This easy Dutch baby recipe (aka German Pancake) is mixed in the blender and can be served sweet or savory with your favorite toppings.


As a kid, weekend breakfasts were my dad’s specialty with fried eggs, sausage links, and his perfectly delicious daddy’s potatoes. So the first time I had a Dutch baby wasn’t until I was an adult when a friend made one for a weekend brunch. The marvelously puffed pancake is a cross between crepes, custard, or pancakes but with dramatically high, crispy edges, crests and valleys, and a soft, custardy center that instantly won me over. 

Besides being delicious, Dutch babies are a favorite to make for breakfast (or brinner!) because unlike my banana pancakes or these crispy waffles, they don’t require any babysitting or flipping. Keep your Dutch baby sweet with berries, a sifting of powdered sugar and maple syrup, or a bit of freshly squeezed citrus juice, or head to the savory side with the addition of chopped ham, mushrooms, or bacon with a sprinkling of cheese. 


What’s in This Dutch Baby?

You only need a few basic ingredients to make a Dutch baby (and it’s very likely you already have them on-hand. Here’s what you need to make one:

  • Unsalted butter
  • Eggs, at room temperature
  • Milk (whole, 2%, 1%, or skim are fine), at room temperature
  • All-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt
  • Sugar (optional, but I like adding 2-3 tablespoons if I’m making a sweet one, versus savory)


Dutch Baby Variations

The best thing about this Dutch baby recipe (other than how ridiculously easy it is), is that it’s super versatile. You can add sweet or savory ingredients to the batter, or top it however you’d like.

Here are some ideas for ingredients you could fold into to your batter for extra flavor:

  • Fresh herbs (such as thyme, chives, tarragon, or rosemary)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Green onions
  • Cooked bacon, ham, sausage, or chorizo
  • Grated Parmesan, sharp cheddar, or Gruyere cheese
  • Lemon or orange zest
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg


How to Make a Dutch Baby German Pancake

When right out of the oven, the Dutch baby looks like a giant popover (and tastes like one too), but will deflate after it sits for a couple of minutes. Don’t worry, you didn’t mess up, it’s supposed to come back down to earth. The beauty of these babies lies in their imperfections.

Preheat a heavy bottom skillet in the oven, cast iron is perfect, and bring the heat. The key trick when making a Dutch baby is to preheat the baking dish in the hot oven, add the butter to melt, and THEN add the batter. Doing so gives the skillet a heated head start so the eggs will rise and puff quickly without overcooking. Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet, oven-safe skillet, or deep-sided pie dish in the oven and preheat to 425°F. It ultimately doesn’t matter so much what you bake it in because I’ve also made it in a 3-qt Corning Ware baking dish and it rose beautifully.


Batter up. While the oven preheats, add the eggs, milk, flour, salt, and sugar (if using) to a blender or food processor. Blend until combined, about 1 minute, scraping the sides and bottom to make sure there are no clumps and all of the flour has been distributed.  

Let the baby rise. Once the skillet has preheated in the oven, use pot holders and remove the hot skillet from the oven. Add the butter, shaking the pan to swirl it around, being sure to get some around the sides. Once the butter has fully melted, pour the batter in. Return the skillet to the oven and bake the Dutch baby until golden brown and puffed up, about 15 minutes or so.


How to Make a Smaller or Bigger Dutch Baby

You can easily scale this recipe up or down, depending on how many you’re cooking for. Adjust the size of your baking vessel accordingly and plan to bake the Dutch baby a bit less or longer, depending on the size:

  • Do half of the recipe if using an 8-inch skillet, pie dish, or 2-qt baking dish
  • Do 1 1/2 the recipe if using a 12-inch skillet or 4 qt baking dish
  • Double the recipe if using a 5-qt baking dish

Why Do They Call it a Dutch Baby?

Contrary to its name, the Dutch baby is actually German in origin. It’s thought that the Dutch baby may have been derived from Pfannkuchen—German pancakes, but the Dutch baby as we now know it was made popular in the U.S. in the 1990s. As the story goes, the name “Dutch baby” came from a famous Seattle cafe called Manca’s. The owner’s daughter incorrectly pronounced Deutsch, (the German word for German) as Dutch. The “baby” came from the restaurant serving mini versions of the pancake. Big or small, Dutch or German, I’m just calling it freaking delicious.


What is the Difference Between a Dutch Baby and a German Pancake?

Dutch babies and German pancakes are essentially the same thing. Dutch babies are described as tasting like a cross between a crepe and a pancake. However, they are much lighter than pancakes, and their appearance, texture, and taste are actually very similar to a popover or Yorkshire pudding.

What Makes a Dutch Baby Rise?

Since Dutch baby pancakes don’t include any leaveners, you might be wondering, what makes a Dutch baby rise? There’s more than one answer. The big one is steam. The milk and eggs, coupled with a hot skillet and oven create and trap steam while baking. That trapped steam is largely what makes the Dutch baby puff up like a balloon.

Another important element for a well-risen Dutch baby is using room temperature ingredients. Working with a well-preheated skillet or baking vessel and a super hot oven from the start of baking is also important in helping give your Dutch baby its impressive volume. This is because that hot heat helps the steam form extra quickly. 


How to Serve Your Dutch Baby

There are so many fun ways to serve up your Dutch baby. Whether you’re feeling savory or sweet, here’s some inspiration:

  • Top with freshly whipped cream (or coconut cream) and berries
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar, lemon or orange zest, and a squeeze of juice
  • Serve with butter and maple syrup
  • Spread with jam or preserves
  • Top with caramelized apples
  • Sprinkle with a mixture of cinnamon sugar
  • Smear with Nutella and add banana slices or strawberries
  • Top with grated chocolate, toasted coconut and roasted pecans
  • Add fresh Parmesan, ham or prosciutto, and sliced green onions or chives
  • Top with halved cherry tomatoes, freshly grated parmesan, fresh basil, arugula (once it has cooled, otherwise it will wilt), and a drizzle of balsamic glaze or aged balsamic
  • Add a runny egg on top
  • Top with smoked salmon, capers, thinly sliced red onion, and crème fraîche

3 Big Tips for Making the Best Dutch Baby

  • Use room temperature ingredients for that desired puff.
  • Properly preheat your skillet in the oven. High heat and a piping hot baking vessel are key to getting the puffiest pancake.
  • If desired, let the batter rest for 10 minutes to give the gluten time to relax and redevelop, which will help trap the steam quicker when baking.


More Breakfast Recipe Ideas

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