How to Make a Crepe Buffet
For a pretty spring brunch, pop the cork on a bottle of bubbly, and set up a self-serve crepe station with a variety of fresh fillings.
Crepes allow for endless creativity. They're foldable, rollable, stackable, fillable, bakeable and totally customizable. You can make all our recipes with purchased crepes (available in the produce section), but naturally, homemade tastes even better. Luckily, crepes are simple-just a blender batter and a hot skillet. One batch makes plenty, and extras freeze well.
Crepe buffet setup
Make Ahead One or two hot fillings (like cheesy eggs) is plenty. Focus more on ingredients that you can prep in advance and serve at room temperature.
Double Time Offer an array of both sweet and savory fillings so that your buffet doubles as main dish and dessert. Allow at least three crepes per person; trust us, people won't be able to resist circling back to the table for more.
Herb Bouquet Rather than chop herbs in advance, put assorted sprigs (such as tarragon, chives, sage or basil) in a jam jar with water, and supply scissors for guests to snip their own garnish. Bonus: It's a centerpiece, too!
Platter Up Fanning folded crepes along an oblong serving dish looks more impressive than a stack and makes it easy for people to pick them up with tongs or a fork. A mix of regular and chocolate crepes is especially tempting.
Stock the buffet
You can fold a crepe around almost anything. Raid your kitchen for simple fillings that guests can mix and match.
Fruit Peach, pear, mango, berries and even Mandarin orange slices are all good choices. If you're feeling fancy, toss fruit with sugar and citrus zest. Because banana browns fast, slice it last minute or saute in brown sugar and butter. (Splash of rum? Mmm.)
Spreads For sweet crepes, try softened butter, jam, honey, fruit or nut butters, maple syrup, chocolate spread or caramel topping. For savory schmears, we like mustard, chutney, salsa or hollandaise sauce.
Sprinkles Set out shakers of cinnamon-sugar or powdered sugar, as well as toasted sliced almonds or coarsely chopped pecans.
Vegetables Cooked and lightly seasoned veggies work best. Think wilted spinach, caramelized onion, blanched asparagus, sauteed mushrooms or roasted veggies like sweet pepper, zucchini or tomato.
Meats and cheeses Go high-class with prosciutto or smoked salmon (lox) or diner-style with deli meat, bacon or sausage. Beyond grated cheeses like Swiss, consider plain or flavored cream cheese, ricotta, mascarpone or chèvre-all sublime with honey.
Eggs We love runny eggs with crepes, but unless you want to play short-order cook, stick with scrambled for large gatherings.
Master crepes at home
If you can make pancakes, you can flip crepes. Below the photos are our time-tested tips for success. Here's the full crepe recipe-with cocoa, whole wheat and fresh herb variations.
Pour and swirl (top left) A proper crepe pan (pictured here and widely available online) is handy, but any nonstick skillet works. Brush the hot pan with butter and pour in a few tablespoons of batter. (Don't worry about über-precise measurements.) Quickly tip the pan in a circular motion to spread the batter. You won't get a perfect circle every time, but you'll get a feel for it as you go.
Flip gently (bottom left) After a minute or so, the crepe will look dry on top. Slip a thin utensil (such as an offset knife, small rubber spatula or butter knife) under one edge, grab the crepe with your fingers and turn it. You may tear your first one. Don't curse or pout. This happens. Cook's treat! Eat it with Nutella while you cook the rest; again, you'll find your rhythm as you go.
Stack with care (right) After flipping the crepe, cook it about 30 seconds longer, then slide it out of the pan onto a plate or paper towel. (Fact: The second side will never be as lovely and lacy as the first.) If you are going to eat the crepes that day, just stack them. For longer storage (especially in the freezer), layer the crepes between waxed paper to prevent sticking.
See all our crepe recipes, including Vanilla Bean Crepe Cake, Crepes Suzette, Cherry Pie Crepes a la Mode and Cheesy Chicken-Broccoli Crepe Bake.