In the kitchen: Mini German Pancakes


I don't do breakfast. Let me clarify: I don't make breakfast. Sure, I can bake a quiche or muffins or scones or even bagels if I'm in the mood, but generally speaking breakfast is a meal that I rarely, if ever, attempt. I know they say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but honestly, all I want for the first few hours after I wake up is a strong cup of coffee and a cozy chair to nestle in as I slowly greet the day. I do enjoy a good poached egg or a stack of fluffy banana pancakes on occasion, I just don't like having to actually make anything so early in the day. So I guess that makes me more of a brunch person. A brunch-at-a-restaurant person.

I used to joke with my girlfriends about how I hoped I'd marry a man who does breakfast, because if he ever hoped to have it or if our future kids ever hoped to have it, someone would have to step up... because Mommy will be very busy nestling and drinking coffee. As it turns out, I did find such a man. 

Michael wouldn't call himself a cook but he does have a few culinary tricks up his sleeve: He is a Top Ramen expert. He can make a mean (and spicy!) chili. He is a self-proclaimed Mac 'n Cheese connoisseur (... he even has a method for attaining the perfect consistency on the cheese sauce). And he loves to make his mom's recipe for German Pancakes. 

Bingo! Pancakes = breakfast.

It's always an exciting day when Michael decides to make me his special pancakes. They're light and fluffy - with the flavor and texture of a popover. With the mini version, you've got the perfect breakfast bite, making them excellent for brunch or for a bridal or baby shower.

My preferred touch of sweetness to these eggy breakfast bites is some homemade chocolate cherry preserves. If I can ever find the time - and my hastily jotted down notes - I'll be sure to share the recipe with you. But let's move on the good stuff, shall we?

Michael's Pancakes, or Mini German Pancakes

Makes: Either 2 large pancakes or 24 mini pancakes


2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup milk
4 eggs
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
Dash of nutmeg if y'ant. 

Additional 2-4 tbsp. unsalted butter (2 tbsp if using 2 pans, 4 tbsp if making mini pancakes)


Powdered sugar
Jam or preserves of your choosing


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Lightly beat the eggs in a medium bowl until the yolks and whites are incorporated. Add the remaining ingredients and beat well. (Note: I prefer to use a KitchenAid with the whisk attachment because I think it makes the pancakes a bit fluffier, but if you don't have one you can use a good old fashioned whisk and you'll be just fine. After all, pancakes have been around longer than electric mixers.)

Using additional butter, cut into little pieces and divide among 24 cups on a couple of muffin tins, or two 9" pans (Alternatively, pie plates work well.). Place the tray/pans in the oven to melt the butter.

When butter is bubbling hot, swirl it around to coat the bottom and sides of each cup or the two pans. 

Divide the batter among the cups/pans and bake for 10 minutes, until they've puffed up well. Turn the oven to 350 to finish baking the pancakes until they've turned a light, golden brown. (You may not need additional time, so just keep an eye on them.)

Let the pancakes cool for a minute or so. They will deflate once out of the oven. If making the mini-pancakes, you may need to run a knife around the edges, and jimmy them out with a large spoon. (If using a non-stick muffin tin, then you may not need to - I have old muffin tins, so I have to scrape the bottom of the pancakes a bit with a spoon.) Top with freshly squeezed lemon juice and a generous dusting of powdered sugar, and if you're feeling up for it - a dollop of preserves.