These classic French Lemon Crêpes are the ideal option for a delicious breakfast or as an after-dinner dessert treat. Soft, buttery, and delicate, this traditional crêpes recipe is served with simple sugar and lemon juice for a sweet citrus hit.
With a French Mother, traditional crêpes have always been a staple during my childhood and I remember the smell wafting into my bedroom. It was intoxicating and would lure me into the kitchen to devour them.
My own daughters now love crêpes, in particular this version with the zesty lemon flavour and sweetness of the sugar. My Chocolate Crêpes, Whole Wheat Crêpes and Roasted Strawberries Crêpes, are also adored. It's hard to pick a favourite!
We enjoy them for special occasions like Mother’s Day, Easter, Pancake Day, and the lesser-known La Chandeleur but also as regular Sunday breakfast recipes. Banana chocolate muffins, chocolate chip scones, and Cinnamon Scrolls are always requested too!
🌟 Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Uses store cupboard ingredients. All the ingredients to make crêpes are all basic refrigerator/pantry ingredients making them an easy option to make without having to do that extra grocery store trip!
- The batter can be made in advance. The batter actually BENEFITS from being made in advance and makes for more tender crêpes.
- These French crêpes keep well. They are great to have on hand for a quick snack. Warmed in the microwave and served with your favourite condiment, they make a great snack option.
- Fillings for these easy crêpes are endless! Keep it simple with lemon and sugar or jazz them up with fresh fruit, jam and cream. There are so many choices to build your perfect crêpes.
🧾 Ingredients & Substitutions
This simple made-from-scratch crêpes recipe is utterly foolproof. With simple kitchen ingredients, you’ll be able to create these European Lemon Crêpes at home too.
- Flour: Provides structure to the batter. Use plain (all-purpose flour), not self-raising flour. You can substitute the flour for rye, spelt, whole meal or almond flour, but the flavour will change as a result.
- Sugar: Only a little is needed to provide sweetness. Use regular granulated, caster sugar or light brown sugar.
- Salt: Just a little is added to help bolster the flavour.
- Lemon Zest: I use the zest of 1 lemon but feel free to go with 2 if you want a real citrus kick. It adds the perfect hint of citrus to the batter.
- Eggs: I use large eggs. They bind the ingredients of the batter together and add flavour to the crêpes. Just ensure they are at room temperature before
- Milk/water: A traditional and essential addition to your crêpes batter, adding flavour. I use whole milk. The cold water results in extremely light and tender crêpes. Substitute the milk for semi-skim, almond milk or oat milk.
- Unsalted Butter: Adds flavour, keeps the crêpes soft and helps to prevent the crêpes from sticking too. Substitute for a neutral-flavoured oil such as canola or vegetable oil.
- Lemon Syrup: Made out of simple lemon and sugar heated up until it thickens, the syrup adds a stunning sweet yet tangy addition.
- Bonne Maman Wild Blueberry Conserve: Fresh, fruity and sweet, this is an incredible accompaniment to the lemon syrup on your crêpes.
My favourite way to eat these light and airy Lemon Crêpes is with a good squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of sugar. If you want to add a little extra jazz to your crêpes then a spoonful of Bonne Maman Lemon Curd would go down a treat.
Also, garner inspiration from my article on 15 Best Crêpes Fillings - you'll be sure to fall in love with some new flavour combinations.
Crêpes are an open canvas for a variety of fillings. Just one of the reasons why I love them so much. The opportunities for different toppings are endless!! Here are some of my favourite combinations.
- Red berries like strawberries, raspberries and cherries, and maple syrup.
- Blackberry Jam with cream cheese crêpes filling.
- Sweetened Whipped Cream (Crème Chantilly) with sliced bananas.
- Lemon Curd with a squeeze of lemon juice.
- Spiced Pear Cômpote with whipped cream.
In the past, I've also made an incredible lemon syrup by heating 120g sugar and 60 ml lemon juice together until the sugar dissolves, then adding lemon slices and simmering for 8-10 minutes until thickened. Next level amazing!
You can also turn these into a crêpes dessert recipe as in my Vanilla Mille Crêpes cake. I would use the same principle but turn it into a Vanilla Crêpes cake layered with Lemon Crêpes, Lemon Curd and Crème Légère. Ooh, delicious!
👩🏻🍳 How to Make
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions!*
I’ve taken step-by-step process images and made notes below referring to each image. You’ll be able to see exactly how to make these beautifully light Lemon Crêpes.
As standard, I make these lemon sugar crêpes by hand, but if you want a super quick way of making the batter then check out my notes on how to make it in a blender below.
TIP: How to Make these Lemon and Sugar Crêpes in a Blender
Add all the ingredients, dry and wet, and place in a blender or Nutribullet. Blend until the batter is smooth.
Cover with a lid and refrigerate for 15 minutes minimum, ideally for 1 hour, or the batter can be left overnight.
Make the Crepes Batter
STEP 1. Whisk together dry ingredients. Place flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest and whisk well together (Image 1).
STEP 2. Whisk together wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, add the eggs and beat well. Add the milk, water and melted butter and whisk to combine (Image 2).
STEP 3. Add wet mixture to dry. Add ¼ of the egg mixture to the flour (Image 3). Whisk until thick but smooth paste forms (Image 4).
Incorporate the remaining wet mixture. Whilst continuously whisking, slowly add in the remaining egg mixture and mix until the batter is smooth (Images 5 & 6).
TIP: How to Get a Smooth Batter
A neat little trick to ensure smooth batter every time is to add the wet ingredients into the dry gradually whilst continuously whisking.
Let the batter rest: Cover the batter with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 15 minutes but ideally for one hour. It can also rest overnight.
Cook the Crêpes
TIP: What pan should I use?
You can buy specific crêpes pans that have shallow sides and a non-stick surface. I have a Le Creuset Crêpes Pan as shown in the images below. Is it necessary for making crêpes? The simple answer is no.
A standard non-stick frypan or skillet is all you need - but it does have to be non-stick to guarantee you success! And the pan can be any size you have on hand!
STEP 4. Prepare your pan. Remove the crêpes batter from the fridge and give it a quick whisk. Heat a crêpes pan or non-stick frying pan, then lightly grease with melted butter, wiping away any excess (Image 7)
STEP 5. Cook the crêpes. Pour a scoop of batter into the centre of the hot pan and swirl around until the base of the pan is coated as thinly as possible (Image 8). Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes until you see the edges of the crêpes turning slightly crispy and golden and the underside is set (Image 9).
TIP: When pouring the batter into the pan and swirling it around- if it doesn't coat the base fully and you have some holes, simply drip the batter to fill the holes up. Easy!
Flip the crêpes with a rubber spatula and cook for 30-60 seconds or so until golden brown. Slide onto a plate. (Image 11)
TIP: Make sure to give the batter a quick stir each time you scoop the batter to pour into the pan.
To keep the crêpes warm, layer them one on top of one another and lay a clean tea towel over the top. The steam will keep them warm and soften the crisp edges.
How To Serve
Crêpes are best served warm but are just as good cold for a snack. They can be reheated in the microwave for 10-20 seconds or so.
To serve, roll or fold the crêpes into quarters, and sprinkle over the sugar and squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the top. Enjoy right away! For alternative folding styles check out my How To Fold Crêpes in 8 easy ways article and try a new style!
💭 Recipe Pro Tips
- Mixing the ingredients. When making the batter, add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients gradually whilst whisking constantly. This prevents large lumps in the batter.
- Chill the batter. My recommendation is to chill for the 1-hour minimum to ensure tender, light crêpes that shouldn’t tear when cooked. You can get away with 15 minutes if in a rush.
- Consistly thin crêpes. For a 24 cm (9-inch) crêpes pan, I pour in 60 ml (¼ cup) batter for each crêpes. This coats the pan perfectly and prevents the crepes from being too thick. The thicker they are, the more rubbery they’ll get.
📋 Recipe FAQs
Don’t worry. This can be remedied. If there are only a few small lumps, then pass the batter through a fine mesh sieve and discard these lumps of flour.
If there are a lot, then pour the batter into the bowl of a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Alternatively, use a stick blender.
Absolutely. The batter needs to be made in advance to allow it to rest. Prepare the batter the night before use, cover it with cling wrap, and refrigerate. Prepare the crêpes and syrup as per the instructions.
No, they are actually quite different. Crêpes and pancakes may share a couple of the same ingredients, but there is one major difference ... pancakes contain a leavening agent such as baking powder, whereas crêpes do not.
Both, however, contain eggs, flour, butter, and milk/water, but the lack of baking powder makes crêpes wafer-thin and flat. On the other hand, pancakes have a smaller liquid-to-flour ratio and include baking powder which aerates the batter when cooked, creating thicker, fluffier pancakes.
Both taste fabulous, but my French heart always veers toward classic Crêpes.
❄️ Storage and Freezer Instructions
- To store: Store cooled crêpes wrapped in plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for up to 4 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 10-30 seconds. Alternatively, heat in a 160C (325F) oven for five minutes.
🍋 More Lemon Recipes
If you tried this Lemon Crêpes Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you!
Lemon Crêpes Recipe
- 150 g plain flour (all-purpose)
- 15 g granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- 1 large lemon, zest
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 420 ml whole milk
- 30 ml cold water
- 15 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for greasing
- fresh lemon juice
- lemon curd (optional)
- Whisk together dry ingredients. In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, salt, and lemon zest, and whisk to combine.
- Whisk together wet ingredients. In a separate medium-sized bowl, add the eggs and beat well. Add the milk, water, and cooled butter to the eggs and whisk together.
- Add wet mixture to dry. Into the bowl with the dry ingredients, pour ⅓ of your egg mixture and whisk until thick but smooth paste forms. Whilst whisking continuously, slowly pour in the remaining egg mixture and whisk until well combined. This can be done with a handheld electric beater or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitter with a whisk attachment for ease. The batter should be lump-free. (See tip in notes if you have lumps remaining). Cover the batter with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes minimum but ideally 1 hour or overnight if making the batter in advance.
- Prepare your pan. Remove the batter from the fridge and give it a quick whisk. Heat a crêpes pan or non-stick frying pan/skillet on medium heat on your stovetop and lightly grease with melted butter, wiping away any excess.
- Cook the crêpes. Pour 60 ml (¼ cup) of batter into the center of the pan, and whilst lifting the pan, tilt it so that the batter lightly coats the pan's surface evenly. If there are any gaps, then add a couple of drops to fill them in. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the edges start to dry out and turn golden and the underside of the crêpe is set. Flip the crêpe. Using a rubber spatula, slide it under the crêpes and flip it over. Cook for another 30 seconds or so until golden brown. Slide the crêpe onto a plate and repeat the process until the batter is finished. You should get between 10-12 crêpes depending on how thick you make them.
- Serve folded or rolled with sugar sprinkled over the top and with a squeeze of lemon juice.Crêpes are best served warm on the same day they are made.
All recipes are developed and tested in Metric grams. I strongly recommend that you bake using digital scales for a more accurate result. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.
This post was originally published in January 2021 but has been updated with new photos and new content.