Crepes with a cinnamon filling, drizzled with cream cheese sauce and lots of sprinkles. Perfect for breakfast or dessert
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This Tuesday, February 17th, is what we in the UK call Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday – it’s the day before lent and pancakes are eaten to use up all the rich foods in the house ready for fasting. In other parts of the world it’s called Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday and is marked with parades and celebrations – the same principle applies, it’s about a last hurrah before the lenten season. I knew I wanted to make something to celebrate the day and decided on crepes, a very thin French pancake. When I was deciding to what to put in the crepes I was thinking about Mardi Gras and a big tradition in New Orleans on Mardi Gras is to eat something called King Cake – which is kind of like one big, round cinnamon bun with yellow, green and purple sprinkles. And so these King Cake Crepes were born! King Cake Crepes – try saying that three times fast!
In the UK we traditionally will make pancakes that are similar to crepes, but a bit thicker and with less rich ingredients, then we serve them with lemon juice and caster sugar – it doesn’t sound like much, but it’s honestly so good! I shared British pancakes on the blog last year actually. Crepes are a little trickier to make since they’re so thin, it took me a few goes to get the hang of frying them but once you get into the swing of things it becomes pretty easy – if it’s your first time making crepes, just be prepared for a few practice pancakes first! A good non stick frying pan is key here, because you really don’t want to use a lot of butter when greasing. Since crepes are so thin, you don’t actually need to fry them both sides so if you’re worried about flipping you can skip that – I like to cook them through on one side and then flip and fry the other side for 15 or so seconds to get a bit of colour on both sides.
How fun are these crepes though? I always love taking a type of food and recreating it with something completely different, it’s a lot of fun and you get all the yummy flavours of the food you love, but with different textures and ways of eating it. Now I have never actually eaten a King Cake before, but I’ve eaten more than my fair share of cinnamon buns over the years and I can tell you that these crepes really do do the flavours justice. The sweet cinnamon filling rolled up in the thin pancakes and smothered in sweet, tangy cream cheese sauce is so good, and the soft crepes, thick filling, creamy sauce make for amazing textures, particularly when you add in the crunch of the sprinkles! You’ve probably noticed I’ve used pink sprinkles here, I didn’t have any purple!
Since I was only making these for me, the recipe only makes about 8 crepes (depending on how big you make them), but it’s easily doubled if you have more people to serve. Or halved if you don’t want 8 – although if it’s your first time making crepes I would keep the quantities the same because you’ll probably lose your first few while you get the hang of it!
As I said before, Pancake Day and Mardi Gras are celebrated the day before lenten season starts – traditionally Christians would fast during Lent but these days most people give up a bad habit or certain foods. I don’t tend to observe lent, although some years I do like to use the time to take up something new, kind of like a new years resolution I guess, something to improve my life or mind. I’m not sure yet if I’m going to pick something up this year. What about you? Are you giving up anything for Lent? Or are you planning on taking up a new hobby or practice?
These crepes are going to be super yummy no matter what time of year you make them – take off the sprinkles and you have cinnamon roll crepes, amazing! Whenever you decide you want crepes, you definitely need to try these ones, they’re so good! You need them in your life, trust me!
- 125g plain flour (all purpose)
- 15g caster sugar (super fine granulated)
- pinch of salt
- 2 medium eggs
- 325ml milk
- 50ml double cream
- Butter for greasing
- 60g brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 60g unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 70g Cream Cheese
- 70g Icing Sugar (powdered/confectioners)
- 1 tbsp double cream
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- Sprinkles (optional)
- To make the crepes, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, eggs and 100ml of the milk until you have a smooth batter. Add the remaining milk and the cream and whisk to combine.
- Cover and rest at room temperature for 1 hour
- Meanwhile make the filling, add the sugar, cinnamon and butter to a small saucepan and cook on medium heat until butter and sugar has melted, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and leave to cool.
- Cook the crepes, brush a non stick frying pan with a little butter - you only want a very small amount. Place on medium heat.
- Ladle in 1/3 cup of batter per crepe, swish pan around so batter is a thin layer over bottom of pan. Cook on 1 side for 1 minute 30 seconds, then flip and cook for a further 30 seconds.
- Transfer cooked crepes to plate, with a piece of greaseproof paper between each crepe.
- Make the sauce, add all the ingredients to a bowl and beat until combined and smooth
- Spread about 1/2 tbsp filling over one side of each crepe and roll up and place on serving plate.
- Drizzle cream cheese sauce over the crepes and add sprinkes