German Pancakes (Pfannkuchen)

by heikes3
German pancakes, Pfannkuchen

German pancakes, Pfannkuchen

This is one of my family’s absolutely favorite dinners. Yes, we eat breakfast for dinner – pancakes, or as they are called here, German Pancakes. Some people just know pancakes (American style) and crepes (which this type belongs to). So, from now on I will refer to them just as pancakes instead of Pfannkuchen. I am not using German here, so … go with the flow.

The following recipe is formula based and makes about 3 pancakes per person. I also dabble in variations of it as it is a very forgiving kind of recipe. The only problem you could have is that it could be too thick and would not spread enough in the pan, thus yielding thicker pancakes. The first one is the tell-tale one with which you can adjust your batter. Just add more liquid if need be! My pancakes usually turn out to be about 1/8″ to 1/6″ thick, NOT paperthin like crepes. They have some meat to them, like a good old German gal 😉  Today, I had some sourdough left over, so I substituted that for part of the flour and milk. It made for a very aromatic, light pancake. Sometimes, I use hazelnut meal or almond flour for about 1/3 of the flour. Depending on what flour you use, you might need to add a bit more milk as already mentioned above. On with the recipe:

German Pancakes (Pfannkuchen)


Ingredients formula per person (use this measurement per person you are making pancakes for):

1 egg

1/2 cup of flour  – KA white whole wheat flour (my personal favorite), all-purpose flour or your own concoctions

1/2 cup of milk

dash of salt

baking spray

Divide egg-whites and egg-yolks. Place egg yolks in a large bowl and add flour, milk and salt. Stir until no lumps are left to a smooth batter. Beat the egg whites in a narrow, tall bowl until soft peaks form. Fold them into the batter until you do not see any more white, but the batter is light and fluffy.

Heat a large frying pan over medium heat – more pans if you are making this for more than one person!!! My favorite pan for this is my cast iron pan, with a 10.5″ diameter and only 3/4″ sides, but I also get great results in my big straight sided stainless steel frying pan. Spray the bottom of the heated pan with baking spray and add about 1/3 cup of dough. Now quickly pick up the pan and swirl it around so that the dough covers the bottom of the pan to make an 8 or 9″ pancake. No worries, they don’t have to be perfectly round! Readjust the heat setting to slowly cook the pancakes for about 3 minutes. Flip them on the other side when the bottom is light brown. Keep them on a big plate covered with a kitchen towel. I have to admit that I usually bring the pan to the bowl with the batter so that I can swirl as I am pouring it into the pan.

pancake with Nutella, Anna

Anna enjoys her pancake with Nutella

What to eat with these pancakes: We always have all kinds of jams, applesauce (homemade) and cinnamon sugar, Nutella, honey and sugarbeet syrup (Kraut) piled on the table.  To properly eat these pancakes, put one on your plate, top it with a bit of your favorite sweet all over and roll it up. Now, either pick up the roll and take your first bite or cut the roll into strips. However you like it, enjoy!

Guten Appetit!

Guten Appetit!


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