Friday, May 7, 2010

"Cake Pan" Dutch Babies by Cleo Coyle

Looking for a fun breakfast or brunch? A Dutch Baby, also known as a Bismarck, German Pancake, or David Eyre's Pancake is a lovely idea. (Eyre said he found the recipe in a 1919 cookbook and Craig Claiborne popularized it by printing it in The New York Times back in 1966.) This giant pancake is quick, easy, dramatic (and thus fun for kids). I actually call it my "Poor Girl's Soufflé" because the ingredients are so common, the method so simple.

There are many variations of this pancake out there. Some recipes tell you to use a blender. In my opinion, you don't need one. A hand whisk is all I've ever used to blend ingredients. Some recipes tell you to use a big, cast iron skillet. You don't need one of those, either.

While I often use an *oven-safe* skillet for this recipe, I began to worry (as I considered this post) about the occasional cook out there who may not have a truly oven-safe skillet in his or her cupboard.

Because a Dutch Baby is really just a giant popover, there is no artificial leavening (baking powder or soda). A preheated pan in a very hot oven is what makes the pancake rise (via steam), and there are far too many pans out there that are not oven safe (their handles, for instance, will melt in a very hot oven).

What to do? Well, I reasoned that almost every kitchen has a cake pan in its cupboard and cake pans are certainly safe to place in a screaming hot oven. Hence the unique "Cleo" name of my recipe for you today...

Cleo Coyle's
"Cake Pan"
Dutch Baby

For a PDF version of this recipe that you can print, save or share CLICK HERE

Makes 1 giant Dutch Baby pancake for a 9-inch cake pan


2 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk (or whatever you have on hand - I've used lowfat and half-and-half!)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (feel free to experiment with other flavorings: cinnamon, vanilla or almond extract, orange zest, or my "Cappuccino" Dutch Baby, see below**)
3 Tablespoons of butter (salted or unsalted, I've used both)

Finish with:

Classic topping: Lemon juice from freshly cut lemons
and confectioner's (icing) sugar (see my "Coffeehouse" musings on this flavor combination at the end of this recipe :-)

Other topping ideas: Maple syrup, fruit syrup, honey, whipped cream, fresh berries, yogurt, or a squeeze from an orange wedge


Step 1 - Screaming hot oven: First place a cake pan in your oven. Then preheat your oven to 450° Fahrenheit. (Note: If you have an older oven, you may need to preheat your oven for a good 30 minutes to get a true reading of 450°-- to read my post on whether your oven is lying to you, click here.)

Step 2 - Whip up batter: Using a simple hand whisk, blend your eggs, milk, flour, salt, and flavoring(s). Set aside.

Step 3 - Melt the butter: When your oven is fully preheated and your cake pan hot, put on an oven mitt and remove the cake pan from the oven. Throw in your 3 Tablespoons of butter and quickly swirl the pan so the butter does not brown or burn. When most of the butter is melted (not all just most), pour in your Dutch Baby batter.

Step 4 - Bake and serve: Place the pan bake in the hot oven and bake for 7 or 8 minutes. You may need an extra minute or two, depending on your oven. You should see a dramatic rise in the pancake as in my photos. Remove the pancake from the pan to a serving dish and finish with (depending on your flavorings...) a classic squeeze of lemon and a generous dusting of confectioner's sugar (aka icing sugar). Or you might be finishing it with a squeeze of orange and confectioner's sugar. Or a drizzle of sweet, warm maple syrup; your favorite honey; or whipped cream and fresh berries, or whatever strikes your gastronomic fancy.


**Cleo's Cappuccino Dutch Baby

In Batter Ingredients -

(Replace 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg with...)
3 Tablespoons cofectioner's sugar
1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon instant espresso powder

Finish with...

A dusting of 3 Tablespoons confectioner's sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Cleo's final
"Coffeehouse" musings...

The first time I tried a German pancake was years ago on a long driving trip with a group of friends across the state of Pennsylvania, where I was born and raised. We stopped at a pancake house, and my friends, who were used to pancakes with whipped butter and maple syrup, blanched at the thought of lemon and powdered sugar as a topping on any pancake. Are you kidding?

But this made absolute sense to me because I knew of old Italians who liked to drink their espressos with this flavor combo. They would rub the rims of their demitasse espresso cups with lemon, encrust them with granulated sugar (by inverting on a dish, just as you'd encrust the rim of a margarita glass with salt). They would then fill their cups with hot espresso and sip their java through the lemon-sugar. (BTW - This is not an authentic Italian method of drinking espresso. As far as I know, this lemon-sugar method arose among Italian-American immigrants.)

Consequently, the idea of lemon-sugar sounded wonderful to me. And it was :-) The classic lemon-sugar Dutch Baby topping is still my favorite. I find it so much lighter and refreshing than traditional maple syrup. My husband and I often share a big Dutch Baby in the morning, simply cutting it in two. You can also cut it like a pizza, into four wedges, and share it with others as part of a larger breakfast spread.

~ Cleo Coyle, author of 

To get more of my recipes,
enter to win free coffee, or
learn about my books,
including my bestselling
Haunted Bookshop series,
visit my online coffeehouse:

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the ten titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.


  1. Ohhhh....this looks so good. Perfect for Mother's Day, too! Cappuccino roast..mmmm. I like the "screaming hot oven," too! :)


  2. Your cappuccino Dutch Baby appears heart-shaped in the photo above. Knowing you, that was intentional. Gorgeous pictures, Cleo. Really mouthwatering recipe. I agree with E - "screaming hot oven" made me smile.


  3. Isn't it beautiful!! Love the pictures. And cappucino? Yum.

  4. These sound so yummy I think I'd have to make both of them at the same time. Lemon and powdered sugar is divine, but the cappuccino version really got my attention!

  5. Yum! I'll have to try this. And "screaming hot oven" made me smile too.

  6. Ooh, pretty (and now I'm hungry. Again. Drat!).

    I had a friend whose family had a Sunday morning tradition of making a Dutch Baby for breakfast--with the twist that they had to put in all their leftovers. Not always a big hit.

  7. Replies to --

    @Elizabeth/Riley - I had fun experimenting with the cocoa and coffee "cappuccino" flavor combo, and it's not bad, but (I must amdit) the classic lemon-sugar is still my very fave. Happy Mother's Day, E!

    @Julie - Thank you (as always) for the very kind words. I wish I could take credit for baking a heart-shaped Dutch Baby! Alas, I confess it is a mere trick of the photo and my hand position. The heartfelt sentiment, howevever, is definitely there. Have a great mother's day, Julie!

    @Avery - Thank you - and I hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day, too! :)


  8. Janel - I'm so glad you like the cappuccino idea. It will also work as a straight cocoa Dutch Baby so feel free to leave out the espresso powder. I'm betting a cluster of chocolate chips wouldn't hurt either -- and if you want to go choco-nuclear, try a finish of chocoalte shavings (or a light drizzling of warm chocolate syrup) and whipped cream. Thanks for dropping in, Janel. I'm always so happy to see dropping by our virtual *kitchen* :)


  9. Replies to --

    @Heather! - So nice to see you in our virtual *kitchen* - And, yes, I find "screaming hot" can be applied to oh so many things in life. Have a Happy Mother's Day, Heather! :-)

    @Sheila - LOL! Yeah, I have to agree - *some* leftovers would work. But others...I don't know. It reminds me of (way too many) times I've tried to "waste not" by creating new meals out of leftovers and ended up with trash-bin-worthy dishes. :) Thanks for dropping by our *kitchen* today, Sheila! I hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day.


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