The Difference Between American Pancakes, European Pancakes, and Crepes

While American pancakes, European pancakes, and crepes may all seem similar, they are actually quite different. In fact, some people believe that European pancakes and crepes are the same, but they are incorrect. Let’s break down the differences between these delicious treats.

American pancakes are the thickest of these three treats. Crepes are the thinnest, while European pancakes are thin but still light and fluffy like American Pancakes. Crepes use more flour while American and European pancakes focus on baking powder and butter to create a light, fluffy texture.

Let’s break down this difference a little more and talk about how to make each variation.

What Sets a Crepe Apart From Pancakes?

What sets a crepe apart from pancakes is that you don’t make crepes with baking powder. So, they are crispy and thin rather than thick and fluffy like pancakes. It’s also important to spread the batter out on the pan very thin to ensure they reach the desired level of crispiness.

Crepes tend to be more difficult to make than American or European pancakes because of the thinness you have to achieve with the batter. You’ll need a completely flat surface to work with when cooking the crepe, especially if you want to make a large one. 

The flat surface will ensure that the crepe cooks evenly.

Cooking crepes also requires a tool for smoothing out the batter, usually a spreader that can ensure the batter is thin and even, which creates that crispy goodness we all know and love. In a pinch, you can move the pan around, coating the bottom of the pan with the batter, but the spreader provides the most dependable way to thin out the batter while cooking.

Similar to a pancake, the bottom of the crepe will brown when it’s time to flip. 

Remember, when you are working with something as thin as a crepe, you should watch them carefully to ensure they don’t overcook.

Due to the thin nature of the crispy crepe, it’s common for people to fill them with many different things before consuming them. There are hardly any limitations when it comes to filling a crepe. So use your imagination and create anything you want. 

It’s common to fill it with cream or berries, but anything goes when it comes to these treats.

How an American Pancake Is Different From a European Pancake

The American pancake and the European pancake are similar in texture, but the European pancake is a lot thinner than the American one. This causes the European pancake to often be mistaken for a crepe when it isn’t.

When making a European pancake for the first time, you’ll notice that many ingredients are similar to the American pancake, with some small alterations. Most of the difference comes down to the thickness. 

American pancakes are known to be thick and fluffy, and while European pancakes are still fluffy, they’re not nearly as thick.

The difference here is that European pancakes use less of the rising ingredients that American pancakes use. American pancakes typically include baking soda, which helps them rise. European pancakes leave out this major ingredient, which makes them thinner but just as fluffy and delicious.

What Is the Difference Between a European Pancake and a Crepe?

The main difference between a European pancake and a crepe is that the crepe is dense and crunchy, whereas a European pancake is thin but soft and fluffy. They may look the same, but you will notice an immediate difference when tasting them.

While they may look similar, there are significant differences between a European pancake and a crepe. A thin pancake doesn’t always mean it’s a crepe, so let’s break down the difference.

Crepes use a lot more flour to achieve the density in their texture, while European pancakes use eggs and butter to achieve their thin fluffiness. You can fill both of these treats with just about anything you want, but it is worth noting that crepes are easier to fill than pancakes.

Because of their dense nature and crispiness, crepes hold more ingredients inside the batter than pancakes.

American pancakes are too thick to fill, but European pancakes are thin enough to fit ingredients inside if you want to. The only problem with this is that European pancakes are not dense enough to handle a lot of filling without falling apart.