You can’t go wrong with a crepe bar for a formal or informal get-together, so I’m including my favorite crepe recipes here. Although crepe recipes are available in profusion on the Internet, I’ve had consistent results with these, and if you simply supply a few tempting ingredients to go on top of and inside your crepes, guests will come back for seconds, thirds, and fourths. But who’s counting?
Because crepes and crepe bars have been a family favorite for so long, I’ve acquired recipes for lots of variations, both for the basic crepes and for the delicious and delightful variations of fillings and toppings. Don’t get me started!
Actually, you will want to get me started, but it’s going to take more than one post to share all of the tips and tricks I’ve has learned over the years. Visit the post on how to make bulk crepes quickly using an electric crepe maker, for example. We’ll try to link them all up, but if you are a crepe novice and start feeling a bit faint-hearted about too many options, just start here. You can expand your crepe repertoire after you’ve mastered the four fabulous recipes below.
The Crepe Bar
One of our favorite desserts after a family dinner, and also an often-requested dessert at weddings and other events, a crepe bar is easy to set up and provides guests with an outlet for their gastronomic creativity. With a simple batch of crepes, a single filling, and three or four simple toppings, you and your guests can create desserts that look extravagant. The magic is in the variety of possibilities:
Setting Up A Crepe Bar
A crepe bar is so simple you’ll wonder why you’ve never tried it before. At the front of the line, guests will find a stack of plates and a stack of crepes. They’ll choose one or two, then spoon a little bit of filling over the top of each crepe. From there, it’s simply a matter of providing several attractive bowls full of fillings. The simplest crepes are dusted with a little bit of powdered sugar and sprinkled with a little bit of lemon juice. For other crepes in the photo above, we only needed 7 simple toppings:
- Canned cherry pie filling
- Chocolate sauce
- Caramel sauce
- Fresh fruit (strawberries and kiwi)
- Whipped Cream
- Powdered sugar
- Fresh lemon juice
Crepes can be made ahead and either refrigerated for a day or two or frozen for several weeks. I like to stack mine about 10 deep, insert a sheet of waxed paper, and repeat for a couple more layers (about 30 crepes). When cool, insert the stack into a gallon-sized plastic freezer bag to store.
If stored crepes stick to each other so they are difficult to separate without tearing them, place the stack in the microwave and heat at 30-second intervals until the crepes separate more readily. If you’ve frozen the crepes, thaw them in the refrigerator before separating them.
Our Favorite Crepe Bar Recipes
This page includes the basics. Along with the perfect crepe, you’ll want to work on your crepe-making technique, but I recommend a cheater’s method for cooking crepes. My trade secret is so easy, a caveperson can do it. You’ll find the crepe-making tutorial here.
1. Classic Crepe Batter
This batter is a favorite because it’s simple and reliable. You’ll find dozens of similar variations on the Internet.
- 3 eggs
- ½ C milk
- 3 T butter, melted
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ C flour
- Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth (just a minute or two)
- Scrape sides and blend for an additional 30 seconds or so.
- Refrigerate for an hour. This is an important step; don't skip it.
- Heat crepe pan until hot enough to sizzle a drop of water.
- Brush lightly with pan spray.
- Pour in enough batter to cover the sides of the pan, tipping and tilting the pan to move batter quickly over the bottom.
- Cook until light brown on bottom and dry on top.
- Remove from pan and stack on a plate. Serve immediately.
2. Chocolate Crepe Batter
Chocolate crepes are also delicious. For chocolate crepes, just add the following to the classic crepe batter above:
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons oil or butter
1/4 cup sugar
3. Crepe-Cream Filling
Chocolate crepes can be filled with a vanilla creme filling, or they are also delicious filled with Chocolate Mousse. See both recipes below:
- 8-ounce package cream
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup jam (optional)
- 2 packages (3.4 oz.) white chocolate instant pudding
- 3 cups milk
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, jam (if you want a flavored filling), and vanilla until fluffy.
- In a second bowl, mix 3 cups milk and the white chocolate instant pudding and let sit until set.
- In a third bowl, beat the whipped cream to stiff peaks.
- Whisk the pudding into the cream cheese mixture and then fold in the whipped cream.
- Pipe liberally onto crepes, layer on small slices of cheesecake, brownies as preferred. Roll up or fold the filled crepe. Top with whipped cream and condiments of choice (additional fruit, cookie crumbs, coconut crunch, etc.). Serve plain or drizzle with chocolate, caramel, or other sauce warmed slightly in the microwave.
4. Jill’s Chocolate Mousse
Jill married into the family in the 1980s and her chocolate mousse recipe was married into the family not long after. It’s a favorite go-to and is a never-fail version of this sometimes tricky dessert. You can master it on the first try. Just follow this simple recipe:
- 1 teaspoon gelatin
- 1 T cold water
- 2 T boiling water
- ⅓ Cup sugar
- ¼ Cup cocoa
- 1 Cup cold heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Sprinkle Knox over 1 T cold water and let sit for a minute
- Add 2 T boiling water and stir until gelatin is completely dissolved
- Mix sugar and cocoa
- Add cream and vanilla to sugar mixture
- Beat cream to stiff peaks
- Stir in Knox mixture and blend well
- Chill for at least an hour. Will keep for several days in the refrigerator.