Learn how to make the best crepes at home! Perfectly thin and deliciously buttery, they are a staple for a weekend breakfast, brunch, kids’ snacks, desserts, or a DIY crepe party! Only 6 ingredients and no blending or equipment are needed.
Crepes are one of my favorite things to enjoy for brunch, but I used to think they were hard to make. They seem so fancy, but turns out they are easier to make than you think.
Since my kids also love them, I was determined to find the best crepe recipe and have finally created the perfect one after many trials. Today, I’m going to share all the tips and techniques with you. After reading this post, you will be ready to make mouth-watering crepes for any occasion.
And the best thing about these homemade crepes? You can fill or top them with literally anything!
What Are Crepes?
Crepes are very thin, delicate pancakes made of flour, milk, egg, butter, sugar, and salt. They can be enjoyed sweet or savory, depending on what you serve with. For example:
- Sweet crepes: lemon and sugar (aka classic French crepes), Nutella, jams, honey, maple syrup, fresh fruits (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and bananas), chocolate syrup, whipped cream, etc.
- Savory crepes: ham, cheese, eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes, avocado, bell peppers, onion, herbs, etc.
The Crêpes originated in the Brittany region of France but the love for crepes has spread all over the world, including Japan.
Popular Harajuku Crepes in Japan
In Japan, crepes are considered street food and we don’t really have the custom of eating crepes at home.
If you visit Japan, you will see Japanese adaptations of crepes that are endlessly creative. Takeshita Street in Harajuku is known for its numerous crepe shops and I used to hang out there to eat crepes with friends in high school. It’s more like a destination food, whether it’s in Harajuku or at a festival or at an amusement park.
Japanese crepes are folded or rolled up and filled with lots of whipped cream, fruits, and sweet syrup. They are often wrapped in a paper cone so it’s easy to carry and enjoy.
Why Is This The Best Homemade Crepe Recipe?
It feels boastful to name this recipe “The Best” crepes, so I wanted to explain why. In my humble opinion, this is the best because:
- Use only 6 easy ingredients – You’re most likely have them in the pantry already.
- No special equipment – You don’t need to use a blender like some recipes suggest; just a whisk and bowls will do.
- No need to rest the batter – Yet it yields great result!
- Easy to multiply or halve the recipe – Important factor for me as I’m horrible at math.
- Perfect result. Every. Single. Time.
Wait…What Happened to the Original Crepe Recipe?
I published my original crepe recipe back in 2011 with these photos, and named it “simple crepes.” 😆
Since then, I haven’t made crepes for nearly a decade. We’ve been making pancakes and waffles, and more of them, yet I completely forgot about crepes. So, it was a good time to revisit my old crepe recipe and to perfect it.
My kids usually get tired of eating my trial food after the 3rd test, but this time around, they wanted to eat more!
If you have been using my original crepe recipe (thank you ❤️), I hope you give this revised version a try. I honestly believe it’s better and you should definitely keep this one instead.
How to Make The Best Homemade Crepes
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Cake flour
- Milk (whole or reduced-fat)
- Butter (you can use salted, but omit salt)
That’s it! I’ll talk about topping choices later in the post.
Overview: Cooking Steps
- Make crepe batter by combining above ingredients.
- Heat the crepe pan (or regular pan) and make crepes until all the batter is used.
- Fill the crepes with fruits and whipped cream and syrup, dust with powdered sugar, and garnish with toppings.
13 Must-Read Tips to Make The Best Homemade Crepes
A smooth batter is crucial for making a light and springy crepe. Before you head straight into the kitchen, read these tips and techniques:
Tip #1: Have the eggs and milk come to room temperature
Cold eggs and milk could re-harden the fat in the batter (butter in this recipe), making the batter appear curdled or grainy. I learned the hard way when I started making crepes. To avoid this, remove the eggs and milk from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before use.
👩🏻🍳 My last-minute hack is to heat the milk until lukewarm in the microwave (or pot) and place the cold eggs in lukewarm water.
Tip #2: Mix the flour with a whisk
You can always sift the flour using a fine-mesh sieve or sifter. But a quick method is to whisk the flour in a bowl a few times until you see no big chunks of flour.
Tip #3: Combine eggs and milk first
Instead of adding eggs, and then milk to the flour mixture, I realized it works best (for me, at least) when I combine the eggs and milk in a bowl first until smooth and homogenous and then add the egg/milk mixture to the flour in the other bowl.
👩🏻🍳 I also recommend beating eggs thoroughly first before adding milk, as it requires a bit more effort to beat the eggs in milk.
Tip #4: Gradually add egg/milk mixture to flour
We must avoid lumps in the batter and that’s our ultimate goal here. If you pour a lot of liquid into the flour, it will quickly become lumps and float in the liquid.
Therefore, add a small amount of liquid and incorporate it into the flour until it comes into a paste form. Then add another small amount of liquid, having the paste slightly loosened. This way, your batter will be lump-free.
Tip #5: Add melted butter to room temperature batter
If you are going to make the batter ahead of time and keep it in the fridge overnight, make sure to bring the batter to room temperature before adding melted butter; otherwise, the butter will solidify in the cold batter. You don’t want to have a grainy batter. When you combine two things, both ingredients must be at room temperature.
Tip #6: Lightly grease the pan
Grease the pan with a pastry/silicone brush or paper towel between batches. You should not see any oil streaks, and that’s how thin the oil should be.
I don’t recommend using butter for the pan as it will burn easily. You have plenty of butter flavor in the batter already. Update: I’ve tried making the crepe with butter since some JOC readers from France recommended it. Obviously, it has more butter flavor and it was delicious. Make sure your heat is not too strong when you add butter because it will burn easily.
Tip #7: Splash a bit of water to see if the pan is hot
This is my favorite trick to see if the pan is hot and ready. The batter should make a sizzling sound when you add it to the pan. If water doesn’t make a sizzling sound, the pan is not ready yet. Don’t forget to splash water toward the edge of the pan, too, since it takes longer to heat up that area.
👩🏻🍳 You will need to adjust the heat based on your gas/electric stove you use. I use medium heat on my stove and slightly reduce toward the end of cooking as my crepes become brown too fast.
Tip #8: Use a 1/3-cup measuring cup
A 1/3-cup measuring cup fills up the surface of a 10-inch (25 cm) crepe pan. The biggest mistake when making crepes is to underfill or overfill the batter in the pan.
Based on the consistency of the batter and the size of the pan, you will need to try different size measuring cups or ladles. A standard size ladle of batter should fill up a 12-inch (30 cm) pan. I like my crepes to be smaller, and I’ll talk about it in my crepe tool section.
Tip #9: Tilt and swirl the pan
Pour the batter in the center of the pan and quickly tilt one side so the batter will run toward one edge. Then swirl to evenly distribute and cover the surface. If you see any small holes, shake the pan sideways to fill up the holes.
Tip #10: Don’t touch the crepe until the edges are golden brown
The crepe needs good heat contact, so avoid lifting and checking it frequently as it will slow down the browning process. Depending on the crepe’s thickness and your gas/electric stove, the cooking time varies but it should be between 1 to 2 minutes.
If it’s taking 3 minutes, I’d say the heat is too low.
👩🏻🍳 If your stove doesn’t distribute heat well, turn the pan around to evenly distribute the heat. You can tell by the color of the crepe. Make sure less brown area of the crepe gets heated nicely.
Tip #11: Use a long cooking chopstick or spatula to flip
I assume the majority of my readers own a pair of long cooking chopsticks (to cook Japanese food)? I love using a long cooking chopstick to cook crepes. The wooden material is gentler than a metal spatula but either tool works.
I spin the long chopstick between my fingers as I slide under the crepe and detach it from the pan.
👩🏻🍳 If you use a carbon-steel crepe pan like I do, some parts of the crepe could be stuck to the pan. But don’t worry! Using a gentle poking with the chopstick, you will be able to remove the crepe from the pan nicely. You just have to nudge. If you have a non-stick pan, your crepe may even slide around and you can lift up the crepe with your fingertips.
Cook for 10-15 seconds on the second side. Insert the chopstick under the crepe, lift it up and transfer to a plate.
Tip #12: Place the “pretty side” of the crepe down
Because I usually fold (or roll up) the crepe and want to show the “pretty side” for presentation, I stack the crepes, placing the “pretty side” down.
To prevent the crepes from sticking to each other, it’s important that they are stacked in the same direction.
Tip #13: Remove crumbs from the pan
If you’re using a carbon-steel crepe pan as I do, it’s important to clean the pan after every batch. You need to pick up crumbs with a paper towel before greasing the pan.
If something is sticky and does not come off, I recommend washing the pan and starting it over again. Otherwise, I learned that the batter will stick to the pan on that spot and will get burnt on the same spot.
Equipment to Make Best Homemade Crepes
Do we need a crepe pan?
You don’t need a crepe pan and make excellent crepes.
If you’re using a regular frying pan, a non-stick pan is probably the easiest choice, especially if you’re new to making crepes.
For this reason, I bought a 10-inch (25 cm) carbon-steel crepe pan ($55), and here’s why:
- It’s much lighter than regular carbon-steel pans (no walls, smaller handle) and I can swirl the pan with one hand. If you get a bigger crepe pan, it could be slightly heavier.
- The sides of the pan are lower so it makes it easier to check how far the crepe is browning or to slide a chopstick/spatula in and flip.
- A 10-inch crepe is a good size for filling ingredients.
I have to say I love my carbon-steel crepe pan and highly recommend it!
Do I need A Crepe Tool?
I bought a crepe spreader and spatula set ($13) to test if these tools help me make better crepes. After a few trials, I realized I don’t really need them to make good-looking crepes. So, would I recommend you get these? No, I’d save the money and invest in a crepe pan.
How to Save Crepes for Later
Cover the crepes with another plate and store them in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
When you’re ready to eat, you can pop them in the microwave and reheat them for 2 minutes until warmed through.
How to Serve Crepes
Typically, my family eats 2-3 crepes per person so I usually make 1-2 batches depending on how hungry they are. Here are some delicious ideas on how to serve your crepes:
- Lemon and sugar: Sprinkle a crepe with a teaspoon of sugar and squeeze some fresh lemon juice. Fold in quarters and top with chocolate sauce. Dust with powdered sugar, and garnish with lemon zest and slices.
- Nutella and banana: Spread a thin layer of Nutella over a crepe and top with sliced bananas. Fold in quarters, dust with powdered sugar, and garnish with strawberries.
- Jam, fresh fruits, and whipped cream: Spread your favorite jam over a crepe and top with fruits and freshly whipped cream. Fold in quarters and garnish with fruits.
- Japanese style crepe in cone shape: Roll up your favorite filling and topping for your crepe!
- Ham and cheese: Sprinkle grated cheese and sliced ham over a crepe. Grill until the cheese has melted and bubbly and fold in half. Similar concept as cheese quesadilla.
- Smoked salmon and cream cheese: Spread a thin layer of cream cheese over a crepe. Top with smoked salmon and fold in quarters or roll up.
The Best Homemade Crepes
For the Crepe Batter (I use a kitchen scale to measure the weight)
- 1 cup cake flour (You can use all-purpose flour, too; if you use a measuring cup, follow this method: Fluff your flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and use a knife to level it off. Otherwise, 1 cup of flour will end up weighing more than 120 g.)
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 2 large eggs (50 g each w/o shell)
- 1½ cups milk (whole or reduced fat; if you measure your flour with a measuring cup, this tends to yield more flour than if you measure with a scale, so you may need to adjust the consistency of the batter with additional milk)
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter (melted; melt the butter in a microwave or a small saucepan)
For Cooking the Crepes
- 1 Tbsp neutral oil (for cooking crepes; you can also use butter, but make sure not to burn it before adding the crepe batter to the pan)
For Fillings/Toppings (Optional)
- confectioners’ sugar
- maple syrup
- chocolate syrup
For Fresh Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- Gather all the ingredients. It’s very important to let the milk and eggs come to room temperature. If you’re in a hurry, you can microwave the milk to room temperature and place the cold eggs in lukewarm water. I share a lot of tips and techniques in my blog post, and I encourage you to read them before you start making the crepes.
To Make the Crepe Batter
- In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- In a separate medium bowl, beat the eggs with the whisk until smooth.
- Add about one-third of the milk to the eggs and beat well. Add the remaining milk in two parts, whisking it all together.
- Add one-third of the egg/milk mixture into the flour and gently whisk to form a smooth paste.
- Add half of the remaining mixture and whisk until completely incorporated.
- Add the rest of the mixture and whisk to combine until it becomes a smooth batter. Optional: If you’re making the crepe batter ahead of time, you can cover and refrigerate it at this point.
- Add the melted butter to the mixture and whisk to combine. Do not overmix the batter. Important: The batter must be at room temperature. If the batter is cold, the fat in the butter will solidify and make the batter grainy.
To Cook the Crepes
- Heat a 10-inch (25-cm) crepe pan (or regular pan) over medium heat. When it’s warm, lightly grease the pan with oil using a silicone brush or paper towel. Make sure you don't see any oil streaks left on the pan. If you do, wipe off the excess oil with a paper towel. Tip: Splash a small amount of water into the pan to see if it makes a sizzling sound. If the water dances around, the pan is hot and ready!
- Pour ⅓ cup batter into the center of the pan and swirl it around the pan to evenly coat the surface. Tilt the pan steeply so that most of the batter spreads from the center to the rim.
- Then, rotate the pan to spread the batter around and distribute it evenly. If you see any small holes, shake the pan vigorously side to side to fill up the holes while the mixture is still runny.
- Cook the crepe until the batter looks dry on top and the edges begin to brown, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Slide a long cooking chopstick (or a long, skinny metal spatula or an offset spatula) under all sides of the crepe, loosening it from the bottom of the pan. If you have a non-stick pan, your crepe may slide around.
- After you slide the chopstick under the crepe, raise it up in the middle and flip it over. You can use your fingertips to flip it, but I use the chopstick and turn my wrist to flip the crepe (see the video).
- Cook the other side for 15-20 seconds until golden brown.
- Slide the chopstick under the crepe again, raise it up in the middle, and transfer it to a plate, with the bottom side (the pretty side) facing down.
- Repeat with the remaining batter, adjusting the heat if the crepes are cooking or browning too fast. Important: Remove any crumbs in the pan and lightly grease the pan before you start another crepe. If the crepe gets stuck and burnt on the same spot, wash the pan and start over again.
- Use the crepe as desired (see below for some ideas) and serve immediately. To make fresh whipped cream: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream and sugar on medium-high speed until medium peaks form, about 3-4 minutes. Medium peaks are between soft peaks and stiff peaks and are the perfect consistency for topping and piping on desserts. Use immediately or cover tightly and chill in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
- To Make a Lemon Sugar Crepe: Sprinkle sugar on a crepe and squeeze some lemon juice on top.
- Fold the crepe into quarters, garnish with lemon slices, and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
- To Make a Nutella Banana Crepe: Spread a crepe with Nutella and put some banana slices on top.
- Fold the crepe into quarters, drizzle with chocolate syrup, and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
- To Make a Japanese-Style Crepe: Put some freshly whipped cream on a quarter of a crepe and place some slices of strawberry and banana on top of the whipped cream.
- Drizzle some chocolate syrup and fold the crepe in half.
- Roll up the crepe into a cone shape starting from the filling side.
- You can also wrap the crepe in a sheet of wax paper (here's a similar kind). Place the crepe on one corner.
- Fold up the bottom corner and roll it up.
- Cover the crepes with an inverted plate and store them in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. You can pop them in the microwave and reheat for 2 minutes until warmed through.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on April 15, 2011. The post has been republished with new images, a new video, and a revised recipe.