I’d like to introduce to you our traditional family Christmas morning breakfast! Pannukakku (a Finnish oven pancake) is an oven-baked pancake that falls somewhere between the texture of a soufflé and traditional American pancakes. It’s so incredibly easy to make—you don’t even need a bowl or whisk—and it comes together in just minutes. We love ours served with fresh berries, maple syrup, and a dusting of powdered sugar, but the topping possibilities are almost endless. Let’s get baking!
What is pannukakku?
Pannukakku is a Finnish oven pancake. It is a thick oven-baked pancake that has crispy edges and a creamy, custardy middle. Pannukakku is like a custardy popover—except instead of making it in a muffin tin, you make it in a large baking dish and slice the pancake to serve. Our recipe for pannukakku is a family recipe passed down for generations through my husband’s Finnish-Canadian family.
We have two recipes for Finnish pancakes here on Wholefully. This one—pannukakku is an oven-baked thick pancake, the other is lettu (AKA: pannenkoeken or Dutch pancakes)—which are thinner, skillet-cooked pancakes similar to a crèpe.
Is a Dutch baby the same as a pannukakku?
Sure is. There are lots of names for this kind of oven-baked pancake—Dutch baby, German pancake, Dutch puff, and what we call it in our house—pannukakku, or Finnish oven pancake.
Why should I make this Finnish oven pancake?
This is absolutely the easiest way to get breakfast on the table in a flash (which is one of the reasons why we make this every Christmas). The batter comes together in just a few seconds in your blender. Then you pour it directly into a hot baking dish and bake away. After half an hour, you’ll have a giant tower of a pancake ready to slice, top, and serve!
What ingredients will I need?
You’ll need the same ingredients you use for most pancake batters: unsalted butter, eggs, flour, whole milk, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and salt.
How do I make pannukakku?
You just need one oven-safe dish and a blender to make a delicious Finnish oven pancake! Here’s what you’ll do:
- Set the rack on your oven in the middle so your pannukakku has plenty of space to rise. Stick a 10″ cast iron skillet or a 9″x9″ baking dish in the oven while you preheat the oven to 400°F. Then add butter to the heated pan, and put it back in the oven to melt.
- Combine all the pannukakku ingredients in the basin of your blender or in a large bowl.
- Using an immersion blender or traditional blender, blend everything until very smooth.
- Carefully take the hot skillet or baking dish out of the oven and pour the batter in.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes.
- Serve immediately with your favorite toppings!
By the end of the bake time, the outside of the pancake should be very puffy and golden brown, while the center still looks like custard. We use the knife test to determine doneness—a clean knife stuck into the middle of the pancake should come out cleanly.
How do you eat pannukakku?
Pannukakku is really best eaten straight out of the oven. It will be gloriously puffy when you first take it out, but as soon as it comes out, it will start to deflate—no worries, that’s what it’s supposed to do! Cut the pancake into wedges or rectangles and serve warm with your favorite pancake toppings.
If you enjoy a topping on a traditional American pancake, chances are you’ll also like it on pannukakku! Here are some of our favorite flavor combinations:
- Sliced strawberries and whipped cream
- Blueberries, lemon zest, and a dusting of powdered sugar
- Apple pie filling (especially if you warm it up a bit first)
- Butter and maple syrup
- Chocolate hazelnut spread and fruit (especially bananas and strawberries)