My family has had the tradition of crepes for a delicious breakfast on Christmas morning, since before I was born. When we moved to Europe and my dad started taking French cooking classes from Chef Jean Pierre (not the TV personality), the French crepes only got better.
Then, celiac disease.
There was no way I was giving up this family tradition… one built on eggs, milk, and, like so many food traditions, flour.
That first year, I googled and pinned, substituted, and tweaked the balance of ingredients.
Year after year of flipping homemade crepes with my family, I have fine-tuned and simplified this delicious gluten-free recipe. It makes the most wonderful, flexible crepes just waiting to be stuffed with your favorite savory or sweet fillings.
We’ll walk through how to make this perfect gluten-free dessert crepe, fresh ingredients for filling your crepes, and a few easy variations, including dairy-free crepes and savory crepes.
If you’ve had crepes in your gluten-eating days, you will not be disappointed by these authentic French crepes. You’ll never notice the gluten is missing!
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Don’t let not having a crepe pan stop you from making gluten-free crepes. You can use a nonstick skillet in a pinch.
However, if you plan on making crepes more than once, I highly recommend a crepe pan! The bottom of the pan is flat for even heating, a low rim makes it easy to get a spatula under the edges for flipping, and it is just the right size to create beautifully round crepes.
I prefer to use two crepe pans to keep things moving. I double the recipe and always have assistant flippers, so it’s easy to manage two pans at once.
I use my Blendec which is overkill for the easy-to-mix ingredients in these crepes, but it is my one-and-only blender.
The blender makes for easy cleanup. Everything is mixed and stored in one container. Plus, a blender gives your crepes the smooth, lump-free consistency necessary for crepes.
This recipe works best with a gluten-free cup-for-cup baking flour, like King Arthur Measure for Measure Gluten-Free Flour. This is the brand I use in this recipe. It’s a staple in my kitchen.
Read my review of several excellent gluten-free cup-for-cup flour options that are readily available in national and regional grocery stores. These flours can often replace regular flour in your favorite recipes “1 cup for 1 cup”. They are particularly good in baked, non-yeast, recipes.
As with Jean Pierre’s recipe for French crepes, your family favorites might need some minor tweaking to get things just right sans gluten, but these replacement flours are a huge step in making gluten-free versions of your favorite foods possible.
Xanthan Gum (omit if your flour already contains xanthin gum)
If it’s not already in your flour, add 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum to the batter.
I recommend whole milk for making an authentic French crepe, but 2%, low fat, and non-fat will also work.
For dairy-free crepes, I use unsweetened almond milk. Feel free to use your favorite unsweetened non-dairy milk.
Remaining Kitchen Staples
- Unsalted butter: Melt in the microwave for about 30 seconds. (Use olive oil for dairy-free crepes)
- Granulated Sugar (omit for savory crepes)
- Vanilla Extract (omit for savory crepes)
- Cooking spray or canola oil for lightly coating the crepe pan: Pam Cooking Spray is gluten-free, but Pam Baking Spray contains wheat and is not gluten-free.
This first step is what makes the recipe so easy.
Take your simple ingredients: eggs, milk, gluten-free flour, melted butter, salt, sugar, and vanilla. Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix for about thirty seconds.
Voila! Your batter is made. It should be smooth and thin, with the consistency of heavy cream.
Let the crepe batter rest in a cold place for at least one hour. I pop my crepe batter in the fridge, but if you have a cellar or a cold room in your house, that works just fine.
This “resting” step is in the original Jean Pierre French wheat flour crepe recipe from my dad. But resting serves a unique purpose with gluten-free batter. Rice flour crepe recipes can be gritty. Allowing the batter time to rest gives the gluten-free flour time to absorb the liquid ingredients, giving your finished crepes the perfect texture.
Note, you can let your batter rest overnight, but it will thicken considerably. If your batter has thickened to the point it resembles pancake batter, it is too thick. Add milk one tablespoon at a time until the batter is the consistency of heavy cream.
Heat the crepe pan(s) on the stove over medium heat.
Lightly coat the hot pan with oil or cooking spray. Pour 1/3 cup of batter into the pan. To keep things neat and moving, I pour the batter directly from my blender into a 1/3 cup measuring cup and keep it ready to go between each crepe.
Tilt the pan in a circular motion until the bottom is coated with the crepe batter.
Cook each crepe for about two minutes on one side, using a spatula to help release it. When the crepe is ready to flip, it will slide easily around the pan, and the edges will turn golden brown.
Flip the crepe over and cook the second side for another one to two minutes. Flip the crepe with a rubber spatula or toss it in the air, my kids’ preference.
The flipping can take a little practice, so don’t worry if your first crepe doesn’t look perfect. The first one is always for taste-testing! You’ll be an expert crepe-flipper in no time.
Reapply the cooking spray or a small amount of oil between every other crepe or so.
Serve immediately with your favorite toppings and fillings.
To keep crepes warm, place them in a pancake or tortilla warmer, or in a 200° oven for up to 30 minutes. If keeping warm in the oven, place parchment paper (not wax paper) between each crepe.
Fillings & Toppings for Sweet Crepes
You can put just about anything you love in a crepe.
My dad usually adds his homemade wine jelly. My kids never pass up Nutella. My personal go-to is fresh berries rolled into a warm crepe and sprinkled with a dusting of powdered sugar. My other favorite is homemade cranberry sauce, leftover from Christmas Eve dinner.
Inspiration for Sweet Crepe Fillings & Toppings:
- Berries: strawberries, blueberries, blackberries
- Fruit: bananas, apples, peaches, pears, oranges
- Jelly/jam: fruit jams, wine jelly, lemon curd
- Cranberry sauce
- Whipped Cream: Reddi-Wip or Homemade Maple Whipped Cream
- Ice cream
- Crème fraîche
- Lemon juice & white sugar
- Powdered sugar
Gluten-Free Savory Crepes
To make gluten-free savory crepes, simply omit the sugar and vanilla from the recipe and serve with savory fillings.
Inspiration for Savory Crepe Fillings:
- Ham & cheese
- Chicken, spinach & mushrooms
- Bacon & eggs
- Roasted vegetables
- Turkey & pesto
Dairy-Free Option: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Crepe Recipe with Almond Milk
Traditional crepes are as full of dairy as they are of gluten, but these crepes are just as good as the original, with two dairy-free adjustments:
- Use two cups of almond milk, or your other favorite dairy-free milk, such as coconut milk or cashew milk, as a substitute for the two cups of whole milk.
- Caution if using oat milk! Make sure your oat milk is labeled “gluten-free“. Oats are at high risk of cross-contamination in the field and during processing. The Celiac Disease Foundation recommends that celiacs only eat oats with a gluten-free label. This applies to oat milk.
- Substitute 3 tablespoons of olive oil for the 4 tablespoons of melted butter. Happily, Jean Pierre’s traditional French crepe recipe includes an option for oil. This heart-healthy alternative to butter works just as well in these gluten-free crepes.
For almond milk crepes, a flavorful option is to use 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract in place of vanilla.
Then, make this easy crepe recipe as directed.
Make Ahead Tips
There are several options for making these crepes in advance.
- You can make the batter up to 24 hours ahead and store it in the fridge. However, it will thicken significantly overnight. Simply, add approximately 1/4 cup of milk (one tablespoon at a time) to return the batter to the consistency of a thick liquid right before cooking. Think heavy cream or thin waffle batter, not pancake batter.
- Because we have crepes on Christmas morning, I almost always make our crepes one to two days early. They keep beautifully in the fridge for up to two days. Longer two days in the fridge and they still taste good, but they will be less flexible and tear more easily.
- To make even further ahead of when you plan to enjoy these gluten-free crepes, store them in the freezer for up to two months.
Store the cooked crepes in the fridge or freezer, with a layer of wax paper or parchment paper between each crepe. Wrap the entire stack of crepes in plastic wrap and store it in an airtight container or freezer bag.
Keep for up to two days in the fridge or two months in the freezer.
Double the Recipe
I almost always double this recipe. If your blender is large enough to handle it, simply double the recipe and make it as directed.
For a smaller blender where doubling the ingredients would exceed the allowed liquid volume of your blender, mix the ingredients in the blender in two batches. Combine the batches into one container. An empty milk jug works great and is handy when pouring the batter later. Then, chill the batter and make the crepes per the recipe card instructions.
Years after my celiac diagnosis, recipes like these crepes have left me more convinced than ever that anything can be gluten-free and amazing. Wherever you are on your gluten-free journey, I hope you enjoy these wonderful crepes and are inspired to continue your family traditions, unhindered by your gluten-free diet.
Gluten-Free Crepe Recipe (Dairy-Free Option, Sweet & Savory Options)
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups whole milk (use almond milk for dairy-free option)
- 1 cup gluten-free flour blend (recommend King Arthur Measure for Measure Gluten-Free Flour or another 1:1 replacement flour that contains xanthan gum)
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (use 3 tbsp olive oil for dairy-free option)
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp xanthan gum (omit if your flour already contains it)
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar (omit for savory crepes)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (omit for savory crepes)
- cooking spray or oil to lightly coat crepe pans
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix for about 30 seconds.
- Let the crepe batter rest in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
- Heat the crepe pan on the stove until it is medium-hot. Lightly coat the hot pan with oil or cooking spray.
- Pour 1/3 cup batter into the crepe pan, turning the pan until the bottom is coated with the crepe batter.
- Cook each crepe for approximately two minutes on one side, using a spatula to help release it. It will slide easily around the pan when ready to flip. Flip the crepe over and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Serve immediately with your favorite fillings or store in the fridge with wax paper between each crepe.