Gluten Free German Pancakes

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I love pancakes, but I’d rather spend my mornings with my family than with my griddle.  German pancakes allow me to have the best of both worlds.

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This German pancake doesn’t look gluten free (or taste like most gluten free baked goods, either).

 

Also known as a “Dutch Baby,” a German pancake is essentially an oversized pancake that is prepared in a large cast iron skillet. These pancakes puff up beautifully in the oven, thanks to extra egg added to the mix. They also help solve the “Do I want pancakes or French toast?” Saturday morning dilemma… they are very much like a hybrid between the two in taste and texture.

Making pancakes for the family doesn't get any easier than this!

Making pancakes for the family doesn’t get any easier than this!

 

German pancakes can be topped with any combination of fresh-squeezed lemon juice, butter, powdered sugar, syrup, or fruit toppings. My family’s favorite combination is fresh berries, powdered sugar, and honey from our hives. Because we use our frozen homegrown berries as our primary fruit source in the winter months, I usually thaw the berries in the microwave and sprinkle them into the pancake batter just before baking in the oven.

Pour the batter into the skillet first, then quickly sprinkle with berries for even coverage and a colorful presentation.

Pour the batter into the skillet first, then quickly sprinkle with berries for even coverage and a colorful presentation.

Cut German pancakes into wedges and serve drizzled with honey or syrup.

Cut German pancakes into wedges and serve drizzled with honey or syrup.

 

Although I prefer King Arthur Flour Company’s Gluten Free Pancake Mix* for this recipe, you can also substitute other brands’ (I’ve tried several with good results) or the dry ingredients from your own gluten free pancake recipe. Simply stick to a ratio of ¼ cup flour and ¼ cup milk for each egg, and add additional baking powder if it doesn’t puff well for you the first time.

Another option for Dutch babies is to bake individual pancakes in a 6-well mini round cake panel pan (aka, a hamburger bun pan). I actually prefer my German pancakes prepared in this way. These babies puff incredibly high, the texture is borderline to that of a thick custard, and the presentation on individual serving plates is beautiful. I’ve posted both the cast iron skillet and mini cake versions below so that you can pick whatever suits your family (or fancy).

You'll forget that these little Dutch babies are gluten free.

You’ll forget that these little Dutch babies are gluten free.

Is this gluten free "Dutch Baby" breakfast or dessert?

Is this gluten free “Dutch Baby” breakfast or dessert?

 

 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup gluten free pancake mix (King Arthur Flour, preferred)
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup milk (I use almond milk), room temperature
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp butter or gluten free margarine
  • Powdered sugar
  • Toppings of your choice
  • Optional: ½ tsp gluten free vanilla and/or cinnamon

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a large cast-iron skillet (11- or 12-inch diameter) in the oven to preheat. (If your skillet is not well-seasoned, first spray lightly with a non-stick cooking spray). See the note below about using cast iron if you are new to gluten free cooking.
  2. Whisk the eggs. Add the dry ingredients and milk and mix just until batter is smooth. Optional: add vanilla or cinnamon to mixture.
  3. Remove cast iron skillet and coat with butter or margarine. Immediately add pancake mixture to hot skillet. Sprinkle mixture with thawed frozen berries or cooked apples, if desired. Put immediately into oven.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 6-10 minutes, until edges are puffed and golden and the center is cooked through.
  5. Remove from oven and add toppings as desired.
  6. Serve immediately, as the puffs will deflate on cooling (this is true for gluten-based German pancakes, too).

Notes
If you must avoid gluten due to celiac disease or sensitivity, use a dedicated gluten-free cast iron skillet. Nothing short of sand-blasting will remove gluten from a seasoned cast iron skillet previously used to cook gluten-containing foods like gravy, fried chicken, or cornbread.

 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup gluten free pancake mix (King Arthur Flour, preferred)
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ cup milk (I use almond milk), room temperature
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • Powdered sugar
  • Your choice of toppings (fruit, syrup, honey, lemon juice, cooked apples)
  • Optional: ¾ tsp gluten free vanilla and/or cinnamon

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 6-well hamburger pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Whisk the eggs. Add the dry ingredients and milk and mix just until batter is smooth. (Optional: add vanilla or cinnamon).
  3. Immediately add ~1/3 cup mixture to each well of the pan. Sprinkle mixture with thawed frozen berries or cooked apples, if desired.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 5-6 minutes, until edges are puffed and golden and the center is cooked through.
  5. Remove from oven and add toppings as desired.
  6. Serve immediately.

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