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Crepes dsc07085.jpg
A stack of crêpes
Alternative namesCrepe
Place of originBrittany
Serving temperatureWarm, hot or cold
Main ingredientsWheat flour or buckwheat flour, milk, eggs
A sweet crêpe opened up, with whipped cream and strawberry sauce on it
Video demonstration of preparing crêpes

A crêpe or crepe (/krp/ (About this soundlisten)[1] or /krɛp/, French: [kʁɛp] (About this soundlisten), Quebec French: [kʁaɪ̯p] (About this soundlisten)) is a type of very thin pancake. Crêpes originated in Brittany (a region in the west of France) during the 13th century,[2] but are now consumed around the world. Crêpes are usually one of two varieties: sweet crêpes (crêpes sucrées) or savoury galettes (crêpes salées). They are often served with a wide variety of fillings such as jam, Nutella, berries, spinach, and chicken.[3] Crêpes can also be flambéed, such as in crêpes Suzette.


The French term "crêpe" derives from crispa, the feminine version of the Latin word crispus, which means "curled, wrinkled, having curly hair."[4]

The term "galette" derives from the Old French word galete, a diminutive of the Norman dialect word gale, which means "kind of flat cake." This term probably came from the feminine derivative of Picard & Norman gal, meaning "pebble," which in turn came from the pre-Latin *gallo-".[5]


In France, crêpes are traditionally served on Candlemas (La Chandeleur), February 2.[6] This day was originally Virgin Mary's Blessing Day, but became known in France as "Le Jour des Crêpes" (literally translated "The Day of the Crêpes", and is sometimes referred to colloquially as "Avec Crêpe Day", "National Crêpe Day", or "day of the Crêpe"), referring to the tradition of offering crêpes.

In 472, Roman Pope Gelasius I offered Crispus (later said Crêpes) to French pilgrims that were visiting Rome for celebrating the Chandeleur.[7] They held the superstition that holding a coin in one's left hand while flipping a crepe in a pan with one's right hand would make that person rich for a year.[8][9]

Types of crêpe[edit]

Sweet crêpes are generally made with wheat flour (farine de blé). When sweet, they can be eaten as part of breakfast or as a dessert. Common fillings include Nutella spread, preserves, sugar (granulated or powdered), maple syrup, golden syrup, lemon juice, whipped cream, fruit spreads, custard, and sliced soft fruits or confiture.

Savory crêpes are made with non-wheat flours such as buckwheat. A normal savory crêpe recipe includes using wheat flour but omitting the sugar.[10][citation needed] Batter made from buckwheat flour is gluten-free, which makes it possible for people who have a wheat allergy or gluten intolerance to eat this type of crêpe.[11] Common savoury fillings for crêpes served for lunch or dinner are cheese, ham, and eggs, ratatouille, mushrooms, artichoke (in certain regions), and various meat products.

Crêpes can also be made into crepe cakes by adding the plain crepes on top of each other, and within the two layers adding a layer of cream. Fruits, chocolate, cookies, marshmallow, etc, can be added. Most of the crêpe cake is sweet and it is usually considered as a dessert. It can also replace the traditional birthday cake. Crêpe cakes are usually 15-30 layers, and the crêpes used are very thin and soft.[12]

Batters can also consist of other ingredients such as butter, milk, water, eggs, flour, salt, and sugar.[13] Fillings are commonly added to the center of the crêpe and served with the edges partially folded over the center. An Indian variety of the crêpe uses a multi-grain flour called "bhajanee", eggs, curd, and an assortment of spices as its ingredients. It is a modern variation of an Indian dish called Thalipeeth.[citation needed]

A cake made with layers of crêpes with a filling in between is called “gâteau de crêpes” or “ミルクレープ(mille-crêpes)” (a Japanese-made French word combining crêpes and mille-feuille).[14] This French pâtisserie,[15][16] was popularized by Emy Wada, a pâtissier who studied in France[17] and operated Paper Moon Cake Boutiques in Japan, in the 1980s. In 2001, she expanded to New York City where she supplied cakes to popular chains Dean & Deluca and Takashimaya.[18]

Making batter[edit]

In order to make an evenly thin crêpe, it is crucial to have a batter without lumps. After whisking the batter, let it rest for half an hour, or overnight, to let the bubbles from whisking disappear from the batter. Some people mix the batter to a fine consistency by using a blender or mixer.[19]


A small crêperie
Crêperie in Germany

A crêperie may be a takeaway restaurant or stall, serving crêpes as a form of fast food or street food, or may be a more formal sit-down restaurant or café.[20]

Crêperies are typical in France, especially in Brittany; however, crêperies can be found throughout France and in many other countries.

Because a crêpe may be served as either a main meal or a dessert, crêperies may be quite diverse in their selection and may offer other baked goods such as baguettes. They may also serve coffee, tea, buttermilk, and cider (a popular drink to accompany crêpes).[21]

Special crêpes[edit]

Mille crêpes

Mille crêpes(ja) are a French cake made of many crêpe layers. The word mille means "a thousand", implying the many layers of crêpe.[22] Another standard French and Belgian crêpe is the crêpe Suzette, a crêpe with lightly grated orange peel and liqueur (usually Grand Marnier), which is lit during presentation.[23]

A plate of 49er flapjacks

The 49er flapjack is a sourdough crêpe which is popular in the United States,[24] getting its name from the popularity of this style of pancake during the California Gold Rush. Because it is similar to a Swedish pancake, the 49er is sometimes served with lingonberry sauce, although most often it is rolled up with butter and powdered sugar, or served open-faced and topped with maple syrup.

Crêpe dentelle is a crispy biscuit made with a very thin layer of crêpe folded in a cigar shape and then baked. It is usually enjoyed with a hot drink during the goûter, in France.[25]

Crêpes in European culture[edit]

A sweet crêpe filled with oats, berries, and topped with whipped cream
Frixuelos. This is a kind of crêpe made in Asturias, Spain.
Making Finnish crêpes called ohukainen

In Norwegian, crêpes are called pannekake, in most German regions Crêpes (referring to a wide and flat crêpe, as opposed to the smaller and thicker native Pfannkuchen pancakes). In Swedish, a crêpe is called pannkaka in southern regions while being called plättar in the north, in Danish, pandekager ("pancakes"), in Icelandic it is called pönnukaka, in Finnish a crêpe is called either ohukainen or lettu or räiskäle, in Greek it is krepa (Κρέπα), in Dutch it is a pannenkoek or flensje, and in Afrikaans a pannekoek, which is usually served with cinnamon and sugar. In the Spanish regions of Galicia and Asturias, they are traditionally served at carnivals. In Galicia, they're called filloas, and may also be made with pork blood instead of milk. In Asturias, they are called fayueles or frixuelos, and in Turkey, akıtma.

In areas of central Europe, formerly belonging to the Austro-Hungarian empire, there is a thin pancake comparable to a crêpe that in Austro-Bavarian is called Palatschinken; in Hungarian: palacsinta; and in Bulgarian, Macedonian, Czech, Serbo-Croatian, and Slovene: palačinka; in Slovak: palacinka. In the Balkan countries, palačinka or pallaçinka may be eaten with fruit jam, quark cheese, sugar, honey, or the hazelnut-chocolate cream Nutella, while there is also a breaded variant which is mostly filled with meat. Restaurants which are specialised in palačinci are called "Palačinkara" in the region. In Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine, there is a similar dish known as the blintz. The Oxford English Dictionary derives the German and Slavic words from the Hungarians palacsinta, which it derives from the Romanian plăcintă, which comes in turn from classical Latin placenta ("small flat cake"), even though the Romanian plăcintă is more similar to a pie, and the crêpes are actually called clătită.

During the Russian celebration of Maslenitsa (Russian Butter Week), one of the most popular foods are blini, or crêpes. Since they are made from butter, eggs, and milk, crêpes are allowed to be consumed during the celebration by the Orthodox church. White flour can be replaced with buckwheat flour and milk can be switched for kefir, and oils can be added or substituted. Blini are served with a piece of butter and topped with caviar, cheese, meat, potatoes, mushrooms, honey, berry jam, or often a dollop of sour cream. The dish is supposed to represent the sun since the holiday is about the beginning of the spring.[26]

Chocolate-Coconut Crêpe served in crêperie near the Pantheon in Paris, France

Crêpes outside of Europe[edit]

In South India, a crêpe made of fermented rice batter is called a dosa, which often has savory fillings. In Western India, a crêpe made of gram flour is called "Pudlaa" or "Poodla", with the batter consisting of vegetables and spices. Another variety is called "patibola" and is sweet in taste due to milk, jaggery, or sugar. The injera of Ethiopian/Eritrean/Somali/Yemeni cuisine is often described as a thick crêpe. In Somalia, Malawaḥ (Somali: Malawax) is very similar to a crêpe. It is mostly eaten at breakfast.

Crêpes have also long been popular in Japan and Malaysia, with sweet and savory varieties being sold at many small stands, usually called crêperies. In Argentina and Uruguay, they are called panqueques and are often eaten with dulce de leche. Various other French foods such as crêpes, soufflés, and quiche have slowly made their way into North American cooking establishments.[27] Typically, these franchises stick to the traditional French method of making crêpes but they have also put their own spin on the crêpe with new types such as the hamburger and pizza crêpe.

In Mexico, crêpes are known as crepas, and were introduced during the 19th century by the French[28][29] and are typically served either as a sweet dessert when filled with cajeta (similar to dulce de leche), or as a savoury dish when filled with Huitlacoche (corn smut), which is considered a delicacy.

In the Philippines, a native crêpe recipe is the daral which is made from ground glutinous rice and coconut milk batter (galapong). It is rolled into a cylinder and filled with sweetened coconut meat strips (hinti).[30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Longman Pronunciation Dictionary. 3rd Ed. 2008.
    Merriam-Webster Dictionary
  2. ^ Noraniah; Noor, Hafsa Mohammad; Bernadette, Leong Ming Xin; Hashim, Ahmad Ruzaini; Fadzir, Muhammad Amirulhusni Muhamad; Ibrahim, Tuan Mohd Hafeez Tuan (2021). "A study on a new design of semi-automatic crepe machine to improve Small Medium Enterpise (SME) productivity". Multidisciplinary Applied Research and Innovation. 2 (1): 255–265. ISSN 2773-4773.
  3. ^ "48 Delicious Crepe Fillings That Will Rule Your Sunday Brunch!". 14 September 2016. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  4. ^ "crepe | Search Online Etymology Dictionary". Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  5. ^ "Definition of GALETTE". Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  6. ^ Roy, Christian (2005). Traditional Festivals: A Multicultural Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-57607-089-5.
  7. ^ "La Chandeleur: The Day to Flip Crêpes". France-Amérique. 29 January 2020. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  8. ^ Clay, Xanthe (17 February 2007). "With a flame in your art". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 25 April 2008.[dead link]
  9. ^ Hum, Michelle (30 January 2012). "La Chandeleur – Le Jour des Crêpes". A Woman's Paris. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  10. ^ Alfaro, Danilo. "Sweet or Savory Basic Crepe Recipe". The Spruce Eats. Dotdash. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
  11. ^ Mariotti, Manuela; Pagani, M. Ambrogina; Lucisano, Mara (1 January 2013). "The role of buckwheat and HPMC on the breadmaking properties of some commercial gluten-free bread mixtures". Food Hydrocolloids. 30 (1): 393–400. doi:10.1016/j.foodhyd.2012.07.005. ISSN 0268-005X.
  12. ^ "Tiramisu Crepe Cake Recipe". Sally's Baking Addiction. 19 October 2020. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  13. ^ "Wrap it up in a crêpe; Thin pancakes work in savory or sweet dishes." Times-Colonist (Victoria, British Columbia). (24 April 2013 Wednesday) LexisNexis Academic.
  14. ^ "Invented Overseas, Reinterpreted in Japan: Unique Japanese Sweets with International Roots | LIVE JAPAN travel guide". LIVE JAPAN. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  15. ^ Babinski, Henri (1923). Gastronomie pratique : études culinaires ; suivies du Traitement de l'obésité des gourmands [The Encyclopedia of Practical Gastronomy] (in French) (3rd ed.). Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  16. ^ Child, Julia (1976). Mastering the Art of French Cooking (3rd ed.). ISBN 9785879620764. Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  17. ^ "The history of crêpes: A personal and historical exploration of the famous French pancake's origin". Salon. 2 January 2021. Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  18. ^ "Gâteau de Crêpes (Crepe Cake)". The Little Epicurean. 15 September 2011. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  19. ^ "Finding the Best Way to Make Crêpes with Fluid Dynamics Research". 6 November 2019.
  20. ^ "La Creperie Cafe". Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  21. ^ "La Creperie Key West". Archived from the original on 5 November 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  22. ^ Hesser, Amanda (15 May 2005). "The Way We Eat: Building a Modern, Multistoried Dessert". The New York Times.
  23. ^ Courtine, Robert J. (1984), Larousse gastronomique (French edition), Paris: Librairie Larousse.
  24. ^ "Why They Sell Like Hot Cakes". Los Angeles Times. 16 March 1995. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  25. ^ "lace crepes". Archived from the original on 21 December 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  26. ^ Nesterova, Maria (24 February 2014). "Maslenitsa, another Russian festival you've probably never heard of". Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  27. ^ Benenson, R. (1984). Dining in America. Editorial research reports 1984 (Vol. I). Washington, DC: CQ Press.
  28. ^ Fernández-del-Villar, Miguel Angel and Ruiz-Naufal, Víctor M., Mesa Mexicana (1993), Fundación Cultural Bancomer, ISBN 9789686084948
  29. ^ Hursh, Karen (1 February 2005). "The French Influence On Mexican Cooking". Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  30. ^ Polistico, Edgie. "daral". Philippine Food Illustrated. Retrieved 15 January 2020.


19. Life A La Henri – Being The Memories of Henri Charpentier, by Henri Charpentier and Boyden Sparkes, The Modern Library, New York, 2001 Paperback Edition. Originally published in 1934 by Simon & Schuster, Inc.

External links[edit]