The Authentic French Crêpe Recipe
This easy crêpe recipe makes thin and flexible crepes with a restaurant-level quality. It’s an easy recipe, made with simple ingredients, and ready in minutes.
I’m a crepe expert because I’ve spent years making crepes in our family restaurants in the foothills of the Vosges mountains. So you can trust that this recipe has been tested many times over!
I am a French girl born and raised in France, so I am a fan of authentic French recipes and truly French crepes.
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.
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
Add the flour, eggs, salt, vanilla extract, melted butter, and sugar into a large mixing bowl.
Use a whisk or an electric mixer to gradually beat the milk until a smooth batter forms with no lumps.
A crepe batter 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.
Tips For Perfect Crepes
So what are the tricks on how to make a perfectly thin and crispy French crepe? Let me tell you my secrets.
Choosing The French Crepe Pan
The skillet 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 pan for the 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 circular motion 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 a 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 in 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.
Cooking The Crepe
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.
How To Fold A French Crepe
After you cook 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 you 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 authentic 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!
Sweet French Crepe 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 and bananas are often associated with chocolate spreads or cooked apples with cinnamon and sugar.
- Spirit – French crepes with Grand Marnier are very popular. It is a crepe filled with crystal sugar and 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. Try my Crepe Suzette Recipe for all the details!
- Whipped cream or cream cheese
Savory Crepe Fillings
If you prefer your crepe savory, there are many ways of making a delicious salty breakfast or lunch with this recipe.
Prepare your crepes and fill them with:
- Smoked Salmon, Crème Fraiche, and Dill: place the salmon and crème on your cooked crepe while still on the hot pan, fold the sides, and add the dill just before serving.
- Bacon, Sour Cream, and Onions: Cooked the bacon on another pan, spread the sour cream on the crepe, add the bacon and sliced onions. Cook for about a minute and serve.
- Ham and Cheese: Place some of your favorite cheese on the crepe still on the hot pan, add a layer of sliced ham, and spread some more cheese. Fold the crepe in half and cook for another minute.
- Egg Crepe: Prepare a sunny side up egg, place it on the crepe (still on the pan), and add a touch of bearnaise sauce or my 3-Ingredient Alfredo Sauce.
- Mushroom Crepe: This is my favorite version. Prepare my Mushroom Sauce and pour it on the middle of the crepe, cook for another minute, and serve hot.
Frequently Asked Questions
Find below my answers to the most common questions on this crepe recipe.
French people eat crepes anytime for afternoon tea, birthdays, and 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 six people to sit around the table, and everyone can cook their 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 favorite crepe fillings.
You can make the French Crepe Batter with a blender instead of using an electric beater. Make sure to blend on low or medium speed.
Yes, you can make this crepe recipe without a mixer, it works just as well with a hand whisk.
The best crepe recipe must make soft, sweet, flexible crepes with a hint of vanilla and a neutral taste to accommodate all fillings.
I strongly feel like this recipe is the best. I’ve never tried one that makes French crepes as authentic as this one.
And I know I’m not the only one with more than five hundred 5-star ratings, you have decided this is the best recipe!
Making a crepe cake with this recipe is very simple! Stack eight to 10 crepes and add any of your favorite fillings in between them.
You can then top them up with fresh fruits and a raspberry jam.
This recipe is perfect when filled with sweet ingredients, but you can absolutely make a version with savory fillings for brunch.
Add spinach, pan-fried mushrooms, grilled chicken, tomato slices, and fresh cheese like ricotta for delicate savory crepes.
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 eat 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.
More Crêpe Recipes
If you like simple, healthy, authentic crepes recipes, you’ll also love these:
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