Dutch Babies with Blood Oranges

Dutch Babies with Blood Oranges-1339

Jody cautioned me not to create any titles with “babies” and “blood” in them.  Then she made the tactical error of going to work.  Herewith Dutch Babies with Blood Oranges.  Oh sure, like you wouldn’t have done the same thing?  Besides, after last week’s Attack of the Devil Baby* prank on New Yorkers, I figured you could handle it.  What’s a little shudder when these “babies” taste so good, when the payoff is having a hot air balloon collapse in front of you, its final gasps scented with vanilla, cinnamon, orange and lemon?  What name would you choose for this wheezy pastry–Dutch baby or German pancake, the main alternative?  Dutch babies sound playful, easy, maybe even good for you.  German pancakes, whatever their other virtues, convey an air of seriousness.  “Time for German pancakes!” could be a euphemism for “Let’s build a railroad through the Black Forest.”   So what’s your choice?  Light-cuddly-easy?  Or Heavy-serious-Hans-Henry-was-a-steel-drivin’-man?  Right.  Dutch babies it is.  And don’t forget the blood oranges.

Dutch babies are but one of the many inflatable variations on the flour + eggs + fat theme (I almost wrote meme there) that embraces all manner of edible delights, including German pancakes, Dutch puffs, Bismarcks, zeppelins, Yorkshire pudding, crepes, etc.  The name is an oddity, but once you understand that if in ghastronomy the English boil their babies (and the Irish eat their impoverished infants)**, why wouldn’t some enterprising cook casting about for a way of insulting a foreign rival combine cannibalism with his enemy’s nationality? Why not the Dutch?  Sadly, this seems to have nothing to do with the true etymology.  According to Wikipedia the appellation is an American invention dating from the 1900s and the “Dutch” part of it was in reference to “Pennsylvania Dutch,” who are really deutch, which in turn lands us back in Germany, dragging railroad ties through the Black Forest.

We ate our Dutch babies in two ways–whole, collapsing, pre-dusted and fruited elegantly, with knife and fork; and whole, collapsing, dealer’s choice with the blood orange supremes and powdered sugar, and tearing into the still warm baby with our fingers.  We much preferred the latter.  Enjoy.  Ken

*If you have yet to see the “Attack of the Devil Baby”* video, despite its appearance on the evening news, that’s okay–I’ve seen it 20 times in your place and God is it hilariousbe forewarned.   While it isn’t gruesome or horrific, it is QUITE startling, and not suitable for young kids.  A series of ordinary New Yorkers investigate a seemingly abandoned baby carriage from which cries can be heard… and then, hehe, the fun begins, recorded by hidden cameras of course.  All part of a marketing campaign for a new horror movie.

**Jonathan Swift didn’t actually assert that the Irish ate their babies, he only suggested it as a solution to Irish poverty in A Modest Proposal, claiming an American inspired him with the idea.  

Dutch Babies with Blood Oranges-1318

Dutch Babies with Blood Oranges

Makes 4 servings


  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon Turbinado sugar, or organic cane sugar
  • Supremes of 2 blood oranges (see photos – it’s easy)
  • ¾teaspoon cinnamon
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  1. Put the eggs and milk into a blender and blend until foamy.  Add the flour, salt and vanilla and blend until just combined.  Stir in the zests.  Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450°F with convection fan on.
  3. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon sugar over the supremes.
  4. Mix the cinnamon into the remaining sugar.
  5. Put 4 6 to 7-inch cast iron pans in the oven for 5 minutes.  Carefully put a tablespoon of butter into each warm pan.  Swirl the butter to coat the bottom and sides.  Pour ¼ of the batter into each pan, about ¾ cup.  Sprinkle with 1½ teaspoons of the cinnamon sugar.  Bake on the bottom rack of the oven until puffed and golden, about 8 – 10 minutes.  The time will  depend on the temperature of your oven, whether you have convection, and the size of the pan.  Remove from the oven and let people ooh and ah.  It will collapse on itself immediately.
  6. Sprinkle with lemon juice and dust with confectioner’s sugar.
  7. Serve immediately  with the oranges on the side or sprinkled on top.
  8. Encourage people to rip off a piece of pancake and roll it around a supreme.

Dutch Babies with Blood Oranges-0543

Dutch Babies with Blood Oranges-1160

Dutch Babies with Blood Oranges 2-1-2

Dutch Babies with Blood Oranges 2-2-2

Dutch Babies with Blood Oranges-1224

Dutch Babies with Blood Oranges 3-1-2

Supremes are citrus segments without the thick skin of surrounding pith. Slice inside the skin on both sides of the segment and ease the naked supreme out with the edge of your knife. Do it over a bowl to catch the juice, which you can drizzle over your Dutch Baby, if you like.

Dutch Babies with Blood Oranges-1258

Dutch Babies with Blood Oranges 2-3-2

Dutch Babies with Blood Oranges-1352

Dutch Babies with Blood Oranges 3-2-2

Dutch Babies with Blood Oranges-1335

Dutch Babies with Blood Oranges-1300

Jody Notes:

Crepes, Dutch Babies, German Pancakes, Yorkshire Pudding, Popovers, Clafoutis, and I’m sure there are others, include the same basic ingredients–eggs, flour, milk and sometimes water, and fat (butter or beef drippings).  They’re just cooked in different ways.  Some recipes have a higher ratio of flour to eggs.  I like the texture and flavor with more eggs.  

I recently made two big pans of Yorkshire pudding for a brunch at my house for all of my restaurant managers.  They were a hit.  Easy and satisfying.  I started thinking about how they could replace crepes.  My favorite way to eat crepes is simply with butter, lemon juice and sugar.  The oranges and cinnamon make these babies a little fancier.  

The thing to remember is that these have to be eaten immediately, so have everything else for the meal ready with your guests hanging around in the kitchen with a mimosa or bloody in hand.  Pop the Dutch babies in the oven, then in 5 minutes have everyone sit down.  In another 5 minutes the Dutch babies will be ready.  Serve at once.  

52 thoughts

  1. You’re a brave man, Mr Ken….but I do believe that if you made this on Mother’s day and served this to M’lady on a tray whilst still in her jammies, she would forgive you. I know I would..Now I’m just wishing that the Patriots would have games on Sunday at “BRUNCH” time…hmmm I’m thinkin’ I may just have to give up the Fried Chicken for this in a few days…Thanks.

  2. This is a great recipe. But I wonder if there is a way to modify your postings so that when one clicks print, one doesn’t get 20 pages? It would be great to just print the recipe and not the pix. I can cut and paste, which I do occasionally, but perhaps there is a setting to modify that?

    • A consistent bugbear, although I am hurt that you didn’t want to print out all 20 pages. :-) There is currently no easy workaround for the problem you’re describing (believe me, I’ve tried). It’s one of the primary motivations for us to think about taking our blog off WordPress and self-hosting, even if it’s through wordpress.org. If you self-host, there’s a groovy little widget that allows folks to simply click a button and print the ingredients or entire recipe. Just as an aside, do you not have a “print selection”? That what a lot of people do, rather than cut and paste. In any event, a solution is coming. Probably within 6 months. Ken

    • I can’t think of anyone I’d take greater pleasure in annoying that way. Console yourself with the thought, Sophie, that when I try to sound “literary” (long, cadenced sentences of nuance and elegance) I sound like a twit. So instead I fall back on my discursive brain and the glittery flotsam it’s acquired over the years. You, on the other hand, sound literary effortlessly, at least as far as i can tell. You’re one of the only people I know who could use the word “moors” in her narratives and get away with it. :-) Ken

    • Sophie–I neglected your question about “meme.” In brief, a meme, to quote Richard Dawkins–and this is the ONLY time I’m going to do that–is a “unit of cultural transmission.” Think of memes as little packages containing emotions, perspectives, attitudes, etc. that have gone viral. As a practical matter memes often manifest themselves as a kind of shorthand for _________________ (fill in the blank with something much longer and more detailed than the meme itself). The point about memes is that they spread–they go VIRAL–through human beings, especially human beings on the internet, often because they’re funny. A meme might be a word, a phrase, a visual image, an action. Shephard Fairey’s graffiti treatment of Obama’s image was a meme–not must the image itself, but the technical way it was made. Remember all the other people who suddenly began showing up with the Shephard Fairey treatment? Whatever its form, the meme has to be reproducible. I first heard the term being bandied about by my then college-age son and his friends a few years ago. After listening to their explanation I had to suppress an eye-roll and keep myself from verbalizing the thought “more po-mo bullshit.” All of us engage in a kind of metonomy/synecdoche all the time, I wanted to say. I “take up my pen,” meaning I’m going to write something, whether by hand, on my laptop or via texting. I [heart symbol] New York. (Actually, that may be a meme.) But since then, I’ve realized, that meme has real utility. It refers not just to the shorthand element, but more importantly, its cultural dispersion, its “trendingness” in Tumblr-speak. “Meh,” for example, the kind of “who cares?” from Seinfeld, became ubiquitous awhile back. Characters in other shows adapted it, the NYT Magazine has a weekly “Meh List,” a roster of once highly-ranked cultural obsessions that have since fallen to the margins of our concern. “Did Roger Clemons take steroids?” is a classic example of something that might be found on the Meh List. Toxic cleanses, soup dumplings, 3D movies, and homemade bitters might be others. What makes “meh” a meme is not just that some wag decided to imitate Seinfeld by responding “meh” to something–and presumably his or her listener, also a Seinfeld fan–got it, i.e. that the speaker really couldn’t care less about the object of his “meh,” but that a billion other people began doing it too, until finally now “meh” is all over the place, perhaps even being used by people who have no idea of its source. Everyone instantly recognizes the meme “meh.” This is way more than I intended to burden you with, but if it’s still unclear, if you Google “meme” you’ll find more than enough to keep you occupied for the afternoon. Ken

  3. Would appreciate directions for cooking in a single, larger pan for those of us without multiple small ones. Love the update on a favorite component of our Saturday ‘Big Family Breakfasts’ when our kids were young. We often baked slices of apple in ours.

  4. I hadn’t seen the Devil Baby video either. So I have you to thank if I don’t sleep well tonight. Your recipe looks infinitely more attractive, I’m happy to say; the only way that would give me nightmares is via indigestion through eating too much. Lovely pix as ever.

  5. LMAO OMG thank you so much for this post. That was the funniest vid I’ve ever seen. I wish they had played that stunt on me! That baby was so gross! Anywho, I always wanted to know how to make dutch babies. I love blood oranges and this looks absolutely stunning. I think I’ll have to actually finally pull the trigger on the iron skillet. I really want to do this. Btw, I loved Chef Mimi’s tribute to you guys. I totally agree with everything she said. Best, A

    • Finally! A kindred spirit! Was that not the funniest thing you’ve seen in a year? Maybe I was just tired last week when first saw it, but I laughed so hard it reminded me of what it was like when you got started laughing with h.s. friends and couldn’t stop. Thanks for the kind word’s about Chef Mimi’s piece–she was very sweet–and you’re very generous. Ken

    • One more thing: buy the biggest cast-iron skillet you can afford (they’re not expensive, certainly not when compared to serious “sandwich core” sauté pans). You can always cook a little bit of stuff in a big skillet, but the reverse is tough to do. Ken

      • Thanks so much for the advice. I was wondering which size to buy. And yes, I was laughing so hard at that video. I haven’t laughed like that in so so long!

  6. Ha! So when Jody came home, ‘honey, guess what I did with blood and babies’?
    This sounds delicious, but that’s no surprise coming from TGF. I’ll find a reason to invite people around for a baby & blood fest.

    • “Pretty much fun” was the verdict here. Just one more piece… uh-huh, sure. The deflation part was a universal hit. “baby and blood fest” – I’ll have to remember that. Ken

  7. I do so love a “bloody” dutch baby reference. ;P The photos are great as usual. I’ve had an apple as well as a peach dutch baby and loved the easy-to-gather ingredients and aesthetic payoff. Quite a treat. Have a good weekend!

    • Thanks, Gwynne. We’re off to Chapel Hill to visit an old friend who also loves to eat, so we may be cooking. The only downside is that Boston is now warm, and CH is cold–so the weather there is exactly the same as it is here. Ken

  8. We call them Puffy German Pancakes – takes some of the seriousness out of it, don’t you think? And though we’ve made them with and without sliced apples, never tried citrus. The blood oranges look wonderful.

  9. Hello Ken and Jody,
    Mine didn’t rise as beautifully as yours did! My dad’s German pancake recipe calls for baking powder and I figured that’s what makes your Dutch babies different (otherwise the recipes are remarkably similar). I made a half recipe in our 9″ stainless steel skillet, but otherwise followed the recipe; I kept it in for about 13 minutes and only the edges rose. Any suggestions? It tasted great and we really enjoyed it, but it wasn’t as fluffy as your appetizing photos.

    • Hello, Harmonia (GREAT name, by the way)–According to Jody the usual problem when they don’t rise very high is the pan isn’t hot enough. One of the reasons we use cast iron is because it retains the heat so well. Also, if you’re making it in a single large pan then it typically won’t rise as high proportionally as they do if divided into smaller pans. Try getting your pan really hot–especially if it’s aluminum–then adding the batter. Let me know how it goes. (One other thought–how old is your baking powder?). Ken

      • Thank you thank you! I’ll definitely give this a try. We have a Lodge cast iron skillet but it came ‘pre-seasoned’ and the bottom feels rough. I hesitate to make special recipes like yours in it, for fear that they’ll pick up some steak residue! We definitely scour it with hot soapy water after each use, but I’m suspicious of those little blackish brownish flecks that come off it every so often – is that rust, the ‘seasoning’ or just burnt on steak rub? I shudder to think…

    • Here’s another thought. Instead of using your cast – iron skillet for steaks AND Dutch babies you night consider buying a Dutch Baby Pan – they look and feel like a lightweight wok. As an aside, we never use a lot of soap or even heavily scrub our cast – iron skillets (or my wok, for that matter). We use a plastic scrubbie to remove stuck debris, rinse, then heat over a low flame to evaporate the remaining water. If I think it needs it, I then rub the pan/wok with a bit of high heat safflower oil. Soap removes the seasoning. And especially if you do use soap, you should rub the pan with oil afterward to prevent rusting. If you’re getting black specks (you absolutely shouldn’t be getting rust) then the pan wasn’t scrubbed sufficiently the last time around. We use our cast iron for savory dishes, as well as cornbread, Dutch babies, etc. and have never had a problem with flavor transfer. The thing you want to avoid is acidic ingredients, so we wouldn’t make tomato sauce in cast-iron. The acid eats through the seasoning, plus it bonds with the iron, so the sauce acquires a metallic taste. Good luck. Ken

  10. Ha, ha. I’ll go with Dutch, too. If they were really German they’d have a word for it about 25 letters long. Beautiful pancakes, and blood oranges are one of the only consolations of January.

    In reference to somebody’s comment above, I think there is a new .com recipe printing thing. Have you tried it? I read the instructions for it and quickly lost enthusiasm as I am wont to do in such matters.

    • MIchelle–That’s a great tip. Thank you very much. I’ll investigate and report back. It’s a common complaint here (good, I suppose, since it means people are actually trying to cook the food). Ken

  11. Beautiful photos, Ken and Jody. What site/program do you use for your collages? I am with the latter way of eating them: warm, ripping them with your fingers and devouring them with fervor; this recipe sounds delicious and heavenly. Yes, the name might not be a PR dream, but it will get some attention! ;-) Best, Shanna

  12. Pingback: The Bloody Soufflé Girl | Globe-combing

  13. So glad you didn’t title this one “bloody dutch babies”….oh the horror. Much to my chagrin I’ve never made a dutch baby, gotta change that soon. Great photos as always, Ken…I especially like the one of the microplane.

Leave a Reply to Jody and Ken Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: