Life is full of contradictions, which either keeps things interesting or is annoying, depending on your perspective. Like just a couple of days on these very pages, I absolutely, unequivocally stated that no matter what, you should not be making a last minute dish for a brunch crowd and here I am today, telling you that you absolutely, totally should. In fact, must. That’s because this Sheet-Pan Dutch Baby with Lemon Sugar is so, super duper easy that you can literally whip it up in 10 minutes and how many party dishes can you say that about?!!! Oh and it’s super duper delish too! And just like that, all the rules are out the window!
Do you love Dutch babies? And I don’t mean the little chubby-cheeked ones from Holland, although I’m sure they’re pretty delicious too! If you’ve never had one before, a Dutch baby is just a fancy name for a big, fluffy,baked pancake, almost like a popover and they come in all shapes and varieties. They’re generally easy to make—the majority of this one comes together in a blender and rely on household staples like butter, eggs, milk and flour. I’ve got a savory one here on the site and another more traditional skillet one, but this “baby” is my absolute new fav.
A large part of that is the crunchy lemon sugar that covers the top, adding that sweet/tart thing that is so addictive to the eggy pancake. If you’re a lemon lover, you are going to fall head over heels, I guarantee!
The other part is the fact that it comes together so easily in a sheet pan and can serve a crowd with barely any effort. Which brings me back to the subject of contradictions. This is a party dish you not only must make last minute, you must serve it as soon as it comes out of the oven. If this sounds like a fun little challenge to you, here’s how I would handle it—
Before your guests arrive, make the batter and lemon sugar and preheat your oven. As soon as the doorbell rings, stick the pan with the butter on it into the oven to melt. Then, as people are milling about and chatting, pour in the batter and bake it—start serving tea and coffee and get everybody seated (in my house that would take a good 10 minutes anyway). Then if you stall just the teensiest bit, with a fun story or a cookie or two if you’re desperate (be prepared), you’re basically at bake time. Take that puffy pancake out of the oven, douse the whole thing with the lemon sugar, slice into squares (did I mention that this cuts like a dream?) and serve. Sounds doable, right? In that contradictory sort of way? Eh, what’s the fun if you can’t break the rules sometimes, right?!!!
Easy Sheet-Pan Dutch Baby with Lemon Sugar
Makes 4 servings—definitely double if serving more than 4 people
You will need a blender or food processor for this.
Prep Time: 10 minutes; Bake Time: 20 minutes
1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large eggs
1 cup milk ( I used whole)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
The grated zest from one lemon
1. Preheat oven to 425ºF and make sure rack is in center.
2. Whisk the flour and salt together in a small bowl and set aside.
3. Place the butter on a 1/4 sheet pan and place in the oven while the oven heats up. Keep an eye on it. It’s fine if the butter gets a little brown because yum, brown butter, but don’t let it burn.
4. While the butter is melted, place the eggs in a blender or food processor and blend on high for 1 minute. Then keep the blender on and slowly pour in the milk and vanilla and let it mix. Pour the whole thing into a large bowl and whisk in the flour mixture. It will be thin.
5. Once the butter is melted and hot, remove it from the oven and tilt the pan a bit so that the butter gets evenly distributed. Pour the batter into the pan and return to the oven for about 20 minutes, until it;s puffy and golden brown.
6. While the dutch baby is cooking, make the lemon sugar. Place the sugar in a small bowl with the lemon zest and use your fingers to work the zest into the sugar so that the oils get infused into the sugar.
7. When the dutch baby is ready, remove it from the oven and immediately sprinkle it with a generous helping of the lemon sugar. Cut into squares and serve right away, with more lemon sugar on the side. If you want to dress it up more, you could also serve with fresh berries or macerated ones, but it’s great and very light as is.
8. Also, this doubles really well to serve a crowd. Just double up the ingredients and use a half sheet pan.
Note: Recipe adapted from Sheet Pan Suppers by Molly Gilbert. I cut the nutmeg and also used regular lemons instead of Meyers. I also cut the recipe in half.