Pannukakku – Traditional Finnish Oven Pancake

Strawberry Kropsua – or Pannukakku – was my Grandmother’s version of Finnish comfort food

 

Finnish pancakes are the main comfort foods I remember from my childhood. Actually, it was pancakes and Finnish cardamom coffee bread, but I never did get my grandmother’s recipe for pulla (coffee bread). I do, however, have Mummu’s recipe for Strawberry Kropsua, which I will share with you below.

If you’ve never made Pannukakku – or Kropsua – you’re in for a treat. This is a custardy pancake that contains ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen, takes very little time to prepare, and bakes in the oven while you go do something else. My kind of cooking.

Pannukakku is a very adaptable dish. I’ve had this pancake for breakfast, dessert, and even as the main course for lunch or supper. It is versatile, delicious and… I guess you could say… soothing. It reminds me of my grandmother… and childhood. Christmas, too. That’s when my mom would make Kropsua… on Christmas morning. Finnish oven pancakes are rich and filling – a little heavy for summer fare – but they are perfect for chilly fall and winter days.

I hope you have a chance to try my Pannukakku/Kropsua recipe and get a taste of this traditional Finnish comfort food for yourself. Who knows, it might even become one of your own family traditions.

How to make Finnish Oven Pancakes

I hadn’t made this pancake dish in over 20 years and was tickled that it came out just as expected. It isn’t much you can do wrong with this recipe unless it’s over-beating the batter. In the old days, my grandmother would have used a whisk or fork rather than an electric mixer. This is a slightly updated version of the recipe.

3 things to be aware of or be careful doing:

  • Where it says “whisk” after using the electric mixer… use a whisk, not the mixer
  • Be careful how you pour the batter into the frying pan. The pan is hot and some of the batters could stick on the sides if you don’t pour them carefully
  • When you place the pan in the oven (middle rack), try not to tip it too much. It’ll send the batter up the sides and you’ll have a lop-sided pancake as I did.

Otherwise, it’s a really easy recipe that even a non-cook like me can handle. And it’s delicious.

Cook Time
Prep Time: 10 min.
Total Time: 30-40 min.
Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup unsifted flour
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place well-seasoned 9-10″ cast iron skillet in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  3. With an electric mixer, beat together eggs, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
  4. Beat in milk and (optional) vanilla.
  5. Gradually whisk in flour until the batter is smooth and well-blended.
  6. Using a potholder, remove preheated skillet from the oven and brush with oil.
  7. Pour in batter.
  8. Bake in preheated 425-degree oven for 20 minutes or until puffed and golden.
  9. Remove to wire rack and let stand for 10 minutes. (The pancake will flatten a little.)
  10. Serve with sugared strawberries or fruit preserves.

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