If you’ve never eaten or made a Dutch Baby, you’re in for a treat. These yummy pancakes puff up big in the oven and are slightly sweet, buttery, wonderfully eggy, and finished with fresh lemon and powdered sugar. They’re a cross between a crepe and a popover—maybe even a little bit Yorkshire Pudding for those familiar with cuisine on the other side of the pond—and they will quickly become your new favorite. Not only do they whip up fast, but they taste so delicious, making them the perfect comfort food.
You may be surprised to learn that “Dutch” babies are not actually Dutch but rather Pennsylvania Dutch or German. The confusion probably stemmed from the word “Deutsch” (pronounced DOY-ch), which is German for “German.” Some claim the actual name “Dutch Baby” was coined by Seattle restaurant owner, Victor Manca, somewhere in the first half of the 1900s.
This recipe is a simple variation, using just powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice, but you can top your Dutch Baby with fresh fruit, maple syrup, or anything you’d like. The step of melting the butter in the pan first means it’s ready to go when it comes out of the oven, as it oozes over the top of the pancake perfectly as it bakes.
They can be made in a cast iron skillet, or in an 8×8 (2.5 quart) square ceramic baking dish.
Dutch Baby Pancake Recipe
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
Toppings: Powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice.
Other Topping ideas: Fresh fruit such as sliced strawberries, sliced bananas, or blueberries, maple syrup, cinnamon and sugar.
Heat oven to 450ºF. Place the butter in the bottom of the pan and place it in the oven until the butter melts and the pan is nice and hot. Then remove from the oven. Do not brown!
Next, in a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, flour, sugar, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest. Be sure the batter is completely smooth. You can also use a blender, hand mixer, or stand mixer, but a wire whisk works fine.
Slowly pour the batter into the pan on top of the melted butter and pop it back in the oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the pancake puffs up and turns golden brown. Be careful not to over brown (see note below).
Remove pancake from the oven, slice into 4ths, and top each slice with powdered sugar and a drizzle of lemon juice (to taste), or any other topping you’ve chosen, while still warm. Serves 2-4.
A Few Notes:
- When you remove your Dutch Baby pancake from the oven, it will “fall” but this is what it’s supposed to do.
- Many people let their Dutch Baby pancakes get too brown, which while still delicious, it’s essentially overcooked. You want it golden and eggy but cooked through.
- If you’re using a cast iron skillet, be sure it’s properly seasoned, but with no traces of other flavorings from previous meals (like onions or garlic).
If you made this recipe, let us know how you enjoyed it!