Baked Sunday Mornings: Kitchen Sink Dutch Baby

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I’ve come a long way with bananas. I’ve talked a number of times before on this blog about my dislike for the slimy things, though I have genuinely come to like them in certain applications, such as banana bread and especially banana cake. BUT. I’ve also learned that there’s a threshold for my banana tolerance, and that is when I have to eat them as actual banana pieces, all mushy-like and skeevy. While I was willing to deal with them in the recent Caramel-y Banana, Peanut Butter, & Chocolate Bread Pudding, eating them in this week’s Kitchen Sink Dutch Baby (Baked Occasions recipe for Shrove Tuesday) was a step too far; while I’ve been quite willing to stretch myself for Baked Sunday Mornings recipes, I decided to look into other options this time. I’m not sure why these are called “kitchen sink” in this case because the only mix-ins discussed in the recipe are bananas and chocolate chips (optional toppings of maple syrup and toasted walnuts), but I took it to mean “choose your own adventure”. And then my imagination went wild: salted caramel, chocolate-peanut butter, dulce de leche, spekuloos sauce, cinnamon-sugar, whipped cream, toffee bits– so many possibilities! I ultimately settled on a S’mores Dutch Baby by adding crushed graham crackers and toasted marshmallow fluff on top of the chocolate chip pancake, obviously omitting the odious banana slices. 😉 And I’m so glad I did!

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This was the first Dutch Baby I’ve ever made, and only one of a few that I’ve ever even eaten. In fact, I hadn’t really bothered pondering, let alone researching, the origin of the Dutch Baby, but as is often the case, making BSM recipes leads to all sorts of food-based trivia learning. 🙂 It is descended from a German-style puffed pancake, and in the States originated at a cafe in Seattle in the early 1900s. And after I ate it, I wondered what had taken me so long because, guys, these are brilliant. You get that awesome pancake-breakfasty effect without all the work of manning (personing?) the griddle and flipping pancakes.

The batter is a snap to make. Literally the hardest part was schlepping the ladder into the kitchen so I could retrieve my blender from the cabinet above the fridge. And frankly, some Sundays that sounds like a lot of work, but it really is worth the effort—I am confident that you will agree. 😉

Anyway, to start the batter, you combine eggs, milk, and vanilla (I used vanilla bean paste so I could have the pretty seeds in my pancake) in the blender and buzz them until the mixture is frothy. Then add all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour (I substituted white whole wheat), dark brown sugar, and salt to the blender and blend again until the dry ingredients are completely incorporated and you’ve got a little froth going.

That’s it. Done.

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For those using bananas, you would have sautéed them first in butter, and then made the batter; since I skipped the bananas, I halved the butter to 1 ½ tablespoons, which I melted in a 10” nonstick skillet before pouring in the batter and sprinkling it with chocolate chips. (I may have been a little heavy-handed with the chocolate…)

Put the skillet in the oven and bake the pancake for 17-20 minutes (mine was a perfect light golden color and all puffed up at 17 minutes). It should creep up the sides of the pan as it bakes, producing a think “lip” at the top.

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As soon as you pull it out of the oven, it will start to deflate a bit, like a soufflé, so you’ll want to dig in immediately. Also, if you’re adding post-oven toppings like my s’mores accessories, make sure to have them ready to go to avoid scrambling around to crush the graham crackers, microwave the marshmallow fluff, and grab the kitchen torch. (Certain husbands who shall remain nameless got a little impatient while I fumbled with toppings and photographed… although understandably so because it smelled super wicked yummy.)

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If you make the s’mores version, I recommend microwaving the marshmallow fluff to a drizzleable consistency, or you can simply toss some mini marshmallows on top of the pancake. Then toast them lightly with a hand-held kitchen torch, taking care not to burn the pancake underneath. (I would put on more than I did here—the marshmallowy bites were the best!)

The recipe intro in the book describes this as more of a thick crêpe than a fluffy pancake, and I would completely agree with that description. Now, I will say that mine didn’t puff up quite as dramatically as some that I’ve seen in various articles, and I’m thinking that this is either because a) I did not have a cast-iron skillet, or b) the pan wasn’t hot enough when I poured in the batter, or c) this particular recipe wasn’t meant to puff so much. I found this article with some good Dutch baby-making tips. (Ummm, that sounds weird.) Anyway, it was absolutely delicious, and I fully admit to eating almost ¾ of the whole thing myself… and I’m not one bit sorry about it. The Dutch Baby tasted warm and buttery and chocolaty, and slightly nutty from the whole wheat flour, even given my flour swap. I could not have enjoyed this more!

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I promise you’ll want to give this Kitchen Sink Dutch Baby recipe a try– you know, to up your brunch game. Check out the recipe at Baked Sunday Mornings in that-there link. Take a look at the puffed pancake creations of my fellow bakers while you’re there—I can’t wait to see! 🙂

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© Dafna Adler & Stellina Sweets, 2017.

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