These mini puffy, beautifully golden brown savory Dutch Baby pancakes are perfect for a Spring Sunday brunch with friends!
Product sample provided by Nielsen-Massey. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
When I was a kid my mom used to make brunch for all of us almost every Sunday. It was always something a bit special, at least that's how I remember it! While my mom was cooking my dad would make Gin Fizzes, of course without the gin for me and my sister!! One of my favorite things that she made was this thing she called a Dutch Baby - a big fluffy pancake topped with all kinds of yummy fillings - berries and powdered sugar were my favorite! For the longest time I thought a Dutch Baby was something she made up. Years later I found out that it was a real recipe and it turns out I wasn't the only one who loved them!!
These fluffy pancakes are also known as German pancakes. My grandfather on my mom's side was German and based on how much my grandmother used to cook I'm pretty sure she used to make these for my mom! They are essentially a cross between a pancake, a popover and a crepe. And while they might look fancy and complicated, they are actually very easy to make and fun to eat! The beauty of a dutch baby is the oven does all the work to make it puffy and golden brown. You just have to make the batter and pour it in the pans - pretty easy, right?
How to Make a Dutch Baby Pancake
Dutch babies are pretty simple to make as long as you follow a few key steps. They are best made right before serving so plan about 30 minutes for prep and baking before you will be ready to serve.
Heat the skillets: You want to use a hot skillet so the pancake puffs well and you get nice crunchy edges. You heat the skillets while the oven is pre-heating.
Make the batter: This is basically a thin version of pancake batter. It's done in the blender so it's quick and easy. You want a nice smooth batter where the flour is fully incorporated. Let the batter rest while the oven is heating. This allows any excess flour to be absorbed into the batter.
Cook the pancakes: Once the skillets are hot, pour the batter into the hot skillets and put them right back in the oven. I recommend pouring the batter from the blender into a measuring cup with easy to read measures before pouring it into the pans. his helps you to divide the batter evenly between the two skillets. Then you just bake the pancake for 15 minutes to let it puff, take it out of the oven, add your toppings and you are ready for brunch!
You can make this as one large pancake, but you know how much I love my mini skillets so I decided to make individual servings. If you opt for making one large pancake, just put all the batter in one skillet and increase the cooking time by about 5 minutes.
A note about the ingredients
- Eggs: Be sure to use large eggs for this recipe to ensure the right consistency.
- Vanilla Extract: I used Nielsen-Massey Mexican vanilla extract in this recipe. It's got a slightly spicy taste when compared to their Madagascar Vanilla extract. Using high-quality vanilla is super important for good flavor in your recipes, which is why I always opt for Nielsen-Massey's vanilla products.
- Swiss Cheese: You can use standard swiss cheese for this recipe, however, if you want a little extra pop of flavor I'd recommend opting for Gruyere. Either way, I always recommend grating the cheese yourself instead of buying pre-grated cheese.
- Ham: I use thinly sliced Black Forrest ham from the deli for this recipe. You can use any type of ham that you prefer.
This savory ham & cheese dutch baby is perfect for a Sunday brunch but could also double as a quick weeknight dinner!
Other great ideas for Sunday brunch
things you may want for this recipe
Mini Cast Iron Skillets - These mini cast iron skillets are so cute, and practical too! I use them for everything from these Dutch Baby Pancakes to skillet lasagne to deep dish pizza. If cast iron makes you nervous, check out these posts for how to season and clean your cast iron pans.
High-Speed Blender - A good blender is such an important kitchen tool! I use mine at least a couple of times per month. If you drink a lot of smoothies, a high-speed blender is a must. If you don’t want to splurge on a Vitamix, this Cuisinart blender is a great choice.
OXO Slanted Measuring Cup – I love these measuring cups because the slant makes it easy to read the measurements when you are adding ingredients and also if you are pouring ingredients out and want to divide evenly among dishes, the slant makes it much easier to do that.
Mini Savory Dutch Baby Pancakes with Swiss, Avocado & Ham
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup low-fat milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ¼ cup grated swiss cheese
- 2 oz black forest ham, chopped
- ½ of an avocado, thinly sliced
- Preheat the oven and the skillets. Place cast iron skillets in an oven and heat to 425°.
- Make the batter. While the oven is heating place flour, eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt in a blender. Blend for 15 seconds then scrape down the sides to ensure all the flour is incorporated. Blend for an additional 15- 20 seconds until batter is smooth. Let batter rest in the refrigerator while the oven finishes heating.
- Butter the skillets. Remove skillets from oven, add butter to each skillet and swirl the butter in the skillet to coat.
- Cook the pancakes. Pour the batter into a measuring cup and divide evenly between the two skillets. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown and puffed.
- Remove from oven and top with cheese, ham and avocado. Serve immediately.