5 tips for making perfect crêpes

Crêpes with Buttered Apples

Making light, airy, evenly browned crêpes that are just a little crisp around the edges is no harder than making pancakes (I actually think is easier). Here are 5 tips to ensure things go smoothly.

5 tips for making perfect crêpes

  1. Refrigerate the batter for at least one hour. Gluten, a cross-linked chain of two proteins, forms when wheat flour and water are agitated. It’s a desirable reaction when you’re making things like bread, but is not so desirable in cakes, pie crusts and crêpes. Refrigerating the batter after it’s been mixed, “relaxes” the gluten and makes for light, airy crêpes.
  2. Use a heavy bottomed stainless steel pan. Your pan needs to heat evenly, so it’s important that it has a thick bottom that will achieve this. Also, I’ve found that non-stick pans don’t evenly brown the crêpes (leaves a weird mottled pattern), so I prefer using a pan without non-stick coating.
  3. Slowly heat the pan to the desired temp. If you try to heat it too quickly you’ll constantly be fiddling with the temperature knob because it will start burning or get too cool. On my gas stove, I put the pan on the large burner and have the heat set a smidge below medium, but you’ll have to figure out what works best for you. Also, make sure the pan is hot enough, otherwise your crêpe will stick to the pan.
  4. Over butter the first crêpe. By “over butter” I don’t mean deep fry, but you want to make sure you have enough butter in the pan to thinly cover the bottom and part of the sides. Usually I just unwrap one end of the stick and make a swirling motion around the pan (kinda like applying deodorant). Your first crêpe will be a bit crisp and buttery (not that that’s even a bad thing), but your following crêpes should come out perfect. You shouldn’t need to re-butter the pan for at least 5-6 crêpes and you’ll only need a quick swipe.
  5. Don’t flip it too early. Wait until the surface of your crêpe is no longer shiny and the edges are starting to brown before you try and flip your crêpe. If you flip it too early it will tear.

The recipe below will make about 12-16 crêpes depending on what size pan you use. Apples tend to have a subtle flavor so I like using a couple forms of apple to make sure it’s got plenty of flavor. If you don’t have Calvados (apple brandy) feel free to substitute for brandy.

Crêpes with Buttered Apples

for crêpe
1 C flour
1 1/2 C milk
2 eggs
pinch salt
1 Tbs sugar
1 tsp vanilla

for buttered apples
1/4 C apple juice
1/4 C butter (1/2 stick)
1/2 C sugar
1/2 apple cut into 1/8″ cubes
2 Tbs Calvados or brandy
1 Tbs lemon juice

Put everything in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl with a spout, cover and refrigerate for an hour. Following the instructions in the tips above, heat a pan and butter. Pour enough batter into the center of the pan to cover about 1/3 of its surface area then quickly pick it up and use a swirling motion to cover the rest of the pan.

Let this cook until the edges start turning brown and grab an edge with a flat spatula then use your fingers to lift the edge and get the rest of the spatula under the crêpe and flip it. Cook for about another 30 seconds or until you see some brown spots when you peak under the crêpe. Transfer to a plate and serve immediately, or you can stack them on top of each other and keep them in a warm oven.

For the buttered apples, cook everything except the Calvados and lemon juice in a small sauce pan over medium low heat while you cook the crêpes (about 10-15 minutes). Whisk in the Calvados and lemon juice just before serving over your crêpes.

  • http://www.souvlakiforthesoul.com/ Peter G

    A great guide on making crepes….I agree about using a heavy bottomed pan. The apples are a delicious addition to this!

  • http://www.souvlakiforthesoul.com Peter G

    A great guide on making crepes….I agree about using a heavy bottomed pan. The apples are a delicious addition to this!

  • http://smashingcook.com/ Jun

    Those tips are great. I think they work well too for old-fashioned pancake.

    Will try the buttered apples for pancake.

  • http://smashingcook.com Jun

    Those tips are great. I think they work well too for old-fashioned pancake.

    Will try the buttered apples for pancake.

  • http://feedingmaybelle.blogspot.com/ maybelles mom (feeding maybell

    good tips, exact same tips I would give to making Dosas.

  • http://feedingmaybelle.blogspot.com maybelles mom (feeding maybelle)

    good tips, exact same tips I would give to making Dosas.

  • http://voodoolily.blogspot.com/ Heather

    These are great! They work for omelets, too, I think. I haven’t had a good crepe in such a long time.

  • http://voodoolily.blogspot.com Heather

    These are great! They work for omelets, too, I think. I haven’t had a good crepe in such a long time.

  • http://lisaiscooking.blogspot.com/ lisaiscooking

    Great tips! I’m planning to make some crepes soon!

  • http://lisaiscooking.blogspot.com lisaiscooking

    Great tips! I’m planning to make some crepes soon!

  • lauren

    Your picture is lovely. Thanks for the tips! Applicable to making dosas too.

  • lauren

    Your picture is lovely. Thanks for the tips! Applicable to making dosas too.

  • http://www.noblepig.com/ noble pig

    These are absolutely beautiful!

  • http://www.noblepig.com/ noble pig

    These are absolutely beautiful!

  • http://www.jerseygirlcooks.blogspot.com/ Lisa

    These look outstanding. Thanks for the tips.

  • http://www.jerseygirlcooks.blogspot.com Lisa

    These look outstanding. Thanks for the tips.

  • http://lafujimama.blogspot.com/ Fuji Mama

    Great post! I so agree with your point on the type of pan you use. I think that the pan can make or break your crepes!

  • http://lafujimama.blogspot.com Fuji Mama

    Great post! I so agree with your point on the type of pan you use. I think that the pan can make or break your crepes!

  • http://www.everydaycookin.blogspot.com/ Darius T. Williams

    In love…totally in love with these tips!

    -DTW
    http://www.everydaycookin.blogspot.com

  • http://www.everydaycookin.blogspot.com Darius T. Williams

    In love…totally in love with these tips!

    -DTW
    http://www.everydaycookin.blogspot.com

  • http://www.noobcook.com/ noobcook

    Thanks for sharing these tips… yes they look perfect … how beautiful.

  • http://www.noobcook.com noobcook

    Thanks for sharing these tips… yes they look perfect … how beautiful.

  • http://www.cookeatfret.com/ claudia (cook eat FRET)

    the tips are surely excellent
    you really do cook your ass off

    g’luck with the food network thing

  • http://www.cookeatfret.com claudia (cook eat FRET)

    the tips are surely excellent
    you really do cook your ass off

    g’luck with the food network thing

  • http://www.peppercornpress.com/ Peppercorn Press

    I am so hungry right now…. it’s a bit after 1 pm and I haven’t had lunch yet. I need to stop browsing and go eat and these crepes are just making it worse! Crepes are one of my favorite dishes, so I will definitely try this version. And they are presented so beautifully.

  • http://www.peppercornpress.com Peppercorn Press

    I am so hungry right now…. it’s a bit after 1 pm and I haven’t had lunch yet. I need to stop browsing and go eat and these crepes are just making it worse! Crepes are one of my favorite dishes, so I will definitely try this version. And they are presented so beautifully.

  • Marc

    Thanks Peter, yea the pan and temperature are usually the two things that usually go wrong for people.

    Thank Jun, they should work for pancakes too, although I wouldn’t let pancake batter rest in the fridge. It uses chemical leavening (baking soda/powder), so if you let the batter sit too long, it won’t rise.

    Maybelles Mom, I’ve never tried making Dosas before but it makes sense. I suppose you could also use the same tips for Injera.

    Heather, good point though my problem with omelets is that I get a little over zealous with the filling and the whole thing falls apart (have the same issue with burritos).

    Thanks Lisaiscooking!

    Thanks Lauren, good call on the dosas.

    Thanks Noble PIg:-)

    Lisa, thanks and you’re welcome!

    Thanks Fuji Mama!

    Glad you found them helpful Darius.

    Thanks Noobcook:-)

    Claudia, LOL, I guess you could say that although lately I haven’t had much time to spend in the kitchen.

    Peppercorn Press, I’ve never really experimented with varying the proportions of stuff for the batter, so let me know what you think of it.

  • Marc

    Thanks Peter, yea the pan and temperature are usually the two things that usually go wrong for people.

    Thank Jun, they should work for pancakes too, although I wouldn’t let pancake batter rest in the fridge. It uses chemical leavening (baking soda/powder), so if you let the batter sit too long, it won’t rise.

    Maybelles Mom, I’ve never tried making Dosas before but it makes sense. I suppose you could also use the same tips for Injera.

    Heather, good point though my problem with omelets is that I get a little over zealous with the filling and the whole thing falls apart (have the same issue with burritos).

    Thanks Lisaiscooking!

    Thanks Lauren, good call on the dosas.

    Thanks Noble PIg:-)

    Lisa, thanks and you’re welcome!

    Thanks Fuji Mama!

    Glad you found them helpful Darius.

    Thanks Noobcook:-)

    Claudia, LOL, I guess you could say that although lately I haven’t had much time to spend in the kitchen.

    Peppercorn Press, I’ve never really experimented with varying the proportions of stuff for the batter, so let me know what you think of it.

  • vivien fan

    hi dear, nice to see your web, i am searching for Japanese crepe recipe. As you know, French crepe, America crepe are much different from Japanese crepe. Japanese crepe is crispy style. i tyied a lot recipe, but fail, are your recipe is Japanese style? pleae let me know? if yes, i will try. thank you for your time and i will be highly appreciated. thank you for your great web. vivien

  • vivien fan

    hi dear, nice to see your web, i am searching for Japanese crepe recipe. As you know, French crepe, America crepe are much different from Japanese crepe. Japanese crepe is crispy style. i tyied a lot recipe, but fail, are your recipe is Japanese style? pleae let me know? if yes, i will try. thank you for your time and i will be highly appreciated. thank you for your great web. vivien

  • marc

    Vivien, these are French style crepes, but I’ll tell you that I accidentally left a crepe on the pan a little too long before flipping it and when I went to flip it, it was golden brown and crisp. Maybe Japanese crepes are less about the batter and more about how long you cook it for?

  • marc

    Vivien, these are French style crepes, but I’ll tell you that I accidentally left a crepe on the pan a little too long before flipping it and when I went to flip it, it was golden brown and crisp. Maybe Japanese crepes are less about the batter and more about how long you cook it for?

  • http://thebuddingcook.blogspot.com/ tbc

    Marc,
    I made my first crepes EVER following your recipe. Thanks so much for the reicpe and the fabulous tips!

  • http://thebuddingcook.blogspot.com/ tbc

    Marc,
    I made my first crepes EVER following your recipe. Thanks so much for the reicpe and the fabulous tips!

  • Mitchell Mullin

    Would a copper crepe skillet work just as a heavy bottom pan? http://www.frenchcopperstudio.com/crepepans.html

    • marc

      That’s a good question. Copper is a great conductor of heat, but 2.5mm sounds a little thin, although that’s just the copper layer so perhaps the other metal is thicker. You may want to check and see what their return policy is if it doesn’t work out.

  • Mitchell Mullin

    Would a copper crepe skillet work just as a heavy bottom pan? http://www.frenchcopperstudio.com/crepepans.html

    • marc

      That’s a good question. Copper is a great conductor of heat, but 2.5mm sounds a little thin, although that’s just the copper layer so perhaps the other metal is thicker. You may want to check and see what their return policy is if it doesn’t work out.

  • Joshua Gilead

    I ran into some minor problems: 1. I am only an amateur to start with. 2. Lack proper materials as pans 3. Trying to master perfect vegan crepes.

    I have two recipes:
    Recipe A.
    1/2 cup soy milk.
    1/2 cup water.
    4 Tbsp. nondairy margarine, melted.
    1 Tbsp. sugar.
    2 Tbsp. maple syrup.
    1 tsp vanilla (optional).
    1 tsp. cinnamon.
    1/4 tsp. salt.
    pinch of nutmeg.
    1 cup all-purpose flour.
    Oil, for frying.

    (Minor problems; color and texture; too pale, and crepes are thin and chewer)

    Recipe B.
    For the Crepes:
    1/2 cup soy milk
    1/2 cup water
    4 Tbsp. nondairy margarine, melted
    1 Tbsp. sugar
    2 Tbsp. maple syrup
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 tsp. cinnamon.
    1/4 tsp. salt.
    1/4 tsp nutmeg.
    1/8 tsp. baking powder.
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    Oil, for frying

    (Prefects bubbles and adds more)

    [The minor problem: Sometimes the texture is a bit off, e.g., crepes plus filling, and icing sugar and genuine maple syrups, the crepes as soft and subtle as they should be; not blending in, as well, but, it is the last thing tastes; a crisp outside but chewy inside.]
    I have heard one recipes using silken tofu, and chickpeas flour (which I can’t find anywhere), but I never tried after I heard of turmeric be added.
    I would like to make perfect vegan crepes, any advice? I need it. Thank-you
    !

  • http://none Joshua Gilead

    I ran into some minor problems: 1. I am only an amateur to start with. 2. Lack proper materials as pans 3. Trying to master perfect vegan crepes.

    I have two recipes:
    Recipe A.
    1/2 cup soy milk.
    1/2 cup water.
    4 Tbsp. nondairy margarine, melted.
    1 Tbsp. sugar.
    2 Tbsp. maple syrup.
    1 tsp vanilla (optional).
    1 tsp. cinnamon.
    1/4 tsp. salt.
    pinch of nutmeg.
    1 cup all-purpose flour.
    Oil, for frying.

    (Minor problems; color and texture; too pale, and crepes are thin and chewer)

    Recipe B.
    For the Crepes:
    1/2 cup soy milk
    1/2 cup water
    4 Tbsp. nondairy margarine, melted
    1 Tbsp. sugar
    2 Tbsp. maple syrup
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 tsp. cinnamon.
    1/4 tsp. salt.
    1/4 tsp nutmeg.
    1/8 tsp. baking powder.
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    Oil, for frying

    (Prefects bubbles and adds more)

    [The minor problem: Sometimes the texture is a bit off, e.g., crepes plus filling, and icing sugar and genuine maple syrups, the crepes as soft and subtle as they should be; not blending in, as well, but, it is the last thing tastes; a crisp outside but chewy inside.]
    I have heard one recipes using silken tofu, and chickpeas flour (which I can’t find anywhere), but I never tried after I heard of turmeric be added.
    I would like to make perfect vegan crepes, any advice? I need it. Thank-you
    !

  • Joshua Gilead

    So should I just replace soy milk to rice milk. What should the ideal vegan recipe be?

  • http://none Joshua Gilead

    So should I just replace soy milk to rice milk. What should the ideal vegan recipe be?

  • Joshua Gilead

    Thanks for all your help! What is the best heavy bottom pan, available for this?- Thank-you!

  • http://none Joshua Gilead

    Thanks for all your help! What is the best heavy bottom pan, available for this?- Thank-you!

  • Joshua Gilead

    I tried the rice milk suggestion. The batter was to sticky, and crepes were thick and lumpy, it must be the gluten.

  • http://none Joshua Gilead

    I tried the rice milk suggestion. The batter was to sticky, and crepes were thick and lumpy, it must be the gluten.

  • http://www.bestcoppercookwares.com/ amierbarrientos

    I love crepe..I cook it regularly as a dessert for my family…their favorite is my banana crepe with choco hazelnut topped with toasted almonds.

  • Cheryll

    I loved making this. Unfortunately I had no brandy on hand, so I will have to try it again with it. Maybe a bit too much butter in the sauce too for me. But tasted fabulous anyway for my first time. I will be making this again and again…

    • Emmie

      do you need the brandy?

      • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

        The brandy is for flavor so it’s not necessary if you don’t like the taste
        of it.

      • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

        The brandy is for flavor so it’s not necessary if you don’t like the taste
        of it.

  • Farzanfar

    i need to make crispi crepe

  • Lwcompton

    I am pregnant, is there any alcohol-free replacement for the brandy?
    Thanks.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      If you put the brandy in earlier and boil it all the alcohol should burn off, so it should not be a problem. If you’re worried about it, just leave it out.

  • Kleio da Muse

    I really like your method of teaching and love this website. Tis what I am looking for. Not so much about recipes but technique. Cos I usually just gather and combine what I have available and make something out of it according to how I feel it should tastes like.

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  • TexaFrance

    May I refrigerate the batter overnight, or would that be too long?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Yep, refrigerating overnight should work fine.

  • Rodney

    My batter did not spread out well and I kind of just made pancakes. What could I be doing wrong?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Rodney, if your batter was too thick there are two possibilities. Either there was too much flour or too little liquid. For the flour, make sure you’re not packing the cup too much when you measure and that you’re leveling off the top of the cup. If you have a scale, it should be about 125 grams of flour. As for the liquid, the eggs should be extra large, it’s possible you had smaller eggs. Next time, if the batter is too thick, try thinning it out with more milk.

      • Rodney

        Got another batch setting in my fridge right now looking a whole lot less thick then my last one. Feeling confident, and got a new spatula as my last one was kind of small.

Welcome!

I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!

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