Honest Fare

Pretty Provisions and Notes from the Kitchen

Dutch Babies: Sweet or Savory

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Dutch Babies: Sweet or Savory, Honest Fare by Gabrielle Arnold

Remember those funny, flat sponge creatures you’d play with as a kid that would grow like 10 times their size when they’d hit water? They came in all different shapes and characters and colors, and no matter how many times you dropped one in water, you’d always stare in amazement as it grew bigger and bigger. Dutch babies are like the edible equivalent of those.

It’s essentially just some egg and flour, milk and butter on a pan. No big deal. But once in the oven, they start to puff up, and up and up, right before your eyes, until they’re peaking and spilling out of your pan. It’s insane. And so pretty!

I used a miniature cast iron pan so the ones you see here didn’t puff up as much as ones made in larger dishes can.
Exhibit A: this guy.

Don’t worry, they do actually deflate and settle once removed from the oven, which is kind of fun to watch too.

To help with rising:
1. Use room temp/warm eggs and milk.
2. Beat the eggs a lot before adding the rest of the components.
3. Get the pan immediately back into the oven once you pour the batter in.

Flavor wise, they’re kind of like a pancake, but not as cakey. Lighter and spongier. So maybe more like a soufflé. But…less delicate and eggy. In a way, they also kind of remind me of a crepe. Okay, forget it. You get the point. They are delicious.

The question is, where have these babies been hiding all my life? I’ve never seen them on a menu. Never heard any talk of them. Never even seen photos of such a thing. My mom recently introduced me to Dutch babies, sometimes referred to as German pancakes, after she had them at a bed and breakfast somewhere in Oregon. (Oops, can’t remember where right now.) She’s been all about them ever since, topping them with fruit and yogurt and syrup. I’ve made them several times now and see exactly why she’s so into them.

Traditionally, Dutch babies are finished off with a little lemon juice (which sounds weird) and powdered sugar. I’m not crazy about powered sugar so I messed around with a few other toppings. I did one with pumpkin puree, cinnamon and maple syrup. That was awesome. But, even better was the simple pairing of raspberries, sliced almonds and maple syrup.

Not sure what it was about this mix, but it was fantastic.

I was also really pleased with this savory one of sautéed mushrooms, tomatoes and arugula, topped with Romano cheese. Looks like a cute little deep-dish pizza!

They cool thing about Dutch babies is that you can play around with them. Just serve them up and let people have fun with the toppings. You can make large ones for people to share, or smaller individually sized ones like the ones I made here. They’re usually eaten for breakfast, but I think they’re good any time of the day depending on what you top them with.

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Recipe

Prep + cook time: 20 minutes Serves 1 I used a six inch cast iron pan for a single serving. Double the recipe for larger servings and/or to accommodate larger pans. Using room temp eggs and milk is preferred. Omit vanilla extract if doing savory toppings.

You need:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 pads butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (omit if doing savory toppings)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Slightly warm milk and let eggs reach room temp by either soaking in warm water or letting sit out. Preheat oven to 350º and place small (about 6″) oven safe pan, cast iron skillet or baking dish in oven to heat.
  2. Measure out 1/4 cup flour and milk and set aside. Whisk egg for a couple minutes until nice and fluffy. Add flour, milk, salt and vanilla to egg and beat for one minute. Remove pan from oven and add 1-2 pads of butter to it. Then add batter to pan and immediately place back in oven to bake for about 7 minutes.
  3. Remove when just golden and enjoy!

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36 Comments

  1. Posted October 26, 2011 at 8:04 AM | Permalink

    Brilliant to tweak it over the fence to savory–I’m preheating my cast iron pan as I type.

  2. nicola
    Posted October 26, 2011 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

    Yum! In Portland, OR they appear on menus a bunch. Zell’s Cafe on SE Morrison always have lovely seasonal ones on their menu. Have your Mum pop in there! I too am off to preheat my oven!

  3. Posted October 26, 2011 at 10:22 AM | Permalink

    Super cute! Love how open to interpretation these little babies are. And that picture with the huge one is awesome and impressive! :-p

  4. Posted October 26, 2011 at 10:31 AM | Permalink

    Yum! We’ve been making dutch babies a lot recently, too. I remember seeing them on menus a lot as a kid, though. Maybe it’s a regional thing? I grew up in Michigan, and there is a big dutch population there.

    Personally, I love the lemon juice and powdered sugar topping combo, because that’s what I grew up with. You have to use lots of both, though, and I usually mix the lemon juice with some clarified butter. Also, to get ours really fluffy, we actually use quite a bit more egg than you do (4 eggs to 1/2 c. flour and 1/2 c. milk) and just dump everything in the blender together and blend until super-frothy before cooking.

  5. Posted October 26, 2011 at 1:48 PM | Permalink

    This seems very similar to a Yorkshire Pudding (which I think have multiple eggs)-perhaps that may explain why you haven’t seen it on menus?
    looks lovely in any case!

  6. Posted October 26, 2011 at 2:09 PM | Permalink

    I love dutch babies! First, the name is such fun to say, “I’ll take a dutch baby, please!” I think your savory version is a fantastic idea.

  7. Posted October 26, 2011 at 2:40 PM | Permalink

    Sounds like the apple pancakes at Walker Brother’s Original Pancake House in Wilmette, IL (http://www.walkerbros.net/)
    So yummy. I love breakfast foods, any time of day!

  8. Julie
    Posted October 26, 2011 at 3:56 PM | Permalink

    I can’t wait for the weekend to try these! I, too, am from the Midwest and when I lived there I would see them much more than I do now that I’m in Arizona. It could be regional.

    Quick question: What size miniature cast iron skillet do you use?

    Thank you!

  9. julie
    Posted October 26, 2011 at 8:24 PM | Permalink

    They sound a lot like popovers (which we make in muffin tins and eat sweet or savory, too).

  10. Posted October 27, 2011 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

    Oooh I just saw something that looks very similar on the Sweet Beet, though she calls them puffy eggs with lemon and sugar. Whatever they are, they look like such a fun texture.

  11. gabi
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 12:26 AM | Permalink

    Julie -
    I used a six inch pan :)

  12. Isabelle
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 3:37 AM | Permalink

    Hi, I’d love to try this out, but what is a pad of butter?

  13. Posted October 28, 2011 at 7:16 AM | Permalink

    My mother’s favorite for years and years. She served it with just lemon and confectioners sugar, but our favorite was with sausage and onion added before baking. I still crave it.

  14. Julie
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 9:03 AM | Permalink

    So glad I checked back…Thanks, Gabi! I’m making these this weekend.

  15. Posted October 28, 2011 at 1:26 PM | Permalink

    Whoa! that glass pan one is wild! This looks delicious!

  16. Posted October 28, 2011 at 10:17 PM | Permalink

    YUM, would LOVE to make these!!

  17. janelle
    Posted October 29, 2011 at 1:52 AM | Permalink

    beautiful.

  18. Julienne
    Posted October 29, 2011 at 10:52 AM | Permalink

    I have heard of these–my boyfriend is Dutch and one Christmas we had these for breakfast with his family. The funny thing is that they call them German Pancakes! :) Thanks for posting the recipe, I needed a reminder to make these!

  19. Posted October 31, 2011 at 1:30 AM | Permalink

    These babies look awesome. I can’t wait to try them this week. I like a savory breakfast, so the tomato one has me dreaming of morning. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Posted October 31, 2011 at 2:01 AM | Permalink

    i love recipes that have the potential to be either savory or sweet.

    this one looks fun to play around with!

  21. gabi
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 7:06 PM | Permalink

    Isabelle,
    A pad of butter is a nice cut off a stick of butter about 1/4 – 1/3 inch thick. There’s no real exact measurement for a pad of butter but it’s approximately a tablespoon.
    I just say a pad instead of an exact amount in this recipe because it’ll vary an the size of pan you’re using.

  22. Posted November 4, 2011 at 3:14 AM | Permalink

    I have never heard of them either. They do sound yummy though.

  23. Posted December 4, 2011 at 9:53 AM | Permalink

    been in love with your blog since i found out about it through mike and jenn. am going to make this for breakfast today! yummm!

    btw, fabulous job on our video! you were so beyond awesome in it. perfect hands

  24. gabi
    Posted December 23, 2011 at 10:01 AM | Permalink

    Jessica -

    Thanks so much! The video was fun ;)

  25. Posted January 5, 2012 at 4:10 AM | Permalink

    I love the picture of a guy :D perfect for breakfast I assume.

  26. Holly
    Posted January 8, 2012 at 10:51 AM | Permalink

    Ah, yes, German pancakes! So fun and versatile, but I never considered savory: clever! My folks used to take us to a little breakfast place in Orange County (CA) when I was a kid (many years ago!). My mom LOVED them and usually ordered Apple Cinnamon. I now make them with apples from our trees. I saute thinly sliced apples in a fair bit of butter, sugar and cinnamon and then top when the pancake is done. I am thinking Dutch is really from Deutsch, which means German is English.

  27. Posted January 24, 2012 at 2:31 PM | Permalink

    goodness! i just discovered your blog through Mint and have been pinning your recipes like crazy (with exact links and credit). I have yet to make a savory dutch baby but I think that will be remedied next Monday (we do a family Breakfast for Dinner every Monday night at the homestead). I make my dutch-babies in muffin cups, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup flour makes 12 deee-lightful wee babies. now I need to find some arugula and how did you cook those gorgeous tomatoes?

  28. Drea
    Posted January 24, 2012 at 11:18 PM | Permalink

    A quick question – I live in Denver (5280 elevation) and baking is challenging!
    Any tips for getting this baby to rise in elevation?
    What I do know is that we are not in the mountains (Aspen, etc.) so baking here does not need an extreme tweak – but a slight tweak. Even a greater challenge, since all baking alterations are for high altitude climates (which means more like 9-10,000 ft).
    Help:)

  29. suva
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 8:34 PM | Permalink

    Reminds me of Czech cake called Trhanec (tattered cake) – when it is baked, we tear it up with forks and pour hot fruit syrup over it, topping with whipped cream.

  30. gabi
    Posted January 26, 2012 at 8:57 AM | Permalink

    Jessica,

    Glad you found the blog! I just sauteed the tomatoes in the same pan as the mushrooms but I added the tomatoes in when the shrooms were half way done. Just a little olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary and garlic. I threw the arugula in the pan once I removed it from the heat so that it wouldn’t wilt all the way. Enjoy!!

  31. gabi
    Posted January 26, 2012 at 9:00 AM | Permalink

    Drea,

    I wish i could help with this one, but I live in Florida (about as flat and close to sea level as you can get!!) Have you tried making it yet? I only ask because I have a feeling it will still rise. I might just take longer…

  32. Posted April 30, 2012 at 7:51 PM | Permalink

    YUM! That looks amazing! :D

  33. George
    Posted April 30, 2012 at 11:27 PM | Permalink

    These are a staple in my diet, I eat them about twice a week!

  34. Shree
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 7:11 PM | Permalink

    Thanks Gabi for such a wonderful blog. I just came across it very recently and have been hooked.
    Today I tried this super simple yet fun Dutch Babies recipe…..a big savory one with tomato, shitake mushrooms and lots of arugula cooked in some olive oil n garlic n topped it with some grated cheese, it was yumm. This was followed by a small sweet one for dessert which I topped with some bing cherries and walnuts. Served this with maple syrup and hubby was delighted. I still have some left which we will devour after dinner.
    Thank you once again and can’t wait to try many other recipes from your blog.

  35. chas
    Posted March 16, 2014 at 10:07 AM | Permalink

    same as yorkshire pudding

  36. Posted June 16, 2014 at 3:45 AM | Permalink

    this is delicious

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