A puffy-centered, crisp-edged, oven-baked pancake flavored with soft lavender and filled with bright berry compote. Top your Brambleberry Lavender Dutch Baby with lavender whipped cream for ultimate brunch-master status.
I don’t know if you’ve been getting the days-long downpour I’ve been working with this week, but either way, I’ve got a recipe that never fails to brighten my day. I give you: the Brambleberry Lavender Dutch Baby!
Okay, so it’s a weird name, but hear me out: it’s so, so, SO good.
What is a Dutch baby?
A Dutch baby is a buttery, oven-baked pancake that puffs up with soft, golden-brown splendor in the middle and crispy, browned edges. The classic way to eat it is with powdered sugar and a little lemon, but you can also top it with fruit or even savory toppings like eggs and avocado.
The first time I heard about a Dutch baby, also known as a puff pancake or German pancake, was watching Alton Brown’s Good Eats. He explains that it’s basically a big, sweet popover. It uses pretty much the same ratio of eggs, flour and milk as both those and Yorkshire pudding.
I’ve since made them all, and while they’re all delicious, the Dutch baby has unquestionably been my most-repeated of the three.
Tips for making the perfect Dutch baby
You can mix Dutch babies with a bowl and a whisk, but lately I’ve been using my food processor, which is the perfect size for the batter. It makes the batter nice and smooth, and takes up a lot less dishwasher real estate.
I also recently started letting the batter rest, a tip I gleaned from The Kitchn. It allows the flour to absorb the liquid, plus it makes it unnecessary to start out with room temperature eggs, which is an easy and annoying thing to forget.
The way Dutch babies puff up is like magic to me, but it’s really all smoke and mirrors. Or steam and mirrors. As the liquid heats and vaporizes, it expands between the fat and flour for a puff that ages much better than the sleeves in your childhood photos.
Which brings up an important point. Avoid the temptation to open the oven too early when you make your Brambleberry Lavender Dutch Baby! And it will tempt you.
Trust, my friend. Maybe use this as motivation to clean your oven window, which I may or may not need to do as well.
But why is it called a Dutch baby?
I searched the depths of the internet for the reason behind it, and like Alexander Hamilton, I will never be satisfied.
Basically the prevailing story is that while its roots are in Germany, the name “Dutch baby” originated at Manca’s Cafe in Seattle in the 1900’s. They subbed in “Dutch” for “Deutsch” (German for “German”—think the Pennsylvania “Dutch”, who are actually German).
Honestly, I’m more interested in why it’s called a Dutch baby. When you talk about eating that beautiful Dutch baby and going back for seconds, which part is it that gets the stares and questions from unwitting strangers?
If you said the baby-eating, you were correct! Pick up your prize on the way out. (It’s a Brambleberry Lavender Dutch Baby recipe.)
One of the best things about this recipe is the brambleberry compote.
What exactly is compote?
Compote is a sauce made of fruit, sugar and citrus simmered together. It’s quick and easy to throw together, especially if you keep frozen fruit on hand. Amazing for thrown-together breakfasts and last-minute desserts.
It’s tangy and sweet, and as an added bonus, it’s Gorgeous. Ain’t no question if I want it, I need it.
Compote has been a breakfast-topping favorite of mine since college when I saw it on Chopped and started making it to put on chocolate protein pancakes. Very health-forward, considering I also added chocolate syrup and whipped cream.
So why lavender?
In college I lived near and volunteered at The Wild Ramp, a local farmers’ market co-op in Huntington, West Virginia. They sold Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, and I loved trying out all the unique flavors. Some of my favorites were goat cheese and cherries and yup, lavender brambleberry.
…I also may have put the ice cream on the chocolate protein pancakes once or twice.
Now I always keep lavender on hand, and I love finding creative ways to use it.
Two questions a lot of people ask me:
What do you actually DO with lavender?
I think lavender is one of those ingredients people want to buy because it smells nice and sounds fancy, but then it goes in a cabinet never to be seen again.
It is becoming more common as an ingredient, so there is inspiration around if you’re reading menus (one of my favorite things to do, as a food-obsessed person). Here are some specifics:
- Simmer equal proportions of sugar and water with lavender (to taste) to make lavender simple syrup for coffee or lemonade.
- Pair it with honey for lattes, cheesecakes or cookies.
- Add dried lavender to your tea for a floral touch.
- Sprinkle a pinch into whipped cream (which you should put on top of this recipe).
- My favorite thing to do with it is sprinkling it into batter. Waffles, pancakes, cakes—you name it!
Where can I get lavender?
If you saw my recent Instagram post with the recipe for Brambleberry Lavender Compote, a lot of the comments were people asking where to get dried lavender.
I’ve seen it at some specialty stores like Whole Foods, but my personal favorite place to get it is on Amazon, where you can buy it in bulk for much less than the smaller portions you might find at the store. This is the specific kind I like to buy, but be aware it’s a lot. I keep it in a nice jar and it doubles as a decoration on my kitchen shelves.
You can shop around and see what works for you, but make sure it’s culinary grade! Other types might be contaminated or too potent as they’re not processed with food safety in mind.
Don’t forget the lavender whipped cream. It’s so easy to make, and it’s so worth it.
I mean look at this. Keep the daisy home for the day, because you brought dollops of LAVENDER WHIPPED CREAM to the party.
The Brambleberry Lavender Dutch Baby is a brunch favorite among guests of the Cavalier household, which we’ve had a LOT of this summer. It works out great for me, because:
- I don’t have to get up super early to make it.
- It comes together fast, and I can hang out while it bakes.
- It all comes out at once, so my slow-eating self can eat before everyone else is finished.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE cooking for other people, and I don’t see it as a burden. Still, it’s nice sometimes to not have to spend breakfast standing at stove or the waffle iron while everyone else takes their coffee to the table.
Okay, enough talking. Time to make a bab—er… you get it.Print
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Brambleberry Lavender Dutch Baby, Dutch Baby, Brambleberry Compote, Lavender Whipped Cream