French Crêpes are a simple, easy-to-make breakfast or brunch treat. I'm sharing my top 8 favourite ways How to Fold Crêpes so that you can individualize them to your liking.
A staple in the French Street food scene, crêpes are a simple go-to breakfast, brunch, snack or even dinner option. They're easier to make than you think.
I've created a comprehensive guide on how to make Classic French Crêpes. You'll find my foolproof recipe plus all my hints and tips on how to successfully make them. Once you have that plate of steaming paper-thin crêpes, what next?
Today, I want to share with you various ways How to Fold Crêpes. Some new, some familiar, all with step-by-step photos. Choose your favourite sweet or savoury fillings and create your own masterpiece!
❓ What are Crêpes?
Crêpes are a thin style of pancake made up of eggs, flour, milk, sugar, and melted butter. Cooked in a frypan, they are thin, delicate, and pliable. They can be both sweet and savory, and grace the menus of many a French cafe.
They actually originate from Brittany on the northern coast of France. Initially, they were made from buckwheat flour and served for dinner.
Their popularity grew and white flour was used within the batter to form the basis of sweet crêpes. Over time they've become one of the most beloved national dishes in France. Understandably so!!
🌟 Why You'll Love These Folding Techniques
- Elevate your crêpes. With all these various techniques, you'll be presenting your crêpes like a pastry chef in a Parisienne café.
- Get creative. The variations of fillings and drizzles are endless. Teamed with the different ways how to fold crêpes, there's no need to repeat the same flavoured and folded crêpes twice!
- Have fun with the kids. Serve a plate of warm crêpes with kid-friendly condiments like jam and chocolate spread, and fruit, and let them create their own adventure on a plate! They'll love it!
Crêpes Filling Ideas
Now that you know what crêpes are and why you'll love the different ways to fold them that I'm about to share, let's think about what to fill them with. For more ideas check out my top 15 Crêpes Filling Ideas.
Along with simple sugar and lemon juice, here is a list of my favourite sweet fillings:
- Curds, Conserves, Jams & Compôtes: Strawberry conserve, blackberry jam, pear cômpote, and lemon curd are all delicious additions.
- Various Creams: Whipped cream, sweetened whipped cream, sweetened cream cheese filling, créme légère, and pastry cream complement the soft vanilla taste of the crêpes.
- Nuts and fruit: Sliced banana, orange or clementine segments, plum, peach slices, and any type of berry ... basically any fruit paired with crêpes. Literally, it's just a matter of picking your favourite!
- Spreads and sauces: Nutella, Biscoff Cookie Butter, peanut butter, caramel sauce, or chocolate sauce add decadence to your crêpes. Maple syrup and honey are kids' favourites too. Tip, microwave the spreads for ten seconds or so to loosen them up and make them runny.
Alternatively, savory crêpes are popular for lunch or dinner and can be stuffed with a variety of fillings.
- Spinach, ham, cheese, and mushrooms topped with an egg.
- Smoked salmon, roasted vegetables, bacon, or shredded chicken are other options too.
👩🏻🍳 How to Fold Crêpes
Walk around the streets of Paris and you'll find a myriad of cafés, street vendors and crêperies selling crêpes.
Usually, you'll find them folded into triangles, but there are actually many different ways to fold and eat your crêpes. I'm going to show you my top 8 favourite ways.
1. The Open Roll
Technically not really a way to 'fold' the crêpes, this is one of the simplest ways of serving crêpes. Incredibly popular with kids as it's a good way to hold the filling in place.
- Lay the crêpe with the best side facing down, flat on a plate and spoon the filling into an even layer over the full surface of the crêpe (Image 1).
- Use your fingertips to roll the crêpes from right to left (Images 2, 3 & 4). Don't roll too tightly otherwise the filling will squeeze out.
2. The Closed Roll
The Closed Roll is great if you fill your crêpes with something that can fall out of the Open Roll technique above. For example, if you spread the crêpes with Nutella, lay chopped bananas and sprinkle with nuts, folding the ends in will ensure none of your fillings falls out onto your plate!
Above Image: The Closed Rolled Crêpe is filled with Sweet Cream Cheese Filling and drizzled with warmed cookie butter spread.
- Lay the crêpe with the best side facing down, flat on a plate and spoon the filling into an even layer over the surface of the crêpe. Leave a 5cm/2-in gap around the diameter free from filling (Image 5).
- Fold the top and bottom sides of the crêpes over so that they meet in the middle (Image 6).
- From the right open end, use your fingers to fold the edge over and roll it up to the left. Kind of like a burrito! (Images 7 & 8)
3. The ¼ Triangle Fold
The ¼ Triangle Fold is possibly the most popular way to serve and eat crêpes. Google the term 'crêpes' and your screen will be filled with folded crêpes. This style of folding is most commonly associated with Crêpes Suzette.
Above Image: Strawberries and Cream Crêpes. A summery take on this treat. Whipped cream, strawberry conserve and fresh strawberries. Delightful!
- Lay the crêpe with the best side facing down, flat on a plate and spoon the filling into an even layer over the surface of half the crêpe (Image 9).
- Fold the unfilled half over the filled half to form a semi-circle (Image 10).
- Fold the semi-circle in half again to form a triangle a ¼ the size of the whole crêpe (Images 11 & 12).
4. The Small Triangle Fold
This version looks similar to the ¼ fold technique but has an extra fold making the size smaller. This is great for small children and little hands to hold.
Above Image: Small Triangle Folded Crepes served with a knob of salted butter and drizzled in honey. The touch of salt compliments the sweetness of the honey and the crêpes acts as a piece of toast would. For a simple breakfast, this is a winner!
- Lay the crêpe with the best side facing down, flat on a plate and spoon the filling into an even layer over the surface of half the crêpe (Image 13).
- Fold the unfilled half over the filled half to form a semi-circle (Image 14).
- Fold the semi-circle by ⅓ to form a small triangle. Then fold that double layer over on itself. The triangle will be ⅓ the size of the initial half (Images 15 & 16). (Alternatively, you can fold it over more times to make a smaller triangle.)
5. The Envelope Fold
The Envelope Fold is exactly as the name suggests and looks like an envelope. You almost need a wax stamp to seal it shut!! This type of fold is fabulous if you want to heavily fill the crêpe with your sweet or savoury fillings.
Above Image: Envelope Folded Crêpes filled with sliced banana and almond flakes and served with a drizzle of chocolate ganache and more flaked almonds.
- Lay the crêpe with the best side facing down, flat on a plate and spoon the filling into an even layer over the surface of the crêpe. Leave a 5cm/2-in gap around the diameter free from filling (Image 17).
- Fold both sides, right and left, of the crêpes over so that they meet in the middle or slightly overlap (Image 18).
- Fold the bottom open end over so that it meets in the middle (Image 19).
- Fold the final open end right over to create a flap (Image 20). An option is to pan-fry the packet to create a crispy crêpe.
6. The Hexagon Fold
This looks like the most complicated fold. Once you do one you'll find it actually quite simple. It's a super eye-catching way to serve your crêpes.
Above Image: Crêpe served with créme fraîche swirled with lemon curd and a sprinkle of fresh thyme leaves and lemon zest. If you've never tried the combination of lemon and thyme, now's your chance! It's a revelation!
- Lay the crêpe with the best side facing down, flat on a plate and spoon the filling into an even layer over the surface of the crêpe. Leave a 5cm/2-in gap around the outside free from filling (Image 21).
- The finished shape will have six edges. To create this shape start by folding the top unfilled edge over so that it meets the middle. Working clockwise, fold over the next edge which will create folds in the crêpes (Image 22).
- Continue folding over the unfilled edges four more times to create the hexagon shape (Images 23 & 24).
7. The Open Fold
If you have a filling to show off, then this style is for you. The famous savoury Sarrasin Buckwheat Crêpes from Brittany uses this style to highlight the savoury filling of ham, mushroom, spinach and fried egg. Perfect for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner!
Above Image: Savoury galette served with garlic spinach and soft yolk fried egg, cracked pepper and flaked sea salt.
- Lay the crêpe with the best side facing down, flat on a plate and spoon the filling into an even layer over the surface of the crêpe. Leave a 2.5cm/1-in gap around the outside free from filling (Image 25).
- Fold the top and bottom unfilled crêpes edges over so that they just cover the edge of the filling (Image 26).
- Fold the right and left sides in the same manner so that the crêpe forms a square and the crêpes edges frame the filling in the centre (Images 27 & 28).
8. Crêpes Layer No Fold
Although not really a 'folding' technique, layering crêpes to form a layer cake definitely needs to be on the list. You'll need a double batch of batter to make approx 24 crêpes. It takes a little time to make but the resulting crêpes layer cake is a true showstopper.
Image Above: This is my Vanilla Mille Crêpes Layer Cake that showcases alternating layers of sweetened whipped cream and vanilla-infused crêpes. The joy of this style of cake is that you can flavour the cream or crêpes however you like! Slice into wedges to see each individual layer.
- Place one crêpes flat on a serving plate. Dollop a ¼ cup of cream onto the crêpe (Image 29) and smooth into an even layer right up to the edge.
- Place another crêpes onto and smooth flat with your fingertips (Image 30).
- Continue layering cream and then crêpes until all the crêpes have been used (Images 31 & 32). Decorate as you wish!
💭 Pro Tips
- Let the batter rest. Once the batter is made, rest it in the fridge for ideally, 1 hour or so, to ensure tender crêpes.
- Keep crépes warm. Crêpes are best served warm. Keep them warm by piling them onto of one another as you make them. Cover the plate with a clean tea towel to trap the steam.
- Don't overstuff the crêpes. In many of the folding styles I've highlighted above, if you over-stuff the crêpes with fillings, it'll just squeeze right out.
Essentially crêpes and pancakes use the same base ingredients of flour, sugar, egg, and milk. The primary difference is the ratio of the ingredients. Pancakes have more flour making the batter thicker, whereas crêpes have more milk making the batter thinner inconsistency.
The other difference is that pancakes use a leavening agent of baking powder to create thick fluffy pancakes. Crêpes have zero leavening, which teamed with a thin batter, creates delicate lace-like crêpes.
To store: Store cooled crêpes wrapped in plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for up to four days.
To freeze: Place sheets of parchment or wax paper in between crêpes. Store in an airtight freezer-safe container and freeze for up to one month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
To reheat: Reheat chilled or thawed frozen crêpes in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Alternatively, heat in a 160C (325F) oven for five minutes.
🥞 Crêpes Recipes You'll Love
If you found my How to Fold Crêpes article useful or if you've tried any recipes on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you!