These classic French Crepes are flavorful and tender, with a buttery-crisp edge. You can turn this easy, all-purpose crepe recipe into any meal: sweet or savory – breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
Easy Homemade French Crepes
Everybody knows that French Crepes are a special treat. But did you know that they’re also super easy to make? Like, easy enough to make any day of the week?!
If you’ve been intimidated to make crepes at home, hey, I used to be that girl too. But no longer. Once I actually made breakfast crepes for my family, there’s been no turning back. They are SO EASY! And SO GOOD!
Whether you want to add a little something special to your Mother’s Day brunch or just any ol’ day of the week, these tender, flavorful crepes are the answer.
They’re fabulous served simply with a dusting of powdered sugar, a scattering of fresh berries, and a dollop of whipped cream.
Or you can stuff them silly with a variety of delicious options, like my husband and daughters like to do. Nutella, whipped cream, and strawberries are always a sure bet. Or peanut butter, banana slices, chocolate chips, and a drizzle of local honey.
You can also go the savory route by adding ham, bacon, or prosciutto along with some cheese. And sautéed mushrooms for me, please!
Why You’ll Love This French Crepes Recipe
Tender and endlessly adaptable, this French crepes recipe is on regular repeat around here. Here are a few reasons why it’s a staple in our home:
- Versatile. This crepes recipe is delightful with either a sweet or savory spin. And while we most often think about them as a breakfast or brunch option, they’re also perfect for lunch or breakfast-for-dinner. You can also serve sweet crepes as the finishing sweet touch at a dinner party. And any leftovers turn into quick lunch wraps the following day.
- No special equipment required. You absolutely don’t need to buy a special crepe pan; we just use a large non-stick skillet!
- Easy to make. This truly is one of the easiest recipes around.
- Made from simple ingredients. You only need 5 common ingredients (and that includes salt!), so it’s always easy to make breakfast crepes without any pre-planning.
- Crepes feel special. Yes – while we may use familiar American ingredients to make French crepes, the finished product feels a bit more special than the pancakes we grew up with. Don’t get me wrong – we love pancakes. But for a special occasion like Mother’s Day, I’d vote for crepes.
What Are Crepes?
Think of crepes as very very thin pancakes, much more delicate than sturdy American pancakes.
As far as texture goes, crepes are more eggy, with a luxurious custard-like quality. Kinda like the inside of a popover, which I adore!
Pancakes and crepes are also served differently. Pancakes are typically enjoyed with butter and maple syrup, and the batter itself can have many variations, often with fruit folded in. Crepes, on the other hand, because of their more delicate structure, typically do not feature mix-ins in the batter – except for very small tidbits like grated cheese.
And you’ll most often see pancakes served sweet, while crepes crosses back and forth, with both sweet and savory options. I’ve included some sweet and savory suggestions below, under Variation Ideas!
Here’s a quick overview of the simple ingredients needed to make French crepes.
Scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post for ingredient amounts and full instructions.
- Milk – Milk thins the batter to create a pourable consistency. I use whole milk for added richness.
- Eggs – Eggs add rich flavor and that beautiful custardy texture. They also help bind the crepe batter together.
- Butter – Butter adds another layer of rich flavor to the crepes. It’s included in the batter and also melted in the skillet, which gives a beautiful golden exterior to the crepes. I use unsalted butter – if you use salted butter just slightly reduce the amount of added salt.
- Flour – Flour gives the crepe batter structure. Be sure to measure using the spoon and level method, so the crepe batter doesn’t get too heavy.
- Salt – A touch of salt is always welcome in a sweet recipe!
How to Make Crepes
You’ll find that the method for making this crepes recipe is very similar to that of making pancakes. Follow along with the instructions and photos below to help you make them perfectly:
- Combine the ingredients. In a large bowl, first whisk together the whole milk, eggs, and melted butter. Then whisk in the flour and salt until the batter is smooth and no lumps of flour remain.
- Rest the batter. If possible, rest the batter. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and place it in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes. This allows the flour to absorb the moisture in the batter which results in a thinner, more tender crepe. If you don’t have the time, no worries, your crepes will still be delicious. And the especially wonderful thing about this is that you can easily make the batter the night before, so the crepes are minimal effort for a lazy weekend morning.
- Heat the pan. Heat a 12” non-stick skillet or crepe pan over medium heat. Grease the skillet very lightly with melted butter. You could also use nonstick cooking spray, although this won’t give the crepes as much delicious flavor.
- Add the batter. Pour a scant ½ cup of batter into the center of the pan and then very quickly tilt the pan in a circular motion to spread the batter out to the edges. Keep tilting the pan until the batter spreads out and evenly covers the entire bottom of the pan.
- Cook the crepe on one side. Cook the crepe for 1-2 minutes, or just until the edges start to curl back and turn golden brown.
- Flip the crepe. Flip the crepe over and cook for another minute, or until golden brown, on the second side.
- Make the rest of the crepes. Repeat the process with the remaining crepe batter.
Tips for Success
These tips will help you achieve crepes success every time!
- Let the melted butter cool a bit. Melting the butter is essential for even fat distribution in the batter, but it will want to seize up when combined with the cold milk and eggs. So first thing, I like to melt the butter as gently as possible in the microwave, then set it in the fridge for a few minutes to cool it down just a bit.
- Rest the batter. For thinner, more tender crepes, cover the bowl of finished batter with a lid or plastic wrap, and set it in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes. This allows the flour to absorb the moisture in the batter. Not a requirement, but it does make a difference.
- Use a non-stick pan. While a specially designated “crepe pan” will help the crepes cook the most evenly, you can certainly use a large non-stick skillet to make French crepes. We use a large non-stick skillet, and it works just fine.
- Use a brush. To add butter to the skillet before adding the crepe batter, I like to melt a little butter in a small cup. Then I use a basting/pastry brush to quickly and evenly brush the bottom of the skillet with a thin layer of butter.
- Tilt the skillet quickly. When adding the crepe batter to the hot skillet, the batter will start to cook immediately. So you want to tilt the pan very quickly to get the thin batter spread out to the edge of the skillet as fast as possible. My first crepe didn’t look very pretty, but once I got the hang of it with a couple more, I was practically a French crepe master. It’s easy, I promise!
Crepes are so versatile! Here’s a long list of the ways you can serve your French crepes. Of course, you can mix and match these options too.
- Make sweet crepe batter. To make sweet crepes, add 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract to the crepe batter in step 1 above.
- Pile on the fruit. Add a handful of fresh blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or sliced strawberries (or a combination) to your finished crepes. Sweet and juicy summer peaches are delightful. And in the fall, when we make homemade applesauce, we like to top crepes with cinnamon honey butter and warm applesauce!
- Serve with whipped cream. My favorite! We most often enjoy crepes with whipped cream and fresh berries, but you could also add a super easy fresh fruit sauce, such as raspberry sauce or rhubarb sauce – or my bright strawberry freezer jam or raspberry blackberry freezer jam. Or spoon some hot fudge sauce or caramel sauce over the whipped cream to take it even further!
- Serve with ice cream. Top a stack of warm crepes with your ice cream of choice. Might I suggest this easy peanut butter ice cream or this delightful, gorgeous blueberry ice cream?!
- Fold in lemon or orange zest. Simply fold the zest of one small lemon or half of an orange into the batter, to infuse it with a touch of bright citrus flavor. So lovely!
- Spread with Nutella. Our daughters love crepes with Nutella, whipped cream (or whipped cream cheese), and strawberries.
- Spread with peanut butter. And my husband is all about the peanut butter. Crepes with peanut butter, whipped cream, a few banana slices, and a drizzle of chocolate syrup or honey – yep, that’s one of his faves!
- Do savory crepes. To make savory crepes, I like to add ¼ cup of finely grated parmesan cheese and 1 tablespoon of finely minced fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh thyme to the crepes. The cooked crepes can be filled with cheese, scrambled eggs, roasted vegetables, or cooked meat like grilled chicken, bacon, chopped ham, or prosciutto.
- Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese – Just spread a thin layer of cream cheese of the crepe, then top with smoked salmon. You could also add some pickled red onion. Then fold or roll it up!
What to Serve with Crepes
You can serve sweet or savory crepes on their own, using some of the variation ideas I’ve given above. But to round out your brunch or breakfast plate, try some of these suggestions:
- With meat. You can make savory crepes, then fill them with cooked meat like grilled chicken or crispy bacon for added heartiness. Use the method in this Grilled Chicken and Lemon Orzo Salad recipe for the best grilled chicken.
- With eggs. Try serving crepes filled with scrambled eggs or serve them with a heartier egg dish like this overnight egg bake or baked eggs with pancetta, provolone, and peas.
- Add a salad. You could go the simple route and add a spring greens salad with lemon poppy seed dressing. Or try my more filling arugula beet salad with goat cheese or broccoli salad or strawberry salad recipes.
- Vegetables are always great. Add grilled asparagus or a grilled vegetable salad to your brunch table. They’ll be perfect with French crepes.
- As a quick lunch. I always save leftover crepes and use them as wraps. I like to fill them with hummus or avocado, and any variety of ingredients we have on hand, for a light yet satisfying lunch wrap. My Homemade Red Pepper and Garlic Hummus is always delicious.
How to Store and Reheat Extras
Here’s the best way to store any leftover breakfast crepes:
- Fridge – Fold or roll any leftover crepes, place in an airtight container, and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- Freezer – Place a piece of parchment paper in between each crepe, place them in a freezer-safe baggie or container, and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge before eating.
- To Reheat – Place a crepe on a microwave-safe plate and gently heat in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. You can also reheat crepes in a frying pan placed over medium-low heat for about a minute on each side. This method will reintroduce a bit of that original texture to the crepe.
More Breakfast Ideas to Try
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- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted (plus more to grease the skillet)
- 1¼ cups whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon Morton’s kosher salt
- First, gently melt the butter in the microwave and set aside to cool – I place it in the fridge for a few minutes to speed up the cooling.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the whole milk, eggs, and melted butter.
- Next add the flour and salt. Whisk until the batter is smooth and no lumps of flour remain.
- Optional, yet recommended: If you have time, cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and place it in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes. This will help the flour absorb the moisture and result in a thinner, more tender crepe. If you’re short on time, skip this step – the crepes will still be delicious!
- Heat a 12” non-stick skillet or crepe pan over medium heat. Grease the skillet very lightly with melted butter or nonstick cooking spray. I like to dip a basting/pastry brush in melted butter to evenly coat the bottom of the skillet.
- Pour a scant ½ cup of batter into the center of the pan and then very quickly tilt the pan in a circular motion to spread the batter out to the edges. Keep tilting the pan until the batter spreads out and evenly covers the entire bottom of the pan.
- Cook the crepe for 1-2 minutes, or just until the edges start to curl back and turn golden brown.
- Flip the crepe and cook for another minute, or until golden brown on the second side.
- Repeat with the remaining crepe batter and enjoy. Check out the many variations below and in the post for how to make these into sweet or savory crepes.