Basic Crepes

These basic crepes are easy to make with just milk, eggs, flour, salt, and butter, and can be served sweet or savory. And with this recipe, you can forget what you’ve heard about crepes being difficult or tricky.

A single basic crepe, folded into quarters on a sheet of parchment with two lemon wedges beside it.

This deceptively named basic crepes recipe works for any crepe incarnation, savory and sweet, and turns out something that tastes anything but basic.–Renee Schettler

Basic Crepes

  • Quick Glance
  • (14)
  • 25 M
  • 30 M
  • Makes 15 to 18 crêpes
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Place 1 3/4 cups milk, the eggs, and salt into a blender. Whiz for a few seconds to blend everything together. Remove the lid, add the flour, cover, and blend again until very smooth, about 20 seconds. Remove the lid, pour in the melted butter, cover, and whiz until combined, about 10 seconds more. (Alternately, you can simply whisk everything together.)

Pour the batter into a large glass measuring cup with a spout or a bowl that’s large enough to easily fit a 1/4-cup measuring cup. Let the batter rest for at least 5 minutes and up to 24 hours. (If resting for more than 30 minutes, cover and stash the batter in the fridge.)

When you’re ready to make crepes, test the batter’s consistency; it should be as thick as heavy cream but not as thick as pancake batter. If it feels too thick, whisk in a little more milk at a time, using up to a 1/2 cup more.

Heat an 8-inch crepe pan or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until it’s hot enough to make a drop of water sizzle upon contact. Using a folded paper towel, spread about 1/2 teaspoon butter around the interior of the pan. You want the pan to be sufficiently hot so that the butter sizzles upon contact, but not so hot that it instantly burns and turns brown.

Pour about 1/4 cup crepe batter into the center of the pan and at the same time (or very shortly thereafter) lift the pan from the heat, tilting and turning it in all directions so the batter spreads evenly across the bottom of the pan into a thin circle.

Tester tip: If your crepe has any holes, quickly add a few drops of batter to fill them. Or if you’ve ladled in too much batter and the crepe looks too thick, immediately pour the excess back into the measuring cup or bowl of batter; if there’s a “tail” that’s left behind in the pan, no worries, you can trim that later.

Cook the crepe until the edges begin to dry and lift from the sides of the pan and the bottom is nicely browned, about 1 minute. (To check for color, use a table knife, slim off-set spatula, or your fingers to lift up an edge of the crepe and peek underneath.)

When the first side is ready, use the knife, spatula, or your fingers to lift the crepe and quickly flip it over. Smooth out any folded edges or pleats and then cook until the center is firm and the second side is browned, about 20 seconds more. The first side is almost always much prettier and more evenly browned (we’ll call it the presentation side), while the second side tends to be more spotty.

Slide the crepe from the pan onto a large plate or cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining batter, adjusting the heat and wiping the pan with more butter as you cook. You can stack the crepes on the plate as they’re done.

Tester tip: If you’re new to crepe-making, prepare to mess up the first crepe (or even more) as you get the hang of swirling the batter into the pan, having your pan at the right temperature, and the timing.

Serve the crepes individually, in short stacks or, if desired, fold the crepes in half to create half-moon shapes or fold again into quarters.

To stash the crepes in the freezer, place pieces of waxed or parchment paper between the crepes so they don’t stick to one another. Then wrap the stack in plastic wrap, slide it into a large resealable freezer bag, and keep in the freezer for 2 to 3 months. Let the stack sit at room temperature until the crepes are pliable, about an hour, and then peel them apart and proceed with your recipe.

To stash the crepes in the fridge, just stack them neatly; no need for the paper separators. (Keep the stacks small if you usually cook for just a few people, or make the stack larger if you find yourself cooking for a crowd most nights.) Slide the crepes into a large resealable plastic bag and toss them in the fridge.The crepes will keep like this for up to 3 days. Let the stack sit at room temperature until the crepes are pliable, about an hour, and then peel them apart and proceed with your recipe. Originally published January 31, 2013.

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    Crepes Variations

    • Brown Butter Crepes
    • For most recipes, I not only melt the butter, but I cook it until the water has boiled off and the milk solids are starting to turn golden and take on a toasty flavor. At this stage, it’s called beurre noisette in French (“hazelnut butter”) or brown butter in English. It’s such a clever way to add a depth of flavor to the crepes. Simply substitute brown butter for the butter, tablespoon for tablespoon, in the ingredient list above. To make brown butter, melt 7 tablespoons unsalted butter in a small saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Cook the butter, swirling the pan every few seconds, until all of the water from the butter has sizzled off and the milk solids at the bottom of the pan begin to turn a pale golden color, 2 to 4 minutes. Continue cooking the butter until it turns golden brown and smells nutty and delicious, another few seconds. Immediately pour the brown butter into a bowl to stop the cooking. Let it cool to room temperature before using. When you add the butter to your crepe recipe, be sure to include the delicious toasty brown milk solids.

    • Lemon, Sugar, and Butter Crepes
    • Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Lay the crepe, presentation-side up, in the skillet and let it heat through for about 15 seconds. Flip it over, and using a rubber spatula or the bottom of a spoon, spread it with 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, at room temperature. Sprinkle the butter with 1/4 teaspoon granulated or confectioners’ sugar (or more to taste), then fold the crepe into a half-moon shape and sprinkle again with sugar, and squeeze a little lemon juice over the top. Then fold once more into a triangle. Sprinkle with more sugar if desired. Slide the crepe onto a plate and eat it right away. (Or, if you’re the lazy sort, just stack 2 or 3 crepes on a plate, each one buttered, sugared, and “lemon-ed.”)

    • To boost the “dessertiness” of the crêpes, add about 2 teaspoons sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to the batter.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    Oh, there is just no messing with the classics! This is the perfect French crepe done in the very traditional French way. Having traveled extensively throughout France, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that this is the most delightful thing one can eat. Sweet, savory, lemony—all the taste sensations are touched with this little beauty.

    Now I must confess to have cheated just a little on this one because I do actually have a crepe pan with very low sides which makes the flipping part ever so easy. No, really, it is easy! Just a little flip of the wrist and the crisp, giant "pancake" turns itself beautifully. The recipe is very simple, in fact it doesn't get any easier than a blender, now does it?

    I especially like the beurre noisette (brown butter) in this recipe—not completely traditional but a bonus nonetheless. The lemon and sugar give the crepes that little pop along with the slightly crunch sugar, if you use granular, which you really should. A lovely breakfast or a light lunch or after-school snack. Any time of day really is appropriate with this little beauty.

    I followed the recipe exactly and it yielded the most delicate, buttery, and delicious crepes ever! These are so good! I've tried many a crepe recipe over the years, and this by far is my favorite. The ingredients come together so quickly.

    But what I really liked about these crepes was how nicely they cooked and browned in the pan. I served some of the crepes with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and powdered sugar, some with homemade nutella, and some plain. I can't wait to make these again!


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    1. Delicious and so easy! I was nervous about flipping but it worked out just fine! We froze the extras and reheated as we wanted them and they tasted fresh when we ate them.

      1. I’m delighted that these worked out well for you, Amy, and really pleased to hear that they freeze so well.

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