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When I discovered how easy it was to make an apple pancake at home, the angels sang. Trust me, you can do this, too. And it all started as a pipe dream from childhood.

Homemade apple pancake. Just like the pannekoeken from the Dutch, this protein heavy breakfast is made in a cast iron skillet and is ready in about a half hour. Fairly low in sugar, this is a great twist on breakfast for dinner and an easy recipe to make.

An apple pancake is one of my favorite foods, but I never dreamed I could make it at home. I was so very wrong.

Growing up in Minnesota, there was a breakfast restaurant we loved going to anytime we could. The food was fantastic, but as a kid the best part was the waitresses.

Pannekoeken was their specialty in the Dutch restaurant featuring delft blue kitsch everywhere, a baked apple pancake crispy and soft, sweet and delicate – all at the same time. When you ordered a pannekoeken, the waitresses ran through the restaurant with it held high in the air, yelling, “Pannekoeken!” as they delivered it.

As good as the pannekoeken were, the fun of watching the order delivered made it even more special. On lucky days, my mom let me add cinnamon ice cream to the top of my pannekoeken.

Most times, I had my pannekoeken plan, but it remains fantastic even without the ice cream. Save your calories where you can, right?

I’ve been working on pantry cooking lately, as I’ve been too busy to go grocery shopping as often as I usually do. One night when trying to figure out dinner, I had no protein left in the house but eggs. I’d pretty much decided to have breakfast for dinner, but I didn’t want pancakes again.

That’s when inspiration struck. I remembered the apple pancake from my childhood. Pannekoeken was just what we needed.

Enjoy your own homemade apple pancake in a cast iron skillet

That was months ago, and I’ve played and tinkered with the recipe a lot to find what works best for us. I found I didn’t need as much sugar as I thought (yay!).

I decreased the butter, too, which made it less greasy than my first couple attempts (greasy but yummy). And now? My apple pancake is easy to make, perfect for a weeknight dinner. The eggs provide protein, and there’s little enough sugar that we all feel good about eating it.

Delicious apple puff pancake recipe

Best of all, just like the original Pannekoeken, I can switch up the flavors. Yep, there’s a sour cherry puff pancake recipe coming soon, too. Plus, this bakes in my cast iron pan, further justifying my need for this tool to my husband who resists yet another kitchen gadget!

Homemade Dutch Apple Pancake

How To Make A Restaurant Quality Apple Pancake At Home

Turn oven to 400 degrees, but do not wait for it to preheat.

Add butter to your cast iron pan and place in the oven to melt while you prep the apples. Slice the apples fairly thinly; we do 16 slices per Granny Smith. Once the apples are ready, remove the cast iron pan from the oven and add brown sugar.

Stir to distribute at the bottom of the pan, and layer apples over it. Sprinkle one tablespoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, plus a hint of nutmeg over the apples and return the cast iron skillet to the oven. Note that it is still preheating at this point. Set timer for 10 minutes.

Melt butter then add brown sugar to cast iron skillet

While the apples bake down a bit, make the batter for the apple pancake.

Add flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to a bowl and whisk to combine. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly and pulling flour from the edges to the center gradually. This helps ensure you don’t have lumps. Add vanilla, then one egg at a time, whisking between additions.

Continue whisking for two to three minutes. You want the batter foamy and airy. Let the batter rest.

Easy batter for homemade apple pancake recipe

By now, the oven should be fully preheated. Remove the apples from the oven when the timer goes off. Immediately pour the batter over the apples and return the skillet to the oven.

Bake for another twenty minutes. The of the apple pancake will puff up, especially around the edges. It should be golden brown. Slice and serve immediately.

Homemade apple pancake pannekoeken

Have you ever had an apple pancake? Did you know you could make them at home?

Apple Puff Pancake

Apple Puff Pancake

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This easy recipe comes together in about a half hour. An apple pancake makes a great presentation and is perfect not just for breakfast but for breakfast for dinner, too!

Ingredients

  • 4 T butter
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 2-3 Granny Smith apples
  • 2 T sugar, divided
  • 3/4 t cinnamon, divided
  • 1/4 t nutmeg
  • 3/4 c flour
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 c milk
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 5 eggs

Instructions

  1. Turn oven to 400 degrees. Add butter to your cast iron pan and immediately place in the oven to melt while you prep the apples.
  2. Slice the apples fairly thinly; we do 16 slices per large Granny Smith. Once the apples are ready, remove the cast iron pan from the oven and add brown sugar. Stir to distribute at the bottom of the pan, and layer apples over it. Sprinkle one tablespoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, plus a hint of nutmeg over the apples and return the cast iron skillet to the oven. Set timer for ten minutes.
  3. While the apples bake down a bit, make the batter for the apple pancake. Add flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to a bowl and whisk to combine. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly. Add vanilla, then one egg at a time, whisking between additions.
  4. Continue whisking for two to three minutes. You want the batter foamy and airy. Let the batter rest.
  5. Remove the apples from the oven when the timer goes off. Immediately pour the batter over the apples and return the skillet to the oven. Bake for another 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven when the pancake has puffed and the edges are a golden brown. Slice and serve immediately.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 298 Total Fat: 12.8g Cholesterol: 179mg Sodium: 240mg Carbohydrates: 37g Fiber: 2.6g Sugar: 22g Protein: 8.6g
This site uses an outside source to provide nutrition. If you need exact details, please calculate yourself.

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    Comments

  • Betty


    When I make my Dutch Baby Pancake I cook the apples, butter,brown sugar & seasonings on top of the stove, before I start making my pancake batter, (1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup milk, 3 eggs & a splash of van. extract)Then , while heating oven up , I also put 1/2 stick butter in cast iron skillet. Once the butter is sizzling I pour the batter in & bake about 17 to 20 minutes (keep an eye on it, as some ovens vary, might be done before 17 mins.). Remove from oven and place the cooked apples on top of puffed pancake with whipped cream or cool whip. You can use peaches or any fruit, or just powdered sugar dusted over top. YUM!

    • Michelle


      That’s similar to doing it in the oven, and it all works. My cast iron would never fit just three eggs though. Fortunately, this version is just right to feed my family, and it sounds like you have exactly the recipe that works for you!

  • Betty


    Michelle, Actually I have made the Dutch Baby with only 2 lrg. eggs……comes out exactly the same, puffs up just as high.Your Dutch Baby looks so yummy!, So, like you said ….whatever works for for each of us.The first time I made this the recipe called for sugar in the batter, & each time my crust would stick, there was definitely enough butter, so it wasn’t that. I decided to leave off the sugar and also cut back on the butter. Wala! No more sticking, & also no extra butter “floating” around the pancake.I have made savory Dutch Babies, but I pre cook whatever is going on top. I have pics of them, but don’t know how to put them here. This is just my way of making DB. You have some great recipes, so keep em’ coming!

  • Lana


    What size is your skillet?

    • Michelle


      Oh that is a really good question! There are different skillets and sizes. The one I have is a “full size” one that measures 10″ in diameter. I hope that helps!

  • Laura


    Ok, this recipe just made my day. We loved the pannekoeken restaurant growing up! A few years ago I tried a pannekoeken at some other breakfast place and it was so sweet and cinnamomy, it was terrible. I’ve played with the ingredients over the years too because it’s just so good, and easy! I always make it like you, with the apples in the bottom of the pan, not as a topping, because that’s how the restaurant made it! Thanks for helping me relive my childhood this morning. Now, to go make some pannekoeken for breakfast!

    • Michelle


      Yes this is exactly how they made it, and I love that someone else knows about Pannekoeken! I hope you enjoy this as much as we do.

      • Pam Staples


        Another MN Girl here…

        I absolutely loved the Pannekoeken House! Although, I loved the plain Pannekoeken filled with Vanilla Custard and Banana’s. My dad loved the Apple Pannekoeken with the Ice Cream.

        I’ve made them a few times but they’ve never been exactly what I remember. Now that I’m adult, I’ve come to appreciate the Cinnamon & Apple.

        I’m looking forward to giving this recipe a try.

        • Michelle


          Cinnamon apple was always my favorite. And I so miss Pannekoeken – it was a family favorite. This is the closest I’ve come to finding a replacement, and we love these. I hope you will, too!

  • Caryn


    I live in MN and have been craving a Pannekoeken lately! I was looking for a recipe with apples to make for breakfast tomorrow! Perfect. If you are ever in the area there is still one restaurant left in St. Louis Park, MN :0)

    • Michelle


      Oh I’ll be in Minnesota again – I have such a craving for so many things – from pannekoeken to Fair food (mmmmm Sweet Martha’s!) I hope this is a recipe you enjoyed!

  • Christina


    Thanks for the recipe! It was delicious. I made with margarine, vanilla soy milk and used 2 eggs and 3 egg whites.

    • Michelle


      I’m so glad you liked it! My family absolutely adores it, and I love hearing that other enjoy it, too.

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