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.
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.
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 (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.
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!
- If you follow a gluten-free lifestyle, here are options for gluten-free flours you can substitute for the regular all purpose flour.
- 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
Dutch Babies | Easy Oven Pancakes
- 4 extra large organic eggs
- 1 cup milk 240 ml, low fat
- 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 unsalted butter 27 grams
- Sweet toppings: fresh berries whipped cream, powdered sugar
- Savory toppings: crisply cooked and crumbled bacon grated cheese and chives
- Lodge 10″ cast iron skillet or 1-4 Lodge cast iron round mini servers
- 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.
- Whisk eggs together until foamy. Whisk in milk until smooth. Whisk in flour and salt until smooth. Set batter aside.
- 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.
- When the edges are risen, puffed and golden brown, remove from the oven. Slice into quarters and serve with either sweet or savory toppings.