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Dutch Baby | Oven Baked German Pancake

This Dutch Baby aka German Pancake is one large oven-baked puffy pancake that is not only super easy to make but delicious to eat with so many topping options! And they look so magically majestic, yeah? This might just become your new weekend brunch treat, seriously! I love to add sliced apples and cinnamon sugar and serve with sweetened labneh and berries. So good you will almost feel guilty eating it for breakfast! 

Dutch baby with apples in a cast-iron skillet

After a period of perfect pancake breakfasts, I was looking for an option where I can just make one large pancake that can save me time and dishes. Enter, Dutch baby! I have heard it, seen it on some food pages, but don't remember bookmarking to try later etc. Guess I was too engrossed into stacking pancakes. 😄 Nevertheless, I have been making us some dutch babies with apples for a few times now. Inspired and adapted from Martha Stewart's recipe. So I thought why not share so you too can let the oven do the job while you put on some makeup and paint your lips! 

What is a Dutch Baby pancake?

The batter for dutch baby is prepared with just milk, eggs and flour, unlike the American pancakes that are leavened with baking powder. A thin smooth batter is poured on an already hot buttered ovenproof skillet and baked in a hot oven, where the batter will rise and puff around the edges like a pillow. Once those edges turn golden, remove from oven. Once out of the oven, the Dutch baby will quickly collapse losing the puff. But no worries, because what’s left behind is a pancake with the soft, tender texture of a crepe and the eggy flavour custard. Slice it into wedges and smear each slice with some yoghurt and syrup as you serve it up. 

There are so many ways to top your Dutch baby, but today I’m sharing our favourite and convenient way — with plenty of apples, a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar, or if you are pumpkin spice fan that will be great too! Top your slice with some luscious labneh sweetened with honey. Heaven. You can easily use greek yoghurt or hung curd will work too. 

Wedges of Dutch Baby with apples topped with labneh

Why do they call it a Dutch baby?

I was curious too. Did you know Dutch baby is actually not a Dutch dish! The Netherlands have their own version of pancake called Pannenkoeken. A bit of reading showed that dutch baby pancake is actually of German origin and are sometimes called as a Bismark or Hootenanny. Dutch baby pancakes were first served in the United States in the early 1900s at Manca’s, a restaurant in Seattle. So it is safe to say that Dutch baby pancake originated in Seattle. It is said that the owner’s daughter coined the name, “Dutch Baby" as the result of Americanization of Deutsch into Dutch - which would originally mean - a german's creation.  

Dutch baby with apples in a cast-iron skillet

How do you make German pancakes from scratch?

Use a blender to make the batter. Start with eggs and a little milk so that the eggs blend smoothly. Add the remaining milk, and rest of the items and blend to a smooth batter. The batter will be thin and needs to be rested for a while before you can use. Preheat the oven with the skillet. Prepare your desired topping ingredients. For this recipe, slice apples and make a small batch of cinnamon sugar and sweetened labneh or Greek yoghurt with honey or maple syrup. By now your oven will be ready - use gloves and take out the pan and add the butter. Swirl the pan so that butter is coated all over the sides of the pan. This is important so that the pancake can rise and come off the pan without sticking.
swirling the butter

Pour the batter to the hot pan and scatter the apple slices which is totally optional. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until fluffy. Don't open the oven door until past 22 mins. 

Pouring the batter into the hot skillet

scattering apple slices over the batter

Dutch baby ready to go into oven

Remove from the oven and you may brush with some more butter and lemon juice or sprinkle icing sugar or more cinnamon sugar. I take the skillet to the dining table and serve from it. You may use a spatula and transfer the Dutch baby to a serving platter and top with berries etc. Serve with the prepared sweetened labneh and berries. 
German pancake with apples in a cast-iron skillet

German pancake wedges topped with labneh

You can make dutch baby without the apples! Just skip the apples and continue with the baking. I have included measurement options that you can experiment to find your favourite texture. 

Dutch Baby with Apples | Oven-Baked German Pancake Recipe with Apples

Yields: one 9-inch Dutch baby

INGREDIENTS

For the batter:
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup full-fat milk (you can go up to 1 cup) 
  • 1/2 cup plain flour (you can go up to 2/3 or even 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoon sugar (you can reduce to 1 tbsp)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon zest of lemon or orange (optional)
  • Salt or to taste 
  • 3 tablespoon butter (approx 40gms)
  • 1 small apple, sliced thin (you may not need all of it)
For the cinnamon sugar, mix these:
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
For the sweetened labneh, mix these:
  • 6 tablespoons labneh or greek yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon sugar 
For garnishing:
  • icing sugar
  • berries

METHOD

  1. Place a 9-inch cast-iron skillet or an ovenproof skillet in the middle rack of the oven and preheat to 200℃ for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Add the batter ingredients (milk, eggs, vanilla, zest, flour, sugar and salt) into a blender and blend until super smooth. Set this aside to rest while the pan preheats and you can prep the apples, cinnamon sugar and labneh mix.
  3. Carefully remove the skillet from the oven and add the butter to it. Swirl it all around a few times until the butter melts completely and coats all the sides of the pan all the way up.
  4. Pour the batter immediately and scatter the sliced apples over the top avoiding the edges. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar all over the apple slices.
  5. Place the skillet carefully back in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes without opening the oven door until the Dutch baby is puffed, lightly browned across the top, and darker brown on the sides and edges.
  6. Remove from oven, slice into wedges and serve immediately with labneh (Greek yoghurt), berries, or any syrup. You may dust with powdered sugar before serving if preferred.
Dutch baby with apples served with some labneh and blueberry

I chose to add the apples without prior cooking because it is one less work. Cooking the apples with butter and cinnamon will give an apple pie feeling but adding sliced apples with cinnamon sugar will give the same flavour with added beauty! 

Want to try a savoury pancake? Check my Yemeni Pancake, Jabeez or Moroccan  Msemen!

TRIED THIS RECIPE?
I would love to hear from you. If you have made this recipe then please do leave a comment below. If you like this recipe then please do share the recipe with your friends and family on Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Please do follow me on Instagram and mention @butfirstchaai or tag #butfirstchaiblog so that I can see your creations!

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