Raise your hand if you like crepes. Okay, now raise your hand if you don’t like MAKING crepes! Or raise your hand if you’ve never even attempted crepes because you think you won’t like making them. You’re not alone. In my mind, there’s no doubt that crepes are absolutely delicious and there’s no doubt that they are a pain in the patootie to make. My answer to all that? Oven Sheet Pan Crepes.
I know there are people out there with mad crepe skills, turning out dozens at the drop of a hat, flipping them in the air and loving it. Show-offs. And I can make crepes, maybe for a special occasion, like when I make my Austrian Crepes in Custard Sauce, which I make almost every Christmas, but I have to admit, I do struggle with them and hate standing in front of the stove. And I’d make crepes more often if they were easier – and maybe you might, too? This method is a game-changer.
About Oven Sheet Pan Crepes:
What if, just what if, you could make crepes that required no skill at all with under 10 minutes of actual working time and about 25 – 30 minutes total time? That would be these crepes. I know there’s a French chef rolling in his/her grave at just the thought of the concept, or maybe even a live one or two who might be saying “No, no, no” since “no” is the same in French or English. But Oven Sheet Pan Crepes really is a revelation. So I’m saying “Oui, oui, oui” as in “we” can make these any old time with basically no special skills, very little effort, and very little cleanup. For breakfast, after dinner, for after school snacks, when a midnight craving hits. Any time. They’re that easy.
Of course, they’re in the shape of a giant rectangle, so that might take a little getting used to, but it does make them easy to roll around a filling. And Oven Sheet Pan Crepes lack the tiniest bit of the ethereal lightness that you get with individually done crepes as they’re just not quite as thin as standard crepes. I think it all balances out with the ease of making them.
Oven Sheet Pan Crepes can be treated after they’re done just like any old crepe. They can be sweet or savory and there are really no limits to what can be done with your crepes. If you’re thinking sweet, they’re fantastic simply sprinkled with lemon and powdered sugar, or they can be filled with fruit, filled with a creamy filling, topped with either, or hit with a sauce, chocolate, fruit or whatever strikes your fancy. On the savory side, you can’t go wrong with any creamy or cheesy filling. Hit up Wikipedia for some classic ideas. Today I filled them with a Strawberry Rhubarb Compote and used a little of my Mock Mascarpone to top the crepes with.
Mixing The Oven Sheet Pan Crepes:
Crepe batter is a no brainer and takes about five minutes to gather the ingredients and mix together. The batter for any crepe follows pretty much a basic formula and some might vary slightly, but it’s usually about a cup of flour to two eggs and a cup and a half of liquid. There might be a little sugar, maybe some vanilla, a pinch of salt and a touch of butter. I like to use the sugar and butter for taste, but also to help with the texture and color, and use the sugar even in my savory crepes. If you’re making dessert crepes, feel free to add more sugar; you can safely go up to 1/4 cup without skewing the recipe.
The liquid in the crepes is usually a combo of whole milk and soda, sparkling or seltzer water; crepes can be made with all milk, but they are heavier. I had a discovery when I didn’t have the “proper” water and grabbed a bottle of Seven-Up from the fridge. It worked beautifully, and I’ve since tried them with Squirt, too. The citrus flavor of either doesn’t really stand out in the finished crepe. For best results, rest the batter for a bit. Mixing the crepes up and letting them sit for about 20 minutes while the oven preheats to 450 is enough time.
Don’t over whisk your crepe batter. Just like pancakes, they’re going to be the most tender when the ingredients are mixed until just barely incorporated.
Baking The Oven Sheet Pan Crepes:
Making these crepes really is easy, especially if you follow the directions precisely, but there are a few things to know, and sometimes knowing why and knowing the details helps. The process shouldn’t be fudged a bit. It takes minutes and goes fast so read through the instructions before actually baking the crepes.
You’ll need a large heavy sheet pan; a thinner one might warp in the hot oven and pop up on one side. Preferably use the specified size so the crepes are the right thickness (the texture of the crepes is just not as good if they are too thick) and the sheet pan needs to be preheated in the oven for the right amount of time. You want the pan hot and the butter (be sure to use the right amount of butter or the batter won’t spread right) to be slightly browned, not burned and the pan hot hot hot when the batter goes in. That’s going to immediately start cooking the batter, which is going to help it stick to the sheet pan when you tilt the pan to spread the batter.
Divide the batter beforehand, then when the pan comes out of the oven, spread the melted butter with a brush and quickly dump the batter into the hot pan in one fell swoop, using a spatula to get every drop. Working fast, tilt the pan around to spread the batter. Bake for two minutes until the top looks dry and the very edges have a little browning. It might look splotchy and strange out of the oven but it will come out just fine. Don’t overbake them trying to get any color or browning.
If you have trouble spreading the batter, either the pan wasn’t hot enough or there isn’t quite the right amount of butter, either not enough or too much. You might be able to nudge a bit of the batter over but it’s better to have the edges a bit raggedy (they can be trimmed) than to mess with the batter too much and have any holes in the center of the crepe.
Turning Out The Oven Sheet Pan Crepes:
When finished, give the pan a minute or two to cool down from molten hot to just plain hot, cover with a generous sheet of parchment, and while holding the pan and parchment on each of the short edges, boldly turn it upside down and gently drop it on the counter. Don’t drop from a distance, but as close as you can get to the counter. This is not the time for hesitation. Just trust me and dump it over.
Then use a thin spatula to lift off the sheet pan. There might be some condensation as the crepe cools; if not serving right away, wait until your crepe is cool and lift it off onto a fresh sheet of parchment so it doesn’t get “wet” or “gummy” while sitting in the condensation. If you let the crepe sit in the moisture, that liquid will basically turn your crepe into what amounts to a sheet of pasta.
How many servings you get from your sheet pan crepes is going to vary depending on how you cut, if you trim off the edges, and if you fold or roll, or have a filling or not. This recipe makes two sheet pans, so about 12 to 16 “crepes” is a pretty reasonable expectation, and you’ll want two or three crepes per person, depending on if and how they are filled. This post is so long as is, I’m not going to add any money-saving tips, except to say that using pop is really a lot less expensive than any specialty water and buy your butter during holiday sales! That will be your greatest savings. I’d estimate these crepes, using sale priced ingredients, ran less than 50 cents to make.
Oven Sheet Pan Crepes
Note: I find it easier to bake in two batches rather than juggle two pans at the same time. Once the batter goes in the pan it takes about two minutes to cook so the process is fast. You will need a heavy sheet pan with sides, dimensions at or very close to 12 x 17″.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons sugar – may use more, needs some for browning
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cups milk
- 3/4 cups club soda, sparkling water or seltzer (from a new bottle)
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted for crepes
- 1 tablespoon butter, pinched or cut into small pieces, scattered on sheet pan
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the crepe ingredients, the flour, eggs, sugar, salt, milk, club soda, and melted butter. Set the oven to 450 degrees F. and set aside the crepe ingredients for about 20 minutes as the oven heats up. When the oven is ready, lightly stir the batter and divide in half. The total amount is 2 2/3 cup, so half is 1 1/3 cup.
When oven is preheated, scatter the small pieces of butter across the pan and place in oven for about five to six minutes until the butter is melted and browned. Watch closely so it doesn’t burn.
When butter is ready, working quickly, remove pan, brush butter across the pan in an even layer and add one of the portions of batter, tilting to distribute. Place back in oven for about 2 minutes (start watching at a minute and a half) until top looks just dry and the edges have a very slight browning. Do not over bake.
Remove from oven, let rest for a minute or two, then cover with a sheet of parchment large enough to hang over the edge and turn over the pan, parchment and all onto counter. Lift sheet pan off with a thin spatula or knife.
Serve immediately or set aside to cool; after the crepe is cool, place on a dry sheet of parchment. If storing, simple roll crepe up in parchment and tuck in edges. Crepes are best immediately after they’re made.
Trim edges if desired and divide crepes into desired serving sizes, four by two works well, and three by two is great for a bit larger portion. A pizza cutter makes quick work of the cutting.