Easy dairy-free crepes make a great base for a delicious breakfast, dinner or side dish! Make them sweet or savory depending on your toppings of choice.
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The Origin of Crepes
Crepes are a beloved food that has been enjoyed in France and many other parts of the world for centuries.
These thin, delicate pancakes can be filled with savory or sweet ingredients, making them a versatile dish that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert.
The history of crepes dates back to ancient times, when thin pancakes were a common food item in many cultures around the world.
The modern crepe as we know it today, however, originated in France during the 12th century. Crepes quickly became a popular food item in France and are now enjoyed all over the world.
In France, crepes are traditionally served on February 2nd, which is known as La Chandeleur or Candlemas Day. On this day, it is customary to make and eat crepes, which are believed to bring good luck for the coming year.
Crepes are traditionally made with milk. Here we use oat milk instead, though you can use any milk substitute you prefer, such as almond or even coconut.
However, true to traditional crepes, this dairy-free crepe recipe was designed as a blank canvas. No vanilla, sugar or other flavoring is added to the crepes, making them to perfect vessel for any topping. Literally, anything. The sky is the limit!
Originally, I made these crepes as a featured weekend breakfast. I wanted them to be a bit heartier than your average crepe, with a secret sprinkling of protein. That’s where the almond flour comes in.
Because of the almond flour, these crepes have more of a bite than your average, tissue-paper-thin crepe. They’re more filling and naturally flavorful as well, without having an overbearing almond flavor.
Make it a Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Crepe
To make these crepes gluten-free, swap the all-purpose flour for a gluten-free all-purpose flour.
Any regular gluten-free all-purpose flour will work well, particularly those with a 1:1 replacement ratio.
The gluten-free flour shouldn’t have much effect on the crepes, as they are unleavened. Typically when cooking with gluten-free flour, the issue comes in with the leavening process, as there is no gluten to react with. In the crepes case, it’s simply a binding vessel to create the crepe, and should have similar results to regular flour crepes.
I wouldn’t recommend making them only with almond flour, as they may come out too heavy to be enjoyable as a flexible crepe.
How to Make Dairy-Free Crepes
Making crepes is fairly straightforward. Here is a step-by-step on how to make crepes with some crepe-crafting tips to follow.
Melt Your Butter
The first step to any good crepe is melting the butter. Whether you do this on the stove or in a microwave is up to you!
Whisk Wet Ingredients
While the melted butter is cooling to room temperature, add your wet ingredients in a mixing bowl. Combine the milk, water and eggs well.
Add in the Dry Ingredients
Next, add the dry ingredients, combining well so there are no clumps. Add in the salt and butter, cooled to room temperature.
It’s important that the butter does not go in scalding hot, as it may cook the eggs.
Pan Fry the Crepes
Next, is the most key part of the crepe making process: the cooking. For this you’ll ideally want to use a small non-stick frying pan. As you cook the crepes, set them aside between layers of wax paper, parchment paper or paper towels to prevent them sticking together as they cool.
Dairy-Free Crepe Cooking Tips
The secret to making crepes is all in the swirl. Hold your pan off the heat when you add the batter to the pan, and swirl as soon as you begin pouring in the batter.
Only add more batter to the pan if you absolutely cannot cover the entire surface. Otherwise, use the back of a spoon (preferably a plastic, not metal, spoon) to smooth the batter out and create one even thin layer.
Watch the video below to see this crepe cooking technique.
Next, it’s important to be aware that crepes have a tendency to stick together when fresh out of the pan. Stack your finished crepes on a plate with a paper towel between each layer as you cook them. Or, use an empty sheet pan, lay the crepes out flat and use a sheet of wax paper between layers.
How to Create a Crepe Bar
A fun way to serve these sugar-free crepes is with a crepe bar. Set out a plethora of topping items and everyone gets to make their own. Here are some ideas to set up your own crepe bar at home.
Sweet Crepe Bar Ideas
- Jams, Jellies and Preserves
- Brown Sugar or Powdered Sugar
- Cherries and Berries
- Whipped Cream
- Poached Pears
- Baked Apples
- Lemon Zest
- Chocolate Syrup (try our Sugar-Free Chocolate Syrup!)
Savory Crepe Bar Ideas
- Cheddar Cheese
- Parmesan Cheese
- Scrambled Eggs
- Peanut Butter
- Cream Cheese or Mascarpone
- Vegan or Almond Milk Cheeses for the Dairy Free
Dairy-Free Crepe Filling Ideas
Instead of a crepe bar, you can fill your crepes in the kitchen before serving. The possibilities truly are endless, but here are some ideas to get the creative juices flowing!
Crepes are a delicious and versatile dish that can be enjoyed in many different ways. Whether you prefer sweet or savory crepes, there are endless possibilities when it comes to fillings and flavor combinations. So why not try making some crepes at home today? They’re easy to make, and the results are sure to be delicious!
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup almond flour
- ½ cup milk almond or oat milk works great!
- ¾ to 1 cup water start with ¾ cup and add more as needed to thin out the batter
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- 2 eggs
- In the microwave, or on the stovetop, melt the butter. Set aside to cool.
- Whisk eggs, milk, water and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add almond and all-purpose flour, then the butter. Ensure the butter has come to room temperature before adding it to the batter. Whisk until smooth.
- The batter should be smooth and runny, not thick. Thinner than pancake batter. Add more water if needed.
- Heat a 6" frying pan over medium high heat. Add a spot of butter to the pan if it is not nonstick.
- Holding the pan at a slight angle, pour approximately ¼ cup of batter into the pan. Swirl immediately, coating the entire bottom of the pan. Use the bottom of a spoon to gently spread the crepe out if needed. Try to keep the crepe thin by spreading the batter out evenly.
- Let the crepe cook for about two minutes, until the bottom is a light, golden color. Using a flat spatula, flip the crepe over to cook the other side. Typically, the second side cooks in less time than the first side.
- Stack crepes on a plate with a paper towel in between each.
- Serve warm. To reheat the crepes, Microwave for 30 seconds or warm in a low-heat oven.
- Jams and Jellies
- Peanut Butter
- Brown Sugar
- Whipped Cream
- Powdered Sugar
- Scrambled eggs
- Cream Cheese