Monday, December 9, 2019

Oma's German Pancakes

German pancakes are thicker than crepes but thinner than American pancakes. They’re easy to make, and once you know how, you won’t even need to measure the basic ingredients of flour, milk, and eggs. You can just gauge whether the batter is the correct density. The trick is to use a nonstick or well-seasoned pan. If you don’t have one, you can still make them, but you’ll likely need more oil.

I grew up eating these for dinner. My mom would serve a big salad and then the adults would eat a pancake filled with some kind of cooked vegetable. Not me! Hehehe. I went straight for the sweet stuff. Note that there is no sugar in these pancakes, so they work well with sweet or savory fillings.

No strawberries or whipped cream on hand? Use the trick of German Omas (grandmas) and spread with your favorite jam. They’re delicious with maple syrup, too, but I always enjoy them with fruit. If it's just me, I skip the whipped cream. In the photo above, they're served with strawberries and cooked frozen peaches.

Oma’s German Pancakes with Strawberries and Whipped Cream

This recipe makes approximately 3–4 pancakes. Double the amounts for 7–8 pancakes.

16 ounces strawberries
¼ cup sugar

Wash, hull, and slice the strawberries. Sprinkle with ¼ cup of sugar, turn a few times to spread the sugar, and let sit while you make the pancakes.

Sweetened Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
⅓ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat the cream until it begins to take shape. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until the cream makes a firm peak.

Oma’s German Pancakes (Pfannkuchen)
1-2 tablespoons or more oil (mild-flavored olive or canola)
2 large eggs
pinch of salt
½ cup milk
½ cup flour

Pour the oil into the pan and heat over medium heat. Crack the eggs into a medium bowl and whisk lightly. Add the salt and the milk and whisk. Add the flour and whisk until smooth.

Use a nonstick or well-seasoned pan to cook the pancakes. Heat the pan over medium heat and add the oil. As the oil warms, lift the pan and rotate to spread the oil around the pan. When the oil is hot, pour batter in the pan about five inches in diameter. Lift the pan, slant it, and rotate so that the batter runs around the edge of the pan’s base. Set the pan back on the burner. Lift the entire pancake with a thin spatula (Oma likes to use a super-thin cookie spatula) and flip. When the underside is done, remove from the pan and serve.

Place the pancake on a plate. Spoon the fruit in a line near one side. Roll the pancake up so the fruit is in the middle. Garnish with additional fruit and a dollop of whipped cream.
Alternatively, spread a thin layer of your favorite jam or preserves on the pancake and roll it up. Sprinkle the top with a pinch of sugar.

Whisk the ingredients.

This is the Julia Child omelet pan. Nicely seasoned.
Swirl the pan to spread the batter thin.
Let your strawberries weep.

Fill the pancake and roll up.



  1. Thank you for this recipe. My grandmother who was german also made a similar pancake. They were so delicious. Hope you have a happy week.

  2. Very pretty presentation.

  3. My grandmother used to make these! It was my favorite dinner (along with a bowl of her potato soup.) She filled them with cottage cheese mixed with sugar and cinnamon and more sugar sprinkled on top. My grandmother was Hungarian (my grandfather was German) and they make a similar pancake called palacsintas. But we always called them German pancakes.