A complete guide on How to make Easy French Crepes (Homemade Basic Crepes). A super easy recipe to make the best crepes that are soft, buttery, and delicious! Very versatile as a sweet or savory option for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or dessert!
A simple crepe recipe that is absolutely foolproof! Perfect for sweet or savory basic crepes.
- A simple crepe recipe that is absolutely foolproof! Perfect for sweet or savory basic crepes.
- What’s the difference between crepes and pancakes?
- How to make perfect French crepe batter
- How to cook perfect homemade French crepes
- Tips for making the best French Crepes
- How to store extra crepes, or make them ahead of time
- How to fill crepes (and other filling ideas)
- Frequently asked questions about making crepes
- EQUIPMENT & TOOLS I USED FOR THIS RECIPE
Soft, buttery, versatile, and maddeningly delicious, what’s not to love about French Crepes? Add this to your arsenal of easy recipes that will be loved by all!
What’s the difference between crepes and pancakes?
Crepes are the European cousin of American pancakes. They are larger, thinner and more delicate than pancakes, because the batter is also thinner with no leavening agent to give them any lift and make them fluffy like pancakes. They taste very similar to pancakes, but not as fluffy.
In the UK however, pancakes are similar to crepes, except they are a little thicker than regular crepes. But the batter for French crepes and UK pancakes is similar and has no leavening agent.
Most people make sweet crepes, but crepes can be savory too! Traditionally, crepes are made with buckwheat flour and filled with savory fillings (called Galette Bretonne). But you can make savory crepes with flour based crepes too.
Crepes do have a interesting history as well, which you can read about here.
Here I’m going to show you how EASY it is to make classic French crepes, and share some basic tips on making perfect homemade crepes! You’ll learn how to make sweet crepes or savory crepes, PLUS I will share ingredient substitutions to make crepes gluten free or vegan as well.
How to make perfect French crepe batter
Milk – Milk makes the difference for the flavor of the crepes. You can use 2% or full fat milk for best results. You can also use plant based milk instead. Water can be used as well, but I prefer to use milk or a mix of water and milk.
Eggs – I use large eggs. Each egg is about 52 – 55 g, without the shell.
Melted butter or oil – Butter is the best option for flavor, but you can easily substitute with oil as well. I like to add a little fat to the batter to make the crepes a little softer and a touch richer in flavor.
Salt – The crepes will taste very bland without salt. So make sure to add salt to the batter.
Sugar – Just a little bit of sugar helps balance the flavor of the crepes. But if you’re making sweet crepes, feel free to add more sugar to make the crepes sweeter.
All purpose flour – This batter only needs a little flour. Too much flour will thicken the batter and you won’t be able to cook nice, thin crepes. You can easily substitute the AP flour with wheat flour, buckwheat flour (traditional flour for savory galettes), or other GF flours.
Step by step instructions
Homemade basic crepes are ridiculously easy to make, and difficult to mess up. Really. The main ingredients for French crepes are flour, eggs and liquid (milk or water). According to Ruhlman, the ratio for these ingredients is 8 : 8: 4 (that is 8 oz of eggs or about 4 eggs, 8 fl oz of milk or 1 cup, and 4 oz of AP flour or scant 1 cup).
However, I find that this ratio gives me crepes that are a bit too eggy for my taste, so I add more milk and less eggs to my crepe batter.
So my ingredient ratio for crepe better is 6 : 10 : 4 (that is 6 oz of eggs, 10 fl oz milk, and 4 oz of flour).
There are two ways to make crepe batter.
With a whisk (in a bowl) or a blender.
With the blender, you can add all the ingredients and blend the batter until smooth. But with a whisk, there is a particular method in terms of how to mix the ingredients to prevent lumps.
Using a bowl and whisk
Whisk the mix with the salt and sugar. Add all the wet ingredients into a jug and stir to combine. Add about half of the milk mixture into the flour and whisk to create a smooth, thick paste. Only mix until the flour has no lumps. Add the rest of the liquids and mix in. This will ensure that the flour will not form lumps for the crepe batter.
Using a blender or stick blender
You can use a regular blender or stick blender. However, I prefer using a stick blender. Place all the ingredients in the blender, making sure to add the dry ingredients first at the bottom. Then blend for about 1 – 2 minutes until you have a smooth batter.
For perfect results, I recommend leaving the crepe batter to rest for a little while to allow the gluten to rest. You can even make the batter the night before and let it rest in the fridge overnight as well.
The crepes are then cooked on a skillet over medium heat, allowing the crepes to be cooked quickly. This quick cooking time allows your homemade crepes to be soft and buttery, without drying out.
How to cook perfect homemade French crepes
While there are fancy crepe pans in the market, you absolutely don’t need an expensive crepe pan to make PERFECT basic crepes. A regular non-stick skillet / pan works just as well. You could use a French skillet pan to make the crepes as well, just make sure to butter the pan well so that the crepes don’t stick. If you’re new to making crepes, a regular non-stick pan is the best option.
Here, I used a 10 inch pan to make 10 inch crepes. But you can also use an 8 inch or 12 inch pan, depending on what you have at hand.
As a rule of thumb, here are the measurements I use to make classic French crepes in different-sized pans.
- 8 inch pan – about 3 tbsp of batter (about 45 – 50 mL)
- 10 inch pan – about 1/4 cup of batter (about 60 mL)
- 12 inch pan – about 1/3 cup of batter (about 75 – 80 mL)
This is enough to create a thin layer of crepe batter on the bottom of each of these pans.
When the pan is hot, brush the surface with butter or oil. I prefer to use butter.
Add the measured batter into the pan. Swirl the pan as you add the batter. Work quickly to spread the batter evenly around the pan all way to the edges, so that you have a smooth edge. Continue to swirl the pan (and occasionally shake it gently), to move the batter around and fill the middle of the pan as evenly as possible.
Once the bottom of the pan is evenly coated with the batter, place it back on the heat and cook.
At this stage, you have TWO OPTIONS
- For extra soft crepes:
- Only cook the crepe until the surface of the crepe is set and there are no dry spots (only takes about 30 seconds). Then gently lift the crepe off of the pan (be careful as the crepe will be very soft), and flip it over to cook for just a few seconds on the other side, if you like.
- However, when I make crepes like this, I don’t cook the crepe on the second side at all.
- This crepe will have very little browning (if at all).
- This is how I cook crepes for Sri Lankan Fried Savory Rolls (Chinese Rolls).
- For more traditional crepes:
- Cook the crepes until the edges are starting to brown lightly, and they look a little crisp (about 40 – 50 seconds). Gently lift the crepe off of the pan, and flip it over to cook for about 10 – 15 seconds on the second side, until you have brown caramelized spots.
- This crepe will definitely have caramelization on both sides.
- These are the kinds of crepes that are made at creperies and used in typical French crepe desserts, like crêpes suzette for example.
After cooking the crepes, stack them up on a wire rack or plate and cover the homemade crepes with a clean cloth napkin. These easy crepes can be served warm or at room temperature with any kind of topping or filling. These really are delicious blank flavor canvases that can be served with so many complementary options.
Tips for making the best French Crepes
- By mixing only some of the liquid with the flour at first, you’re making sure that there are no lumps in your batter.
- Due to the high liquid to flour ratio, the flour shouldn’t develop too much gluten. But letting the batter rest at least 20 – 30 minutes before cooking will give you the best crepes that are soft, buttery and delicious! You can even let it rest in the fridge for up to 2 days.
- Use butter instead of oil to butter the pan. It adds a lovely buttery flavor to the crepes while preventing them from sticking to the pan.
- Cook with even, medium (to medium high) heat. Make sure that the pan is evenly heated and there are no hot spots.
- Use a measuring cup to portion out the batter for each crepe. This will ensure even thickness with each crepe.
- Use a rubber spatula to get under the crepe to flip it over and/or remove it from the pan. Start by loosening all around the edges first, before flipping over the crepe.
- Stack the cooked crepes on a wire rack, and cover them with a cloth napkin to prevent them from drying out.
How to store extra crepes, or make them ahead of time
I personally like to make the crepe batter the night before, and keep it covered in the fridge for the following morning.
However, you can make the crepes ahead of time as well. Plus, if you make extra crepes, you can store leftovers for a later date too. Here’s how.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Making crepes is a bit time consuming, so it’s definitely good news that you CAN make it ahead of time.
To store these crepes, I like to layer each crepe between parchment paper, then wrap (or cover) the whole stack with plastic wrap, and store in an air-tight container.
If crepes are exposed to air, they will dry out. So it’s important to keep them covered with plastic wrap to prevent this.
Keep these crepes in the fridge for up to 3 days, and you can preheat the crepes in batches in the microwave (parchment paper is microwave-safe). Make sure to set the microwave cook time to between 15 – 20 seconds at a time to prevent the crepes from over-heating and getting soggy.
Can I freeze crepes?
If you want to keep the crepes for longer than 3 days, then you can freeze them for later. When the crepes have cooled to room temperature, wrap them the same way as mentioned above, then place them in an air-tight container that is also freezer-friendly. This way, you can store the crepes for up to 2 months in the freezer.
Let them defrost at room temperature or in the fridge, and warm them in the microwave as needed.
When you’re ready to serve/eat the crepes, simply cover the crepes with another plate on top and microwave for about 30 seconds. The top plate allows the crepes to heat through steam, so that they don’t dry out. Remove the top plate as soon as you’re done microwaving so that the crepes don’t become soggy.
How to fill crepes (and other filling ideas)
You can use a variety of fillings for crepes! Make them into sweet crepes with sweet fillings and toppings OR savory crepes with savory fillings and toppings.
Sweet fillings and toppings
- Lemon and sugar
- Whipped cream and berries
- Cinnamon and sugar
- Roasted nuts
- Chocolate sauce or ganache
- Sweetened Greek yogurt
- Whipped cream cheese
- Banana and caramel/butterscotch
- Chocolate and strawberries
- Lemon curd, or passion fruit curd and whipped cream
- Ice cream, toasted nuts and chocolate sauce
Savory fillings and toppings
- Cooked meat (I love creamy chicken and mushrooms)
- Cooked seafood
- Bacon or ham
- Sauteed mushrooms
- Sauteed greens
- Cheese sauce or a béchamel sauce
- Herbed or spicy whipped cream cheese
- Ham and cheese
- Bacon and eggs
- Curried meat filling to make Sri Lankan fried savory rolls (Chinese rolls)
To fill crepes, you can either,
Place the filling in the middle, from edge to edge, and roll up the crepe into a tube with the filling in the middle. You can also top the crepes with a cheese sauce and grill it for a crepe casserole.
OR, place the filling only in the middle and fold over the edges of the crepe a little way towards the middle. This is what is done to make a crepe bretonne.
OR, spread the filling or sprinkle the filling over half of the crepe. Fold the crepe first in half, and again into quarters. This is what I did to make the lemon and sugar crepes below.
Frequently asked questions about making crepes
There are two reasons for crepes turning out rubbery – too much gluten (flour), or cooking the crepes too slow. My French crepe recipe eliminates these two problems!
With a liquid to flour ratio of 4:1 in this recipe, there’s no risk of the gluten in the flour being overworked because of the increased amount of liquid content. Plus, the resting time of 20 – 30 minutes for the batter also helps to keep the crepes soft.
With this recipe, your homemade crepes will NOT be rubbery. With a liquid to flour ratio of 4:1, there’s no risk of the gluten in the flour being overworked because of the increased amount of liquid content. Plus, the crepes are cooked over medium heat allowing them to cook quickly without drying out.
Yes, you can make gluten free crepes. Buckwheat flour (gluten free) is also commonly used to make crepes in place of AP flour. But you can also use all purpose gluten free flour. The crepes will be more delicate, but will taste much the same.
If you’re looking to make crepes with almond flour, then I highly recommend looking for a KETO crepe recipe on google, that has been tested with almond flour.
Yes you can! Substitute the eggs with almond milk (or a similar plant-based milk). For each egg, substitute with 1/4 cup of plant-based milk. I would also add about 1/4 tsp of baking powder. This is so that the leavening agent will mimic the slight lift the eggs will provide to give the crepes that soft mouthfeel.
You can also replace the milk and butter in the recipe as well. You can use almond milk, cashew milk, soy milk, or any plant-based milk and any plant-based butter to make these crepes. Some recipes even make crepes with just water, but I much prefer the added flavor of milk.
You can follow the crepe recipe in my vegan crepe cake recipe here.
Yes, you can make these crepes with self rising flour, but keep in mind that the crepes will be thicker, because the baking powder in the flour will create lift in these crepes. While they won’t be classic crepes, they will still be delicious!
If you prefer whole wheat flour over AP flour, you’re welcome to make this substitution. But do note that the batter will taste nuttier and not as smooth as crepes made with AP flour. The finer the whole wheat flour, the better the homemade crepes will be.
Absolutely! The batter can be made and stored in the fridge for up to 2 days. Basic crepes can also be made and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days or up to 2 months in the freezer. Follow my instructions in the relevant section in the post above to properly store these simple crepes.
If you liked these classic French crepes, then you my also like these classic recipes,
How to make perfect choux pastry
Homemade pancake and waffle mix
EQUIPMENT & TOOLS I USED FOR THIS RECIPE
Whisks – A good set of whisks is a must for all of your baking needs.
Blender – Any good blender will do. I use my Vitamix blender, which is a pretty powerful blender.
10 inch non stick pan – I used this non stick crepe pan for crepes, but you can use any non stick pan you have at home.
Flat spatula – to easily flip the crepes.
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Classic French Crepes (Basic Crepes)
Classic French Crepes
- 1 ¼ cup milk 10 fl oz
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tbsp oil or melted butter
- 2 tsp sugar for savory crepes, OR
- 3 tbsp sugar for sweet dessert crepes
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 4 oz all purpose flour scant 1 cup
- 2 tbsp softened butter or Oil. More as needed
Lemon and Sugar Crepes
- 1 – 2 lemons sliced thick or cut into wedges
- ¼ cup vanilla sugar
- Whipped cream
Mixing with a Whisk
- Place the milk and eggs in a jug/bowl. Whisk to combine (you should have about 2 cups of liquid).1 ¼ cup milk, 3 large eggs
- Add the oil or butter and whisk it in.2 tbsp oil or melted butter
- Place the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl.2 tsp sugar for savory crepes, OR, ½ tsp kosher salt, 4 oz all purpose flour, 3 tbsp sugar for sweet dessert crepes
- Add about ¾ – 1 cup of the liquid and mix gently to form a smooth paste. This should not take more than a few seconds. Take care not to over-mix.
- Add the rest of the liquid and mix to form a smooth, watery batter.
- Cover the batter and let it rest for at least 20 – 30 minutes. The batter can be kept in the fridge overnight as well (or upto 2 days)
Mixing with a Blender
- Add the ingredients into the blender. Add the flour last. Blend for a few seconds until you have a smooth batter. You can use a stick blender as well for this purpose.
- Cover the batter and let it rest for at least 20 – 30 minutes. The batter can be kept in the fridge overnight as well (or upto 2 days)
Cooking the Crepes
- Preheat a 10 inch non-stick pan over medium heat.
- Brush a layer of butter on the heated pan. I used a silicone brush, but you can use a butter soaked paper towel or cloth as well.2 tbsp softened butter
- Always mix the batter first, before you make each crepe. This is to make sure the batter is uniformly mixed.
- Pour ¼ cup of the batter into the hot pan, and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Swirl and spread the batter along the edge of the pan first and then fill the middle with the remaining crepe batter. Make sure the batter is as evenly spread as possible.
- Place the pan back on the heat to let the crepe cook.
- For extra soft crepes – cook the crepes only until they are just set at the surface (about 30 seconds) and there’s no browning on the edges. You can flip over the crepe gently, and cook for a few seconds on the other side (optional), or remove the crepe from pan and place it on a plate.
- For classic crepes – cook the crepes until the edges are starting to brown become a little crisp (about 40 seconds). Flip the crepes over and cook for a further 10 – 15 seconds on the other side until the crepes have caramelized spots.
- Repeat until all the batter is used up (remember to mix the batter each time).
- Stack the cooked crepes on a plate or wire rack.
- If the crepes are no longer warm when you're ready to serve them, place another plate over your stack of crepes and microwave for about 30 seconds until the crepes are warm. Then remove the second plate quickly so that the crepes don't become soggy with steam/moisture.
- Serve the crepes with any kind of filling you like. Or you can follow the steps below for lemon and sugar crepes.
Lemon and Sugar Crepes
- Place a crepe on a plate or flat surface.
- Sprinkle about 1 tsp of sugar over one half of the crepe and fold over in half. Then fold over one more time into quarters. Repeat with all the crepes.¼ cup vanilla sugar
- Serve the French crepes with fresh lemon slices (that can be squeezed over the crepes before eating), and whipped cream.1 – 2 lemons, Whipped cream
Tips & Tricks
“This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.”
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