How to Make Crepes, According to a Professional Chef

They are surprisingly easy to make at home!

Crepes are delicate French pancakes, but unlike fluffy breakfast pancakes, crepes are often served for lunch or dinner. Crepes don't contain leavening, so the cooking process is quick. The batter and the final product will remain thin. While they are an excellent option for breakfast, crepes can be made for any meal, savory or sweet, and you can make these in advance and store them until they're needed.

crepes stuffed with strawberries and cream cheese
Blaine Moats

How to Make a Crepe

Below are step-by-step instructions that will show you how to make crepes at home.

Step 1: Combine the Ingredients

The items needed for a crepe batter include common ingredients you may already have on hand: eggs, all-purpose flour, oil, milk, and salt. For smaller batches, this mixture can be whisked by hand, but if you are increasing the recipe for a larger yield, using a blender to mix all the ingredients is a helpful way to make a smooth batter quickly. Make sure that the crepe batter is smooth to ensure it will spread evenly around the skillet while cooking. If you notice after mixing your ingredients that your crepe batter still has some lumps, strain the batter through a fine-mesh strainer before continuing.

Unless you are in a pinch for time, the batter works best if it sits covered for at least thirty minutes before cooking. This allows the flour in the batter to absorb the moisture completely and help dissipate any air bubbles that formed during the mixing process. Not only will this help the crepe maintain its light, thin quality, but it will also make it less likely to tear during cooking. The batter will thicken as it stands, which is a good sign that the flour has been fully absorbed.

Crepe batter can be made up to two days in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator until needed. If you refrigerate your crepe batter in advance, make sure you allow it to come up to room temperature (about 30 minutes) and mix lightly before cooking your crepes.

Step 2: Prepare Your Pan

Crepes can be made in a standard crepe pan or a medium nonstick skillet. You can determine the amount of batter needed per crepe by measuring the bottom of your pan or skillet. For a pan or skillet with a 6-inch bottom, use about two tablespoons of batter, and if the pan is larger (8-10 inch bottom), use a ¼ cup of batter per crepe.

With your crepe batter ready, place your pan over medium-high heat and lightly grease the pan with vegetable spray. The pan will be ready when the oil in the pan begins to smoke lightly. Be sure to keep the pan spray handy and use it between every crepe you cook to ensure each crepe will come out with ease.

Get the Recipe: Chicken-Spinach Crepes with Mushroom Cream Sauce

Step 3: Cook Your Crepe

Depending on the size of your pan, add the batter to the middle of the pan. Lift the pan, tilt, and rotate in all directions until the batter coats the bottom evenly. Return the pan to the heat and cook until the crepe begins to form bubbles and the bottom is lightly browned, which should only take about 1 – 1½ minutes.

Turn the crepes with a spatula (this task is best with a silicone spatula since they are heat resistant and won't scratch any nonstick surface). Once the crepe is turned, cook the second side until lightly browned. Even though making a perfect crepe comes with practice, that skill is often developed after only a few tries; don't be discouraged if the first one or two crepes you make don't turn out quite right!

Cooling and Storage Options

Cool the crepes on a wire rack and let cool for several minutes. To keep crepes warm, arrange them on a baking sheet, overlapping slightly and using parchment paper between the layers. Keep these warm in a 200-degree oven for up to 30 minutes or until needed.

If you are making the crepes in advance, you can either refrigerate or freeze them for later use. Layer the cooled crepes with sheets of parchment or waxed paper in between and store them in an airtight container (up to three days in the refrigerator and up to four months in the freezer). When the frozen crepes are needed later, they are best thawed overnight in the fridge or at room temperature for about an hour before using.

How to Serve Crepes

Crepes are rarely served plain but are used to hold or be filled with various fillings and sauces. They are also a fantastic way to turn simple ingredients into a wonderful dish or dessert. Simply take the crepe, top the center with your desired addition, and roll up or fold in half or quarters. Consider savory combinations of your favorite meats, vegetables, and cheeses, or sweet options filled with seasonal preserves, whipped cream, fresh fruit, or nut butter. Think of this crepe recipe as your blank canvas and be as creative as you'd like for a light, memorable meal.

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