There’s just something about biting into a buttery crepe that feels like an extra-special treat. And the thin French-style pancakes are as equally delicious with sweet fillings like Nutella and banana as they are stuffed with savory goodies like ham and cheese. But you don’t have to be a French chef to make them — in fact, all you need is some regular ol’ pancake mix! It takes all the guesswork out of cooking, plus saves you time so you can whip up a stack of tender crepes fast. And if you’re not able to finish all of those crepes at once, they’ll refrigerated well to enjoy as a breakfast, lunch or dessert treat later. Keep reading to learn how to make crepes with pancake mix and yummy topping and filling ideas!
What are crepes?
Crepes are thin pancakes typically made with a batter containing flour, eggs, milk or water, sugar and butter. The cooked pancakes then get filled or topped with sweet or savory ingredients before they’re eaten as a light meal. Crepes are beloved for their buttery flavor and delicate texture, but they were actually invented by mistake.
It’s said that a housewife in 13th-century France accidentally poured a thin batter onto a hot stovetop, creating the first-ever crepe. This stroke of luck led to crepes spreading to the rest of Europe and the world — establishing its reputation as a quintessential French treat that’s easy to make at home.
3 chef’s secrets to delicious homemade crepes
Using boxed pancake mix is one shortcut you can take to quickly whip up a batch of crepes. Below, Norah Clark, chef and editor at Boyd Hampers, shares three additional tips for making perfectly soft and tender homemade crepes.
1. Make sure the batter reaches this consistency
Unlike thick and fluffy pancakes, crepe batter should always be thin. This helps the mixture spread to the entire pan’s surface and ensures the pancake cooks quickly. As you’re mixing the batter, you want to achieve. consistency that resembles heavy cream. Stir in more milk or water if the batter is too thick.
2. Give the batter time to rest before cooking
Letting the batter rest relaxes the gluten (flour protein) within the mixture, which helps get rid of any lumps and ensures smoother crepes. Simply cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, it’s ready to be turned into a stack of tasty crepes!
3. Cook the crepes in a nonstick pan
A nonstick skillet makes flipping your crepes a breeze. You can use a standard nonstick skillet or specialized pan like de Buyer’s Crepe & Tortilla Pan (Buy from Amazon, starting at $25). This pan’s thin metallic surface cooks the batter evenly so each side is golden brown in about 1 minute. Plus, the lightweight feel allows you to swirl the batter to all sides of the skillet without hassle.
How to make crepes with pancake mix
In addition to pancake mix, all you need is eggs, milk, butter and salt to make homemade crepes. Here, Clark shares her “lazy” method for preparing crepes — which saves you time without compromising on rich and buttery pancakes!
- 1 cup pancake mix
- 1¼ cups milk
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more if desired
- A pinch of salt
- Cooking spray (optional)
- Total time: 30 to 40 minutes
- Yield: approximately 8 to 10 crepes
- In medium bowl, whisk pancake mix, milk, egg, 2 Tbs. melted butter and salt until smooth, thin batter forms. Cover and refrigerate 10 to 15 minutes.
- Heat 8- or 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly grease surface with a little butter or cooking spray.
- Pour ¼ cup batter into the hot skillet, swirling around to spread it thin. Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes until edges start to lift.
- Gently flip crepe with spatula and cook another 1 to 2 minutes until lightly golden. Place crepe on plate and repeat process with remaining batter.
- Serve crepes with desired toppings and fillings. Enjoy!
Storing crepes: Once cooled, place a paper towel or sheet of wax paper between each crepe before stacking them. Transfer crepe stack to a large plastic bag and store in the fridge for no longer than 5 days.
Reheat crepes: In a greased pan over medium-heat, place 1 crepe in a skillet and allow to warm for 30 seconds per side or until thoroughly heated. Move the crepe to a plate and repeat with other pancakes before serving.
For more pointers on how to cook and flip crepes, watch blogger Jessica Gavin‘s video.
5 crepe topping and filling ideas
The fun in making crepes lies in all of the stuffing and topping it with your favorite ingredients. Try Clark’s five delicious ideas, which are sure to satisfy your sweet or savory cravings!
1. Lemon and sugar crepes
Squeeze fresh lemon juice and a generous pinch of granulated sugar on the crepe. Then, fold it in half twice to form a triangle.
2. Nutella and banana crepes
Spread Nutella on the crepe, add banana slices and fold it up.
3. Berries and cream
Fill your crepe with whipped cream and fresh berries of your choice. Alternatively, use berry jam when the fresh berries aren’t in-season.
4. Ham and cheese crepes
Try stuffing crepes with ham and cheese or sautéed spinach and feta for a savory twist.
5. Ice cream-topped crepes
Top the crepes with a scoop or two of soft ice cream and top with chocolate sauce and nuts.
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