Big Apple Pancake

Big apple pancake

I posted this recipe to Facebook over the weekend, so I’ll keep this brief. I have made this big apple pancake two weekends in a row now, and I have a feeling the run will continue for the remainder of the fall. It is one of the most fun recipes to prepare as it comes together in just minutes, puffs dramatically in the oven, and feeds four comfortably (so long as you provide some bacon or sausage on the side.)

This past weekend’s pancake came out better than the first, namely because I followed the instructions and made the effort to pulse the flour-egg-milk mixture in the food processor rather than just whisk by hand, which left the batter extremely lumpy. I also doubled the amount of apple this time around, ensuring that loads of tender apple slices filled every bite.

I love this recipe, but I find the name to be a bit of a misnomer — it tastes nothing like a pancake to me, leaving my pancake-making woes to persist. Alas, with a new delicious addition to the morning repertoire, I have no complaints. Hope you all had a nice weekend.

big apple pancake in oven

big apple pancake in oven

big apple pancake, just baked

slice of big apple pancake

Note: This is a super easy/fast breakfast/brunch. It’s so good loaded with apples, so if your apples are on the small side, use two or three — enough to fill the bottom layer of the skillet generously.

Big Apple Pancake

Source: Gourmet

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1 large sweet apple such as Gala or Golden Delicious, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch-wide wedges
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
Confectioners sugar for dusting

1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F.

2. Melt butter in skillet over moderate heat, then transfer 2 tablespoons to a blender or food processor. Add apple wedges to skillet and cook, turning over once, until beginning to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. (They don’t need to caramelize, just soften.)

3. While apple is cooking, add milk, flour, eggs, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt to butter in blender and blend until smooth. (Do do this step — I didn’t the first time around and the batter was really lumpy.)

4. Pour batter over apple and transfer skillet to oven. Bake until pancake is puffed and golden, about 15 minutes. Dust with confectioners sugar and serve immediately.


  1. Josh Ely says

    They look beautiful.

    My pancake woes were solved by a big WOAH! (My reaction, after trying this recipe, which is on the outside of a Star Wars pancake mold package, from Williams Sonoma):


    2 eggs
    2 cups (315 g) all-purpose flour, sifted
    3 Tbs. sugar
    2 tsp. baking powder
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1 tsp. salt
    2 1/2 cups (625 ml) buttermilk
    4 Tbs. (1/2 stick / 60 g) unsalted butter, melted
    1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
    1 to 2 Tbs. vegetable oil or nonstick cooking spray
    Maple syrup for serving


    1. In a bowl, using an electric mixer or a handheld whisk, beat the eggs on medium speed until frothy. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla. Stir just until the batter is smooth and no lumps of flour remain; do not overmix.
    2. Heat a griddle over medium heat until a few drops of water flicked onto the surface skitter across it. Lightly grease the griddle and the inside surface of the pancake molds with vegetable oil, or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set the molds, with the handles up, on the griddle and heat until hot.
    3. Pour about 1/3 cup (80 ml) batter into each mold. Using a butter knife, spread the batter into the corners of the molds. Cook until bubbles form on top and the batter is set, about 2 minutes.
    4. Remove the molds and, using a spatula, flip the pancakes over. Cook until golden brown on the other side, about 2 minutes more. Keep warm until all the pancakes are cooked.
    5. Repeat with the remaining batter, adding more oil to the griddle and greasing the molds as needed. Serve with maple syrup. Makes about 15 pancakes, 5 of each shape.

    The batter is really thin, but it cooks up beautifully. It is thin enough that you can use it to “draw” designs on the griddle, making fun shapes / pictures for kiddos or for those who are a kid at heart. Plus, the pancakes taste great. I think it is the buttermilk.

    Hope this helps your woes!!

    • says

      Josh, haha, I love it. THANK YOU for sending along this recipe. I am going to try it this weekend — I have some family coming into town. I wonder if I have time to get my hands on some pancake molds before then? I love the Star Wars idea, but I think I might like some farm animal shapes as well. I suppose I can always just use some circular ring molds. I will report back. Oh, I also have a ton of cookie cutter molds — the kids will LOVE that. Thank you thank you. Can’t wait to give this a go. I have a feeling it is going to be a good one with all of that buttermilk.

  2. says

    Made this, this morning for the man. I had some old apples tucked away in the fridge, used 2. This is a huge pancake, enough for 4 easily. We loved it, it’s a fun and different alternative to a standard pancake, but protein rich from all the eggs. A winner!

  3. Jessica says

    Hi, I’m Jessica and I discovered your website about six months ago..and I’ve since made sooo many recipes from your site – it’s fantastic :)
    This recipe looks so similar to the Balzano Apple Cake you posted, a recipe I made two weeks ago for my mom’s birthday haha, is it that similar?
    I was wondering, where did your recipe index go? Now all I see are the essentials, which are fantastic, but I also really really needed your complete recipe index! Did you plan to delete it forever? Please put it up again! :)

    • says

      Jessica, hi, I am so sorry about removing the recipe index! It’s back! Honestly, I wasn’t sure if anybody was using it, and in a cleaning frenzy, I removed it. I won’t do that again. Thank you for your nice words about the blog. I can’t believe I didn’t compare this big apple pancake to the Balzano Apple Cake recipe, but you are right — they are very similar! I am going to take a closer look right now. I haven’t made the Balzano in awhile now, but I know it bakes at a slower temp and for a longer time. Thanks for writing in. Promise never to remove the index again :)

  4. says

    What a beautiful and simple way to use apples – I have so many right now and this would be a delicious way to use some of them up… I’m featuring this post as part of Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution) and thanks for making me drool!

  5. says

    I’M IN LOVE, in a big way. We just ate this for breakfast and absolutely loved it. It’s so light and fluffy and not too sweet and perfectly apply. I’m not sure what Shawn is talking about, but we managed to polish this off between 2 – gluttons? maybe! I used three apples – I guess mine were small – and a bit of cinnamon because I can’t seem to help myself when it comes to cinnamon and apple. Thank you thank you and happy weekend!

  6. says

    I’M IN LOVE, in a big way. We just ate this for breakfast and absolutely loved it. It’s so light and fluffy and not too sweet and perfectly apply. I’m not sure what Shawn is talking about, but we managed to polish this off between 2 – gluttons? maybe! I used three apples – I guess mine were small – and a bit of cinnamon because I can’t seem to help myself when it comes to cinnamon and apple. Thank you thank you and happy weekend!

    • says

      Talley, well, I can’t tell you how happy I am to read this because the truth is that I made this one morning for myself and ate half of it in one sitting and the other half the following morning, cold, straight from the Tupperware container I had stored it in. I think 3 apples sounds perfect in fact and cinnamon — duh! Next time I will add a sprinkling of cinnamon, too. Happy weekend to you too!!

  7. sunshinelady says

    I have this in the oven for the second time in a week – it is fabulous! This time I put sprinkled some cinnamon and nutmeg over the apples as they cooked. Hope it turns out as well as the first!

  8. Lynette says

    I made this gluten free by substituting gluten free baking mix. Also added cinnamon and I just happened to have some caramels which I melted down and drizzled over the top. Thanks for this great breakfast idea.

    • says

      omg melted caramels sound amazing :) Well done! I am totally craving breakfast right now. Thanks so much for reporting in on the gluten-free variation…so many people will love to hear this.

  9. Alex says

    I’ve just discovered your blog and I’m already in love. So much so that I cooked two of your recipes in the space of one day. The first was this one, for brunch.

    I really loved this– the fact that it was fruity and sweet, but still firmly in the breakfast category; that it was much less labour intensive thatn flipping pancake after pancake at the stove; that it was so, well, apple-y. I used three apples (a Granny Smith and two Pink Ladys) and could not contemplate using any fewer. Oh, and I almost forgot to say: it puffed up beautifully!

    I think I would reduce the eggs to 3 next time, as I just wanted it to edge a bit more towards ‘pancake’ and slightly less towards ‘omelette’. Do you think this would jeopardise the scientific reaction that makes it puff up? I’ve seen other recipes for dutch babies that have used 3 eggs for similar volumes of flour, milk and sugar…

    But seriously, it was effortless and delicious. I love the whole vibe of your blog–the beautiful pictures, the unique recipes, the technical tips. I’ve bookmarked many, many recipes already so thank you!

    • says

      Hi Alex!

      Thanks so much for writing in, and thank you for your kind words. I adore this recipe for all the same reasons you have mentioned, most especially that there is no flipping involved.

      I say definitely go for the egg reduction — I don’t think it would jeopardize the scientific reaction at all, and I can totally see it perhaps improving the taste. I will try this next time, too, maybe sometime this week…I will report back if I do. I love the idea of making this less eggy and more pancakey — I’m a carb lover.

      If you make it with 3 eggs, do report back. Would love to hear how it turns out. Thanks so much again for writing in!

  10. Julia says

    Hey! I came over from buzzfeed :) love the look of this recipe. sadly don’t have a skillet though. do you think i could just cook this in a pan and cover with a lid to cook through? I know it won’t have the same delicious effect but do you think it’d work?

    • says

      Hi Julia — I’m not sure it will puff quite the same way?! Is the pan you have oven proof? Or do you have anything you can use on your stovetop that can then enter the oven?

  11. Lauren Beasley says

    Just finished eating this and it was incredible! My super picky mother-in-law had seconds, I’ve never seen her do that! I sautéed the apples in cinnamon and a pinch of brown sugar and nutmeg. This recipe is to die for! Thank you!

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