This easy crepe recipe delivers crepes that are paper-thin and perfectly lacy. Add any sweet or savory filling of your choice for the ultimate treat.
Crepes (or Pannekoek as it is known in South Africa), have been engraved into my memories. This is one of many foods South Africans turn to when they need comfort. And almost everyone I know craves pannekoek filled with cinnamon sugar when its raining. Our mothers raised us to crave the warmth of cinnamon wrapped in a delicate crepe when it’s miserable outside. And I’m doing exactly the same with my kids.
But crepes are more than just a vehicle for spiced sugar, they are fantastic in many different ways. Filled with caramel (dulce de leche) or Nutella and sliced bananas, strawberries and whipped cream or a savory filling such as spiced mince (ground beef) or bacon, these lacy lovelies are always a good idea.
I found this easy crepe recipe handwritten in one of my gran’s old cookbooks with many, many oil stains and splatters next to it. The mark of a well-loved recipe. It’s the only one I use and delivers perfect, paper-thin crepes every single time.
How to make crepes
This recipe makes anything from 20-40 crepes, depending on the size of your pan. Therefore I prefer using a large mixing bowl and a whisk but if you’d rather use a blender, simply halve the quantities in the recipe. Whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt together. Pour in the water, eggs, oil and vinegar. Whisk well until the batter is smooth. Heat a crepe pan or skillet (you can also use a non-stick frying pan) over medium heat. Brush melted butter or oil into the pan and wipe out with a piece of kitchen towel.
Holding the pan by the handle with your non-dominant hand, pour a ladle-full of batter into the pan starting from the center, slowly turning the pan to coat the bottom of the pan in an even, thin layer. Place back on the heat and allow to cook for 30 seconds – 1 minutes or until the edges start curling up. Carefully slide a palate knife or spatula underneath the crepe and flip over. Cook for another 30 seconds then set on a plate. Repeat until all the batter has been used. Fill with your filling of choice and serve.
Can you freeze crepes?
Yes, crepes freeze very well. Layer cooked crepes with wax paper or parchment paper then place in a freezer safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw completely before warming and serving.
Crepe filling ideas:
- Cinnamon sugar.
- Sugar and fresh lemon juice.
- Nutella and sliced banana.
- Caramel/Dulce de leche and sliced banana.
- Whipped cream and berries.
- Apple pie filling, served with ice cream.
Savory crepe fillings:
- Spiced ground beef (similar to what you would serve in Sloppy Joes).
- Bacon and cheese.
- Creamed spinach.
- Filled with seasoned, shredded chicken then covered in cheese sauce and baked until golden brown.
- Buttermilk pancakes
- Easy and healthy banana oat pancakes
- Wholewheat pumpkin pancakes with salted caramel
Easy crepe recipe
- 4 cups water room temperature
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons caster sugar
- 1 cup oil
- 4 teaspoons white vinegar
- 8 eggs
- 4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, whisking well to ensure there are no lumps. Allow to stand for 15 minutes covered.
- When you are ready to make the crepes, mix the batter again and if it’s too thick, add a bit more water. It needs to be quite thin, only a little thicker than pouring/heavy cream. You’ll see if you make the first few if the batter is too thick, the crepes need to be very thin and almost lace-like.
- Heat the pan over medium heat. Brush with oil or melted butter and wipe out with a paper towel. You don't want the crepes to fry, the oil just acts as non-stick.
- Add ladle-fulls of the batter to the pan and allow to cook before flipping. Keep the crepes warm on a plate set over a pot of simmering water.
- When you're ready to serve, fill with your choice of filling.