If you've ever wanted to know how to make crepes, this easy French Crepes recipe results in the most wonderfully thin, delicate crepes that can be be made sweet or savory in a blender and served for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or dessert. They are even a great make-ahead option and freeze well! I'm sharing how to make crepes and all my crepe tips and filling ideas for the best French crepes!
The BEST Crepes Recipe (How to Make Crepes and Crepe Filling Ideas)
Our family has a serious obsession with homemade crepes, which you probably already know if you've seen these chocolate crepes or the adorable Christmas tree crepes that I make during the holiday season. But this is our go-to, favorite crepes recipe for the best French crepes in the world that are honestly even better than the ones we ate in Paris when we visited last year.
I remember my first crepe in Paris, standing underneath the Eiffel tower watching it sparkle more than 10 years ago when Paul and I were living in Europe working as interns for law firms during the summer after our first year of law school. It was such an amazing experience that we took our girls back last Spring when they were 6 and 4 to do it again. It's one of those blissful bucket list things that I recommend for anyone who loves both travel and food.
What is a Crepe?
Crepes are similar to pancakes, except thinner, more delicate, and larger than regular American pancakes. Also, rather than being topped with syrup, crepes are typically filled with either sweet or savory fillings and can be eaten for pretty much any meal or even dessert. Crepes come from France where they are so popular that there is even a special holiday in early February known as la Chandeleur, or Crêpe Day that is dedicated to the eating of crepes.
Unlike pancake batter, crepe batter doesn't include baking powder or some other leavening agent to make them fluffy and thick. I actually think crepes are even easier to make than pancakes because you literally just throw all of the ingredients into a blender and blend for a few seconds!
The trickiest part of making homemade crepes is learning how to swirl the pan to evenly coat the bottom in a thin layer of crepe batter. If this is your first time or two making crepes, just know that the first crepe that hits the pan might just be a throw away one (some people think of it as the sacrificial or tester crepe) since it can be tricky to make sure the pan is the right temperature and to flip that first crepe. But once you've got one or two under your belt, making classic, perfect crepes is a breeze.
You can get a real crepe pan (<-- affiliate link), which I highly recommend if you find yourself making crepes on a regular basis like we do, or just use a good nonstick pan, which works great, especially if you are new to making crepes.
Also, it doesn't matter what size pan you use, other than you might get a different yield from the same crepes recipe if you are making larger or smaller crepes. Mine is a 10-inch crepe pan so they are sort of medium-size crepes, which is great because then you can have more than one and fill them differently. But you can use a much larger pan to make larger crepes like the ones you see on the streets in much of France.
When pouring crepe batter into your crepe pan to create each crepe, you want enough to create a thin layer that just covers the bottom of the pan. I hold the pan handle in one hand and pour batter with the other, immediately tilting and swirling the pan to allow the thin batter to spread around the surface of the pan using gravity. It takes a little practice to learn to do this just so, but it's not that hard to master after just a few attempts.
If this is your first shot at making crepes, the following amounts will help you to know how much batter to pour depending on the size of pan you are using:
- 8-inch pan - slightly under ¼ cup of batter (more like 3 tablespoons)
- 10-inch pan - about ¼ cup of batter
- 12-inch pan - about ⅓ cup of batter
Crepes Recipe Ingredients
- Milk: You can use anything from fat-free to whole milk to make these crepes. You can also substitute almond, soy, coconut, or other plant-based milks, if needed, although they might affect the flavor somewhat.
- Water: Some crepes recipes call for only water and no milk, or only milk and no water, but I prefer the balance between the two.
- Eggs: 2 eggs is the perfect amount for the best texture and taste to these crepes.
- Flour: I always use all-purpose flour to make crepes, although in France, savory crepes are often made using buckwheat flour.
- Sugar: I use sugar in both my sweet and savory crepes, although I decrease it a bit for savory crepes.
- Butter: I use salted butter and love the rich, buttery flavor this adds to the crepe batter. It also helps the crepes not stick to the pan.
- Vanilla: Omit if making savory crepes, but it is an important flavor in this sweet crepes recipe.
How to Make Crepes
- Blend the batter: Combine milk, water, eggs, flour, sugar, vanilla, and melted butter in a blender and blend for about 10 seconds on low speed until combined. You may need to scrape the sides of the blender and pulse for a few more seconds. Ideally, let the batter rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour or up to 48 hours. But truthfully, I usually just let it sit long enough for me to wash and slice berries and whip cream, then proceed anyway because I'm impatient.
- Pour batter into a hot pan: Heat a crepe pan or nonstick skillet over medium heat, then lightly coat with butter if this is the first crepe you are making of the batch (no need to butter the pan between each crepe unless you have trouble with the subsequent crepes sticking). Slowly and steadily pour the batter into the pan, tilting and swirling the pan as you pour, to spread the batter into a thin layer going all the way to the edges of the pan. If you didn't add quite enough batter to cover the bottom of the pan, just pour in a little more to fill in the empty spots, or chalk that crepe up as less than perfectly round but still delicious enough to devour.
- Cook until lightly browned on both sides: Set the pan back over the heat to cook the crepe for about 30 to 45 seconds until there are no dry spots on top and the edges start to brown just a bit. Use a spatula to gently lift and flip the crepe to cook for another 10 to 15 seconds on the other side until it is lightly browned as well. If it is taking longer for each of your crepes to cook, chances are you either have the heat too low or you are adding too much batter to the pan, or a combination of the two, and you will likely end up with less delicate, more rubbery crepes.
- Stack the cooked crepes on a plate: I always stack my crepes one right on top of another on a plate, which keeps them all warm pretty well while I continue to cook the remaining crepe batter. But if you feel like they have cooled too much and want to serve warm crepes, just cover the stack of crepes with a damp towel so they don't dry out and microwave them for 30 seconds. Personally, I think crepes are just as delicious at room temperature or even chilled after storing in the fridge. And because of the butter in the crepe batter, I've never had a problem with my crepes sticking to each other enough to place a piece of parchment paper between each crepe, unless I'm planning to freeze them rather than eat them right away.
- Fill with nutella, fruit, whipped cream, etc.: There are so many wonderful ways to fill your crepes and I've included some of our favorite crepe filling ideas along with my crepes recipe below. Depending on your preference and how full you fill your crepe, you can either roll it up into a tube, or fold it into quarters and eat it that way. In France, you are as likely to eat crepes with your hands as you are with a knife and fork. It just kind of depends on how messy the experience will be based on how you choose to fill them.
You could also use a whisk to make the crepes, if you don't have a blender. It definitely takes more elbow work and you might end up with a few lumps in your crepes. Just whisk the flour with about half of the milk first to create a smooth, thick paste. Then whisk in the rest of the ingredients to create the crepe batter. A blender is much easier though, if you have one.
Crepe Filling Ideas
Filling crepes is most people's favorite part (aside from eating them, of course), and there are so many choices! This list isn't exhaustive, but these are all my best crepe filling ideas, pretty much all of which we have tried at some point or another, even though we have our favorites that we keep coming back to. I'm looking at you, Nutella.
Sweet Fillings for Breakfast or Dessert Crepes
- Nutella: Obviously. This is my family's favorite crepe filling, especially with fruit and whipped cream. I would have a mutiny on my hands if I didn't offer it at the table.
- Lemon and sugar crepes: This is a classic way of serving crepes in France and it's simply delicious. Just squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the crepe and sprinkle with granulated sugar, then roll or fold in half and then in half again. Sprinkle with more lemon juice and sugar, if you want (and of course we do, right?), then enjoy. So wonderful!
- Whipped cream
- Jam: Any flavor you like! I think apricot and strawberry are the best though.
- Chocolate sauce
- Fruit coulis or puree: Strawberry or raspberry coulis always go over especially well.
- Cream cheese & strawberries
- Fresh fruit: Whatever is in season is best, but bananas, strawberries, and raspberries are our favorites. Or peaches and whipped cream when peaches are in season.
- Pie filling: apple, cherry, and blueberry pie filling all taste wonderful wrapped up in buttery, delicate crepe blankets!
- Dulce de Leche
- Peanut butter
- Cookie butter
- Cannoli filling: Don't forget the mini chocolate chips!
- Cinnamon sugar: Like a churro but in crepe form.
- Syrup: Maple syrup is delicious, but coconut syrup, cider syrup, and buttermilk syrup are all amazing as well and deserve more attention!
- Chopped walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, or hazelnuts
- Lemon curd
- Ice Cream
Savory Crepe Fillings
- Pesto, Salami, Cheese, and Mixed Greens: There is a crepe booth at our local farmer's market that sells a crepe with these fillings that is to die for. It's become one of my very favorite foods!
- Fresh mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, and basil leaves: All the flavors of caprese salad wrapped up in a wonderful crepe!
- Scrambled eggs & veggies: This is our go-to breakfast crepe filling where I grab whatever veggies I see in the fridge - usually red peppers, green onions, and spinach - and saute them for a few minutes, then scramble up some eggs to go with them. It's wonderful wrapped up in a warm crepe fresh out of the pan.
- Ham & cheese
- Chicken & mushrooms
- Sauteed mushrooms
- Crispy cooked bacon
- A sprinkle of chopped fresh herbs with any of the above
- Grilled shrimp & cilantro
- Avocado & pico de gallo
We don't specifically make savory crepes as often, and will often just use the same sweet crepes filled with savory ingredients, especially if there are leftovers and I am using them up in my kids' school lunches. You can use the leftover crepes just like wraps or tortillas and fill with lunch meats, cheese, etc.
But legitimate savory crepes make a wonderful dinner. To make a savory crepe batter, use the same crepes recipe below, with the following adjusments:
- Decrease the sugar in the recipe below to 1 teaspoon and omit vanilla entirely.
- Add ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ cup of you chopped fresh herbs (chives are my favorite for savory crepes).
Troubleshooting & Tips for the Best French Crepes Recipe
Why are my crepes sticking to the pan?
If you have problems with your crepes sticking to the pan, it could be a few things. First make sure you are using a well-seasoned crepe pan or a nonstick pan. Also, make sure you remembered to add the melted butter to the crepe batter itself. Then add a little butter to the bottom of the hot pan before pouring in crepe batter in each time. I find it's easiest to take a cold stick of butter and just spread it on the bottom of the pan.
My last idea is that you are trying to flip the crepes too soon or cooking them at too low of a temperature. Once the first side has cooked for about 30 seconds and loses its glossy look, the crepe should flip easily with a spatula.
Should you rest crepe batter?
I mean, yes? Most crepe recipes say that you should rest the crepe batter for at least an hour. It supposedly helps the gluten develop and results in softer, more tender crepes that are less prone to tearing. Do I notice any difference between crepes made with batter that I blended up 10 minutes ago over batter than has been in the fridge for 1 hour? No, I do not.
That said, you can make the crepe batter up to 2 days in advance. Which is helpful if you are planning to double, triple, or quadruple the recipe and serve crepes for a brunch.
How do you keep crepes warm when cooked?
I don't recommend sticking the cooked crepes in the oven to stay warm because it can dry them out. Instead, I would cover the stack of cooked crepes with a piece of foil while you work. When all the crepes are cooked, cover with a damp paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds to reheat.
Why are my crepes rubbery?
Crepes can become rubbery when they are cooked at too low of a temperature for too long. The temptation is to cook the crepes over a lower heat for longer since they cook so quickly. But really you only need to cook each crepe for about a minute total over medium heat.
Can you freeze leftover crepes?
Leftover crepes will keep in an airtight container or ziploc bag in the fridge for up to 5 days. Or you can freeze them for up to 2 months. Slip a piece of waxed paper or parchment paper between the leftover crepes before freezing so they don't stick together. Thaw on the counter or in the fridge and reheat in the microwave for 15-20 seconds.
More Breakfast Recipes You'll Love
- Aebleskiver | Danish Pancakes
- Fluffy Toasted Coconut Pancakes
- Cinnamon French Toast Sticks
- German Apple Pancakes with Cider Syrup
- Copycat Waffle Love Liège Waffles
- Easy Belgian Waffles
Did you make this recipe?
Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup milk
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 Tablespoons salted butter, melted
- Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and pulse for 10 seconds until smooth. Let the batter rest for 10 minutes (or up to 48 hours in the fridge).
- Heat a crepe pan or nonstick pan over medium heat. You may need to add a little butter to the pan and swirl it to coat the bottom before cooking your first crepe.
- Pour about ¼ cup of batter into the hot pan, tilting and swirling the pan while pouring, to cover the bottom of the pan in a thin, even layer of crepe batter. Let it cook for about 30 seconds until lightly browned around the edges and the top has lost its glossy wet sheen, then carefully flip with a crepe spatula or other flat tool and cook on the other side for about 10 seconds. Remove to a plate and repeat with remaining crepe batter.
- Serve with your favorite crepe fillings.