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How to make crepes in a regular frying pan, from scratch

How to make crepes
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This is my time tested recipe for basic crepes. Because I make them so often at home, I became somewhat of a crepe expert in my family, and mind you, being an expert in crepes does not amount to many privileges here, except for the privilege of making lots of crepes and practicing flipping them (the crepes) on a frying pan. I literally could flip them with my eyes closed. Crepes and I go back together long ways. You see, I grew up eating crepes on a weekly basis: my mom would usually cook them during the weekend, and my sister and I would eat them for breakfast, almost always with home-made sour cherry preserves. The sour cherry preserves were prepared by our parents during summer, with cherries from huge sour cherry trees in our garden. My sister and I would pit the cherries. In one of my earlier posts, with a tart cherry pie recipe, I talk about my cherry tree childhood memories.

By the way, this is the 8th day of NaBloPoMo. And, yes, making crepes is easy. In fact, the only “hard” part is using the right frying pan and a little bit of practice to flip the crepes. If you never made crepes, I highly recommend using non-stick pan, which will virtually guarantee that crepes won’t stick to the pan. I personally like to use stainless steel frying pan, as it results in a much better crepe texture, but using stainless steel will require some practice (as far as how hot you need to get that pan to make sure crepes won’t stick). With non-stick, it’s easier.

The below crepe batter recipe and tutorial describe how to make crepes batter from scratch, without lumps, how to get just the right batter thickness. For crepes, the less thick the batter is, the better. If the batter is not thick enough, though, you will end up with crepes that will be very hard to flip to the other side – they will be too thin. So, it’s a fine balance: just how thick the crepe batter should be. Below I provide precise measurements that I use for my crepe batter that always result in amazing crepes that are slightly sweet, soft, easy to flip and easily moldable in various shapes (pockets, tubes, etc., more recipes to come!). One of my most favorite ways to serve crepes as a dessert is crepes with agave-ricotta cheese filling, topped with pears roasted in honey.

How do you make crepes, easy crepes, from scratch, without lumps, at home

How to make crepes in a regular frying pan, from scratch

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

1) Mix all those ingredients in a large bowl and whisk the mixture until lumps dissolve.

2) Heat frying pan until very hot (on high heat on stove top), spray it with oil spray and, using a soup ladle, pour small amount of batter into the frying pan as you roll the pan from side to side just enough to cover the bottom of the pan evenly with a thin layer of crepe batter. Depending on the size of your soup ladle, you could use a whole ladle-ful, or less. It also depends on the diameter of your skillet. The key is to cover the bottom of the pan with just a slightly thick layer of batter, don’t coat it too thickly.

3) Let this thin layer of crepe batter cook for 1,2 or 3 minutes, depending on your pan (the subsequent crepes will require much less time to cook than the first time as the pan heats up even more), then flip the crepe to the other side and let it cook for another minute on the other side. This way, you cook each crepe 1-2 minutes on each side. To flip the crepe, pick up the sides of the crepe around its circumference, gradually reaching towards the center of the crepe from all sides, until the crepe separates from the pan. How to know when it’s time to flip the crepe? When you pour the batter, it will be wet in the frying pan but gradually bubbles will be forming and batter will start to dry. When it’s all bubbles and no liquid batter – it’s time to flip! You can see it on my photos below.

4) Your subsequent crepes might require much less time to cook, and the more of them you have to make, the faster you will have to flip the crepes, because the frying pan will get more and more heated up. When you cook crepes, your frying pan is always on high heat. This will minimize sticking.

5) As each crepe gets done, transfer it to the plate and add each new crepe on top of previous crepe in the stack. Sometimes I like to brush each crepe with softened butter and then top it with the next one. Deliciousness!

Mixing the crepe batter

How to make crepe batter

Pouring crepe batter onto the heated frying pan

Pouring crepe batter onto the heated and greased frying pan (grease the pan only once, for the first crepe)

Pouring crepe batter onto the heated frying pan

Pouring crepe batter onto the heated and greased frying pan

Pouring crepe batter onto the heated frying pan

Pouring crepe batter onto the heated and greased frying pan

Crepes cooking on one side

Cooking a crepe on one side until liquid evaporates

Crepe is almost ready to be flippped over

Cooking a crepe on one side until liquid evaporates. Here crepe is almost ready to be flipped over

All liquid batter is gone, just nice bubbled side of the crepe is there

All liquid batter is gone, just nice bubbled side of the crepe is there

Flipping the crepe

Now it’s time to flip the crepe to the other side

Flipping the crepe

Gently pick up the crepe around its circumference

How to flip the crepe

And … flip it!

Crepe successfully flipped to the other side

Crepe is successfully flipped to the other side!

Cooking crepe on the other side

Crepe is cooking on the other side

Checking for crepe doneness

Picking up the sides of the crepe around its circumference to check for doneness

Checking for crepe readiness and flipping it onto the plate

Picking up the whole crepe and transferring it onto the plate

How to make crepes

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{ 63 comments… add one }

  • Monique November 8, 2012, 6:10 am

    Perfection!

    • Julia November 8, 2012, 10:10 am

      Thank you :)

  • Noel Lizotte November 8, 2012, 6:51 am

    Julia,
    Wow! You make this look so easy!! Thanks!!
    I’ve been scared of crepes. Not so scared that I won’t order them in a restuarant, mind you! Just intimidated to make them at home. I’ll be trying your recipe and following your tutorial. I think I can do this!

    • Julia November 8, 2012, 10:15 am

      It’s actually very, very easy. It takes only a little practice to make the batter just thick enough and to learn to flip the crepes correctly. So, the first couple of times you might waste some milk and flour, but then you get a hang of it, just like with everything. Definitely not rocket science. :)

  • Kayle (The Cooking Actress) November 8, 2012, 9:15 am

    I haven’t tackled crepes yet but this makes me feel much more at ease with the idea! Yours look delicious!

    • Julia November 8, 2012, 10:16 am

      Thank you! It’s very easy and for some reason the fact that I can make good crepes always impresses the people around me. If only they knew how easy it was. :)

  • Polina November 8, 2012, 11:01 am

    What kind of frying pan do you usually use? Is it stainless steel? And nothing sticks?

    • Julia November 8, 2012, 11:21 am

      I use Williams-Sonoma stainless steel frying pans, of different sizes. Crepes don’t stick, as long as you get the pan really hot. Very rarely, my first crepe sticks, then I just wash the pan and start over. If the batter is too thin, the crepes will stick to the pan, too. I also have made crepes on many different types of non-stick pans (black coating) in other people’s houses and never had a problem with sticking. But I like the crepe texture I get with stainless steel better.

  • Lyndsey February 6, 2013, 5:26 pm

    Hi I have a non stick severely scratched pan will it still work? what will I do??

    • Julia February 15, 2013, 4:37 pm

      Most of the time I use stainless steel pan, because I don’t own any non-stick pans. I do use non-stick successfully when visiting friends/family, but their pans are usually without scratches so I am not really sure.

  • Linda August 4, 2013, 4:47 pm

    Reading all of these responses to crepes has made me want to try them. Julia, why don’t you use non stick frying pans? I am just curious. I find that when I don’t use the one I have and use a regular frying pan, my eggs stick. I always use a good amount of butter before frying??
    Linda

    • Julia August 5, 2013, 10:37 pm

      You can definitely use non-stick pan – I’ve used it with these crepes, and it worked great. I don’t own non-stick pan, which is why I don’t usually use it. When I did use it, I found that crepes came out just marginally thicker and without those cute little holes in them than if I used a stainless steel pan.

  • Judy September 24, 2013, 1:23 pm

    I can personally attest to the deliciousness of these creeps! As the favored mother-in-law, I am the fortunate recipient of this girl’s incredible cooking skills! The unfortunate part for her is that she has to tolerate my effusive public compliments! ;-)

    • Julia September 25, 2013, 2:00 am

      Judy, you’re so sweet and funny! :)

  • Taylore September 28, 2013, 3:28 pm

    Hi Julia! Can this batter be refrigerated and still turn out nice crepes? I can cook up the whole batch but I know my husband and I won’t go through all of them in one sitting so I’d rather save the batter and make them fresh in the pan for a few mornings.

    • Julia October 3, 2013, 3:09 am

      I’ve never frozen the crepe batter, but I did once keep the crepe batter in the refrigerator for a day, and it separated a bit and didn’t look quite right, but I still used it :). I think there is something that baking powder does to this liquid crepe batter if you refrigerate it or freeze it. But, you can actually freeze crepes themselves – and that would definitely work fine! Just make sure to put them in an air-tight plastic bag or container.

  • Clara October 3, 2013, 8:30 am

    If you have left over batter just make the crepes, roll each one up as tightly as possible and freeze them. I love making crepe soup! Next time someone in your house is feeling under the weather make a simple chicken broth and pull out those froze crepes, slice them into pinwheels and drop them into the broth! Garnish this up with a few fresh chives and you just created a cheery treat that will beat out old boring chicken noodle soup every time :)

    • Julia October 4, 2013, 3:08 am

      What a cool idea! I’ve never tried it but now I should! I love soups that call for adding chunks of dough or bread, and adding frozen crepe pinwheels sounds absolutely delicious!

  • Tami October 7, 2013, 11:20 am

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I saw your Apple cinnamon crepes recipe and had to make them. Super easy & yummy! Thanks again! :)

  • Alena October 12, 2013, 11:02 am

    Julia, I made these crepes for my son and he loved them!

    • Julia October 17, 2013, 6:26 pm

      Alena, privet! :) So glad he liked them! :) I used to love these as a kid too. :)

  • Lyna Yeo November 22, 2013, 11:16 am

    Made the crepes for breakfast today! Husband loved it!

    Tx u for sharing! The pics were a big help for a noob cook like me!

    • Julia November 22, 2013, 5:37 pm

      Lyna, thanks for stopping by! So happy to hear the crepes were a success! I make them quite often myself and always refer to my own recipe. :)

  • Veronica November 25, 2013, 12:19 am

    Can I add Vanilla extract to give it a different flavor or would that mess up the recipe? Thank you.

    • Julia November 25, 2013, 2:05 am

      Veronica, adding vanilla will not mess up the recipe, it will improve it! :) In fact, I even have vanilla crepes recipe posted – here. Vanilla crepes are very tasty and very popular! :)

  • Beth January 2, 2014, 12:40 pm

    I have loved crepes since I was a kid. Now my kids love them. I have been making crepes for years. I use 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of milk and 1 egg. no oil , BP, or sugar.
    I triple it when I make it, my boys can eat at least 8 each. Looks like I use the same pan as you do. I use a pat of butter for the first one to get it going, then with each one just a tiny bit of butter. medium low heat. perfect crepes every time.

    • Julia January 2, 2014, 2:31 pm

      Hi Beth! Thanks for stopping by! :) Interesting – I need to try mine without oil. I did make mine without baking powder too, I think the baking powder makes these little holes in crepes. I once accidentally used baking soda – the holes were huge, and the crepes looked super cute, but I thought I could taste the baking soda because I put at least 1/2 teaspoon of it in the crepe batter. About using oil/butter to grease the pan just once – I do the same – I usually just spray the very hot pan with non-stick spray once for the first crepe, and then the pan gets just hot enough to handle the rest of the crepes without using non-stick spray or butter.

  • Hope January 6, 2014, 11:26 am

    Made these crepes today, they are the BEST crepe recipe I’ve ever used!! Thank you so much, I will be making these again and again!

    • Julia January 6, 2014, 2:36 pm

      Hope, thank you for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment! :) I am glad the crepes turned out well for you! I am making these again and again myself, too! :) They are addicting!

  • Sweettoothduo January 25, 2014, 8:49 am

    I, also, make my crepes this way. I only have stainless pans…all-clad. I find if I wait until the very last moment, right before I put in the batter, to spray my pan, the pan is very easy to clean up. i.e. There is no sticky, gummy, pain in the neck spray gunk left on my pan. If your pan is heated up properly, then you add your oil, it will function like a non stick pan every time. I, too, make crepes weekly. I am going to try out this recipe next. Another helpful hint I discovered: if you whisk the milk and flour smooth before adding the eggs you won’t have lumps at all. If you add the eggs at the same time, I find it takes more work to get it smooth

    • Julia January 28, 2014, 2:26 pm

      I too use All-Clad – the pan on the photos is All-Clad stainless steel pan. :) One of the best, if not the best stainless steel pan out there. I’ve used the same set of All-Clad pots and pans and skillets for almost 10 years now. I also add oil spray only after the pan is very hot, right before I am ready to add the first ladle of crepe batter. Interesting tip about whisking the milk and flour first before adding eggs – have to try that. I also discovered that if I let the batter sit on the counter for 15-20 minutes and then whisk it again – it is super smooth and more of room temperature which results in better and easier-to-make crepes. :)

  • Crystal January 28, 2014, 3:35 am

    Thanks I will be trying this tomorrow with confidence

    • Julia January 28, 2014, 2:22 pm

      Thanks for stopping by, Crystal! Let me know how they turn out.

  • Jannie February 12, 2014, 9:19 pm

    Hi
    Here some “tricks” from the danish kitchen….. Use half milk and half beer, vanilia, 2-3 tablespoons of yoghurt (can be plain, strawberry and/or vanilia). Fry them in pork fat…. Leftover from when you fry bacon. Soooo good. Eat them with sugar, jam, icecream or best of all….. Nutella topped with sliced bananas and coconut.
    Enjoy

    • Julia February 17, 2014, 3:09 pm

      Jannie, this sounds so interesting – I got to try these! Do these come out thin like crepes or thick like pancakes?

  • June February 20, 2014, 2:25 am

    Great recipe and terrific thread of comments, particularly the tips and variations. Thanks for sharing, Julia!

  • Mae March 11, 2014, 11:44 pm

    Julia, these sound great! How many crepes does it make?

    • Julia July 8, 2014, 2:31 pm

      This makes 12 crepes.

  • Julie April 13, 2014, 11:42 am

    These were so easy! I felt like a domestic goddess this morning. Worked like a charm in my nonstick skillet on med/high heat. I used a mini spatula to make sure the edges were loose before flipping the whole thing. They turned out thin and chewy with slightly crisp edges. Lovely. And the stack of them looks so pretty. I hope they freeze well – as delish as they are, my husband and I should probably not consume the whole stack in one sitting!

    • Julia July 8, 2014, 2:31 pm

      Hi Julie! So glad you liked the recipe! I also use spatula to make sure the edges are loose before flipping the crepes. These freeze beautifully, by the way, when tightly wrapped! :)

  • erlinda jean May 12, 2014, 5:54 am

    Easy yet-very delicious tried it at work and they all love them,, the kids I mean. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes.

    • Julia July 8, 2014, 2:29 pm

      Thank you for your kind words! So glad everybody around you liked these crepes! :)

  • Tien June 9, 2014, 12:11 am

    Hi Julia,

    I made the crepes this morning it was super simple and absolutely delicious! My boyfriend the chef had no complaints! Thanks for sharing!

    • Julia July 8, 2014, 2:29 pm

      Tien, thank you for stopping by! I am so happy you enjoyed these crepes! :)

  • Shelley P June 12, 2014, 2:41 am

    Can I use water instead of milk?

    • Julia July 8, 2014, 2:28 pm

      I haven’t tried them with water. I suppose it should work, even though the flavor will be a little bit different.

  • Marsha Mwilambwe July 20, 2014, 12:16 pm

    Tried these today. They were very easy and taste great. Earlier in the week I had made a blueberry sauce out of some berries I frozen back in may. I poured the sauce over the crepes. Perfect match. My husband could not stop eating them.

    Thanks for the recipe.

    • Julia July 23, 2014, 8:59 pm

      Making a homemade blueberry sauce and serving them with these crepes have been a long-time dream of mine. Want to make it and post the results too, on this site!

  • Sundee Braley July 20, 2014, 2:38 pm

    you are my new favorite person!! i am headed to the store to get everything i need to try this and the strawberries and chocolate chip cake. thanks for this recipe.

    • Julia July 23, 2014, 9:16 pm

      Thank you, you’re very sweet!

  • sassygirl July 20, 2014, 9:36 pm

    best looking crepes EVER!
    thnx for sharing. :)

    • Julia July 23, 2014, 9:17 pm

      Thank you!

  • Melanie July 22, 2014, 9:19 pm

    I’ve wanted to make crepes for so long, but have been nervous about messing them up. Your instructions (and the photos) really help me want to give it a shot. I’ll report back with how it works out! Thank you! :)

    • Julia July 23, 2014, 9:18 pm

      Melanie, I am glad that the photos and the instructions ease your fears. Really, crepes just need very little practice, and then they are so easy to make!

  • estee July 27, 2014, 4:21 pm

    I grew up with my mom making big batches of lots of hungarian style crepes, made with water, not milk. She used to make them ahead and freeze or refrigerate some for later.
    Can freeze yours? they look sooo yummy! I think thou the best way may B to eat them warm right away…

    • Julia August 7, 2014, 12:08 am

      I need to try making these with water too. These crepes freeze really well. They also keep well refrigerated. Though I agree – these are best warm, eaten the same day you make them!

  • Sheila August 6, 2014, 3:12 pm

    I read all the posts, and as a newbie to making crepes, I have to ask this. Do you sift your flour before measuring? Or, just scoop and level the flour off? Thanks.

    • Julia August 7, 2014, 12:06 am

      Sheila, yes, I sift the flour. If you’re making crepes for the first time, I highly recommend using non-stick pan, which you spray with non-stick spray (only once!) AFTER it has become very hot. Do not spray the pan before it’s hot, because it will only make the pan smoke unnecessarily.

  • Maria September 19, 2014, 12:11 am

    Hi Julia

    These look really good and super easy I am definitely going to try it. Just curious, do you think almond milk will work in place of cows milk or will it alter the taste of the crepe?

    • Julia September 19, 2014, 2:19 pm

      Hi Maria – I think almond milk will work just fine. I’ve used water in making these crepes, and I can’t tell the difference between milk-based and water-based crepes. :)

  • Allison Burt September 27, 2014, 3:58 pm

    I just tried these for the first time yesterday, and it was so incredibly easy! The instructions are very easy to follow and they turned out great! If a college kid with no prior cooking experience can figure it out, everyone else can too! :)

    • Julia September 30, 2014, 2:47 pm

      Allison, thank you very much for such a nice comment! So glad the instructions worked for you and the crepes were a success!

  • Dasha October 16, 2014, 1:11 am

    Hi! :) How many crepes do you make using the amount of ingredients that you use? I am just curious because I need to make about 50 for a party. I am thinking of making crepes and putting some nutella in them, then rolling them up and maybe decorating them with some raspberries. :)

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