In the battle between crepes and pancakes, I’ll side with crepes any day. Why? Because they’re endlessly versatile (serve them up with sweet or savory fillings) and their thin and light texture means I can enjoy a lot more of them before feeling overly stuffed. 😅 I mean sure, a big stack of fluffy pancakes always have their place, but crepes for me are just tops. Need more convincing? Keep reading…
Originally posted 5-11-2015, updated 4-9-2022.
What’s the Difference Between Crepes and Pancakes?
Crepes, like pancakes, are made with a simple batter comprised of flour, eggs, milk, and butter. The main difference between crepes and pancakes is the ratio of ingredients in the batter which creates different textures in the pancakes. Crepes are very thin and flexible, making them perfect for filling, folding, and rolling. Their delicate flavor also pairs well with both sweet and savory ingredients. American pancakes, on the other hand, are thick, fluffy, and far more cake-like.
Make Sweet or Savory Crepes
The basic crepes recipe below is neutral in flavor and pairs well with either sweet or savory fillings. If you want your crepes to be a little sweeter and more dessert-like, you can add 1 Tbsp granulated sugar and ½ tsp vanilla extract to the batter.
The best part about crepes is filling them with all sorts of fun ingredients! Scavenge your fridge and pantry for anything you might need to use up, and come up with your own fun flavor combinations, or try one of these filling ideas for crepes:
- Yogurt and jam
- Ham and cheese
- Lemon curd and whipped cream
- Nutella and berries
- Spinach and goat cheese or swiss
- Sweetened ricotta and berries
- Banana and peanut butter
- Egg and cheese
- Chocolate and strawberries
- Apples and cinnamon
Fold or Roll Your Crepes
Once you’ve chosen the fun fillings for your crepes, you can either fold or roll those fillings up in the crepe. To fold the crepes, cover half of the crepe with your toppings, fold the crepe in half to close, and then fold in half once more so it’s in a quarter-round. To roll the crepes, place your toppings down the center, or slightly to one side, then fold one side over the toppings, then continue to roll to the other side.
How to Store Leftover Crepes
…If there are any leftovers! Leftover crepes store well in the fridge for quick use later in the week, and you can even freeze them for longer storage. Keep refrigerated crepes in a gallon-sized zip top bag or other air-tight food storage container for 4-5 days. To freeze, make sure to place a piece of parchment between each crepe so they don’t stick together once frozen.
Easy Homemade Crepes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour ($0.07)
- 1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature* ($0.46)
- 1 cup milk, warmed* ($0.20)
- 3 Tbsp melted butter ($0.33)
- 1/4 cup water ($0.00)
- 2 Tbsp cooking oil, for the skillet ($0.08)
- Add the flour, salt, eggs, milk, melted butter, and water together in a large bowl until it forms a smooth and slightly thick batter.
- Let the batter rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, or cover and refrigerate up to two days.
- When ready to make your crepes, heat a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Once hot, brush with about ½ tsp oil.
- Pour about ⅓ cup of the batter into the skillet and begin to tilt the skillet in a circular motion to allow the batter to evenly cover the surface of the skillet.
- Allow the batter to cook until mostly set, then flip and cook until golden brown on the second side. The total cook time for each side will vary depending on your skillet and stove top. You may need to adjust the heat up or down as you go.
- Repeat with the rest of the batter, adding more oil between crepes as needed. As you cook the crepes, stack them on a clean plate and cover with a towel to keep warm. Once all of the crepes are cooked, fill, fold, or roll the crepes then serve.
How to Make Crepes – Step by Step Photos
In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup all-purpose flour, ½ tsp salt, 2 large eggs (room temperature, 1 cup milk (room temperature), 3 Tbsp melted butter, and ¼ cup water.
Whisk the ingredients together until it creates a smooth batter that is thin enough to run off the spoon. Let the batter rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, or cover and refrigerate for up to two days.
Heat a 10-inch non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, brush about ½ tsp oil over the surface of the pan.
Pour about ⅓ cup batter into the center of the pan, then immediately tilt the skillet around in a circle to allow the batter to thinly cover the surface.
Getting the batter to evenly cover the surface may take a little practice, but don’t worry, even if they’re not perfectly shaped they still taste great! And it can make for a fun Saturday morning game. Once the batter is mostly set, it’s time to flip the crepe.
Flip the crepe and cook until golden brown on the second side. The time needed to cook the crepe until golden brown on each side will vary depending on your skillet and characteristics of your stove, so you may need to play around a bit and adjust the heat as you go.
As you cook the crepes, pile the finished crepes onto a plate and cover with a clean towel to keep warm. This recipe will make about six crepes.
Once they’re all cooked, it’s time to fill and enjoy! To roll the crepes, place your fillings down the center or slightly to one side, then fold one side in over the toppings and continue to roll to the other side.
To fold the crepes, place your fillings over one half of the crepe, then fold to close.
Fold in half one more time to create a quarter-round.
And then once the crepes are filled and folded or rolled, you can top them with even more ingredients like powdered sugar, whipped cream, or maple syrup.
What is your favorite crepe filling? Share in the comments below. :)