Dutch Babies | Easy Oven Pancakes

By Sally Cameron on May 16, 2011

breakfast, gluten-free,

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A cross between a pancake, popover and soufflé, 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.

Grandmother’s Recipe

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 of many happy family memories. Had we met, we would have had a ball in the kitchen together.

Family Tradition: Whipped Cream and Strawberries

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.

Simple Batter

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

Flour Options

Della’s original recipe called for all-purpose flour, which most everyone has in the pantry (although I no longer do). 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.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.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.

Going Gluten-Free

If you follow a gluten-free lifestyle, I’ve listed notes at the end on gluten-free flour substitutes with links. When I first made these, we were not yet eating GF. Now, we are.

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!

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
  • 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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