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Kitchen Tips

Our 9 Best Crepe Recipes

The French classic is easily mastered when you have the right method and tools at hand. Here are the Chatelaine Kitchen's trade secrets.

Every cook needs a classic crepe recipe in their arsenal. Whether filled with rhubarb compote for breakfast-in-bed, folded around savoury ham and melted gruyère for a quick weeknight dinner, or flambéed as crepes Suzette for a decadent dessert, the basic crepe is a blank canvas that can satisfy any appetite. Sure, these thin French pancakes are simple to throw together, but to ensure your crepes reign supreme—consistently delicate, eggy and lightly golden—we'll let you in on the Chatelaine Kitchen's trade secrets. 

1. A basic crepe batter

The batter (our basic recipe is below) consists of five simple ingredients: eggs, milk, all-purpose flour, melted butter and salt. You could whisk the ingredients together by hand, however, for the silkiest batter, a blender is recommended. The consistency of the batter is key: It should be slightly thinner than heavy cream, with no lumps. Add sugar and vanilla for a sweet crepe; chopped herbs or grated parmesan steer you in a savoury direction.

Classic Crepes Recipe

Try this French classic at home—and get creative! Plus, with seven ways to use this recipe, from wrapping a breakfast burrito to dressing up a zesty lemon dessert, there’s something for everyone. Get all seven classic crepe recipes.

2. 30 minutes of resting time

Resting the batter allows the flour to fully absorb the liquid and gives the gluten a chance to relax. While it’s not the end of the world if you skip this step, it is the secret to the most delicate, melt-in-your-mouth crepes. Let the batter stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, or refrigerate for up to two days. (If you mix it the night before, you don't have to worry about bringing the batter to room temperature before using it.) Once rested, give the batter a stir before cooking and if it appears too thick (sometimes this happens when the flour becomes fully hydrated), gently whisk in milk, a tablespoon at a time, until it's thinned to the right consistency.

3. Crepe pan vs. frying pan

A well-seasoned crepe pan is ideal for cooking crepes because the short sides make them easy to flip, while the heavy bottom ensures consistent heat and even cooking. But if you don't have a crepe pan, a medium non-stick or well-seasoned, cast-iron frying pan will do the trick. The size of your pan depends on how big you want your crepes, but seven to eight inches is standard.

4. Even, medium heat

Set your heat to medium and let the pan get hot (but not too hot). You might even need to adjust the heat to medium-low as the cooking continues. If the heat's too high the batter won't spread to the edges of the pan before setting, and can result in holes or uneven thickness.

How to make crepes: Measuring cup of crepe batter pouring into a frying panHeat your pan to medium before adding the crepe batter. (Photo, Roberto Caruso.)

5. Fat 

Butter is ideal—it will keep the crepes from sticking and add amazing flavour. Use a pastry brush or paper towel to coat the pan very lightly with melted butter. Too much butter can result in greasy crepes that are crispy, dark brown and not as pliable as you'd like.

6. Measure out the portions 

For the thin, lacy crepes of your dreams, add only 2 to 3 tbsp of batter to the centre of a standard seven to eight inch pan. Pouring the batter from a pitcher with a spout can be helpful, or use a small ladle or measuring cup to help get the portion right each time.

7. The proper technique

Lift the pan from the heat and tilt your wrist so that the batter pours to one side, then swirl it around so it coats the whole pan bottom evenly. Check out the technique in the video at the top.

8. Use a rubber spatula

When the crepe looks dry on top and it releases from the pan (this usually takes 1 to 2 minutes), it’s ready to flip. Loosen the edges with a rubber spatula. You can use the spatula to flip, but your fingers are your best tool: lift an edge, peel the crepe up, then gently turn it over (just don’t touch the pan). The second side cooks in about half the time as the first. You’ll know it’s done when the bottom is lightly golden.

Like pancakes, the first crepe is never perfect. So don’t sweat it. Consider crepe #1 as a test to see if you have enough batter in the pan, if the heat of the pan is right and if your technique needs tweaking.

9. A clean towel

Stack crepes on a plate or baking sheet and cover with a clean kitchen towel until the whole batch is cooked. They'll stay quite warm; crepes don't need to be piping hot when they're filled.

10. Crepe fillings and add-ons

They can be as simple as your favourite jam with a dusting of icing sugar on top, as elegant as a seafood-rich lobster, shrimp and gruyere main course, or as elaborate as these magnificent crepe cakes. 

How to store leftover crepes

Place sheets of parchment or wax paper between crepes, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to two days or freeze up to one month. Rewarm refrigerated or thawed frozen crepes in the microwave for about 30 seconds or a 325F oven for five minutes.

Here are our favourite crepe recipes:

Oat Milk Crepes

Homemade crepes get a plant-based makeover with the addition of flax meal and oat milk. Get our vegan oat milk crepes recipe.

plate of oat milk vegan crepes with berries and syrupPhoto, Erik Putz.

Berry Crepes with Rosewater Chantilly Cream

A mix of blueberries and raspberries give these crepes a beautifully rich purple hue. Serve berry crepes straight away with homemade Chantilly cream. Get our berry crepes with rosewater Chantilly cream recipe.

Berry crepes with rosewater chantilly creamPhoto, Erik Putz.
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Garden Spinach Crepe

Go green tonight with a healthful garden crepe—it’s packed with spinach and hemp seeds. Top with a egg, red onions, feta and fresh dill and dinner is served! Get our garden spinach crepe recipe.

Spinach garden crepePhoto, Erik Putz.

Plant-Based Crepes

Take these light and delicious dairy-free crepes to the next level by spreading Almond Plant-Based Yogurt inside of each crepe, then top with a simple berry syrup—just heat maple syrup with mixed berries. Get our plant-based crepes recipe.

Our 9 Best Crepe Recipes

Quinoa Crepes With Maple-Walnut Apples

A healthy upgrade to traditional crepes, this quinoa recipe is low-sugar, high-protein, and loaded with antioxidants and omega-3s. Get our quinoa crepes with maple-walnut apples recipe.

A plate of quinoa-flour crepes with maple-walnut apples dusted with cinnamon and topped with greek yogurt on a white plate. The plate rests on a white and blue striped napkin next to a spoon
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Frozen Dessert Crepes

Filled with vanilla ice cream, drizzled with raspberry coulis, and finished with a touch of lemon zest, this is a summery dessert you won’t be able to get enough of. Get our frozen dessert crepes recipe.

Frozen Dessert Crepes with vanilla ice cream topped with raspberries and raspberry sauce and orange peel on a white platter next to two goblets of white wine(Photo: Roberto Caruso)

Creamy Lobster Crepes

These wonderfully creamy, gruyère, shrimp and lobster-filled crepes are an elegantly easy brunch or dinner dish. Get our creamy lobster crepes recipe.

A plate of creamy lobster crepes topped with a lobster claw and fresh dill with a gold knife and fork resting on it. the plate has an embossed cursive C on the brim, which is navy and gold-trimmed. It sits next to a bowl of holiday decorations and a glass of water(Photo: Michael Graydon)

French Crepes With Nutella, Banana And Whipped Cream

Filled with homemade chocolate-hazelnut butter, bananas and whipped cream, this is a brunch treat everyone will enjoy. Get our French Nutella and banana crepes recipe.

A pile of French crepes, the top crepe is topped with Nutella, sliced bananas and whipped cream with one side folded over itself. Next to it is a bowl of whipped cream and a knife covered with whipped cream. All are on a piece of parchment paper on a white table(Photo: Roberto Caruso)

Blueberry And Cottage Cheese Blintzes

Stuffed with a cottage cheese and honey-yogurt filling and topped with a warm blueberry sauce, these protein-packed crepes are great to serve for a guilt-free brunch. Get our blueberry and cottage cheese blintzes recipe.

Blueberry and cottage cheese and honey-stuffed blintzes on a lavender-rimmed plate covered with blueberries above a watercolour illustration of blueberries(Photo: Roberto Caruso)

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