These classic ham and cheese crepes are the easiest crepes you’re ever going to whip up. Learn how to make this traditional French favourite and get inspired with different filling ideas!
THE EASIEST CREPE RECIPE EVER
The crepe batter is a cinch to make and the options for fillings are seemingly endless.
I also have a lot of fun making crepes because I get to flip them in the pan, which you can see me demonstrate in the recipe video. This is particularly entertaining for me when I have guests over for breakfast because I feel like I’m putting on a show for them.
Have you ever tried flipping anything while you cook? Julia Child said it best about flipping, “You just have to have the courage of your convictions”. See for yourself!
Isn’t she wonderful?
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THE CREPE PAN
Since we’re on the topic of flipping, I’m going to use that as fuel to segue into my not-so-secret weapon when making crepes: the crepe pan.
Now, this doesn’t seem key, but it actually is. I wouldn’t recommend using just any pan because of the convex shape.
The smooth, level surface of a crepe pan will let you get a more even spread of the batter. It will also give you an unparalleled flipping experience.
Big Papa and I love crepe pans so much that we’re on our second one.
When we’re not using it to make crepes, it’s seeing action from eggs, pancakes, and even sausages. Unfortunately for our trusty crepe pan, it’s seeing a lot less action these days since I’ve been favouring cast iron for cooking for most of these things.
As for Big Papa, he hasn’t watched my video on cooking with cast iron, so he still reaches for the crepe pan.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BUTTER
If I had to pick a key ingredient when making crepes, it’s butter.
While there’s sugar and vanilla in the batter, these crepes have a rich buttery flavour and it’s no small wonder why.
The final ingredient in the batter is browned butter, which imparts a deeper, almost nuttier flavour than regular butter. In fact, in French, it’s called beurre noisette, or, “hazelnut butter”. Doesn’t that sound better than “brown butter”? What a beautiful, poetic language!
Okay, so brown butter is mixed into the batter, and then the pan gets a fresh swirl of melted butter to prevent sticking in between crepes.
When working with butter, bear in mind that the milk solids will burn at high temperatures, so keep the heat set to medium.
If there is burning, wipe the pan with a paper towel before melting butter for the next crepe. Also, I know butter can be pricy, which is why I stock up whenever butter is on sale. I’ll buy several bricks at a time and freeze them! It’s one of my favourite frugal kitchen rules.
FILLING IDEAS FOR CREPES
As good as ham and cheese crepes are, when Big Papa and I make crepes, we often prepare a sweet variety to surprise and delight our taste buds.
That’s one reason why I love crepes so much: they offer you the flexibility to have something both savoury and sweet for breakfast. You can have both!
How often do you get that option at breakfast? You just need to change up the filling a bit. Here are some ideas to get you going.
SAVOURY CREPE IDEAS
Applewood smoked cheddar and thinly sliced apples.
Bacon, eggs, and hollandaise sauce.
Brie and sautéed mushrooms.
Cream cheese, smoked salmon, red onions and capers.
Spinach, tomato and feta.
SWEET CREPE IDEAS
Bananas and chocolate hazelnut spread.
or whipped cream.
Lemon curd and blueberries
Plum jam and sour cream
Ricotta, honey and apricots
At the end of the day, you don’t even need to fill the crepes with anything! When my mom makes crepes, for example, she dusts them with powdered sugar and offers an assortment of jams, preserves, and chocolate sprinkles on the table for us to decorate our crepes with.
This is a great option for families because you don’t need to cater to everyone’s taste preferences! A classic move is drizzling maple syrup on top: simple and delicious.
NOT JUST FOR BREAKFAST
Whether they’re classic ham and cheese crepes or they’re filled with something else, crepes don’t have to be regulated to breakfast.
When I lived in Montreal, I frequently visited the famous Jean-Talon Market, which has a crêperie. At any time of the day (as long as they’re open) you can order crêpes to order.
Crepes can be used to make other dishes too! Sometimes it’s for a dessert, like Crêpes Suzette, and I’ve seen them used for cannelloni dishes instead of pasta shells.
As far as I’m concerned, crepes are always appropriate, but then again, I’m also the type that has no issue with having breakfast for lunch or dinner. Big Papa is less thrilled with the idea of having an omelette or an egg sandwich for dinner, but crepes are a different story.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Did you grow up with crepes in your life? What kind of fillings would you want to enjoy crepes with? I hope you’ll regale me with your crepe-related anecdotes in the comments below!
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CLASSIC HAM AND CHEESE CREPES INGREDIENTS
Makes 8 crepes
1 cup flour
4 tsp sugar
pinch of salt
2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp browned butter
16 ham slices
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
extra butter for the pan
CLASSIC HAM AND CHEESE CREPES INSTRUCTIONS
Whisk the flour, sugar and salt together in a mixing bowl.
Mix the milk, eggs and vanilla together.
Gradually add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients, whisking until smooth.
Melt the butter in a crepe pan. For a deeper flavour, allow the butter to brown before whisking it into the batter.
If the pan needs more butter, give it a quick coat.
Spoon on a
of batter, swirling the batter around the pan for an even distribution.
When the edges look like they're crisping up, work around the edge of the crepe with a spatula to loosen it from the pan, then give the crepe a flip.
Position two slices of ham and a 1/4 cup of cheese to the far end of the crepe. Let it sit for 30-60 seconds, then carefully roll it up.
Repeat steps 5-8 until all the batter is used up.
HAM AND CHEESE CREPES RECIPE CARD
Easy Ham and Cheese Crepes
- Crepe pan
- 1 cup flour
- 4 tsp sugar
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp browned butter
- 16 ham slices
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- extra butter for the pan
- Whisk the flour, sugar and salt together in a mixing bowl.
- Mix the milk, eggs and vanilla together.
- Gradually add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients, whisking until smooth.
- Melt the butter in a crepe pan. For a deeper flavour, allow the butter to brown before whisking it into the batter.
- If the pan needs more butter, give it a quick coat.
- Spoon on a 4oz ladle of batter, swirling the batter around the pan for an even distribution.
- When the edges look like they’re crisping up, work around the edge of the crepe with a spatula to loosen it from the pan, then give the crepe a flip.
- Position two slices of ham and a 1/4 cup of cheese to the far end of the crepe. Let it sit for 30-60 seconds, then carefully roll it up.
- Repeat steps 5-8 until all the batter is used up.
PIN IT FOR LATER
Love and gratitude,