A simple 20-minute pannenkoeken recipe that highlights the Dutch pancakes' delicate texture and flavor. All they need is a sprinkling of brown sugar.
I make two versions of these tasty pancakes - one with whole-wheat flour and one with coconut flour. Both are excellent!
Pannenkoeken (literally translates to pancakes) are Dutch pancakes. They are very similar to French crepes, but they are thicker and sturdier and usually served rolled up, with just a sprinkling of sugar.
Unlike "Dutch Babies", they are truly Dutch. One of my fondest childhood memories is of my Dutch-born dad standing in the kitchen, making us big, thick pannenkoeken sprinkled with lots of sugar.
My pancakes are smaller than dad's and they are made with whole-wheat flour. Dad used to sprinkle his pancakes with white sugar, but I use brown sugar because it adds flavor in addition to sweetness.
If you use all-purpose flour, you can probably use just one cup of milk, since white flour absorbs less liquid. You’ll know the batter is right if it spreads easily in the skillet.
After transitioning to a low-carb, gluten-free diet, I created a gluten-free version using coconut flour. While certainly nontraditional, it's very good. Watch the video below to see how I make these pancakes. Here's the detailed recipe for this version. For the original whole-wheat flour recipe, scroll down to the recipe card.
3 large eggs
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ cup (28 grams) coconut flour
Cooking oil for pan (I use avocado oil)
1. Break the eggs into a medium bowl and lightly beat them. Add the milk and vanilla and whisk to incorporate.
2. Add the coconut flour and whisk patiently until very smooth. Allow the batter to thicken for 1-2 minutes, then whisk again.
3. Heat a small, 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray it with cooking spray or grease it with butter.
4. For each pancake, pour a scant ⅓ cup of the batter into the skillet. Swirl to spread. Cook until the top is bubbly and the bottom is set, 2-3 minutes.
5. Using a wide spatula, or two regular spatulas, as shown in the video, very carefully flip the pannekoek - it's not as sturdy as a wheat flour one so work carefully.
6. Cook the second side briefly - it will be done in 30 seconds to 1 minute, then slide onto a plate.
7. Spray the skillet again and continue cooking the pancakes until all the batter is gone. Pile the cooked pannenkoeken on top of each other on a plate and cover them loosely with foil to keep them warm.
8. Sprinkle each of them with sugar (or a sugar-free sweetener), roll, and serve.
The recipe makes 6. Nutrition for 2 (pancake only, no toppings):
Calories: 210 Fat: 14g Saturated fat: 5g Carbohydrates: 10g Sugar: 12g Sodium: 127mg Fiber: 3g Protein: 10g
Just like crepes, you can make this recipe in advance. Cook the entire batch, and keep them piled on a baking sheet.
Then briefly warm them in a hot oven, loosely covered with foil so they don’t dry out. Finally, sprinkle them with sugar, roll, and serve.
Frequently asked questions
Pannenkoeken are larger and thinner. They are closer to French crepes than to American pancakes, although they are thicker than crepes.
They originate from the Netherlands. Their name literally translates to "Pan-Cakes."
They can be served for any meal. There are savory versions that can be served for lunch or even dinner. Many pannekoek restaurants in the Netherlands are open from noon until 7 or 8 pm.
They can also be served as dessert or as a snack. My dad typically made them a couple of hours after dinner, as a snack.
Faithful to my childhood memories, the only filling I like for these pancakes is sugar (real or fake). But there are other tasty filling options if you'd like to experiment:
- Chocolate hazelnut spread (homemade or store-bought)
- Whipped cream or chocolate whipped cream
- Blueberry compote or strawberry compote
- Cream cheese and jam
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Pannenkoeken (Dutch Pancakes)
- 1 cup white whole-wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder gluten-free if needed
- 2 large eggs
- 1 ¼ cups milk
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon melted butter for skillet
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.
- In another medium bowl, beat the eggs. Add the milk, butter, and vanilla. Slowly stir in the flour mixture. Whisk to combine.
- Heat a 6-inch skillet over medium heat, about 4 minutes (cut frying time in half by using 2 skillets simultaneously). Brush with a thin layer of butter. Pour about ¼ cup batter onto skillet, swirling the skillet to spread evenly. Fry until golden, 2-3 minutes – you’ll know it’s time to flip when the edges start separating from the skillet:
- Carefully flip, using two wide spatulas. Fry 1-2 more minutes on the second side, until golden.
- Transfer the pannekoek to a dinner plate. Sprinkle with brown sugar, roll up, and serve.