French Pancakes

French Pancakes - Crêpes - My Recipe

The first time I ever flipped a pancake was at primary school on Mardi Gras (Shrove Tuesday) and the crêpes were being cooked on a camping stove that had been casually placed on the floor of the classroom in front of the blackboard. We were all standing in a circle, eager to see who would succeed … such a great memory! Health and safety in the 80s was not the big deal it is now but I do not remember anyone ever being injured during lessons.

When I was growing up, pancake night was once a week and I am still a crêpe lover despite the fact I do not make them regularly. After posting the recipe for ‘free from’ crêpes last week, I realised I was discriminating against the wide majority of the  population without allergies or intolerances (myself included) so I decided to share the no-nonsense recipe I have been using for the past fifteen years. It is fool proof, requires few ingredients and takes minutes to put together. Just in case you were wondering, I do not own or use a pancake pan or any other special utensil for that matter. A frying pan and wooden spatula are all you need.

French Pancakes - Crêpes - My Recipe - Ingredients

If you are from Brittany or a tad pedantic about crêpe etiquette, please stop reading now! This is a basic recipe I use both for savoury and sweet French pancakes. With a busy lifestyle and energetic children, one of whom needs a completely different recipe, making a quick batch is always a bonus in my books. No matter how much I enjoy them, there are no galettes de sarrasin here I am afraid. If you have a good recipe for the delicious savoury version, give me a shout, I would love to give it a go at some point!

Here is the recipe:

French Pancakes

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes


  • 1 ¼ cup plain flour 160g
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 500 ml milk
  • Sunflower oil for cooking


  1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, eggs, sunflower oil and a bit of the milk.
  2. Add in the milk gradually, whisking constantly to obtain a smooth batter. I tend not to worry about lumps and squash them with a wooden spoon if I spot them in the pan, but if they bother you, try using a soup blender to get rid of them.
  3. The mixture will appear thin in consistency and that is how it is meant to be.
  4. Warm your pan over a medium heat and grease slightly with a bit of sunflower oil spread evenly with kitchen paper.
  5. Use a ladle to pour enough of the liquid to thinly coat the pan. You will need to rotate your pan to distribute the batter evenly.
  6. Cook for a couple of minutes, until it is dry underneath and easy to turn with a wooden spatula or flip it if you are feeling adventurous.
  7. Let the other side cook for another minute. You can add your filling now or pile up your crêpes on a plate for later.
  8. Repeat until you have used all the batter. Do not forget to grease the pan when needed using your oiled kitchen paper.
  9. Bon appétit!

Recipe Notes

Double the recipe and you can have a main course, dessert as well as breakfast the next day. You can cook the batch all at once and reheat the pancakes (no oil needed in the pan) when you are ready to eat. Once cooled, pancakes wrapped in cling film will keep well for a couple of days in the fridge.

My pancake-obsessed brain (cannot stop thinking about crêpes, cannot stop thinking about crêpes, cannot… you get the gist!) even went to the trouble of putting together a list of over fifty pancake filling ideas… What is your favourite pancake filling?


Link up your recipe of the week


  1. Alexandra Mercer
    28/02/2014 / 11:56 am

    I’m on a sugar free diet so my favourite crepe filling at the moment is cheese and ham.

    • 28/02/2014 / 8:18 pm

      Cheese and ham (+cream) is my favourite savoury combination, too! x Mel

  2. 01/03/2014 / 1:08 pm

    These look delicious Mel! I love French pancakes- definitely going to make some on Tuesday! 🙂

    • 01/03/2014 / 5:05 pm

      Thanks Jess, I would have tried taking much prettier photos if we had not been so desperate to eat them all! Only managed to keep one for a quick picture afterwards. I love French pancakes, too and I was actually thinking about fillings for Tuesday, yum! x Mel

  3. 01/03/2014 / 7:18 pm

    We LOVE crêpes in this house too – in fact we have a “crêpes machine” so we can all sit round the table and make our crêpes together and eat them immediately. Yum!

    • 01/03/2014 / 7:50 pm

      True, having a “crêpes machine” would be an incentive to eat them more often as I would not have to stay in the kitchen on my own making them. Everyone in my family has one but my house is so small I wouldn’t know where to store it… Mel

  4. 01/03/2014 / 9:25 pm

    I love French pancakes. It’s crazy how tricky it can be to find the mix for the perfect batter though, don’t you think?

    • 01/03/2014 / 9:28 pm

      Look no further Carolin, this batter has been my perfect, easy mix for the past 15 years and it really works. x Mel

    • 02/03/2014 / 8:33 pm

      Brilliant! I am really looking forward to Tuesday. I am putting the finishing touches to a list of fillings I will post later tonight and I am drooling as I am proof reading. x Mel

  5. 03/03/2014 / 2:46 am

    I was practicing them, once (I was going to make a lot for something else, and wanted to be sure I had a good recipe, and the knack) and my guy just stood next to me, taking them from me, and putting peanut butter on them! Folded them in quarters, and ate them like that.

    I like a bit of melted cheese, myself.

    • 04/03/2014 / 11:23 pm

      Great story! Who can resist pancakes? Certainly not me! Mel

  6. sarahhillwheeler
    03/03/2014 / 12:02 pm

    Love crepes, which I always have in France, but love my own pancakes too….just off to check your fillings post. Belated #RecipeoftheWeek and #TastyTuesday.

    • 04/03/2014 / 11:18 pm

      Do share your pancake recipe, Sarah! I tried making them a few of times for breakfast but all the recipes I tried tasted too much like omelette (surely that is not right!). Mel

  7. 03/03/2014 / 12:17 pm

    Love love love pancakes! Our boys are slowly learning to flip them too although they are very concerned about dropping their pancake in the process! #MagicMoments

    • 04/03/2014 / 11:16 pm

      Same here… they are addictive! The children made paper pancakes today (just cut paper circles basically!) and were practising flipping them on their toy pans. They had a great time! Mel

  8. 03/03/2014 / 12:45 pm

    These look delicious, yum

  9. 03/03/2014 / 1:54 pm

    I posted my favourite filling today, I love the fun of Shrove Tuesday too! So, errrr, what is the difference between a thin English pancake and a crepe?! Please educate me!

    • 03/03/2014 / 9:06 pm

      Hi Sarah,
      I posted filling ideas too yesterday! Great minds think alike. I think what you are describing as a thin English pancake must be a crêpe, really. I just call them French pancakes to differentiate from their thicker American counterparts. Mel

  10. 03/03/2014 / 8:17 pm

    Mel i am so rubbish at flipping mine always end up on the floor!!

    thanks for linking up with #MagicMoments x

    • 03/03/2014 / 8:58 pm

      You made me giggle, Jaime. My kids are the same! I was thinking of cutting felt circles (i.e. pancakes) for tomorrow and getting them to practise their flipping pancakes on small play pans. I am even considering a flipping competition. Does life get any more exciting? x Mel

  11. 03/03/2014 / 9:29 pm

    Just thinking back to your post on old photos of family – there is a classic family photo of my Grandad somewhere flipping a pancake! I’m ashamed to say I only made pancakes from scratch for the first time last year! It was fun and I got JJ to help but he refused to eat any and there was no one else around to help me out (EJ was only 7 months and didn’t pay it much attention!) so I ended up eating about 6 pancakes in quick succession! I am planning a family meal this week though – one of my husband’s favourites which is a savoury pancake filled with chicken in a white sauce (i’d do mushrooms too but him and the kids won’t eat them!) with grated cheese and dry roasted peanuts sprinkled on top and then baked off a bit in the oven – they are really good! #MagicMoments

    • 04/03/2014 / 10:48 pm

      Sam, your pancake filling sounds yummy! I wish I had photos of my grandparents doing everyday, fun things like flipping pancakes. Mind you, a few years ago, I took pictures of my nan blowing bubbles with my little man. We had a brilliant afternoon! x Mel

      • 05/03/2014 / 7:35 pm

        Ah! It sounds like you had great fun with your nan! My children don’t have any great grandparents but they have a very special bond with their own grandma as she has looked after them both on Wednesdays since they were both eight months old. X

        • 05/03/2014 / 11:27 pm

          They are so lucky to have their grandma looking after them once a week. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents as a child and our bond is really strong. x Mel

    • 04/03/2014 / 10:43 pm

      No shame in trying to make your life easier! Mel

  12. 05/03/2014 / 8:37 am

    We have crêpes most Sunday mornings and we all love them …. having Mardi Gras arrive is just a bonus! …Just off now to look at that list of filings you made 🙂

    • 05/03/2014 / 11:28 pm

      Hope you liked the list of fillings! I could eat them every Sunday morning if someone was making them for me, hihi. Mel

  13. 11/03/2014 / 2:34 pm

    Nice, clear method. I love pancakes. I don’t care that Shrove Tuesday is over, I’m having them for lunch! Thanks for joining in with #recipeoftheweek. I’ve Pinned and Tweeted this post and there’s a fresh linky live now. You might have already popped over but if not, please do!

    • 11/03/2014 / 8:57 pm

      Same here, we all love pancakes. Three posts about pancakes in less than two weeks actually sounds more like obsession! Mel

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