Dutch Babies – Easy Oven Pancakes

by Sally on May 16, 2011 · 15 comments

in Breakfast, Gluten-free

A cross between a pancake and a popover, Dutch Babies are an easy breakfast treat ready in about 20 minutes. Baked in a cast iron skillet, they puff up golden brown at the edges. Spoon on fresh berries and a little whipped cream and Dutch Babies are heavenly.I’d never made Dutch Baby pancakes until my husband gave me his grandmother’s recipe. Della was a fantastic cook. She called them oven pancakes, and her recipe has been the fuel for many happy family memories. Had we met, we would have had a ball in the kitchen together.

Family tradition serves them topped with whipped cream and fresh sliced strawberries. I like to add blackberries. My brother’s family uses jam to top theirs. Savory toppings work too. Any way you top them, Dutch Babies are irresistible and easy to make.

Whisk together a simple batter; pour into a hot cast iron skillet in the oven and bake. Piece of cake…well, pancake.

Della’s original recipe called for all-purpose flour, which most everyone has in the pantry. I find that cake flour, which is finely milled and low protein, makes for a more tender pancake. If you have never purchased cake flour, there are national brands in most stores and a great product at King Arthur’s on Amazon. If all you have is all purpose flour, use it. If you don’t have cake flour handy there is a substitution. By using cornstarch, you can make cake flour.

If you follow a gluten-free lifestyle, I’ve listed notes at the end on gluten-free flour substitutes with links.

Erin Huffstetler, who writes Frugal Living, gives this tip for making cake flour.  Place two tablespoons of cornstarch in the bottom of a one cup measure and fill it up with all purpose flour.  Now you have a substitution for cake flour.

I’ve also made Dutch Babies with whole wheat pastry flour. The nutty flavor of whole wheat makes for a more savory, browned-edge Dutch Baby. If the sweet version with whipped cream and berries isn’t your thing, try a little crisply cooked and crumbled bacon, a sprinkle of grated cheese and a few chopped chives.

A note on servings – If you use a regular 10” cast iron skillet, it will serve four light appetites or two hungry ones. For a single serving, use a mini cast iron pan and 1 egg, ¼ cup milk, a ¼ cup of flour, and a tiny bit of butter.

However you top it, enjoy!

Dutch Babies – Easy Oven Pancakes

A cross between a pancake and a popover, Dutch Babies are easy and fun breakfast fare baked in a cast iron skillet. Topped with berries and whipped cream for a sweet version, or crumbled bacon, cheese and chives for a more savory version. For a single serving, use a mini cast iron pan and 1 egg, ¼ cup milk, a ¼ cup of flour, and a teaspoon of butter. Gluten-free flour options are notes as well.

Serves: 2-4 (see note for a single serving)

Ingredients

  • 4 extra large organic eggs
  • 1 cup milk, low fat (240 ml)
  • 1 cup of flour (3 1/4 ounces or 90 grams), all purpose, cake or whole wheat pastry, or gluten-free flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons (27 grams) unsalted butter
  • Sweet toppings: fresh berries, whipped cream, powdered sugar
  • Savory toppings: crisply cooked and crumbled bacon, grated cheese and chives

Equipment

Lodge 10″ cast iron skillet or 1-4 Lodge cast iron round mini servers

Directions

  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven. If there is a rack directly above, move it lower or higher but out of the way. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees  (204C) for a convection oven or 425 degrees (218C) for a standard oven.
  2. Whisk eggs together until foamy. Whisk in milk until smooth. Whisk in flour and salt until smooth. Set batter aside.
  3. When the oven is at temperature, place a 10″ cast iron skillet on the center rack in the oven and allow it to heat up. Add butter and wait one minute until melted. Pour in the batter. It should sizzle. Carefully slide the rack with the pan back into the oven. Bake until pancake is risen, puffed and has golden edges. Timing will depend upon your oven, generally 17-18 minutes. Judge by the look and not just by timing. Your oven may take a little longer. For a mini cast iron skillet for a single serving, it will take about 12 minutes.
  4. When the edges are risen, puffed and golden brown, remove from the oven. Slice into quarters and serve with either sweet or savory toppings.

Helpful links:

If you follow a gluten-free lifestyle, here are options for gluten-free flours you can substitute for the regular all purpose flour.

Cup4Cup, developed by Chef Thomas Keller and sold at Williams-Sonoma

Bobs Red Mill all purpose gluten-free baking flour. They also sell many g-free products such as baking soda, baking powder, etc. Great resource.

Jules Gluten-free flour

 

 

 

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger) May 16, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Funny, I found a recipe like this one in Melissa Clark’s new cookbook (In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite). She calls them “David Dares Pancakes” and has a great story behind the name. My kids call them Pomlettes because they are fancy Pancake-Omelettes. :) Whatever you call them, they are fantastic, and I love how you put berries and cream in the center. Gorgeous.

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2 Debbie Spangler May 16, 2011 at 9:24 pm

I LOVE these and make them on a regular basis but really like your idea of using cake flour for a lighter texture. Our favorite variation is to add some lemon zest into the batter, top with chives, diced cayenne~maple bacon and a drizzle of balsamic reduction. Perfect brunch for two with a pitcher of spicy Bloody Marys :-)

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3 Sally May 16, 2011 at 9:28 pm

I too like to add lemon zest to the batter. Orange works too. The maple bacon and Balsamic sound great! Ah yes, and a pitcher of Bloody Mary’s. That’s my Deb!

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4 marla May 17, 2011 at 5:13 am

Hi Sally! These dutch baby pancakes look awesome, especially with the berries :)

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5 Sally May 17, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Thanks Marla! And it’s family-friendly too. Kids could easily do them. Good to get them into the kitchen!

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6 Anisa May 17, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Hey! These look good, but I was wondering they’re the same as the British Yorkshire Pudding recipe? In the UK we make these then fill them with gravy, vegetables and sausages! Mmmmm

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7 Sally May 17, 2011 at 3:44 pm

HI Anisa. The batter is similar; simply eggs, milk, flour and fat. Yorkshire Pudding traditionally use meat dripping from prime rib for the fat. Here, it’s butter. You could do the more savory one with the whole wheat pastry flour and fill with the kinds of things for a Yorkshire. They bake in a 10″ cast iron skillet for one big one, larger than for individual Yorkshire Puddings. Enjoy no matter how you make them. Thanks for the comment!

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8 Katie Dickson May 17, 2011 at 6:46 pm

I put 1/2 cup of sugar in my Dutch Babies. I also use a hand thrown pie pan or a glass pie pan to bake them in. I put the pan in the oven with the butter before I turn it on. That way it is hot and perfectly ready to poor the egg batter in once the beeper goes off telling me the oven is at temperature. I sprinkle a little powdered sugar on top once out of the oven. I eat these hot or room temperature. No topping is needed. Yummy. Think I’ll go make some now.

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9 Hannah@ Bake Five June 7, 2011 at 1:38 pm

This looks really awesome! A nice steer away from the regular American pancake (:

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10 Patty March 16, 2012 at 3:07 am

Hi! I came across your website looking for this recipe and had a question… Well actually, I have a few but I won’t keep you.

The big question is how do you keep them all warm and ready to go when you are preparing them for a large bunch and cannot prepare enough in one batch to serve all?

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11 Sally March 16, 2012 at 8:44 am

I’d use multiple pans Patty, and make several at once. Serve halves or quarters, and keep making them like you would pancakes. You could try keeping them warm in a second oven at low temp, around 200, on a sheet tray. I’ve never tried that but it might work. Please comment back and let me know what you do.

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12 Froggie April 8, 2012 at 1:05 pm

WILL MUFFIN TINS WORK?

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13 Sally April 8, 2012 at 1:27 pm

I’ve never tried it with muffin tines. It would be a good experiment. Might even try it with popover pans. If you try it out please comment back and let everyone know if it worked.

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14 Kathryn June 12, 2012 at 8:25 am

I made these this morning and they were fantastic! This recipe is a keeper, I’ve tried other dutch baby recipes that don’t turn out as well. Mine were gluten free and I served them with apples, cinnamon, real maple syrup, and walnuts. So good!

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15 Biddy January 3, 2013 at 3:44 pm

My mother used to make these on school nights when she didn’t feel like cookin up a whole meal. They have a special place in my heart. I don’t think my husband has ever heard of one, and I haven’t eaten one in years! I will be making these with this simple recipe VERY soon!

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