Preserves in Action: Whole Wheat Crepes

March 4, 2014(updated on October 18, 2023)
three rolled crepes

I taught myself to make crepes when I was in high school from a recipe in my mom’s fabric-bound copy of the Joy of Cooking. I was home sick from school (though truly, I wasn’t particularly ill) and needing something to do with my time, turned to the kitchen for entertainment.

crepe batter

The first crepe was terrible (I’ve since learned that the first one always is), but I soon found the right flame and amount of batter to pour and eventually made myself a satisfying stack of paper-thin pancakes. I don’t remember exactly how I ate them, but imagine that either peanut butter or maple syrup was involved.

second crepe

These days, I make crepes far less often than I’d like, but when I do remember to blend up a batch of batter, I am so very happy to have them on my plate. I’d like to make them a more regular part of my culinary rotation, because they make such a glorious vehicle for jams and fruit butters.

stack of crepes

I mostly still follow the Joy of Cooking recipe (they’re called French Pancakes in my edition), but do make a couple adjustments. I use whole wheat pastry flour in place of all purpose and blend the batter using my Vitamix to ensure a lump-free cake. When I want to make a batch that can be used in a savory situation, I omit the vanilla extract and powdered sugar.

crepe with lemon curd

Normally, I post these Preserves in Action recipes on Thursdays, but since today is known in some quarters as Pancake Day, I thought I’d move this one up a couple days for the sake of timeliness. I’m so rarely coordinated when it comes to holidays such as these, but there’s a first time for everything!

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Preserves in Action: Whole Wheat Crepes


  • 1 cup milk most of the time I use cow’s milk, but almond milk is also nice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  • Combine the milk, eggs, and vanilla in a blender and puree to combine.
  • Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together and add to the blender. Pulse to combine.
  • Let the batter rest for at least 30 minutes before cooking (you can also make it the night before and stash it in a covered jar in the fridge).
  • When you’re ready to cook, heat a small non-stick skillet over a medium-high flame. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of the batter into the pan and tilt it so that it spreads to over the bottom of the pan.
  • Let the crepe cook until the batter is set and doesn’t look at all drippy and the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. This will take 2-3 minutes in the beginning, and just 60 to 90 seconds as the pan heats up.
  • Carefully run a thin spatula around the edges of the crepe to loosen it from the pan and flip it. Let it cook for 15-30 seconds on this side.
  • Slide the crepe out of the pan and onto a plate. Repeat with remaining batter.
  • You should get 12-15 pancakes from this recipe.

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5 thoughts on "Preserves in Action: Whole Wheat Crepes"

  • Crepes, Yum! That was often a weekend treat when I was a kid. When I found myself in England (a few years back, on Pancake Day) I tried them with a sprinkle of sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice, delicious!
    But I bet the lemon curd is so much nicer!

  • Ha, I just made crepes (and took pictures and wrote up a post and hit publish too) this afternoon! Great minds. Well, great minds and the fact that it’s pancake day. 🙂

  • Mmmmm….I love a crepe!! I had one in particular that stands out in memory…..chicken, melty cheese, artichoke…!

  • I love a good pancake but I’m not much on syrup (mostly because it’s messy). So now when I eat a pancake, I put your vanilla pear jam recipe on it and it is delicious (and easy clean up)!

  • Brilliant post, Marisa! It has been probably decades since I’ve made crepes but with a pantry full of jams that is about to change. Next big family dinner they will all be lured into helping with the jam stash. (insert evil laugh here) Thank you!!!