The Crêpe-Making Hack We’re Flipping For

February  6, 2018

Ah, the crêpe, that paper-thin disk of soft and pliable dough. The pancake’s skinny cousin. Fill them, fold them, snack them. Wrap one in a cone of parchment paper and pretend you’re on the streets of Paris. Circular snacks just begging to be stuffed and eaten, either sweet or savory.

On an ingredient level, crêpes are relatively simple to pull together; their batter is just a combination of everyday pantry items. It’s their shaping that requires a deft hand, agility, and considerable confidence. There’s the pour, the swish, the wave of the wrist—it can take some time to master. And without a level of finesse, you can easily find yourself with crêpes that are undercooked, uneven, torn, or burnt. If only there were an easier way!

Well, maybe there is.

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Just last week, a crêpe-making hack surfaced on YouTube that has me all sorts of awed. The video is featured on the account ViralHog and is said to have originally come from Brazil. To achieve the crêpe’s delicate shape, the disembodied hands in the video turn things upside down, literally. They dip the bottom of a pan (the bottom!!!) into the batter and use the curved underside to heat and cook the crêpe. You can see the batter progressively crisp as the downward slope of the pan’s bottom allows the finished crêpe to curl at the edges. Check it out here:

I have to admit, it’s quite impressive. The whole process takes about 45 seconds, and the cook ends up with a sizable stack of what look like nicely browned finished crêpes. This method seems great for when you’ve got to bust out a whole bunch of crêpes in just a bit of time. Imagine how easy it would make the prep for a layered crêpe cake! Next time I make crêpes, I’m definitely going to give this hack a try. I just need to remember to give the bottom of my pan a good scrub before I begin.

Would you give this one a go, or do you already have a trick of your own? Let us know in the comments below.

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Valerio Farris

Written by: Valerio Farris

Former staff writer at Food52. Current anchovy eater.


RunnelsT December 9, 2019
Does the heat hurt the inside of the skillet?
Cathy September 13, 2018
Back in the 70s Magi Pan restaurants used this method. Their fillings were delicious.
Anke T. March 13, 2018
I don’t know. I have never considered cooking crepes in an ordinary nonstick crepe pan difficult enough to warrant resorting to such hacks. If the batter is liquid enough it will spread around the pan easily, and if you are patient enough to wait until the first side is properly cooked, you can flip the crepe with a broad spatula no need even for acrobatic flipping. I’m certainly no chef, but crepes, seriously? These days, many “hacks” out there seem to be solving non-problems.
Ray B. February 12, 2018
This system was used commercially in the 60's and 70's by the Magic Pan in San Francisco. It used several (8 to 10) inverted pans that were placed on a ring-like steel tube assembly that revolved at a rate of one revolution per two to four minutes over a gas fired ring burner. The chef could produce a large number of perfect crepes in a short time.
Dubravka M. February 11, 2018
Crepe pan is an iron, shallow pan intended for crepes and nothing else. You DO NOT SCRUB it. It seasons with use and you wash it with warm soapy water and wipe with a paper towel. Also, the pan and the oil needs to be quite hot when you pour the batter. If you use butter, its solids start burning before the optimal temperature and the crepe sticks. We've been making crepes for generations in our family.
Walter February 11, 2018
Did anyone else notice the difference between the crepes in the photo layout at the top of the page are NOT created like the ones shown in the 'hack' video?? I wonder how many folks would have clicked on the topic if they had used the skin-graft coloured crepes...
trvlnsandy February 10, 2018
old, old, old. I look to you for new tricks.
Doug R. February 9, 2018
Not much different than the stove-top crepe pan my wife had when we got married. The method we've developed over time is to use two cast-iron skillets, one slightly larger than the other, both lightly buttered. Start the crepe in the smaller pan, flip it into the larger pan. Works perfectly.
MSinMS February 7, 2018
They have no color and look flavorless, just another social media gimmick
Mrs S. February 7, 2018
Doesn't work unless you have a gas stove, unfortunately.
Louise H. February 7, 2018
I've been using an electric crepe maker for years that does just that. Works like a charm!
Cuocopazzo February 27, 2018
Me as well. It was the easiest way to quickly produce crepes which, by the way, make fantastic cannelloni.
Nansea C. February 7, 2018
Do you need to oil the bottom? Will the batter stick if you do?
MarTe February 6, 2018
This does work. About 20 years ago they actually sold a crepe pan which was a skillet complete with instructions to heat, dip bottom in batter and cook inverted on stovetop. Rather foolproof after losing the first one to scrap while you regulated the heat.
foofaraw February 6, 2018
What I was wondering was, what would happen to the teflon/anti-stick coating that was directly exposed to the fire? Would it break down earlier and small cause poisonous gas? We know that we can only stir fry on teflon pan because the water keeps the teflon temperature close to 100C. We can't deep fry with it because the oil's boiling temperature is too close to dangerous temperature for teflon (degradation, start to release fumes, etc). With no fluid that keeps the teflon temperature low, I am a bit cautious to try this. Thoughts anyone?
*Cast iron pan would definitely works, but that doesn't seems to be what the video suggested (nor what I have in that diameter).
mstv February 6, 2018
I use a regular stainless steel skillet for cooking crepes and I think you could try using that (but) inverted.
Victoria C. February 10, 2018
I wish you would explain exactly what you do to get them not to stick as I would like to stop using a non-stick pan. I don't use it for anything else, but I do use it when I make my grandmother's manicotti crespelle.