Using pancake mix to make crepes cuts down on prep time and still delivers tasty results. Filled with homemade vanilla custard and fresh strawberries, breakfast is sure to be a huge hit at your house!
Making crepes with pancake mix may not be the traditional method, but it sure is a good one!
You're going to love this super easy recipe for pancake mix crepes and vanilla custard filling. While you could add any filling to the inside of a crepe, this custard is great and perfect for fresh berries.
Why This Recipe Works
- It's versatile! Feel free to use your own filling (both sweet or savory) would work well! With these easy crepes, you'll have unlimited possibilities!
- The filling is delicious. This vanilla custard isn't too sweet and has just the right amount of savory to go well with the fluffy crepes and tart fresh berries (like a warm vanilla pudding). Of course, you can fill your crepes with anything you want.
- It's a big time saver! Once you've tried pancake batter crepes, you may never go back to the traditional method again. You can enjoy a simpler version of your breakfast favorites.
For the Crepes, you will need the following:
Pancake mix- You can use any pancake mix desired, but the "just add water" type works best. Brands include but are not limited to Bisquick, Krusteaz, Aunt Jemima, Kodiak, or even Gluten-free pancake mix!
Egg- This helps to hold the batter together and gives it a subtle eggy flavor that crepes are known for. Need egg free? Check out the substitutions below.
Vanilla- Adding in a little vanilla helps to enhance the flavors in the crepe. Adding it is optional but recommended.
Milk- You can use milk or water, so feel free to choose the liquid you want. Even dairy-free almond milk or low-fat options work well here!
Butter- You will need butter (or similar) to grease the pan with between every crepe. I prefer to use melted butter and a pastry brush as it gives me the best control over coverage.
For the Vanilla Custard Filling, You Will Need the Following:
Milk- This is the base. Whole milk works great, but you can try other milk if needed.
Cornstarch- The thickener. This will help get us from a runny liquid to a pudding-like consistency.
Granulated sugar- You'll need to add some sugar for sweetness.
Eggs- Adding in eggs will make the custard richer in taste.
Vanilla extract- For flavor enhancement.
Fresh fruit- We love to use strawberries but feel free to use any berries (raspberries or blueberries, for example).
🍽 Equipment Needed
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Check out how to make crepes with pancake mix with these simple step-by-step instructions:
Whisk together all the ingredients (pancake mix, vanilla, egg, and milk) in a mixing bowl until smooth and lump free.
Pour into an easy-pour container or use a measuring cup for a scoop.
Heat a nonstick skillet, frying pan, (or crepe pan, if you have one) over medium heat to medium high heat and brush with melted butter or spray with non stick cooking spray. You'll need to do this between EVERY crepe.
When water sizzles on the pan, it's hot and ready.
Scoop ¼ cup measures onto the pan or use a little more if you have a larger pan.
Immediately lift and tilt the pan to have the batter completely cover the pan's bottom.
Cook until the crepe looks set around the edges and dry on top. Use a rubber spatula to loosen the edges around the crepe and then flip it over to cook the other side for an additional minute.
Slide the crepe onto a clean plate.
Repeat with the remaining batter until all crepes have been cooked.
Fill with custard and fresh berries. Roll or fold into quarters and top with additional berries and whipped cream.
Serve your delicious crepes.
🥞 The Difference Between Crepes and Pancakes
These easy pancake mix crepes are basically a thin pancake, (as you could see). But, unlike making traditional pancakes there are a few subtle differences going on inside of the mixing bowl.
When you make crepes with pancake mix, there are a few differences that are worth noting:
Different batter consistency. With pancakes, we want a clumpy/lumpy batter. With crepes, we want it smooth. Once you know how to make a crepe with pancake mix it gets easier to tell when your batter is smooth enough.
You can achieve a smoother batter by simply whisking it more than you would normally, or do as I do and sift the pancake mix first. Sifting the pancake mix helps to get rid of large clumps BEFORE you whisk, saving you some arm power.
Crepes are also softer and thinner. With pancakes we want them tall and fluffy, but crepes are meant to be almost paper thin, making them a little more fragile to handle.
🍴 Recipe Tips
You should aim to make sure that the vanilla custard (if you're making it) is made before the crepes so that it has time to cool first.
Note that your first crepe or two may turn out looking a little rough. Like most things, practice makes perfect. By the time you are on your third crepe, it should be much easier and looking a lot better!
Leftover crepes? Feel free to keep them in a large Ziploc baggie or on a plastic wrap covered plate for up to 2 days in the fridge (they get a little soggy after that).
Leftover vanilla filling? Keep it stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Stir again before use as the liquid may have separated during storage.
Vanilla custard. Please note that making custard from scratch is a wonderful experience, but not everyone has the time or energy. My favorite "hack" is to simply use a box of vanilla cook and serve pudding (prepared according to package directions).
Pancake Mix. Which pancake mix is best? I normally use Krusteaz buttermilk pancake mix around my home but I've had great success using other "just add water" pancake mixes for this recipe over the years. Try a type that your family already knows and loves and I'm sure you'll love the results!
Eggs. For an egg-free variation, use aquafaba instead! Aquafaba is the water that comes in a can of chickpeas, and it works great as an egg replacer. 3 Tablespoons of aquafaba is equal to one large egg.
You can fill your crepes with anything from custard to whipped cream and berries, chocolate chips, stuffing or even scrambled eggs.
Sweet or savory, packed with protein or fruits, your crepes can be as unique as you.
When reheating leftover crepes, I find it's best to heat them no more than 4 at a time in the microwave for about 15-30 seconds or until warmed enough to bend without breaking.
Absolutely! Feel free to try this recipe with your favorite gluten free pancake mix and see how it goes.
Pancake mix usually contains leavening agents whereas crepes are known for being basics like flour, egg, water, and possibly vanilla. Crepes are also usually folded or rolled around sweet and savory fillings, whereas pancakes are stacked and topped with add-ons.
Yes, you can make this recipe up to 24 hours in advance and keep it stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Just make sure to stir again before using.
More great brunch recipes to try
- Salted Caramel Banana Pancakes
- Carrot Cake Pancakes with Cream Cheese Syrup
- Simple Pear Muffins
- Simple Berry Syrup
Simple Crepes (with Pancake Mix)
- 1 cup Pancake mix ($0.20)
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract ($0.02)
- 1 large Egg ($0.08)
- 1 ½ cup Milk or water ($0.27)
Vanilla Custard Filling
- 2 cups Milk ($0.38)
- 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch ($0.04)
- ⅓ cup Granulated sugar ($0.05)
- 2 large Eggs, lightly beaten ($0.16)
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract ($0.02)
- 1 cup Fresh Strawberries, sliced ($0.99)
How to Make Pancake Mix Crepes
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the pancake mix, vanilla, egg, and milk until smooth. Pour into a pourable container or use a ¼ cup measuring cup as a scoop.
- Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and brush with melted butter or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Do this between EVERY crepe.
- When the pan is heated to the point that water sizzles, it's ready. Pour your batter in ¼ cup scoops (or larger if using a bigger pan) and tilt the pan to cover the entire surface with batter.
- Cook until the crepe looks set around the edges and dry. Use a rubber spatula to loosen the edges along the pan. The crepe will bubble as it cooks, this is normal.
- Flip the crepe to the other side. I found the easiest way to be flipping it onto a plate and then back into the pan so the uncooked side was on bottom.
- Cook for one minute longer on this side and then slide off onto a clean plate.
- Grease the pan again and repeat until all crepes have been cooked.
- Fill crepes with custard and fresh strawberries. Fold into quarters or roll and then top with additional sliced strawberries.
How to Make Custard Filling
- Place two eggs in a bowl and slightly beat them. Set aside, but within reach.
- In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, sugar, and cornstarch. Whisk occasionally to prevent cornstarch from clumping and cook until milk is scalded (small bubbles appear around edges of pan).
- Remove from heat and scoop out about 2 tablespoons of the milk mixture and place it into the bowl with the eggs. Whisk the eggs to combine and then whisk continually while the egg mixture gets added back into the milk mixture.
- Immediately place the saucepan back over the heat and cook (and whisk) until thickened. Don't bring it to a boil, but it will take about 2-3 minutes to thicken nicely.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. set aside until cooled and use as desired.
- Make custard first. If making the vanilla custard, make it BEFORE making the crepes so that it has time to cool down first (avoid burnt tongues). As it cools a thick skin will appear at the top, cover it with plastic wrap to avoid this, or simply whisk it into the custard if you don't mind the lumps.
- Any pancake mix brand works. You can use any brand of pancake mix for this recipe. Gluten free pancake mix will also work. Just select the types that say "just add water."
- Any milk will work just fine including low-fat and non-dairy milk.
- Save some arm power. Unlike with pancakes, we want our batter smooth. Sifting the pancake mix into the bowl makes this MUCH easier.
- For an easier filling, you can just use Vanilla flavored Cook n Serve Pudding.
- You can prepare the crepe batter up to 24 hours in advance and keep it stored in the fridge (well covered). Just stir before using.
- Note that your first crepe or two may turn out looking a little rough. Like most things, practice makes perfect. By the time you are on your third crepe, it should be much easier and looking a lot better!
- Leftover crepes? Feel free to keep them in a large Ziploc baggie or on a plastic wrap covered plate for up to 2 days in the fridge (they get a little soggy after that).
- Leftover vanilla filling? Keep it stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Stir again before use as the liquid may have separated during storage.
- Vanilla custard. Please note that making custard from scratch is a wonderful experience, but not everyone has the time or energy. My favorite "hack" is to simply use a box of vanilla cook and serve pudding (prepared according to package directions).
- Pancake Mix. Which pancake mix is best? I normally use Krusteaz buttermilk pancake mix around my home but I've had great success using other "just add water" pancake mixes for this recipe over the years. Try a type that your family already knows and loves and I'm sure you'll love the results!
- Eggs. For an egg-free variation, use aquafaba instead! Aquafaba is the water that comes in a can of chickpeas, and it works great as an egg replacer. 3 Tablespoons of aquafaba is equal to one large egg.
- When reheating leftover crepes, I find it's best to heat them no more than 4 at a time in the microwave for about 15-30 seconds or until warmed enough to bend without breaking.
- Nutrition information does not include vanilla custard and strawberries.