The best thin Dutch pancakes recipe (pannenkoeken)

Posted: January 13, 2024
The best thin Dutch pancakes recipe (pannenkoeken)

In the Netherlands we love our classic thin Dutch pancakes, or as we call them: pannenkoeken. Do you love pancakes? Then you need a good basic recipe! With this recipe you can make a whole stack of delicious pancakes in no time.

American pancakes versus thin Dutch pancakes

Where American pancakes are thick and fluffy, classic Dutch pancakes are very thin. Think crepe like thin.

Dutch pancakes are also large, they usually have the same size of a dinner plate. And when you visit a Dutch pancake house or restaurant (yes, they exist!), they are even bigger and are being served on very large plates. You can order all kinds of flavors, sweet pancakes and savory pancakes.

Difference between French crepes and thin Dutch pancakes

When I bake Dutch pancakes, they are very thin. I like that best. Most people bake their pancakes a bit thicker. A French crepe is generally thinner than a Dutch pancake. But I’ll have to say mine are very close.

Another difference is that crepes are usually a bit smaller than Dutch pancakes.

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Dutch baby pancakes versus thin Dutch pancakes

The final comparison, I promise. Although Dutch baby pancakes sound very Dutch, you’ll barely see them in the Netherlands. They actually origin from Germany. Somewhere a long time ago, the German word ‘deutsch’ was turned into Dutch.

But is a Dutch baby pancake recipe anything like the traditional Dutch pancakes? No, they are not. Dutch babies are a mix of a pancakes and a souffle, very light and fluffy. Dutch thin pancakes are as flat as can be.

Another recipe in the pancake category that is Dutch: Dutch mini pancakes. They are similar to these classic thin pancakes. I can really recommend my recipe for Dutch mini pancakes (poffertjes).

How to flavor the pancake batter

It is an easy recipe to vary and make all kinds of different flavors of pancakes. You can flavor the thin batter yourself, but it’s also great for making your pancakes luxurious with toppings. The recipe card below just shows the basic ingredients to make plain pancakes. I mostly make those and add flavor by adding toppings. But you could also add flavors in the beginning, by change up the batter a bit.

If you want to flavor the batter, there are multiple options. I name a few of my favorites:

  • Adding some extract to the batter. You can use vanilla, almond, lemon or anything else you like. Instead of lemon extract, lemon juice is possible as well.
  • Add some cinnamon to the batter, it’s delicious.
  • You could also swap out the milk for almond milk for example. This way, the pancakes are dairy free as well.

Baking Tip: I prefer to use a pancake pan with a little butter in it. I have something similar like this crepe pan that works on all heat sources. You could also use a cast iron skillet or frying pan.

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Different pancake toppings

The most popular toppings for pancakes are ‘stroop’ and powdered sugar. Stroop is somewhat similar to maple syrup, which you could use too. I’ll share some of my favorite pancake toppings and will divide them by sweet and savory.

Sweet pancake toppings

The most simple topping is powdered or icing sugar, but you can add everything you like! I like fresh berries on my pancake a lot.

  • Powdered sugar
  • Stroop
  • Maple syrup
  • Caramel sauce
  • Chocolate sauce
  • Brown sugar
  • Chocolate sprinkles
  • Fresh fruit
  • Lemon curd
  • Ice cream (make a dessert out of it with ice cream, whipped cream and fresh fruit!)
  • Apple (bake the apple slices with the batter in the pan)

Savory pancake toppings

When I eat pancakes, I always make one with Dutch cheese. It’ so good. But bacon ánd cheese might be even bettter. You can add the topping to a plain pancake, or you can bake the toppings with the batter.

In the case of cheese bacon pancakes, I always put some bacon in the pan and bake for a few minutes. Then add the batter and put cheese on top. After you flip the pancake and bake the side with cheese, you will have a crispy side. I’m drooling while I write this. I need to make these pancakes soon!

  • Cheese (I like Dutch cheeses, like Gouda. But you can even use Brie if you want)
  • Cheese AND bacon
  • Bacon
  • Bacon combined with apple slices (a perfect salty and sweet combo)
  • Mushrooms, bell pepper, bacon and onion, or in other words: the farmers’ pancake! (The ‘boeren pannenkoek’ is a real classic)
  • Pizza pancakes! I make them with tomato sauce, salami and cheese.

These are just a few of my favorites. The list could be at least 10 times longer, there are a lot of options.

Another tip: instead of using the ingredients above as toppings, you could also incorporate them in the batter. When you bake a pancake batter with savory fillings, they will be a bit thicker.

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Questions about thin Dutch Pancakes

Can I use a different kind of flour?

Yes, I have made them with whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour.

You could even use buckwheat flour to make them gluten-free. It’s possible you have to add a bit more milk to have a thin enough batter.

Can I make dairy free pancakes?

Of course, you can swap out the milk for almond milk for example.

How thin should Dutch pancakes be?

I bake mine almost as thin as a crepe. But it’s fine to make them slightly thicker.


thin dutch pancakes

Print recipe

4.86 from 14 votes

Dutch pancake recipe

Do you love pancakes too? Then you need a good basic recipe! With this recipe you can make a whole stack of delicious pancakes in no time.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Servings: 18 pancakes


  • 600 grams of all purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1.5 liters of milk
  • Pinch of salt


  • Combine the eggs and milk in a large bowl. You can use a hand or stand mixer, but a whisk works just as well. Gradually add the dry ingredients (flour and pinch of salt) while continuing to whisk. Make sure there are no lumps in the batter.
  • I personally prefer to bake the pancakes in a skillet with a little butter. I find that works best and the butter makes them even tastier. You can also use oil or baking spray if you feel more comfortable.
  • Using a ladle, scoop enough batter into the center of the pan on medium heat and spread it all over the bottom by taking the pan off the heat for a moment and using a twisting, tilting motion. When the top of the pancake is dry (after 1-2 minutes), flip the pancake with a spatula and bake the other side until golden brown. Remember: the first pancake will almost always fail. But enjoy that one as you bake the rest.

This recipe is great for variation. For example, I love pancakes with bacon and apple or just bacon and cheese.
How to store

Here at home, we are all big pancake lovers and we always make the whole recipe. We never get them all done, but we do enjoy a pancake for breakfast or lunch the next day. Dutch pancakes can be stored for 2-3 days in the fridge.

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