An easy crepe recipe with a thin, flexible texture and crispy edge like the authentic French crepe you will eat in France. Undoubtedly the best crepe recipe, made with simple ingredients.
What are the best crepe ingredients to use for a thin, crispy crepe to eat for breakfast? Full list of crepe fillings to enjoy with an Authentic French crepe from Brittany.
French crepes, anyone? I am a French girl born and raised in France, so I am a fan of authentic French crepes. This recipe makes Authentic French crepes as you would eat in Paris or anywhere in Brittany.
Why are crepes important to French culture?
Each year on February 2 is what French people call ‘La Chandeleur’ – Candlemas in English – or the day when a whole country eats crepes! It is a tradition, and most French families will be eating French crepes for the occasion.
No one knows for sure why crepes are associated with a once-religious holiday, but there are a few hypotheses.
It is possible that crepes – essentially large and thin pancakes – symbolize a round, yellow sun coming back after the winter.
Another possibility is that it’s around that time that winter wheat harvests happen. If flour was made in too large batches, making crepes was a way to use it.
It is such a deeply rooted tradition that I still make crepes on that day even though I moved to New Zealand years ago. The tradition says that we must eat them only after 8 pm.
Well, nobody waits until that time. Trust me. Everyone starts eating them at breakfast. So now, you probably want to know what exactly is an authentic French crepe, right?
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Well, there are actually two authentic French crepe recipes depending on the filling you are going to use.
Sweet crepes or savory crepes
Yes, it’s typically French to serve sweet crepes for breakfast or snacks. But, savory crepes are also served in the French Brittany region as a meal filled with eggs, ham, and cheese. However, savory crepes are made with different flour.
- Sweet crepe recipe – thin, golden in color, and made of all-purpose white wheat flour.
- Savory crepes – thicker, heavier, grey-brown in color, and made of buckwheat flour. Try my buckwheat flour crepes to make a savory crepe recipe.
How to make a French crepe recipe
It’s very easy to make a crepe batter crepe. All you need are 6 ingredients, a mixing bowl, a whisk, and a non-stick crepe pan.
French crepe ingredients
Following is the full list of ingredients to make your perfect French crepe:
- All-purpose flour – this refers to white wheat flour. Other options are white spelt flour or white whole-wheat flour.
- Whole milk or skim milk for a lighter crepe. It will result in crispier crepes. You can also use dairy-free milk alternatives like almond milk, but it makes the crepes slightly crispier.
- Melted butter – you can make crepes without butter. Simply replace with melted coconut oil or olive oil.
- Sugar or sugar-free alternatives like Monk fruit crystal sweetener or erythritol.
- Vanilla essence – most often, the crepe batter is flavored with vanilla extract or orange blossom flower water.
Making the crepe batter
Beat eggs with milk, vanilla, and melted butter. Then stir in flour sugar salt until it forms a smooth crepe batter. Of course, a crepe batter recipe is always thinner than a pancake batter recipe, and that’s normal.
Let the batter rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, warm the non-stick crepe pan.
Are French crepes healthy?
They’re not low in carbs, that’s for sure! French crepes are made with refined white-wheat flour, sugar, milk, and all these ingredients are high in carbohydrates and sugar.
However, it is a traditional recipe, and as a French person, I am proud to host this on my low-carb recipe blog to remember my roots.
Healthy French crepes alternatives
I know it is not the healthiest recipe in the world, and since I eat low-carb now, I created my own low-carb crepe alternatives. Traditional French crepes don’t taste like eggs.
However, low-carb crepe alternatives have a stronger egg flavor. So if you don’t mind the carbs, stick to this recipe. Otherwise, have a look at my low-carb crepe recipes below.
How to make Authentic crispy crepes?
So what are the tricks on how to make a perfectly thin and crispy French crepe? Let me tell you my secrets.
French crepe pan
The pan you use makes a big difference in how the crepe will cook and how thin you can spread the batter. You must use a non-stick crepe pan for best results.
It will work in a regular pan, but you will never get such a thin crepe. Otherwise, use a pancake griddle, but it is more difficult to create beautiful round-shaped crepes on a griddle.
Spreading the crepe batter
It takes time and practice to perfectly tilt the pan in a circle movement to spread your batter evenly around the pan.
First, I recommend pouring no more than 1/4 cup of crepe batter. Next, make sure the crepe pan is very hot – preheat over medium heat for few minutes.
Then, tilt and swirl the pan in a circular motion at the same time you pour the batter – as you see me do on the picture above.
The faster you tilt and rotate the pan, the better the crepe batter spread. As a result, it will cover the crepe pan surface with a thin layer that results in the most beautiful thin and crispy French crepes.
Once the crepe is lightly brown, use an offset spatula to loosen the sides and flip the crepe. Finally, keep cooking the crepe on the other side for 1 minute.
Store the cooked crepes on a plate and repeat with the remaining batter.
That’s all you need to know to make the best French crepe – the same Authentic French crepes you will eat in France.
When do French people eat crepes?
French people eat crepes anytime for afternoon tea, birthdays, breakfast but always with many friends or family members. We invite friends to crepes parties all the time.
French loves eating crepes as a social thing. In France, some families have a crepe-party maker that allows 6 people to sit around the table, and everyone can cook their own small crepes in front of them.
It is a fun simple food that gathers everyone around the table and welcomes creativity as anyone can add their own favorite crepe fillings.
French crepe sweet fillings
The most popular French crepe fillings are not quite healthy as French people love sweet crepe recipes! But you can put any number of toppings on a French crepe. The typical amount is 1 to 4.
1. A Spread
The most commonly used on their own or associated with other ingredients are:
- Icing sugar
- Sugar or erythritol for a sugar-free topping
- Jam – strawberry, blueberry, apricot, or use my sugar-free chia seed jam for a healthier twist
- Fruit puree – often apple compote
- Honey or maple syrup or sugar-free syrup
- A chocolate spread – Nutella is the most popular chocolate hazelnut spread sold in France. For a healthier sugar-free Nutella, check out my sugar-free Nutella recipe.
- Peanut butter – homemade or natural peanut butter.
2. Dry ingredients
- Sliced almonds
- Sugar or powdered sugar
3. Other sweet crepes fillings
- Fruits – fresh fruits like fresh berries, bananas are often associated with chocolate spreads or cooked apples with cinnamon and sugar.
- Alcohol – French crepes with Grand Marnier are very popular. It is a crepe filled with crystal sugar then covered with the French spirit Grand Marnier. The crepe is then flambeed and served hot. It is a very spectacular dessert in French restaurants. Other alcohols used in crepes are Cognac in combo with apples.
- Whipped cream or cream cheese
How to fold a French crepe?
After you cooked the crepe, bring it to a plate, add fillings and toppings and fold it.
Most French people roll their crepes, and we eat them with our fingers. Restaurant chefs folded crepes in a triangle shape. But whether if fold or roll, always add the fillings in the open crepes.
Then put the crepe back into the pan to melt and warm the filling before folding and serving them. Here you go! You now know everything about true French crepes!
However, don’t hesitate to ask me more by leaving a comment! I will love to help you design your best crepe parties!
More crepe recipes to try
I hope you enjoyed it as much as I do this best crepe recipe in the world!
French Crepe Recipe
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- 1 ¾ cup White Wheat Flour
- 3 Eggs
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- 1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract optional
- 1 teaspoon White Sugar optional
- 2 cups Milk
- 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter melted or vegetable oil of your choice
- In a large bowl, add the flour, eggs, salt, vanilla extract, melted butter, and sugar if used.
- Using a whisk or electric mixer, beat in the milk gradually until a smooth batter forms with no lumps.
- Heat a lightly buttered crepes pan over medium/high heat.
- Pour or scoop the batter onto the pan, then tip and rotate the pan to spread the batter as thinly as possible.
- Cook until lightly brown on both sides - about 1-2 minutes on each side and serve hot with your favorite fillings.
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