I loved German Pancakes growing up and it’s a holiday brunch tradition I still love. This german pancake recipe (aka dutch baby pancakes) tastes just like my childhood — and it’s gluten-free and dairy-free so it’s friendly for those who have food allergies or restrictions. I also shared the tweaks to make a “regular” version if you don’t have dietary restrictions and don’t need the recipe to be gluten-free.
Growing up, my five brothers and I would always try to convince our mom that we each deserved the prime piece of German Pancakes. (Since I am the youngest and only daughter, I’m pretty sure I had an advantage in the convincing game.) What is a prime piece of German Pancake, you might wonder? The one that is the puffiest. Now granted, the characteristic puff quickly deflates so it doesn’t really matter, but if you dig in fast enough, you’ll get the airy, buttery goodness from a corner piece. And as an adult, yes, I still want the corner piece with the biggest puff.
My family always had the puffy pancakes on Christmas morning, and Tommy and I also make them on Christmas morning. It’s been fun to introduce his family to them as well since they had never heard of them before I joined the family. If you’ve never heard of a german pancake, maybe you’re familiar with the name dutch baby pancakes. And unlike pancakes made on a griddle, these are made in the oven, which is nice for breakfast that’s a little more hands-off.
German Pancakes, by their nature, fluff up as long as you beat the eggs thoroughly! A few tips to get the ultimate fluffiness:
Pre-heat your pan in the oven while you prep the batter. A hot pan works best. You could use a cast iron skillet if you have one. Then, melt the butter in the pan in the oven for 1-2 minutes so that gets hot too. A hot oven and making sure the butter is key.
Mix your batter very well. The blender helps whip the eggs, which helps these fluff! I use my Vitamix, which is a must-have in any kitchen. (It’s truly worth every penny. I’ve had mine for 8 years, use it multiple times a week, and it’s still going strong!)
Swirl the batter into the pan, rather than just dumping all in one spot.
You can use any nondairy milk in this recipe, like almond milk, rice milk or flax milk. I prefer cashew milk since it’s typically thicker and I avoid coconut milk since I don’t want that flavor in my pancakes.
Don’t need gluten free?
Great! I find that these puff up even more when made with regular flour versus gluten-free flour! So, if you don’t need to eat gluten-free and/or dairy-free, just replace the Earth Balance with regular butter and the gluten-free flour with all-purpose flour.
What do you put on German pancakes?
As a kid, I loved them plain! I like the rich buttery taste without anything on it. My family always had powdered sugar and maple syrup though.
Now, as an adult, I still like the buttery taste the most, but sometimes I’ll add a little pure maple syrup. 🙂 I still pass on the powdered sugar.
My sister-in-law introduced me to topping German Pancakes with powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice. It sounds a little weird but it’s SO GOOD. That’s probably my favorite topping of all time.
This german pancake recipe tastes just like my childhood — and it’s gluten-free and dairy-free! I also shared the tweaks to make a “regular” version if you don’t have dietary restrictions.
1cup cashew milk
1cup Pamela’s gluten-free all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5Tablespoons Earth Balance butter
Place an un-greased 9×13 baking dish in your oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, with the empty pan in there.
Prepare your batter.
Place the eggs, milk, flour, salt and vanilla in a blender and combine until smooth.
Once the oven reaches 450, melt the butter in the pan until hot.
Pour batter into baking dish, over the hot, melted butter. Don’t just dump it into one spot – pour in circles or figure 8s, swirling as you pour. This creates the characteristics peaks — the best part! – throughout vs. just in the corners!
Bake, for 22-25 minutes or until edges are golden brown and puffy.
Serve with berries, maple syrup, and/or powdered sugar. Fresh lemon juice squeezed over powdered sugar is also a really good combo!