Sweet German Pancakes With Sugar and Lemon

European style pancakes on a plate

Gabor Izso/Getty Images

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 2 to 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
228 Calories
6g Fat
35g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 228
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 3g 14%
Cholesterol 103mg 34%
Sodium 213mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 16mg 79%
Calcium 99mg 8%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 196mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Think of these thin German pancakes like French crepes but ones that typically skew toward the sweet side of things, whereas crepes can be sweet or savory. These German crepes, in this recipe, are sweetened with sugar and lemon but can be filled with various sweet ingredients such as Nutella, butter and sugar, cinnamon and sugar, fruit compote, or sautéed apples. They might require a little bit of practice to get them thin and perfect, but that's part of the fun.

Germans often serve food like this as a kleine Mahlzeit, a little meal, or for Abendessen, the light, evening meal. At the Jahresmarkt or Weihnachtsmarkt (outdoor holiday markets), these are made on large crepe griddles, filled, and then folded into quarters and then eighths. Here, you can just roll them up if you like once you've finished cooking them.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional

  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, divided

  • 1 lemon, juiced, for garnish

  • Sugar, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Stir together flour, sugar, ​and salt in a mixing bowl.

  3. Break eggs into a large cup, add milk and vanilla (if using) and whisk together until smooth (or use an immersion blender).

  4. Add the milk to the flour and stir until no lumps remain. Let the batter rest for 15 minutes. This lets the flour granules swell and bind.

  5. Heat one teaspoon of butter in a frying pan or crepe pan, preferably nonstick. Make a test pancake with 1 tablespoon batter. Add milk to thin, if necessary.

  6. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to transfer batter to the pan. Cook pancakes until set but not brown.

  7. Flip over for a few seconds and remove to a serving tray or plate. Add the second teaspoon of butter to the pan and repeat.

  8. These are best eaten right away, by sprinkling with lemon juice and sugar and then rolling them up. Serve and enjoy.

How to Store Sweet German Pancakes

These pancakes are best eaten as soon as they are made, as their texture and flavor are both optimal hot out of the pan. However, you can wrap them loosely in between layers of paper towels or waxed paper and store in a zip-close plastic bag in the refrigerator. They'll keep for a couple of days. You can reheat them in the microwave on high, very briefly, or in a warm skillet.