A crepes suzette recipe is a magical thing. This classic dessert (properly written as “crêpes suzette” with accent mark and all) consists of French pancakes cooked with orange-infused butter until they’re caramelized and later flambéed and topped with crepe suzette sauce.
Crepes Suzette Recipe
The crepes suzette history is an interesting one. These French crepes are said to have become common in Parisian restaurants at the turn of the twentieth century after a young waiter supposedly set the crepe suzette sauce aflame when serving the dish to the Prince of Wales.
The Prince was then said to have loved the sauce so much that he asked the sauce to be named after a companion at his table named Suzette.
Whether the story is actually true or not, I don’t know. What I do know is that this easy crepe suzette recipe is probably my absolute favorite way to eat “le crepe.”
In France, you’ll find crepes everywhere. Whether it’s a crepe stand on the street or a dedicated establishment with a crepe station or crepe kitchen, like a creperie, there’s no shortage of these delectable pancakes.
Crepe Suzette Ingredients
French crepes can be filled with a variety of ingredients. I remember staring at a creperie menu once that was 4 pages long! They had everything from simple Nutella and strawberries to a savory crepe filling recipe of truffle and mushrooms.
When I get crepes from street vendors in Paris, I’ll typically just get some butter and sugar because I love the simplicity of it. At restaurants or when I’m making them at home, I love a plate of crepes suzette.
Crepes suzette don’t have an actual filling, per se, but that’s because they don’t need one. Instead, a crepe suzette (or grand marnier crepe as it’s referred to) relies on the crepe suzette sauce for the magic.
A French crepe suzette is everything that it is because of the orange-infused sauce.
Crepe Suzette Sauce
To make these French crepes suzette the mouthwatering treat that they are, the butter needs to be infused with flavor. Specifically, the butter is mixed with sugar, orange zest and a splash of orange juice to essentially create the beurre Suzette.
In traditional recipes, the butter is added to the pan, followed by the sugar and orange juice. This sauce is cooked until it’s bubbly, then the crepes are added in.
This method requires temperature control as you can easily burn your butter or sugar.
Crepe Suzette Flambe
I like to follow a more foolproof method where I prep the butter ahead of time by mixing softened butter with the rest of the ingredients (orange zest, juice, sugar). I do this in the time it takes for the crepe batter to rest.
Then, when it’s time to cook the crepe suzette sauce, I simply add the butter mixture to the pan. Once bubbly and hot, I fold my crepes and place them into the sauce, one by one, spooning the sauce over each crepe.
The crepes bathe in this orange sauce before some brandy and orange liquor are added. Then, the magic happens.
A lighter stick (like this one) is ignited over the bubbly crepe suzette sauce while the pan is off the heat, causing a flame to rise up.
Thankfully, this technique keeps the flame action mellow. I’m all about magical desserts, just not flaming kitchens!
The flambé action in crepes suzette really contributes to that caramelization process and adds depth of flavor to the crepes.
While crepes suzette don’t necessarily have the typical fillings of melted chocolate or whipped cream, you won’t feel like you’re missing anything.
Whether you enjoy this as a breakfast crepe recipe or a dessert after your meal, just know that these French crepes deliver incredible flavor with a sticky, caramelized texture that is just pure heaven!
This classic dessert consists of French pancakes cooked in orange-infused butter until caramelized and later flambéed. Makes about 12 small crepes.
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (62.5 grams)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter (56.7 grams) melted
- 2 eggs
- 2 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar (31 grams)
- 1/2 cup milk (123.5 grams)
- 1/8 cup water (29.5 grams)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (2 grams)
- pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp grand marnier (13 grams)
- 2 tbsp brandy (26 grams)
for the beurre suzette
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter (56.7 grams) softened
- 1 tsp orange zest (2 grams)
- 1 tsp orange juice (4 grams)
- 2 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar (31 grams)
Begin by creating the crepe batter. In a large bowl, whisk the melted butter, eggs, sugar, milk, water, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until it's smooth and combined well.
Add the flour in, bit by bit, whisking after each addition. Once the batter is smooth, let it rest for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, create the beurre suzette. Use a spatula to beat the butter, orange zest, juice, and sugar together until smooth and combined.
Place a small skillet (6 inches) over medium-low heat. Pour about 2 tablespoons worth of batter into the pan and immediately move the pan from side to side to get an even, thin layer. Cook for about 45 seconds, until the edges begin to crisp. Use a spatula to flip the crepe over and cook the other side for another 10 to 15 seconds. Move the crepes to a plate.
Grab a larger skillet (10 inches) and place over medium heat. Add the beurre suzette and allow it to melt and become bubbly. While you're waiting for the butter to melt, fold your crepes into triangles, or a cone shape. Carefully place each folded crepe into the skillet, arranging them next to each other in a radial pattern. Spoon some of the sauce over the crepes as you're adding them in.
Add the grand marnier, then the brand. Move the skillet off heat and ignite the liquid with a lighter. Move the skillet back over to the stove and allow it to cook until the sauce has been caramelized and reduced.