Differences Between a Crepe and a Swedish Pancake

Preparation of pancakes
French crepes cooking on the griddle. (Image: Arkady Chubykin/Hemera/Getty Images)

Pancakes can be found around the world. They are made from varying proportions of flour, water, milk, eggs, sugar and butter. Two well-known styles of pancake are the Swedish pancake and the French crepe. Although often considered to be largely the same, the two have distinctive characteristics in ingredients, and cooking and serving methods.

Making Swedish Pancakes

Swedish pancakes are known for their richness. High in egg and butter content and low in flour, these pancakes are lighter, fluffier and airier than other forms of pancake. According to New York Times food writer Mark Bittman, these proportions serve to create a tastier and more indulgent pancake. His recipe for Swedish pancakes calls for three eggs, a quarter cup of sugar, one cup of milk and three-quarters of a cup of flour. This is high in fat and sugar and low in filler. Swedish pancake batter is thicker and is poured into the griddle and flipped after being cooked partially.

Making Crepes

Crepes, on the other hand, are thinner, denser and much less sweet. Bittman's crepe recipe calls for an entire cup of flour, only 1 tsp. of sugar, and two eggs. The distinctive element about cooking crepes is that as the batter is poured into a griddle, it will run across the surface of the pan, and usually spreads itself evenly, if the batter is made in the correct proportions.

Serving Swedish Pancakes

Because Swedish pancakes are especially sweet, they are usually served with lingonberry, any other fruit preserves, or even yogurt. They can even be served with just a dusting of confectioner's sugar. Traditionally, Swedish pancakes are served as a side to a yellow split-pea soup.

Serving Crepes

Because crepes are usually not sweet, they can be served with any number of fillings, both sweet and savory. Although Swedish pancakes call for a higher proportion of eggs, because of its high sugar content, the taste is not egg-centered. However, crepes have a strong egg flavor and serving inspiration can be taken from omelette recipes. Some popular stuffings are ham and cheese, spinach and mushrooms, and for a sweet version, banana and chocolate.

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