Pannukakku, traditional Finnish oven-pancake, also called kropsu. A simple pancake baked in the oven served with some jam and whipped cream-if available. This authentic pannukakku is a family favorite to be enjoyed as a dessert or snack.
This pancake is something my mother used to make when I was little. This was such a favorite to serve for guests and grandkids. My favorite moment in the baking was when it got big bubbles in the oven. I used to stare at the oven and watch the bubbles rise. The funniest part was breaking them with a knife.
This has a wonderful taste of slightly browned butter. The butter makes it a bit crispy on the edges since it is melted first in the oven. The batter has some cardamom to give extra flavor, and I also love to add some vanilla sugar for a sweet pancake.
FUN FACT: My mum used to mix all sorts of leftovers in the batter. Porridge, potatoes, mash, and even spaghetti. Nothing was thrown away or wasted on a tight budget.
Different types of Finnish oven pancakes
- Regular Finnish pancake is a bit thicker. It is baked in an oven baking tray on baking paper.
- Kropsu. This is a specialty for Ostrobothnia. It is baked in a cast iron skillet in the oven. This can also be made from barley flour. Kropsu can also be savory with mixed crispy pork cubes.
- Perunakropsu. This is a potato pancake. Potato is added to the batter in the form of mashed potatoes.
- Riivattu/riiviröpö. In this version, grated potatoes are added to the batter.
- Ahvenanmaan pannukakku. Åland island pancake. This is made with semolina porridge and cardamom.
Ingredients and replacements
- Milk. Whole milk gives the best flavor.
- All-purpose flour
- Sugar. It can be replaced with sweetener.
- Ground cardamom (from green pods). Can be left out from the recipe.
- Butter. Can be replaced with heat-tolerant margarine.
For a milk-free oven pancake use any plant milk. For example, soy milk works great. Also, replace the butter with margarine.
To make a gluten-free sheet pancake replace the regular wheat flour with a gluten-free flour mix. This is an easy recipe to make gluten-free since it does not need any viscosity in the batter.
Pannukakku can even be eaten as a savory dish. If you want to make a savory oven pancake, leave the cardamom away from the recipe and reduce the sugar amount to 2-3 teaspoons.
To make a savory pancake you can add some of these in the batter before baking:
- Ham and bell pepper cubes.
- Smoked salmon and dill. (+onion)
- Small fried bacon bites.
- Boiled potatoes in small cubes/grated , capers and feta cheese.
To a sweet pancake batter, you can mix some apple bites or berries.
Other Finnish pancakes
These are made with a frying pan:
There is also Muurikka lettu. This is a big thin pancake made in a special big muurikka griddle pan. These large crepe-like pancakes are fried outdoors, and the batter often has a bit of barley flour added. They are fried to dark and crispy and served with strawberry jam and whipped cream. (Recipe)
- Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add in the milk and eggs and give it a whisk. It is ok also to do it in reverse order.
- Let your batter rest for at least 30 minutes. The clumps will even out when the flour swells. You can even make your batter ahead of time. For example, in the evening and let it rest in the fridge.
- Melt the butter on the sheet pan in the oven. Take out the pan and give it a swirl, so the butter spreads out evenly. Pour the batter into the hot pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes until nicely browned at 400F. (200C).
- Bubbles will form on the pannukakku while baking. This depends though on the oven and amount of eggs. Let your pancake cool for a while before slicing.
In this picture, you see a typical sheet pan that comes with all Finnish ovens. This is 30x35cm. (12x14 inches) I adjusted the recipe to match the American half-sheet pan. If you need to alter your measurement remember the ratio of 2:1 to liquid and flour. The number of eggs can be varied.
What to serve with oven pancake
- Strawberry jam
- Raspberry jam
- Apple puree
- Whipped cream
- Ice cream
- Thick vanilla custard
- Fresh berries
- Lingonberry jam
Store in the fridge for 3-4 days covered. It does get a bit soggy though and does not have the crisp on the edges.
You can reheat the pancake in the microwave for about 30 sec-1 minute. Reheating in the oven is recommended, it does get better consistency in the oven. You can even eat this pancake cold.
Yes, freeze as slices, covered for up to 3-6 months.
Definitely, this is how original kropsu is made. You need to make half amount of the recipe so it does not get too thick.
Finnish oven pancake
- 1 half sheet pan. 18x13 inch
- 4 cups milk 1 litre
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups all purpose flour 5dl
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoon ground cardamom (from green pods)
- 3 tablespoon butter
- Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Add in the milk and eggs and give it a whisk.
- Let your batter rest for at least 30 minutes. The clumps will even out when the flour swells.
- Warm your oven to 435 F (225 C)
- Melt the butter on the sheet pan in the oven. Take out the pan and give it a swirl so the butter spreads out evenly.
- Pour your batter on the hot pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes until nicely browned.
- Giant bubbles will form on the pannukakku while baking. You can break them while baking, so you get a more even color.
- Serve slightly cooled with strawberry jam.