Dutch Baby

For this Dutch Baby, or German pancake, milk, eggs, flour, and sugar are mixed in a blender then poured into a sizzling skillet. It’s baked in a hot oven until it puffs high. The batter is mixed the night before and refrigerated. All that’s left to do the next morning is bake it and dust it with confectioners’ sugar. A magnificent weekday or weekend breakfast.

Cast-iron skillet with a Dutch baby--a popover pancake--topped with powder sugar on a set breakfast table

A Dutch Baby is simply another name for a German pancake. But neither of those names really do this skillet pancake justice. It’s essentially ethereally airy loveliness that’s crisp on the outside, airy and puffy on the inside. You could smother it with butter or syrup on it or squeeze a lemon over it. When I was eight years old, it was about as big as my head. It was the coolest thing ever.

Take note that this recipe makes two servings. And that may not be ample for your breakfast table. We’d never dream of suggesting you skimp and dish up paltry portions, not when everyone who’s tried this pancake is lauding and applauding it as the best Dutch baby recipe they’ve ever experienced. So instead, just double the ingredients and divvy the batter between a couple skillets. Crisis averted. Originally published February 17, 2012.Renee Schettler Rossi

Dutch Baby

  • Quick Glance
  • (9)
  • 5 M
  • 30 M
  • Serves 2 (maybe more)
5/5 - 9 reviews
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Combine the milk, vanilla extract, and eggs in a blender and blend on medium-high until everything is combined, about 15 seconds. Leave the mixture in the blender.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the blender and blend again, just until combined. Add the melted butter and keep blending until everything is pretty darn smooth, maybe 30 seconds. Pour the batter into a bowl, cover it tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. (The key to a good Dutch Baby is making the batter the night before. It needs to rest in the fridge for at least 6 hours; otherwise, it will be too eggy. That’s good news for your Sunday morning, as you can simply bake. off your Dutch Baby while you’re making coffee.)

Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Adjust oven rack to middle position.

Butter a 10-inch ovenproof skillet, preferably cast iron, and slide it in the preheating oven for about 5 minutes, until it gets pretty hot.

When the skillet is properly heated, pull it out of the oven, pour in the batter, and slide it back in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the skillet and bake for another 10 minutes or so, until the batter has risen high on the sides and a little bit in the center, and has turned golden brown right in the middle. You may want to watch it carefully, as the edges can get a little dark—that’s OK as far as I’m concerned, but if you prefer your pancake pale, you can always crimp a strip of aluminum foil around the edges. Pull the Dutch baby out of the oven and slide it right out of the skillet onto a plate. The pancake won’t stick to the skillet, although it will deflate as it cools down—there’s just no avoiding it.

Fill a small sieve or strainer with confectioners’ sugar and shake it over the Dutch baby until the surface is thickly covered. Place the Dutch baby in the middle of the table with some little bowls of toppings: lemon wedges, fruit compote, pats of soft butter, maple syrup. You don’t need a knife and a cake lifter for this: just let everybody pull pieces off with their fingers. I guarantee it will disappear FAST.

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Recipe Testers Reviews

Can there be an easier, tastier recipe for breakfast? I doubled the recipe and was actually able to make three pancakes. My toddler ate one alone, then the other three girls and I shared the other two. We didn’t even bother eating them with any of the sides, as they were perfectly amazing on their own with the sugar over them. What I loved about them is that they were not too sweet, fast to make, and great to eat both hot and cold.

I’ve made several Dutch Baby recipes over the past years and enjoy how a simple make-ahead batter can transform into a crowd-pleasing breakfast or brunch dish. Sometimes in the past I’ve been disappointed that the final product was a little thin and not as filling as I would have liked. This recipe is the solution to my past concerns. It manages to be substantial without being too eggy. I will definitely be making this again.

I’ve made a version of this in the past. It was good but eggy. This recipe calls for the batter to sit overnight and it really makes a difference — it isn’t eggy. This is a fun recipe for adults and kids alike. It is extremely easy to make, with no special ingredients, and it comes out of the oven all puffy and then deflates. My tasters loved this dish and we will definitely have it again. It could have served three, not two, people.

Delicious and dramatic! At first I thought it wasn’t going to work, because my pancake didn’t rise in the middle right away, but I waited and in the end it puffed up very nicely. We ate it with powdered sugar and a squeeze of lemon.

This is a great recipe, and it’s nice that you can make it ahead and just bake it in the morning. It’s nice and flavorful, with a rich, eggy taste. The recipe says it serves two, but it easily serve two adults and two children. One could modify the recipe by cooking sliced apples, butter, cinnamon, and sugar until it caramelizes in the pan before adding the batter — that’s yummy, too!

This recipe is a miracle. My boys constantly request pancakes or waffles when they’re both home, but I really adore spending time with them on these days rather than being stuck in the kitchen. Voila! A batter than is made the day before and cooks up in no time, leaving me free to enjoy my morning. I used a 10-inch pan and my cooking times were 15 minutes, turn, and 7 minutes. This was positively sumptuous served with a little Vermont maple syrup. No additional butter needed!

I've been eyeing this recipe for quite some time, problem is I usually eat fruit and yogurt for breakfast and need a good excuse to make something like this for the morning meal. With the kids around for a holiday break, I decided it was the perfect excuse. I loved the fact that the Dutch baby could be mixed the night before and in minutes the next morning I had a gorgeous puffed pancake, reminiscent of the early days in a famous pancake restaurant. I used my cast iron skillet and found that the timing in the recipe was spot on. I did have to cover the quickly browning sides toward the end as I like my pancake pale. I was rewarded with a delicious Dutch baby that was large enough for several eaters to share. Yes they still opted for their healthy breakfast but were so happy to indulge in a small piece of this delicious treat. It looked gorgeous with a snowy sprinkling of confectioners' sugar. We ate it with real maple syrup on the side and we look forward to our next excuse to make it again.


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  1. Hello Renee!

    I’ve been meaning to make Dutch Baby Pancakes, so I can do something else with my cast iron pans!

    I’m concerned, though, about thermal shock. The recipe calls for pre-heating the pan in the oven, and then pouring cold pancake batter, straight from the refrigerator, into the hot pan.

    Won’t the rapid change in temperature result in thermal shock, which might result in a cracked cast iron pan?

    Just wondering….

    Thank you Renee! I’m eager to try this out soon.

    1. Hey Ronnie! Clearly you know your cooking materials! Yes, I suppose that a cast-iron skillet that has already been dropped or cracked or otherwise compromised or weakened, the drastic temperature differential could be damaging and create a crack. But I dare say that in a proper unmarred skillet made of cast iron, this isn’t cause for concern as the pancake batter will warm so quickly from the heat of the skillet as well as that of the oven. I would, however, never transfer the actual cast-iron skillet from the fridge or freezer to a preheated oven. Hope this puts your mind at ease. Love to hear what you think of the pancake…

  2. Excellent! We made it once following the recipe exactly, and it was great. For our second go-round we swapped out 2 eggs for 1/2 cup Egg Beaters. The substitution significantly trims the calories & cholesterol, has no noticeable effect on the texture, and gives just a slightly less “eggy” flavor.

    1. Hey Carl – I’ve used a square glass Pyrex dish and it came out fine although you need to keep a closer eye on it since it’s a glass pan. Have never made it in a cast iron skillet so I can’t compare the finish. But with what I used, it’s still a hit at Sunday brunches! Great recipe and enjoyed by all! – J.

  3. Sorry if this is a dumb question but when you say “turn the skillet” do you flip the Dutch baby in the skillet or do you mean something else?

    1. Not a dumb question at all, Tmp. We mean to rotate the skillet so that the pancake cooks evenly, just like how recipes direct you to rotate baking sheets midway through baking cookies so that the cookies bake evenly. It’s just because most ovens don’t heat exactly evenly, and this helps ensure that the pancake is perfectly done throughout. Do not flip the Dutch baby or you’ll end up with quite the mess, not to mention a very flat, unpuffed pancake! I hope you love the resulting Dutch baby as much as we do…

  4. Another Leite’s recipe. Another success. I’m permanently attached at the hip (and it seems there is a little extra padding on them as of late) since finding Leite’s. This Dutch Baby was a pleasant little surprise that paired perfectly with freshly harvested pears from a tree in our garden.

    Simple to make, easy to throw together, I completely agree with the note to refrigerate the batter at least six hours, tightly covered, of course.

    As we did not have a 10″ cast iron pan, we simply used a 9 1/2 inch square pan, serving the Dutch Baby on a square plate as well. What a great companion to coffee!

    It isn’t quite a souffle, not yet a popover, beyond a pancake, and still couldn’t be called a quiche. Though it does not rise as high as the eggy treats mentioned prior, what inflation it achieves is quickly deflated once it is removed from the oven. Don’t fret. You’ve done nothing wrong. Deflating is part of the Dutch Baby’s charm. A sprinkle of powdered sugar and fresh fruit – divine!

    Dutch Baby

    1. Karen, that is stunning! Love the square thing you’ve got going on. Love the description you give of the Dutch Baby’s texture. And last, love that you took the time to let us know how well this worked for you. Big smooch on the cheek to you, my dear. Can’t wait to hear about your next infatuation…!

  5. Should the center be like a moist pancake or wet and spongy looking. Not sure if mine is undercooked in the middle or if it should appear that way as if it was wet dough. Thank you.

    1. Hi Dee! The best way I can think of to explain it, honestly, is like a soufflé texture. Which makes me giddy. Perhaps leaving it in the oven a minute or two longer will alleviate the dough-like texture. What a wonderful reason to try the recipe again!

  6. Followed almost exactly – except for the iron skillet. Ours was retired a long while ago so poured the mix – after letting it sit overnight – into a 9 X 12 baking pan, preheated. Puffed up and browned beautifully! Dusted some confectioner’s sugar on top and set the bottle of maple syrup on the table. We’re already planning who to invite next weekend for breakfast and definitely serving it to my father-in-law who is a pancake maven

    Question – I was wondering what causes the mixture to puff up. The Brunette (my wife) says it’s the salt that acts as a leavening agent. I say it’s the difference between baking and frying.

    Any insight would help settle this debate! Thanks for posting this marvelous recipe!

    – J.

    1. Hi Jeff, I think the secret is that piping hot skillet- the direct heat causes the liquid to quickly evaporate and the edges to puff.

  7. This was fantastic, and ever so easy! Taking someone else’s suggestion I tried it with just the dusting of confectioner’s sugar and a bit of lemon squeezed on it and it was perfect…add a little dusting of cinnamon and you’ve reached perfection. I love how many different toppings you can offer, which is a lot of fun when making breakfast when we have company. This is definitely going to be added to my Sunday morning breakfast rotation. THANKS!!

  8. I made this recipe last night–my first attempt making a Dutch baby, and it was a smashing SUCCESS!! Thanks for sharing this recipe and for inspiring me to make it.

    Dutch Baby

    1. That’s a beautiful baby you’ve got there! And just wait, Denise…you’ll want to make one every weekend! I’ll admit that I speak from personal experience.

  9. If I use convection bake, do I still have to turn the skillet after 15 minutes?

    Thanks! And thanks for such a wonderful website!!

    1. Hi Erica,

      Usually with a convection oven , you don’t need to rotate your pans around in the oven. I would just keep an eye on it, watching through the door, to make sure that it is cooking evenly.

  10. I made this for Sunday breakfast and was so thrilled when it puffed up so gloriously in the oven. However, I noticed that it started deflating very quickly once out of the oven and wasn’t as light and airy as others had said it would be. In fact I felt the middle was too eggy still, bit like a thin frittata. Did I do something wrong? I followed the cooking times to the letter and the Dutch Baby was golden brown and all puffed up. Also I noted that this tastes best with a combination of maple syrup and lemon, with the lemon cutting through the sweetness of the syrup.

    1. Hi there willeatanything….this is a batter that needs a good nap before baking. How long did you let it rest? I might let it rest a bit longer next time- that will help with the “egginess”

      1. I let it rest in the fridge overnight. It wasn’t the egginess that bothered me as much as the dense-ish texture. I’ve never eaten a Dutch Baby before so I have nothing to compare it with!

        1. Willeatanything, Dutch babies are, by definition, quite a lot denser than regular pancakes. In terms of texture and relative density, they fall somewhere in between standard pancakes and crepes. I’m very sorry to hear that this wasn’t quite what you’d expected, although I honestly think it has everything to do with the basic type of recipe and not this particular recipe, which turned out the lightest, airiest Dutch baby any of us have tried. Of course, it’s all relative…

  11. Remove the sugar from the batter and it’ll be as good. And you can treat it like a crepe or pancake. Try savory, salty ingredients on top. I discovered those in December and love them. I didn’t know the trick about the rest to make them taste less eggy. Thanks.

  12. I’ve just been researching Dutch Babies, so feel like I need to represent their Seattle connection. Dutch Babies, as we know them here, are attributed to a restaurant called Manca’s, opened here around 1900, by Sicilian brothers. Manca’s was known for its fine food and was renowned for the creation of many signature dishes. Open until the mid-1950’s, it figured into many of Seattle’s most interesting historic stories. For anyone wanting further details here’s a link: http://www.mancascafe.com/node/35

  13. Just curious…can the batter be prepared the night before and sit overnight in the fridge to be enjoyed the next morning?

    1. Not only can it be prepared ahead of time, Ivana, but if you read the instructions you’ll see that it ought to be made ahead of time. While many Dutch babies are sort of strangely eggy and dense, this one is light and airy. We think the overnight rest is the secret to its ethereal texture. At last, practicality meets perfection!

  14. Hi! Just so you know, the Original Pancake House in Toledo burned down last year or the year before. They have built a new structure, but it’s the same good old menu! Yum!

  15. Thanks for this recipe! We are very lucky to have 2 Original Pancake House restaurants in Las Vegas and we frequent them. Having this recipe at home will be a great addition to our breakfast menu and we can enjoy Dutch Babies without going out!

  16. My Dad was often away from home – he was career US Marine. WWII, Korea, Viet-Nam. Anyway – we never ever had bacon unless Dad was home and cooked it. Mom and Dad have both passed now, and my older sister doesn’t remember the start of the custom. But one of my favorite things now that I am the “old man” is to cook bacon for my family and friends – it makes me remember my Dad.

    1. I love family food traditions, Hugh, especially those that include bacon. I’m glad you have that memory that lingers. And thank you, you reminded me of something I hadn’t though of in a while, which is spending weekends at my grandparents’ farm in Iowa when I was a kid. I would wake to the aroma of bacon sizzling in the skillet. Life was good…is good…

  17. These are such a favorite of mine; my grandmother used to make them for me (that was a VERY long time ago) and my kids always looked forward to them too. Want to know why they are called two such diverse names?

    Sort of like the moniker used to label the folks in one part of St. Louis that my German immigrants grandparents lived in; it was said to be populated by the Scrubby Dutch out of reference to the German tradition of keeping their streets and stoops swept and clean. Deutsch became Dutch. So it is with this pancake. The babies part refers to a fellow who started selling these pancakes at his restaurant and served them in a smaller size, ie ‘baby.’ So they are one and the same and both taste sooooo good. More like a crepe I think.

    My kids always liked them with some some apples I would saute for a bit but I like them the old fashioned way. Butter, lemon and powdered sugar. Who cares if it’s just Friday morning, I think I’m making one now for breakfast!

    1. Hello, Mom! We wouldn’t recommend doubling the ingredients and using a larger skillet, as baking is such a precise equation, especially with something like this pancake that poofs in such a lovely fashion. We fear the extra weight of the extra ingredients in tandem with a pan that’s not double the size will result in some crazy alchemy. Would you consider doubling the ingredients and dividing the batter between two skillets?

        1. An All-Clad should work fine, Mom. One note, after you remove the skillet with the melted butter from the oven but before you pour in the batter, tilt that All-Clad so the butter is swirled all over the sides. That ought to keep the puffed pancake from sticking from the skillet. And don’t forget to let the batter rest for 6 hours, as the recipe directs. That’s the secret to the ethereal texture. Let us know how it goes!

          1. Finally got around to it tonight, absolutely wonderful and the All-Clad worked beautifully. Best of all, all five of us thoroughly enjoyed it, there were no leftovers (a very good thing). I’ll definitely make it again.

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