter requires a raising agent and is recommended to sit for at least an hour before using. This resting time contributes to the fluffy texture of pancakes once cooked, while crepes are much flatter in structure as they do not have any raising agent.
The thick texture of pancakes also allows additional ingredients like chocolate chips or chopped walnuts to be added into the batter before cooking. This not only makes pancakes more nutritious but also introduces new flavors and ingredients. In terms of texture, the crepe batter is much thinner than pancakes. The best way to serve crepes is to roll them into a tube or fold it with the filling and enjoy it that way.
Are Crepes Healthy?
If you are searching for a delicious, fruity and creamy breakfast, crepes may be an excellent choice. But are crepes healthy?
Due to their thin texture, crepes tend to be low in calories (90 calories for a 10-inch crepe). Crepes are also low in sugar, less than 1 gram for each. Generally, how “healthy” crepes are depends on the toppings served with them. Topping crepes with fresh fruits would always be healthier than with jams, bacon or whipped cream— bear this in mind when trying to make healthy crepes for breakfast.
Can You Store Crepe Batter Overnight?
Crepes contain egg and milk, so leaving them at room temperature may pose a threat of harmful bacterias. You should use crepe batter within 30 minutes after mixing them. In case you want to make crepes in advance, pour the batter into an airtight container and put it in the refrigerator. Crepe batter can last happily for 24 hours.
After removing the batter from the fridge, you may find it has separated a little bit— simply whisk gently to combine and smooth it out before cooking.
How To Make Crepes Recipe
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ cup water
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup milk
- toppings: strawberries blueberries, raspberries (any fruits of your choice)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and eggs.
- Gradually add water, milk, melted butter, syrup, and vanilla. Stir until well combined.
- Heat a non-stick pan over the low heat, pour ¼ cup of batter into the pan. Tilt the pan to spread the batter out until it reaches the thickness you want.
- Cook the crepe on medium heat until they turn golden brown on the bottom (it usually takes 30 – 60 seconds)
- Use a spatula to gently flip the crepe, cook until golden brown on the other side.
- Repeat with the remaining batter, making one crepe at a time.
- Transfer the crepes to a plate/plates and serve with your favorite toppings.
Instead of milk, you can try other liquids like soy milk, orange juice, or even yogurt for different tastes or dietary needs.
You can top crepes with anything your heart calls desires, sweet or savory. There are the traditional toppings, but some people like to have them with avocado or fill them like cannoli. I grew up with a sprinkle of sugar and a dash of lemon juice on mine. It’s up to you!