Few breakfast dishes require so little effort and yield so much excitement as a Dutch baby. Simplicity is truly the name of the game here: pantry staples come together in a scorching hot cast iron skillet to yield a dish that’s both humble and, honestly, a bit dramatic. Low on clean up, big on impact, we are here for it.

dutch baby

What is a Dutch baby?

A Dutch baby (also known as a German pancake or hootenanny depending on where you’re from) is a baked pancake that’s often made in a cast iron skillet. While it is similar to a type of breakfast pancake commonly served in Germany, the Dutch baby widely made across the US today hails from a Seattle restaurant in the early 1900s. It’s made from a simple batter of eggs, flour, milk, and sugar, and its texture and flavor are comparable to Yorkshire pudding. Dutch babies can lean sweet or savory and are often topped with seasonal fruit, herbs, soft cheeses, or thinly shaved ham.

A Dutch baby has a few key elements that set it apart from any other pancake. The cast iron skillet it’s baked in is preheated with the oven, creating a piping hot surface ideal for cooking the thin batter and achieving a great crust. Take a quick peek in the oven towards the end of bake time to catch the Dutch baby climb to an impressive height in a uniquely puffy pattern that’s pure culinary magic (and, well, eggs). While the Dutch baby deflates shortly after coming out of the oven, its layers slump into a puddle of more butter + powdered sugar for the ultimate pseudo syrup that perfectly mingles into all those nooks and crannies. You’ll hardly feel bothered that it’s no longer six inches tall because those layers are irresistible, the makings of a marvelously impressive breakfast dish fit for company. And you didn’t even have to wake up early to make it.

How to Make a Dutch Baby

Chances are you’ve made a Dutch baby before. But if you want to make one that will really impress visitors, significant others, and tiny humans alike, here are our tried and true tips for success.

  1. Make sure your oven and cast iron skillet get nice and hot. Skip this step and the Dutch baby won’t set up correctly. 
  2. Use salted butter. The salted butter melted in the cast iron skillet before adding in the batter will create a delectable hint-of-salt crust that’s where allll the flavor is at. And the salted butter + powdered sugar puddle that the Dutch baby slouches into after coming out of the oven is salty-sweet perfection.
  3. Be sure to serve this dish hot. It only takes 20 minutes to bake and about 30 seconds to sprinkle with toppings and get on the table. Don’t make it too early, and, if possible, pull the Dutch baby out of the oven just as your guests or family are sitting down. Be prepared for rave reviews.


Cast Iron Skillet Dutch Baby

Brooke Eliason
Servings: 4 servings
Total Time: 30 mins
Simplicity is truly the name of the game with this cast iron skillet Dutch baby, which requires little effort yet yields so much excitement.


  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • few zips of whole nutmeg (optional)
  • 4 Tablespoons salted butter, plus more for serving
  • powdered sugar, fresh berries or seasonal fruit


  • Preheat the oven to 425°F with a 12” cast iron skillet placed in the oven on the middle rack. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the whole milk, sugar, and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Add the flour, salt, and nutmeg if using, and whisk together until combined. It’s okay if there are small lumps in the batter.
  • Once the oven is completely preheated, remove the skillet from the oven and place the butter inside of the skillet, dividing it into 4-5 smaller pieces. Swirl the pan around until all of the butter is melted, completely coating the bottom and 1-2 inches of the side of the skillet. Pour the batter into the hot, buttered skillet and place the skillet back in the oven.
  • Bake the Dutch baby for 15-20 minutes until it is nice and puffy, golden brown in the center, and a deep golden brown around the edges. Remove from oven and add another pat or two of butter to the top of the hot dutch baby. Top with a generous amount of powdered sugar with a sugar shaker, then with the berries or seasonal fruit. Serve immediately.


  • 12-inch cast iron skillet

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