Pancakes, the ultimate comfort food
Who doesn’t love a good pancake? Seriously, I don’t know of anyone.
As I’m sure was the case for many of you, they were a staple growing up, with my mother whipping them up on random occasions for lunch or dinner and me enjoying them 'the German way' as in topped with strawberry jam, chocolate spread or, my favourite, with apple slices and cinnamon.
However, there is a big difference between American and German style pancakes (Pfannkuchen). Let’s investigate in more detail:
American style pancake:
- smaller in diameter
- thicker (using rising agents like baking soda)
- doughy texture not unlike doughnuts
- smooth surface, evenly browned
- thick batter (fewer eggs / less milk), not very runny
- usually served in stacks with runny sauces on top
German style pancake:
- wider in diameter (as wide as the pan allows)
- flat (no rising agents are used)
- slightly chewy, elastic texture similar to French crêpes
- uneven surface, with darker and lighter areas
- runny batter (more eggs / milk)
- usually served individually, toppings like jam etc can be spread, pancakes can be rolled up.
Today, I want to show you my favourite: German pancakes with apple slices, sugar and cinnamon!
However, the base recipe remains the same if you want to have them plain or prefer a different topping.
And if you omit the sugar, you can use the batter recipe for a savoury version, like for instance ham and cheese or mushrooms like I did here:
Equipment you will need
To get the batter perfectly smooth without any lumps and without tiring yourself out, you will need a hand mixer*, an immersion blender* , or, like I use, an electric stand mixer* with whisk attachment.
You will also need a (10") non-stick pan* .
The ideal size for this recipe is a cooking surface diameter of 8”, so in most cases a 10” frying pan, as they are measured at the (wider) top.
With such a pan, this recipe will yield 6 pancakes.
What you need to know:
The important parts of this recipe is getting the ratio of flour / liquid / eggs correct. It’s always 1 part flour to 2 parts liquid, and 1 egg per 75g (0.6 cups) of flour.
As for the liquid, you can use milk or 2/3 Milk and 1/3 sparkling water, which is supposed to make the dough a bit lighter (make sure to add it in right at the end to avoid beating out all the air bubbles).
Flipping the pancake
This is a major point of anxiety for many people - but it doesn’t need to be. You can use one of two simple methods:
- with one or even two silicone turners* (as to not scratch the non-stick surface of your pan), slide under the pancake and flip them over
- cover the pan with a 10” or bigger plate (right side facing down), grab yourself some oven mitts* and flip pan and plate around, then slide the pancake off the plate and into the pan
Your call: do you prefer 'American pancakes' or 'German Pfannkuchen'? And what are your favourite toppings? I am looking for some more inspiration. Please comment below!
German style pancake with apple slices & cinnamon
German pancakes are an easy meal that the whole family will enjoy. They are done in under half an hour. Follow this easy step-by-step instruction on how to make 'Pfannkuchen with apples and cinnamon'.
Fact SheetCategory: breakfast Cuisine: under 30 minutes Breakfast German Low fat Vegetarian Baking under 1 hour Cooking Method: frying Diet: Low Fat Low Salt Vegetarian Preparation Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes Servings: None
- For the batter
- 225g (1 3/4 cups) soft wheat flour
- 300ml (1 1/4 cups) milk
- 150ml (0.6 cups) sparkling water
- 3 eggs
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 TBSP sugar (omit if making savoury pancakes)
- For the topping:
- 1 large or 2 medium apples (peeled)
- 1 TBSP sugar
- 1 TBSP cinnamon
- For frying:
- 3 tsp neutral oil (1/2 tsp for each pancake)
- Combine the ingredients for the batter and mix until you have a smooth and runny batter. If using sparkling water, add this right at the end to avoid beating out the air bubbles.
- Set batter aside while you prepare the apple: peel, remove core, cut in 1/16” (2mm) thin slices.
- Combine sugar and cinnamon.
- Heat a 10” pan on medium heat, brush with 1/2 tsp of vegetable oil.
- Ladle 1/6 of the batter into the pan and swirl pan around until the surface is evenly coated with the batter (approx. 4mm or 1/8”).
- Place your apple slices in the batter - you can get creative with a pattern if you want
- Sprinkle 1 tsp of the sugar/cinnamon mix powder over the top
- Once the dough is cooked through from below, flip the pancake over and let cook for another few minutes, until the sugar on the apples is caramelised .
- Plate and enjoy while warm.