German Pancake, or It’s Alive! It’s ALIVE!

4 Feb
German Pancake

German Pancake

Perhaps the most exciting thing I did with my week off from work last week was buy a new set of cast iron skillets. One man’s pathetic is another’s bliss, so save your barbs. I effectively got them seasoned, and then annoyed anyone who would listen to me talk about the beauty of cast iron cooking.

Really, the main reason I wanted the skillet set was to try the old German Pancake I’d wanted to do for some time now. It’s certainly possible in an oven-safe nonstick pan, but it isn’t nearly as authentic.  Also referred to as the Dutch Baby, the German Pancake fascinated me for the pictures it begets alone, taste be damned. From what I had read, this cake did things when heated that rival the old “marshmallow in the microwave” (ever try that?). It’s every bit as cool to watch in person as it looks in pictures.

And I wasn’t the only one fascinated by the unusual impact of the heat on the batter, as the picture of the boy indicates.



There is absolutely nothing difficult about preparing these. Your hardest decision might be around what to do with them for topping, be it berries or syrup or whipped cream or whatever else. For my money, I’m looking forward to trying this again in savory form. This was so embarrassingly simple that I have little else to say. I’ll let the embedded pics do the talking.


Pants: I was on the verge of rejoining civilization again with the start of my new job, so some practice in decorum was in order. So, yes.

Planning: Just making sure the skillet was properly seasoned.

Gathering: Nothing except for fresh berries.

Execution: Easiest yet.

Toppings in wait

Toppings in wait

Results: Pretty great, and really a bit lighter than they may seem on paper. Maybe not light in calories, but rather in flavor, meaning the topping becomes vitally important. That’s not a bad problem to have if you’re wise with your choice of toppings.

Crossover Potential: Sweet or savory, any topping will do.

The cakes recipe:

  • 2 large eggs (cage-free)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (organic)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk (organic)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ~3 Tbsp. unsalted butter (organic)
  • Powdered sugar (organic)
  • Fresh berries
  • Lemon wedges
  • Fresh whipped cream (half-pint heavy whipping cream with a tablespoon or two of sugar beaten on high until, well, whipped)
  1. Radness


    Preheat oven to 450 degrees

  2. Place empty skillet in preheat oven for 10 minutes
  3. While skillet is preheating, mix all ingredients (except butter, powdered sugar, lemon wedges, whipped cream, and berries) and beat on medium for about 5 minutes–it will get very thin
  4. Remove skillet from oven and melt 2-3 Tbsp. butter, swirling the skillet to coat the bottom and sides as completely as possible
  5. Pour batter into skillet and return to oven for 10 minutes, or until the top has ballooned and starts browning (make sure to take in the spectacle, too)
  6. Remove from oven and immediately squeeze a lemon wedges or two over the top; sprinkle with powdered sugar as well
  7. Cut into wedges, top with berries and whipped cream, serve alongside an additional lemon wedge in preferred, and enjoy

Note: I had some seconds (and thirds) with maple syrup, and liked that every bit as much, if not better


4 Responses to “German Pancake, or It’s Alive! It’s ALIVE!”

  1. Amber Cummer February 4, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    This one was fun. Loved the process and watching it bake. Definitely needs sweetness on top, syrup or something. Yummy.

  2. Shirley Green February 4, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

    Sounds delicious

  3. Susan February 4, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

    The pancake looks awesome but how did you season your new pans?!?!?

    • The Griddler February 4, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

      Spent about an hour scrubbing the pre-seasoning from the pans, then oiled and baked them to re-season…just so I could say I seasoned them myself. It was time to find employment again, clearly.

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