Because life isn’t life without a basic crepe recipe!
It is no secret that crepes are one of my favorite foods. In fact, I think I point that out a lot on here, whenever I can it seems. Because they really are great. Drowned in chocolate, fried or baked, I love them all.
I shared a triple chocolate crepe recipe not too long ago, which really tops my favorite crepe recipes list, but I thought I should post a basic crepe recipe too. After all, classic crepes with Nutella are what I have most often and classics are classics for a reason.
I like my crepes almost paper-thin, see-through, non-greasy, with a small crunchy edge. If I have them with just Nutella, I spread it over when the crepes are still warm, I roll them up into crepe cigars and have them like that. Other times I’m in the mood for something a bit extra, like the banana Nutella crepes with whipped cream that I’m sharing today as well.
Crepes aren’t complicated to make and practice is all you need to make them perfect. But I do have a few tips.
The perfect batter
I used to make every batter with a hand mixer until the day that thing broke and I replaced it with a food processor that also whisks stuff. However, the story is the same as with this pizza dough. I now make my crepe batter with a whisk and a bowl, by hand. The end result is the same, I just don’t have to do as many dishes as I would have to if I used my food processor. If I did a double batch of crepes, I would consider using a mixer, but for the amount of ingredients used in this recipe I still prefer to do it by hand. I really like the control that gives me.
My mom never had a set recipe, she always alternately kept adding flour and milk to the batter until she felt the batter was just right and she had as much as she needed. I usually do this to, when I use the same bowl over and over, and I know what the end result should look like. I’m pretty confident you will eventually do the same, if you’re not doing it already.
However, measuring things helps. The rest is just whisking ingredients together. As you’ll see in the recipe, I alternately add the milk and flour, in a few additions. This gives you all the control over the batter. Whisking well before each addition is what makes the batter perfect and without any lumps. In the end, the batter should be smooth, like a creamy soup, not too thick, but still have some weight to it (so not as thin as cream for example).
If you make the batter too thick, like pancake batter, add a tablespoon of milk and whisk it in. Add more if needed. If it’s too thin, add a tablespoon of flour and whisk that in. Add more if needed.
My classic crepes are always made of the 4 same ingredients, whether I use them in sweet or savory dishes. These are: eggs, milk, flour and a pinch of salt. They are flavorful and can be used in any recipe.
Some people like to add sugar too, which is okay, but when you fill them with a sweet filling, I don’t think you need extra sugar in the batter (unless you’re making chocolate crepes with raw cocoa, then you need to add some sugar too).
My grandmother likes to add a few tablespoons of mineral water, to make the crepes more fluffy, but I think whisking the eggs well before adding the rest of the ingredients gives the crepes some bubbles and just what they need.
I rarely let my crepe batter rest for long. I normally let it sit for about 15 minutes, during which time I wash some dishes and heat up the pan.
The perfect crepe pan
Pretty much any pan can be the perfect crepe pan. I admit I don’t like to make crepes in stainless steel pans. I have more success with either a non stick teflon pan or my very old cast iron skillet. The latter is actually my favorite. I don’t have an actual crepe pan, even though these pans look really good and pretty, I don’t think you need one to make a perfect crepe.
The old skillet has a diameter of about 21.5cm (8.5 inches) and the non-stick pan a diameter of almost 23 cm (9 inches). Both make the perfect sized crepe, that is also easy to flip.
Oil, butter or ..?
9 times out of 10 I make the crepes in the very old skillet I keep mentioning. And it needs to be greased, to prevent the crepes from sticking to it. I always use sunflower oil, because it has no taste and no strong color, so it doesn’t spoil the flavor. I don’t make my crepes with butter and maybe some people will roll their eyes at me for this, but I really don’t think crepes need butter.
I have a special greasing technique, or at least I think it’s special. It works great for me, even though some might find it a bit unnecessary or time-consuming.
Before I begin making the crepes, I warm the pan over high heat until it is really hot. Then I pour in some sunflower oil and I warm it up. Once it’s warm I transfer it to a small bowl and it stays warm for long. That is what I then use when making the crepes. The pan is perfectly greased so the crepes don’t stick to it, but they aren’t oily when cooked. I add a few drops of that oil after every (or every second) crepe to keep the pan in perfect condition. The first crepe is always the test one, it is also the only one that is always oily, because it picks up whatever oil I didn’t pour out. That’s also the crepe I snack on while I make the rest.
I use a soup ladle to pour in the batter. This way I always use the same amount of batter, just the right amount for my 8.5-inch skillet. It gives me the most control and makes pouring the batter in while swirling the pan really easy. Which is why you should do it too.
I cook crepes over medium-high heat. I don’t time the cooking time, although it takes a minute-two for each crepe. Instead I focus on the crepe itself, and this is what always works, no matter the amount of batter used. The crepe is done on one side when it’s cooked through and you can’t see ny liquid / batter, and the edges are starting to get crispy. Then you flip the crepe and wait about 10 seconds for it to get toasty on the other side too.
I use a very thin metal spatula to flip the crepes. It doesn’t have any sharp edges (and doesn’t rip the crepes) and it’s thin enough to slide under the crepe easily.
Store the batter in a bowl covered with plastic wrap in the fridge for up to two days. Whisk it a bit before making the crepes.
Store already cooked crepes on a plate, covered with plastic wrap or foil, in the fridge for up to two days.
Basic crepe recipe + Banana Nutella crepes with whipped cream
Recipe makes 15 8.5-inch crepes.
One filled crepe is a serving big enough for one person.
- 2-3 large eggs (go with 3 for more flavor, 2 work just as good though)
- 720ml (3 cups) milk (whole or part skimmed)
- 400g (2 1/2 cups + 2 TBSPs) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- sunflower oil for cooking
Banana Nutella filling
- Nutella (1 tablespoon per crepe)
- bananas, sliced (1/2 medium banana per crepe)
- whipped cream (a few tablespoons per crepe)
- chocolate sauce for serving (optional)
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the salt until fluffy, about a minute.
- Add a few tablespoons of the flour and whisk it in. You want to do this so that the eggs are well incorporated and you get a nice thick paste, which is the base for further additions of flour and milk.
- Whisk in 1/3 of the milk. Add 1/3 of the flour. Repeat until you’ve added all. Mix well after each addition.
- Once the batter is smooth, set it aside.
- Over high heat, warm the pan until it’s hot (this can take a few minutes).
- Once hot, pour in the oil and let it get very warm. Once the oil is warm, take the pan off the stove and transfer the oil to a small bowl.
- Lower the heat to medium-high, add one scoop of batter to the pan and quickly swirl the pan so that the batter evenly and thinly coats the bottom of the pan. Cook for about a minute or two (until the edges of the crepe get crispy), then flip the crepe with a spatula. Cook for another 15 seconds and transfer it to a plate.
- Continue with the rest of the batter. Add a few drops of oil to the pan whenever it is too dry. (Swirl the pan or spread it over with a brush.)
- Let crepes cool, then cover them with foil or a lid and store in the fridge.
Banana Nutella crepes
- Spread a tablespoon of Nutella over one side of the crepe.
- Place banana slices over it.
- Top with 2-3 tablespoons of whipped cream.
- Fold the empty half over the filling, then fold again to get a triangle.
- Serve immediately, with some chocolate sauce on top (optional).
You can stretch this recipe and make about 18-20 crepes if you add a few extra tablespoons of flour and milk.
To make more than that, add another egg. This recipe can be easily halved or doubled.