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Easy Apple Puff Pancake – Living The Restaurant Life At Home

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.

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Delicious apple puff pancake recipe

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?

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.

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!

I also now make mini apple puff pancakes, which are just as tasty and another way to enjoy these yummy flavors in an adorable form.

Homemade Dutch Apple Pancake

What kind of apples should I use for an apple pancake?

Ideally, you want to use Granny Smith apples. They are fairly tart and do not lose their shape when baked.

If you do not have Granny Smith, you can use another firm baking apple, but you want to avoid sweeter apples. The tartness from Granny Smith is ideal here.

You can use Crispin or Braeburn if needed, but this is not a recipe where I would ever use Honeycrisp apples.

I give the same advice for so many apple recipes, whether it’s a granola apple crisp or apple pie bread pudding.

Do I need a cast iron pan to make Dutch apple pancakes?

You do need one. The heat transfer and heavy pan really are what makes this recipe work.

I use a 12 inch cast iron skillet for this recipe. This is the best size for to make a Dutch apple pancake.

This does not work with another style pan, so please don’t try.

Should I peel apples when I make an apple puff pancake?

I do not peel the apples for this, though you can if you choose to do so. Traditionally, a Dutch apple pancake leaves the peels on.

As they bake, the peels soften, and when you cut into the pancake, they slice cleanly.

What is the best way to slice apples?

You want to core your apples before you slice them. That makes it easier than trying to remove the seeds after you cut the apple open.

You can either use an apple corer and then slice them with a paring knife or use an apple slicer that cores and cuts them into 8 slices in one go.

You generally want to end up with 16 slices per apple, so if you use the corer/slicer, you want to cut each piece into two slices.

Read This Next:  Cinnamon Apple Crepes

Are apple pancakes a breakfast or dessert?

An apple puff pancake is traditionally a breakfast or a brunch item. It actually has less sugar than you might expect.

But our favorite restaurant offers it up with cinnamon ice cream as an option. So go ahead and enjoy this as a dessert, as well.

No matter what time of day – or night – you eat this, you’ll love it!

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. Core and 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?

Homemade Dutch Apple 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!


For the base:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2-3 Granny Smith apples
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash nutmeg

For the batter:

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 5 eggs


  1. Turn oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Add butter to cast iron pan and place in the oven.
  3. Slice the apples fairly thinly.
  4. Once sliced, remove pan from oven and add brown sugar. Stir and layer apples over it. Sprinkle one tablespoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, plus a hint of nutmeg over apples and return skillet to oven for ten minutes.
  5. Make the batter: Add flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to a bowl and whisk to combine. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly. Add vanilla, then one egg at a time, whisking between additions.
  6. Whisk 2-3 more minutes, then let batter rest.
  7. Remove the apples from the oven when timer goes off. Immediately pour the batter over apples and return the skillet to the oven. Bake another 20 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven when pancake has puffed and the edges are a golden brown. Slice and serve immediately.


  • This is traditionally made with Granny Smith apples, but you can use another firm apple that won't break down if needed.
  • For more tips and hints, be sure to read the full article.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 284Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 179mgSodium: 230mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 2gSugar: 19gProtein: 9g

This site uses an outside source to provide nutrition as a courtesy. If you need exact values, please calculate yourself.

Did you make this recipe?

Please rate the recipe above and save it on Pinterest so you can find it to make again and again. Leave me a comment to let me know what you think about it, too!

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Carole Westby

Monday 20th of June 2022

I’m a MN girl too, born and bred! Love these and your less sugar recipe!! Thx! My only addition is a thin slice of good cheddar on your slice!! Cuz y’all know “apple pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze”!! Same with this yummy treat!!


Thursday 7th of July 2022

I have never had the apple pancake with a slice of cheddar - but it makes sense with the apple pie comparison! I'm so glad you enjoy this :)


Sunday 24th of October 2021

I made this yesterday morning, on the first try, it was lovely and easy!!! I added one banana, it would be tasty with or without this addition. So good, I shared it with my neighbors who had given me their apples!


Tuesday 16th of November 2021

That's so sweet of you to share with your neighbors, and I'm glad you liked this! I would never have thought to add a banana, but I'm glad it worked for you :)

Lee Mor

Sunday 16th of May 2021

Great recipe! But my apples did not rise to the top and what is the consistency of the pancake? Thanks!


Monday 17th of May 2021

I've never NOT seen the apple rise to the top, so I'm not sure what to tell you. The pan is hot etc when you ad the batter and the apples were on top of the melted butter and sugar, etc, right? The pancake is somewhat eggy - it's not a traditional fluffy pancake you order in a restaurant. It's drier around the edge and slightly more like a baked custard (but not quite) in the center. It's unique, so I'm not doing the best job at describing the consistency of it! I hope that helps.


Sunday 25th of April 2021

Do you peel your apples prior to slicing? Are you using salted or unsalted butter? I grew up in the twin cities and this was always a favorite. Heart broken when the one in Edina closed.


Sunday 25th of April 2021

I do not peel my apples, but you are welcome to if you choose. The peel is soft enough when it bakes that it works well in this. But that's also my preference. And I always bake with unsalted butter - different brands have different levels of salt in them, so it's always easiest to start with unsalted butter to get a consistent flavor. And yes - I grew up eating my Pannekoeken, and I'm so sad that when I go back, I can't have that special treat anymore. SO many memories!


Tuesday 22nd of December 2020

I am so excited to see this recipe! I was living in Massachusetts and my best friend moved to Chicago. I took a trip to see her and we decided to drive to the Mall of America. On the second day we were there, we woke to a flat tire. We were able to get to Sears at the mall with our spare tire. It was before most of the Mall was even open. We were starving and the repair man suggested we go inside the mall and try Pannekoeken restaurant. We did and we were all in love with them! I espcially loved the cinnamon ice cream on top! I asked the waitress for the recipe and to my surprise she gave it to me. I made them so many times over the years. But I lost the recipe. Today I came across this while searching for something like the one I had. Thank you so much!!! You really made my day! I am going to make it for my employees for breakfast on Christmas morning - topped with cinnamon ice cream!!! Thank you!!


Thursday 7th of January 2021

I love this story so much! I hope you enjoyed your apple puff pancakes at home. I never even thought to ask them for the recipe when I lived there - that's smart! And yessssss that cinnamon ice cream on top is the best!

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