If you want a no-fuss showstopper breakfast, then you need to try this Sweet Vanilla Dutch Baby Pancake. A sky-high buttery, puffy pancake that you can serve right out of the oven and then top with anything you want. Spiced with vanilla and a touch of cinnamon, this sweet puff pancake is easy to make at home.
If you are anything like me, and hate standing by the stove flipping pancakes when trying to serve a crowd, then the Dutch baby pancake is the answer. A one skillet breakfast that is delicious as it is impressive.
What is a Dutch Baby?
A Dutch baby, also known as a Bismarck, Hootenanny, Dutch Puff, or German pancake, is nothing like its American counterpart. It's as if a crepe met a popover and then had a Yorkshire pudding baby.
Dutch babies are made without any chemical leavening (such as baking powder), and instead, they get their rise from trapped steam coming from the hot pan and the batter. The batter rises super tall in the oven, and then slowly deflates after removing.
The result is a light, billowy crust with a custard-like center. The taste is slightly eggier than a pancake or crepe but they can be served up just like a traditional pancake.
The great thing about a Dutch baby is that you probably have all the ingredients waiting for you in your pantry. Here is what you will need.
- Eggs- Large eggs.
- Flour- All-purpose flour.
- Milk- I used 2% milk, but any milk will work.
- Sugar- I used powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar) because it easily dissolves in the batter.
- Vanilla- Use a good quality vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste. No imitation stuff.
- Cinnamon- Ground cinnamon for a little spice.
- Salt- A small amount of Kosher or sea salt to counteract the sweetness.
- Butter- Unsalted.
See recipe card for quantities.
Making the Dutch baby
If you can flip a pancake, then you can definitely make a Dutch baby. Actually, it's even easier! Preheat your oven to 425°F and place your pan in the oven while it pre-heats. While the oven is preheating, you can make your batter. See below.
Combine all ingredients (except the butter) in a bowl and whisk until smooth. You can also use a blender.
Place the butter in the hot pan until it bubbles and is completely melted.
Pour the prepared batter directly over the melted butter. Do not mix.
Bake for about 18-20 minutes until puffed up and golden brown. Top with fruit, or powdered sugar, and serve immediately.
Hot Pan Alert: Remember your pan is hot. Take caution when removing your pan to melt the butter and pour the batter.
How to serve this vanilla Dutch baby
Dutch babies will rise and leave a billowy bowl-shaped depression right in the center. That little nook is perfect for toppings galore. Try some of these ideas to serve with your sweet pancake.
- Fresh fruit: Add some fresh berries such as blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries right in the center. The contrasting colors will elevate this simple dish.
- Powdered sugar: Keep it simple with a nice dusting of confectioner's sugar.
- Jam: Top with your favorite jam.
- Nuts: Add some nuts such as sliced almonds for a lovely texture.
- Maple syrup: It is a pancake after all, so don't be shy with the maple syrup.
Looking for something to serve on the side? Try this sweet and savory candied bacon.
You will need a cast iron pan or similar oven-proof pan to make this puff pancake. Make sure whichever pan you choose has tall sides so that the batter can rise and puff up in the oven. I always use my trusty 10-inch cast iron skillet for this recipe because cast iron retains heat so well.
Ok, the bad news is this puff pancake does not store well. Believe me, I've tried. It becomes a rubbery mess the next day. The good news? It's so good you won't have any leftovers!
You can prep the batter up to 24 hours in advance and leave covered in the refrigerator. Just give it a final whisk when ready to use.
Pro Tip: Make sure your pan is hot, and your butter is completely melted before pouring the batter into the pan. This will ensure a nice rise in the oven.
The following nutritional info is provided for you as a courtesy and is an estimate only.
Absolutely! You can use any 9 or 10-inch pan that is oven safe. Just be sure the sides are high so that the Dutch pancake can rise nice and tall.
The reason is most likely that your pan and butter were not hot enough. To avoid this, put the pan in the oven at the start of the preheating. Also, resist the urge to open the oven door. Doing so will allow heat to escape and prevent your Dutch pancake from puffing up.
Sweet Vanilla Dutch Baby Pancake
- 1 cast iron skillet or similar oven proof pan
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
- 2 tablespoon powdered (confectioner's) sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. While the oven preheats, place your empty skillet in the oven so that it gets very hot. Prepare the batter.
- Place the eggs, flour, milk, salt, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon in a bowl and whisk until smooth. You can also toss the ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth (scraping down the sides). Let the batter rest while the oven is preheating.3 large eggs, ½ cup all-purpose flour, ½ cup milk, ¼ teaspoon Kosher or sea salt, 2 tablespoon powdered (confectioner's) sugar, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- When the oven is finished preheating, add the butter to the skillet and let it melt completely. When it's melted and bubbling, add your batter directly over the butter-do not stir. Place the skillet back in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until it is puffed around the edges and golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.3 tablespoon unsalted butter
This was so fun to make. I kept the oven light on so I could watch it puff up in the oven. Next time I might even add more vanilla. Thank you.