Lemon Dutch Baby

An easy family tradition to begin when your children are small, the Dutch Baby (actually a German pancake) is easy enough for the tiniest of cooks to participate in making. There’s little that can go wrong when you put it together, and the pancake puffs dramatically and magically as it bakes, giving a young cook a hefty dose of instant gratification. The Dutch Baby is like a large popover, or a thick crepe. It provides an eggy, chewy base for sweet or savory fillings or toppings. From a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkling of sugar, to macerated berries topped with whipped cream, toppings are unlimited. But so are the pancakes themselves: The Smitten Kitchen blog features a Dutch Baby made with buckwheat flour and served with caramel sauce. And they also can be made savory, with gruyere cheese, perhaps, and bacon. Observant recipe readers will notice that for every egg in the following batter recipe there’s ¼ cup flour and ¼ cup milk. You can increase the number of eggs up to double the amount for a puffier, eggier pancake.
By / Photography By E. S. Bruhmann | February 07, 2017


Heat oven to 425°. Put medium sized (9 or 10 inches) cast-iron skillet in the oven to heat.

Beat eggs with milk, flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Batter will be thin. When oven is hot, remove pan and add butter, tipping pan to coat the pan’s bottom and sides as the butter melts. Pour most of the butter into batter and beat briefly. Pour batter into pan and bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until the edges are puffed and deep brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sugar of choice. The dramatic puff will begin to fall almost immediately when it’s removed from the oven. Sprinkle generously with sugar and provide lemon wedges for diners to squeeze juice over their pieces. Serves 3 to 4.

New England Baby: Eliminate lemon zest if you want. Serve Dutch Baby with butter and maple syrup

Summer Baby: Peel and slice a fresh peach. Cook it until soft in the skillet with a little butter and sugar (add a few blueberries if you have them). Pour batter over top and bake as directed.

Autumn Baby: Eliminate lemon zest and add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice). Pour over 1 apple sliced and stewed with a little brown sugar and butter in the bottom of the skillet. Bake as directed.

Savory Baby: Eliminate lemon and sugar. Increase salt to ¾ teaspoon. Mix 2 tablespoons of fresh herbs (chives, oregano, basil, parsley) into the batter. Pour batter into pan and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons grated hard cheese, like Parmesan or Romano. Serve with a side of salsa or sautéed mushrooms.


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Lemon wedges and sugar (granulated or powdered)
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