It can be easy to think that all pancakes are the same—big fluffy stacks of flapjacks slathered in maple syrup. And while we love classic pancakes with our whole hearts, there is a whole world of different kinds of pancakes that you must try! Today we’re showing you how to make Pannenkoeken—AKA: Dutch pancakes. These thin pancakes have a wonderful spongy texture and crispy edges, and they work just as well drizzled with maple syrup as they do rolled and stuffed with sweet or savory fillings. Let’s get flipping!
What is pannenkoeken?
Pannenkoeken are Dutch pancakes. They have a light flavor and texture, making them the perfect base for a range of yummy toppings or fillings. They’re thinner than typical American flapjacks but thicker than French crepes. They have a spongey texture and typically have crispy edges. You can serve them like traditional flapjacks—stacked and drizzled with syrup—or a more common way is to fill them with sweet or savory foods and roll them or fold them.
There are tons of similar-style pancakes from cultures across the globe. In fact, the recipe for pannenkoeken is identical to that of Finnish pancakes lettu—so much so, that our recipe below is an old Finlander family recipe that has been passed down for generations. No matter if you call it pannenkoeken or lettu or Danish pancakes or Finnish pancakes, you can absolutely call them delicious!
It’s easy to confuse pannenkoeken with pannukakku, but they are very different pancakes! Pannenkoken are thin Dutch pancakes made on the stovetop. Pannukakku is a thick Finnish oven pancake.
Is a Dutch baby the same as pannenkoeken?
Nope! A Dutch baby is a thick oven pancake—the texture is a mix between a soufflé and a crepe. Dutch babies are called pannukakku in Finland. These are pannenkoeken, and they are thinner than a typical American pancake.
How do I make pannenkoeken?
If you can whisk together ingredients in a bowl, you can make these Dutch/Finnish Pancakes! Here’s how.
- Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-low heat.
- In a large bowl, whisk together all the ingredients. The batter will be very thin (milk consistency).
- Place a teaspoon of butter on the skillet or griddle, then pour in about 1/3 cup of the batter.
- Flip when the edge of the pancake starts to look solid and bubbly.
- Cook on the other side for a minute or two.
We can’t over state how thin the consistency of the batter will be—we promise you are doing it right!
How to eat Dutch pancakes
You can eat pannenkoeken stacked and slathered with butter and maple syrup. You can also fill the pancakes with sweet or savory toppings and then roll them into a log shape. You can use your hands to pick up the pannenkoeken—depending on how sticky your toppings are. You can also use a knife and fork to cut it.
This recipes makes a ton of pancakes—which is a good thing because leftovers are wonderful snacks! We love to slather them with peanut butter and layer on banana slices, roll them up and you’ve got a snack for the road!
Pannenkoeken has a light texture and flavor that you can make as simple or as complex as you want, depending on your toppings. Both sweet and savory flavors pair perfectly with these Dutch pancakes. There are two ways to do fillings—you can either wait until the pancake is done, add them to the middle and then roll or fold the pancakes, or you can actually mix certain fillings into the batter (like cheese, fruits, or veggies). We encourage you to experiment and find your perfect pancake. Here are some of our favorite filling and topping ideas:
- Butter and maple syrup
- Whipped cream with berries or fresh fruits
- Apple pie filling
- Nutella or other chocolate spread
- Thinly sliced apples
- Peanut butter
- Chocolate chips
- Cooked ham