A tender, custardy batter envelops maple-soaked apples in this easy Apple Dutch Baby Pancake recipe. It's a simple recipe that's perfect to make on a lazy fall morning.
What is it?
A Dutch Baby Pancake is an American recipe rooted in German cookery. A thin, eggy batter is poured into a hot pan, and placed in the oven. As it bakes in the hot oven, the pancake puffs up - resulting in a light, souffle-like one-dish breakfast recipe.
While the name suggests that Dutch Babies are Dutch in origin, they're related to the German recipes pfankuchen and apfelpfannkuchen, both of which were popularized by German immigrants to the United States. These German Pancakes quickly became popular because they're delicious and easy to make, but it's a restaurant in the Pacific Northwest that popularized the term "Dutch Baby."
In this version, maple-sweetened apples bring a little life to the traditional recipe. This Apple Dutch Baby Pancake recipe is simple and easy to make, with a lightly sweet flavor. It's delicious when you serve it with a mug of coffee or hot black tea, and my children like it partnered with mulled apple cider.
Why this recipe works
- When the thin, creamy batter hits the hot skillet, it instantly cooks the base of the Dutch baby. Then all you need to do is transfer it to the oven.
- Cinnamon, brandy, and apple cider vinegar amplify the flavor of the apples, giving the pancake a deep, resonant apple flavor.
- The apple slices soften to a beautiful consistency when cooked in ghee and maple syrup.
- It's easy to make, and everything comes together in a single pan. It's a lot less effort than making individual sourdough pancakes.
The ingredients for this Apple Dutch Baby Pancake recipe are simple and straightforward. Milk, eggs, and flour form the foundation of the pancake. Apples, maple syrup, and cinnamon transform a basic Dutch baby into something truly special.
- Flour helps bind the ingredients for the pancake batter together. We like to use einkorn flour. It's an ancient variety of wheat with a rich flavor and high nutrient value. It also makes delicious, tender pastries and pancakes.
- Eggs give the batter structure and help it to puff and hold form. Pasture-raised eggs are perfect, as they have the best flavor and the highest micronutrient content.
- Milk provides the liquid portion of the batter. Grass-fed whole milk works best in this recipe, but you can use alternatives in equal portions.
- Apples give the Dutch Baby its flavor, making it a perfect fall fruit recipe.
- Ceylon cinnamon (also known as true cinnamon) lends an element of spice to the apples, although cardamom, nutmeg, and allspice would work well in its place, too.
- Ghee is a type of clarified butter popular in Indian cookery. It has a smooth, almost nutty flavor and is perfect for sautéeing the apples. It works better than melted butter, because of its high smoke point.
- Maple syrup lends a pleasant, woodsy sweetness to the apples. You can also use brown sugar, too.
- Apple cider vinegar and brandy amplify the flavor of apples so that your Dutch Baby has a deep apple and resonant apple flavor.
This is a simple recipe that's easy to make. You only need a single pan, and it's easy to whip together for breakfast while you warm up some tea or fry some bacon. But there are a few tips to keep in mind.
- Letting the batter rest helps hydrate the flour, producing a tender, delicate custard-like pancake.
- Getting the pan nice and hot with plenty of ghee helps ensure a good, puffy rise from your Dutch Baby.
- The pancake deflates pretty quickly after you take it out of the oven.
- You can easily swap other fruit for the apples, depending on what's in season. Pears, peaches, and even berries can be nice.
Variations + Substitutions
Swap all-purpose gluten-free flour mix for einkorn flour. You may need to adjust liquid ingredients or cook time.
Use sprouted whole-grain flour for a deeper flavor and a boost of fiber and minerals.
Make it dairy-free by substituting coconut oil for the ghee and a milk alternative, such as light coconut milk, for the whole milk.
When apples are out of season, try the recipe with peaches, plums, pears, or berries. These fruits will work better with vanilla extract or even almond extract than brandy and apple cider vinegar.
Some evidence suggests that the name "Dutch" refers to its German origins - and is a mispronunciation of the word "Deutsch."
Other evidence suggests that Manca's Café (a popular restaurant in early 20th-century Seattle) popularized this style of pancake, and named them "Dutch Baby Pancakes."
No. This is a recipe where timing matters. It tastes best and provides the most visual interest when you serve your Apple Dutch Baby right away, as soon as it comes out of the oven.
You can store leftovers in a tightly-sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Warm them in the microwave or oven.