The Delicate, Spongy Basic Crepe Recipe You Can Master at Home—Plus 4 Ways to Upgrade It

With encouragement from the owner of a Kansas City, Missouri, creperie, you’ll perfect these delicate pancakes in no time.

Growing up, Kate Bryan ate her dad's "skinny pancakes" practically every Saturday. While going to college in Oregon, Bryan found comfort (and good study vibes) at several creperies in Portland. The seeds of opening her own cafe took root, and over the course of 20 years, she went to any creperie she encountered, gathering inspiration, nurturing the dream.

crepes with berries and lemon curd
Carson Downing

"I woke up one day and thought, 'Am I actually going to do this, or just think of this for the rest of my life?'" Bryan says.

Six years ago, she opened Seven Swans Crêperie as a food truck—a chic, retrofitted vintage camper, that is—and in January 2020, she opened a brick-and-mortar cafe in Kansas City's Westside neighborhood. Although many people associate crepes with France, Bryan notes that almost every culture has some type of thin pancake. "I've made the recipe a little spongier, like blini," she explains, referring to the Slavic version of the pancakes. "That sort of differentiates us. We're not a French creperie."

At Seven Swans, the sweet and savory fillings change seasonally. "I'm always looking for cozy, nutritious, comforting and flavorful," Bryan says. (That goes for her vegan crepes too.) This spring, she will open a second cafe—in Milwaukee. Having weathered the pandemic, Bryan is ready for more: "It's a pretty incredible feeling to have your space that you created full of people enjoying themselves. It has its moment of magic."

Get Chef Kate Bryan's Basic Crepe Recipe

Make it Yours: 4 Ways to Customize a Basic Crepe Recipe

Go sweet or savory with Bryan's delicious variations.


Immediately after flipping a crepe, top with shredded sharp white cheddar, strawberry jam and chopped crisp-cooked bacon. When cheese melts, fold crepe and top with an over-easy egg. (Tip: Cook crepes over lower heat for this recipe to give the cheese time to melt.)


Spread a crepe with Garlic-Parmesan Cream Sauce. Add sauteed mushrooms, crisp-cooked bacon and lightly wilted spinach, then roll or fold crepe to serve.

Cinnamon Toast

Pour melted butter (Bryan likes Kerrygold) over the cooking crepe and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Cook until sugar is melted and bubbly, and the crepe bottom is brown and crispy (2 to 3 minutes). Top with whipped cream.

Lemon Curd and Berries

Spread lemon curd in a crepe. Fold crepe and top with fresh berries and (if you like) sweetened whipped cream. Use purchased lemon curd or make your own.

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