Mini Dutch Baby Pancakes have to be the spiffiest spring breakfast out there, who wouldn’t leap out of bed for these little German pancakes filled with lemon curd and blueberries?
what you’ll need for a basic Dutch baby recipe
It doesn’t get much more elemental than this…
I used a tangy lemon curd for the filling
You can use a jar from the supermarket, or make your own. I made my own super quick and easy microwave lemon curd, which is made in minutes. My honey Meyer lemon curd is another good choice. I chose to add blueberries because the color combo is hard to beat.
Dutch baby faqs
A Dutch baby (aka German pancake, or Hootenanny) is like a cross between a popover and a pancake. It starts with a thin batter that puffs up dramatically in the oven. It can be sweet or savory. They’re often served for breakfast or brunch and are the perfect canvas for toppings of all sorts.
Dutch babies are made with a similar batter, but they’re baked in the oven rather than fried in a skillet on the stove top. They don’t contain a rising agent like baking powder, so they are less ‘cakey’ than pancakes. A Dutch baby has a lovely custard-like center.
You can serve them like you do pancakes, warm, with butter and maple syrup over top. Many recipes include special toppings like berries, whipped cream, etc.
Cast iron is ideal because it can hold high heat well, and for this type of recipe the batter should go directly into a screaming hot pan, then right into the oven. For my mini pancakes I’m using a cast iron muffin or biscuit pan. Do not use a traditional popover pan, because the wells will be too deep. You can use a regular muffin pan if you like.
Tips and troubleshooting for making Dutch babies
- Pre heating both the pan and the oven is important because you want the batter to hit high heat immediately to help it rise. But be sure your pan is clean, so residue doesn’t burn while the pan is heating. And don’t heat your pan longer than recommended in the recipe, because overheating can cause the melted butter to burn on contact.
- Cast iron is ideal for baking Dutch babies because it holds a high heat for cooking the pancakes quickly. Regular muffin tins will work, but you may need to experiment to find the best fit for this recipe.
- I recommend doing a test ‘baby’ to check the results in your pan and your oven.
- Expect the pancakes to come out of the oven looking wild and wooly ~ don’t be alarmed, that’s normal. They’ll immediately start to de-puff and sink a bit in the center, and that’s normal too.
- Just about every batch puffs a little bit differently, but they all taste great!
- After a minute or two of cooling get right to filling your pancakes. You want to serve them while they’re nice and warm.
I’m completely smitten with Dutch babies so keep your eyes peeled for more fun recipes ahead. I did a ‘mini’ experiment with several different toppings already:
- apple and caramel sauce ~ we’re going to play with this one in the fall.
- Nutella and strawberry ~ definitely happening in my kitchen again soon! If you have kids, start here.
- raspberry sauce with fresh berries ~ I used the raspberry sauce from my recent raspberry almond bars and the flavor is so bright and fresh.
more dramatic breakfast ideas
- Ottolenghi’s Red Pepper and Baked Egg Galettes
- Papaya Breakfast Boats
- Beautiful Breakfast Tart (Gluten Free)
- Lemon Yogurt Breakfast Cake (Ciambella)
- Glazed Old Fashioned Buttermilk Doughnut Bundt Cake
Mini Dutch Baby Pancakes
- Preheat oven to 425F. Set your oven rack to the middle and make sure there's plenty of room above it (don't set another rack on the next rung.) Slide your muffin pan into the cold oven when you turn it on.
- Add the milk. sugar, flour, eggs, 4 tablespoons of the melted and cooled butter, extract and salt into a blender. You can also use a food processor. Blend until smooth, this will take 15-30 seconds. Let the batter sit for 5-10 minutes.
- When the oven is at temperature, carefully remove the hot pan and brush each well with the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter (it will sizzle.) Immediately pour the batter into the pan, filling each cup about 3/4 full. Slide it back into the oven and cook for about 15-17 minutes, or until the Dutch babies are puffed and lightly golden. Note: if your muffin cups are smaller or larger than mine, your baking time can vary slightly. It helps to do a test.
- Let the pancakes cool briefly. They will sink as they cool, but that's ok, because that will give you perfect little indentations for your toppings.
- Top each pancake with a dollop of lemon curd and a few berries. Dust with powdered sugar just before serving warm with maple syrup.