Growing up, one of Inbal Lavie’s favorite recipes was for sweet pancakes from Hana Shaulov’s cookbook “Mevashlim Kemo Gdolim” (Hebrew for “Cooking Like Grown-Ups”). Known as The Cookie Fairy today, Lavie explains: “As a child I helped my mother prepare the pancake batter. When I grew up and could work the cooktop, I made them whenever I wanted a quick sweet snack.”
Now that Lavie’s a mom, her two daughters stand beside her at the kitchen counter every Saturday, “because Shabbat morning at our house always starts with a huge plate full of pancakes,” she says with a smile.
Instead of a stack of pancakes that need to be cooked individually, Lavie created a recipe for a plump family-sized pancake that’s baked in the oven. The delicate and buttery Dutch baby batter has less flour than most pancake recipes and is rich in milk and butter. During baking, the pancake rises and bubbles form in the center — this is all part of the magic and lots of fun for kids to watch through the oven door (though be sure not to open it as the Dutch baby bakes). Once removed from the oven it deflates and the crater can be filled with sweet ricotta cream and seasonal fruits, or any other toppings you like.
For those with food sensitivities, please note the following substitutions:
- For a dairy-free version, use a plant-based milk and replace the butter with coconut oil. You can also serve the Dutch baby with whipped coconut cream or vegan ice cream.
- For a gluten-free version, use gluten-free flour.
¾ cup (180 ml) milk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons (30 grams) butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup + 1 tablespoon (80 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (20 grams) sugar, or natural maple syrup
Pinch of salt
1½ tablespoons (20 grams) butter, for greasing
For the ricotta cream (optional):
1 cup (250 grams) ricotta
¼ cup (30 grams) powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 400F / 200C.
- Beat the milk, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract in a bowl.
- Add the flour, sugar, and salt and beat to a smooth batter.
- Heat an oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add 1½ tablespoons butter (alternatively, preheat a 9½-inch / 24cm cake pan in the oven). Tilt the skillet slightly so that the butter evenly coats the bottom and sides.
- Pour the batter into the hot pan and transfer quickly to the oven. Bake for 10 minutes and do not open the oven door until the pastry is puffy and the sides are golden brown. If necessary, bake a few more minutes longer, but make sure the pancake doesn’t burn.
- Prepare the ricotta cream: Meanwhile, beat the ricotta, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a bowl to a smooth cream.
- Remove the Dutch baby from the oven and let cool slightly. Fill the center with the ricotta cream, sprinkle fresh berries or cherries on top, and serve.