Our family has embarked on virtual travels to various countries and regions. To explore these countries and their cultures, we have followed along with the festivals, cooked and eaten traditional foods, learned of traditional handicrafts with hands on exploration, along with many activities to immerse ourselves. Chronicled here are some of these activities.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Around the World with Pancakes: Dutch Poffertjes

We're trying out pancakes from around the world, looking beyond fluffy pancakes and beyond breakfast food

Can you think of a sweet treat that pops up during fairs, carnivals, festivities and holidays? In the Netherlands, that sweet treat is a type of pancake known as poffertjes. They're especially popular over the colder months, when stands pop up everywhere and you can order a plateful with one to two dozen of them, covered in icing sugar.

Explore gorgeous Dutch landscapes, canals and of course windmills and tulips in this photo gallery.

Find the Netherlands on the map; a poffertjes restaurant
Photo Credit (right): Paul Perreijn (CC -adapted into a collage)

Poffertjes (POH-furt-jes) are made with buckwheat and yeast, and have a light, spongy texture. They're served with melted butter and lots of icing sugar, which in our house means they're a hit! They're made with a special pan with indentations, but you can still make them on a griddle or frying pan. My sister happened to find the pan in a curio and antique shop and thought of me :) We also tried these on a regular flat cast iron pan, and though the shape was different, they tasted just as good.Turning them over in the pan takes a bit of practice - I started off using a fork, but found that a toothpick worked better. Keep in mind that being a yeast batter, it needs to rise for an hour so be sure to plan ahead.

You can see them being cooked and flipped, which it turns out isn't quite as easy as it looks, at a poffertjes restaurant in this short video
On the left is my cast iron poffertjes pan that sits right on the stove top. On the right is a poffertjes pan used in restaurants and pancake stands. I don't know how they keep up with making so many at a time without ruining them!
Photo Credit (Right): Ritzo ten Cate (CC-adapted into a collage)

Dutch Poffertjes

Makes a bunch and serves at least 4

  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 3/4 tsp yeast
  • 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • pinch of salt
  • melted butter, to serve
  • icing sugar, to serve
  • strawberries and whipped cream, to serve (optional)
1. Proof the yeast by sprinkling it over the warm (not hot) milk. This usually takes about 5 minutes. 

2. Whisk together both flours, the sugar and the salt. Mix the eggs into the flour, then add the milk yeast mixture and beat well so there are no (or very little) lumps. Set aside in a warm area to rise for an hour.

3. Heat your pan on medium heat. Lightly butter it (or each dimple of it) and pour about a teaspoon of batter for each pancake (or in each dimple). 

On the left we used a flat cast iron pan, and on the right is the special dimpled poffertjes pan

4. Using a toothpick, turn them over when the sides dry up and bubbles appear on the top. They only need to cook for another minute once flipped. 

5. Serve with a drizzle of melted butter and a good sprinkling of icing sugar. In the Netherlands they are coated in icing sugar. We also enjoyed them with whipped cream and strawberries.


In case you're inclined to know (I did), here's a video that describes the difference between Holland and the Netherlands (and a few other Dutch details)

Find more posts exploring culture, geography and history with kids at

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  1. Oh my....they look SO good!! You couldn't send some to me? Or better still come for a visit and make me a different pancake each day??!

    1. Yup, these were tasty! Is there such a thing as a British or Irish traditional pancake? Or are they the same as in North America?

  2. Oh yummy. That does sound good. Of course it could also be that I'm hungry this morning.

    1. Oh they're yummy! I thought of you when writing this post, because of the wait time for yeast to rise and thought "she'll never make these" :) To be fair, that's why its taken me months to get around to making them myself!

  3. They look and sound wonderful!


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