German Pancake {Whole Grain Option} with Butter Syrup

A delicious German pancake baked until light and craggly and puffy. Get the recipe to see a 100% whole wheat option. Yum!

Perfect German Pancake

Last week, I received an email from one of the very few male readers of this here blog.

It happens occasionally. Ok, sometimes.

Fine. Rarely.

Anywho, this particular email was from someone who I will call Bart. Because that’s actually his name.

We happen to know him and his fam from our past life in Wisconsin. He’s a physician’s assistant there and he and his cute wife Ashli have four kiddos.

He emailed with a particular request. Here’s part of his email:

“…I’d like to have a few dishes or items that my kids will someday say ‘Remember when Dad would always make…’ Or ‘remember when mom was out of town dad would always make…’ Something like that. I have some minor cooking experience. There are some peanut butter cookies I like to make. Ashli bought me a smoker a few years ago, and we enjoy everything we pull off of that. There is a very simple chili I like to make. I can make a roast. Cook several things on the grill. From there it kind of moves to pancakes, Mac and cheese, oatmeal, things like that. I think it’s time to branch out.”

And he asked me for some recipe ideas that could create some major bonus points with his kids (and let’s be serious, his wife, too).

My first idea was to think about what Brian makes around here and pass off any good wisdom or dad-approved recipe to Bart.

Now, in Brian’s defense, the fact that this line of thought only took me about three seconds to explore is not his fault. The poor guy happened to marry a gentle control freak.

But a control freak nonetheless. Someone who likes things her way, who happened to start a blog 8 1/2 years ago and who subsequently commandeered full occupation of the kitchen.

So. He doesn’t cook that often.

Perfect German Pancake

But he has one classic dish that is his and his alone to make.

This baked German pancake.

In fact, I think in our 13+ years of marriage, until I took pictures for this post, I had only made this once. I’ve eaten it.

Devoured would be a more appropriate description. But Brian’s the master of the German pancake.

He makes them often on weekends for the kids and he is a larger than life rock star in their eyes because of it (it’s hands down their favorite breakfast in the history of ever).

I’m guessing many of you have enjoyed the wonders of this light and craggly, puffy pancake.

It wasn’t until Bart’s email that I thought about it more seriously. As in, maybe I should actually post about this beloved breakfast?

Spurred on by a throwback to the classics last week, I decided to waste no time in sharing our favorite version of the German pancake.

And while the pancake is so simple (literally, less than two minutes with the blender and you’re ready to bake) and delicious, the ridiculously tasty butter syrup is the star.

In the interest of keeping it real, we don’t serve the pancake with the butter syrup every single time.

My kids wish we did but they’re learning the definition of a parent is to sometimes be a dream crusher. The syrup comes out on special occasions: company in town, holidays, birthday breakfasts.

You know, those kinds of things.

Plus, because it’s butter syrup, emphasis on heavenly butter, you can skip the monumental effort of spreading butter on your pancake and get it over with one good drizzle.

Perfect German Pancake

Yes, this German pancake and butter syrup is Brian’s legacy. And I’m happy to leave it to him.

I have no doubt all my kids will be making this for their own posterity in a few years (a lot of few years).

And just in case you are wondering how Bart is doing on his challenge, I shot him several recipe ideas (he wants to get working on some bread) and he’s already checked back in with a pretty solid update: smoked salmon with green beans, this cornbread (to go along with his simple chili), and the slow cooker red beans and rice.

And he’s determined to conquer that bread.

I think I can speak for all of us when I say: you go, Bart. You go.

Perfect German Pancake

One Year Ago: Amazing Romaine Salad with Light Poppy Seed Vinaigrette
Two Years Ago: Stir-Fried Broccoli with Brown Rice {Meat Optional}
Three Years Ago: Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies

Baked German Pancake with Butter Syrup

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Ingredients:

For the Pan:

  • 2 tablespoons butter

Pancake:

  • 6 large eggs (about 10.5 ounces)
  • 1 cup milk (I use 2%)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose or white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Syrup:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put two tablespoons butter in a glass 9X13-inch baking dish and pop the pan in the oven while it preheats (if it’s taking a while to mix up the batter, keep an eye on the dish so the butter doesn’t burn; take it out when the butter is melted).
  2. Combine the eggs, milk and vanilla in a blender and process on low speed until smooth, 10-20 seconds. Add the flour and salt and blend until just combined; the batter should be smooth but take care not to overblend or the pancakes may turn out dense and cakey.
  3. Take the preheated, buttered pan out of the oven and swirl the butter to coat the bottom of the pan. Pour the batter into the pan and immediately return to the oven. Bake for 20 minutes until the pancake is puffy and lightly browned on the bottom and edges.
  4. Serve immediately with jam, butter syrup, maple syrup or whatever else your heart desires.
  5. For the butter syrup, in a larger than you think saucepan (it will foam and triple in volume at the end), combine the sugar, buttermilk and butter and bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce the heat and simmer for 7 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the vanilla and baking soda until well-combined. Serve warm over pancakes.

Notes:

While this pancake is decidedly yummy made with all-purpose flour (we use unbleached flour), it is also very delicious with whole wheat flour in place of the all-purpose (we always use white wheat flour). The pancake bakes up nice and thin. Brian always doubles and makes two 9X13-inch pans and they’re usually completely gone after our family of five kids (ages 11 and younger) and two adults are done with it.

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Recipe Source: pancake recipe from my Aunt Marilyn, syrup a combined recipe from Aunt Marilyn + Lindsay, a reader who emailed me her favorite butter syrup recipe eons ago