Italian crespelle recipe for pancake day

Crespelles are paper-thin pancakes, the Italian equivalent of France's crêpes.


by Ellen Kinsey |

This Italian crepelle recipe isn't so different to traditional pancakes, and you can still serve it with all your favourite toppings such as Nutella, melted chocolate, fresh fruit, cream, jam or lemon juice.

To make this crespelle recipe savoury you just need to omit the sugar and alcohol and increase the amount of salt - then serve with toppings such as ricotta, spinach or whatever you fancy.

In the past, these thin pancakes were considered a thrifty meal for the poorer classes but are now seen as a delicate, elegant dish that is popular for breakfast, brunch or dessert.

Related: Easy Italian croissant recipe

Italian crespelle recipe

This recipe from The Spruce Eats is for simple, sweet crespelle.

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 35 mins

Servings: 10 to 12 servings


• 1 large egg plus 2 egg yolks (reserve 1 of the whites for later)

• 2 tablespoons sugar (omit if making savoury crespelle)

• 1 pinch salt (1/2 teaspoon for savoury crespelle)

• 3/4 cup flour

• 1 cup cold milk

• (optional) 1 shot brandy or rum (omit if making savoury crespelle, or alcohol-free)

• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter


  1. Beat the egg and yolks together with the sugar and the salt, then incorporate the flour and slowly add the milk, so as to obtain a creamy batter.

2.Whip the reserved egg white to moderately firm peaks and carefully fold in the liquor, then fold the mixture into the batter. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and fold it into the batter, too. Let the batter sit in a cool place for at least 1 hour.

3.When you are ready to proceed, heat your crêpe pan over medium heat. Melt the remaining butter and lightly brush the crêpe pan.

4.Pour 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter into the centre of the pan and distribute it evenly by tilting the pan. Cook for a couple of minutes, then flip the crespelle over and cook for a couple of minutes more. Don't let it get too brown.

5.Continue until you have finished the batter, stacking the finished crespelle on a plate and covering them with a cloth to keep them warm.

The history of the crespelle

Italian crespelle

The change from a poor man’s food to a delicacy came in 1895 when Henri Carpentier was a teenage waiter at Montecarlo's Café in Paris.

He accidentally ruined pancakes meant for the Prince of Wales, Edward VIII. Edward suggested this delicious new preparation be named after his young friend, thereby creating Crêpes Suzette, which is now served in upscale restaurants today.

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