Strawberry crepes make for a delicious and sweet breakfast or dessert. These thin French-style pancakes are filled with a quick homemade strawberry sauce and fresh whipped cream.
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If you’re looking for a sweet and elegant meal idea, give this easy strawberry crepe recipe a try. The French-style batter is made from everyday kitchen staples and can be quickly whipped up by hand or in a blender in just minutes. It’s lightly sweetened to complement the fresh fruit in the sauce.
Grab a few baskets of fresh berries the next time your at the market and transform them into a fantastic sauce. As the mashed berries break down on the stovetop, the flavors concentrate and thicken into a spoonable consistency. Fill each crepe with the strawberries and cream and serve. If desired, you can make each component ahead of time for a quick day-of assembly.
Make the crepe batter
To make a lightly sweetened batter for crêpe sucrées (sweet crepes), simply mix flour, granulated sugar, salt, milk, water, eggs, vanilla extract, and melted butter. You have two options, mixing by hand or in a blender. No matter which you choose, make sure that all of the flour has been thoroughly hydrated.
Ample hydration ensures that there will be gluten-formation of the wheat proteins to create a flexible structure. Straining ensures that the batter is smooth and free of clumps. Chill the batter for at least 1 hour to let the proteins rest, and the starches thicken to achieve a light, tender texture.
Cook the crepes
After chilling, you’ll notice that the batter thickens up due to the starches swelling. For a thin thickness, whisk in a small amount of water to make it runnier and easier to spread in the pan. To cook the batter, use a crepe pan or 10-inch nonstick pan.
I find that using medium heat and a fine layer of butter ensures a lightly golden brown surface, crisp edges, and it enhances the flavor. Add ¼ cup to the lower part of the pan, then quickly swirl to make a circular shape. It takes less than 2 minutes to cook each crepe. Keep them warm in between batches by stacking them on top of each other.
When fresh, ripe strawberries are in season, they make the perfect rustic sauce. After cutting them up into smaller pieces, mash them down to release the pectin in the cell walls.
Alternatively, you can use frozen strawberries. The cell walls will burst and break down as they defrost in the hot pan. However, the cooking process may take several more minutes to cook. You can add other berries or completely substitute them with blackberries, raspberries, or blueberries.
Cook the fruit sauce
This recipe makes a compote sauce, which involves cooking the strawberries in a sugar syrup with orange juice to balance the sweetness. Alternatively, you can use lemon juice, but you may need to add more granulated sugar as that citrus is more tart. The mixture is heated and occasionally mashed to release the juices and natural pectin to help thicken the consistency.
I like to keep some larger pieces of fruit so that sauce isn’t too runny when added inside the crepe. The contrast of textures is also complementary to the silky whipped cream. As the sauce cools, it will thicken into a spoonable jammy texture. You can prepare the sauce up to a week in advance. For a smoother consistency, use a countertop blender or a hand immersion blender to puree.
Prepare the cream
I prefer to make homemade whipped cream instead of using store-bought canned stuff. The process is easy. You just need to whisk the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract by hand. I find that using a chilled bowl speeds things up further.
Alternatively, a mixer, blender, or food processor works as well. Just don’t over whip. Stop when the cream looks smooth and can hold a medium to stiff peak. If it looks grainy and curdled, you went too far. You can prepare the whipped cream up to 2 days in advance and then lightly whip before serving.
Fill the crepes
Spread ⅓ cup of strawberry compote sauce and whipped cream over half of the crepe. Fold in half, then into a fan shape. Alternatively, place the fillings down the center and roll into a cigar shape. I like to garnish with powdered sugar dusted over the top, fresh mint leaves, and a few sliced strawberries.
Serve this with
Add sugar and acid to make a strawberry sauce
Strawberries contain a small amount of pectin, which, when cut and cooked, releases from the plant’s cell walls. Pectin are charged molecules that stay repelled to prevent binding. Adding orange juice or lemon juice neutralizes the charge and helps them gel together for a more viscous consistency. Sugar binds the water, making it hard for the pectin to latch onto and instead come together, further helping to thicken the sauce.
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- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt, or table salt
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ¾ cup water, room temperature, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for cooking
- 4 cups strawberries, fresh or frozen
- ¼ cup orange juice
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- 6 tablespoons powdered sugar
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- mint leaves, for garnish
- powdered sugar, for dusting
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the milk, ½ cup water, and vanilla extract, whisk to combine.
- Microwave the 2 tablespoons of butter on high power in 30-second intervals until just melted, stirring to dissolve any pieces. It should not be above 140ºF (60ºC) when added to the batter, or the eggs will curdle.
- Make a well in the flour mixture. Add the melted butter. Gradually add the liquid egg mixture, constantly whisking until a smooth batter forms. Alternatively, in a blender, add the eggs, milk, ½ cup water, flour, salt, and melted butter. Blend on medium speed until smooth, about 40 to 45 seconds.
- Strain the batter into a medium bowl to remove any clumps. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Once the batter has chilled, whisk in about ¼ cup of water to thin out the consistency. It should be similar to cream in texture.
- Heat a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat for 1 minute. Add ½ teaspoon butter, swirling to coat the pan. When melted, wipe the excess with a paper towel. There should be a thin film left in the pan.
- Add a ¼ cup (60ml) of the batter to the 6 o’clock position of the skillet. Moving quickly, lift the skillet, tilt it slightly to spread the batter, and then swirl the skillet several times in a circular motion to evenly cover the entire bottom. Fill any holes with batter as needed.
- Place the pan back over the heat. Cook until the edges pull away from the skillet and lightly brown underneath, about 45 seconds to 1 minute. Use a spatula to loosen from the pan, use either your fingers or spatula to flip over and cook until the bottom sets, about 10 to 30 seconds. Transfer the crepe onto a plate.
- Stack the crepes on top of each other to keep warm while making the next batch, loosely covered with foil. Cook the remaining batter, wiping the pan clean and adding a thin layer of butter onto the pan between each crepe.
- For fresh strawberries, remove the stems and cut them in half. Cut into smaller pieces if you don’t have a masher. Place the berries, orange juice, and granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- When the mixture starts to bubble, reduce the heat to medium-low and use a potato masher to break down the pieces.
- Continue to cook over medium-low heat, mashing every few minutes, until a slightly chunky consistency is reached, about 10 to 15 minutes. Reduce the heat if needed to maintain a simmer.
- Turn off the heat and check the sweetness. Add more sugar to taste. Allow it to cool down until warm before adding to crepes.
- Refrigerate a large metal bowl and whisk for 15 minutes before making the whipped cream to help it whip faster. This step can be skipped, but the process may take slightly longer.
- Add the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla to the bowl. Slightly tilt the bowl and vigorously whisk until the desired peak stiffness is reached. The consistency should be smooth with no lumps or graininess.
- Add a few dollops of whipped cream over half of the crepe. Spread about ⅓ cup of the strawberry sauce on top. Fold the crepe in half, then fold in half again to create a fan shape. Dust with powdered sugar, garnish with fresh mint and serve immediately.
- Recipe Yield: About 8 crepes, 2 ½ cups of sauce, and 3 cups whipped cream
- Serving Size: 1 crepe, ⅓ cup sauce, and ⅓ cup whipped cream
- Measuring the Flour: If you don’t have a scale, use the dip and sweep method. Dip the measuring cup into the flour, then level the surface with the back of a knife.
- Pan Size: For an 8-inch nonstick pan, grease with ¼ teaspoon butter, and 3 tablespoons of batter (about 13 crepes). For a 12-inch nonstick pan, grease with ¾ teaspoon butter, and 5 tablespoons of batter (about 8 crepes).
- Cooking Crepes: The crepes will steam but should not smoke. Take the pan off the heat and adjust as needed. Do not overcook, or they will be too crisp.
- Making Batter in Advance: Store in an airtight container for up to 1 day. It may separate as it sits, mix before using. Whisk in about ¼ cup of water to dilute.
- Storing: Cool the crepes completely and stack on a plate, cover tightly with plastic wrap, then foil. Alternatively, place in a resealable plastic. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- Freezing: Place a piece of parchment paper between each crepe. Cover tightly and place on a plate in the freezer or a large resealable plastic bag for up to 1 month. Defrost in the refrigerator the day before using.
- Reheating: In the microwave, place a damp paper towel over the plate of crepes and microwave for 30 seconds. In a skillet, reheat over medium-low heat until warmed through. In the oven, place on a sheet pan covered with aluminum foil and warm at 275°F (135°C) for about 10 minutes.
- Sweetener Substitution: Honey, pure maple syrup, brown sugar, coconut sugar, or agave can be used instead of granulated sugar for the strawberry sauce.
- Orange Juice Substitution: Use lemon juice, but adjust with more sweetener as needed.
- Make the Fillings in Advance: Cool the sauce completely and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 1 month. Store whipped cream in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
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