I’ve been eating gluten free for nine months now and I’ve got to say it has been a serpentine journey to figure out how to meet my admittedly snooty standards for baked goods. Mediocre desserts are just not worth the calories if you ask me, but dessert is one of my two favorite “meals” (the other one being breakfast), and I refuse to give up the experience of a perfectly baked treat. I’ve taken the tactic of choosing a grain-based recipe that I love and reworking that recipe over and over again until I create a new gluten-free version that is at least as delicious. I’m lucky my husband and kids are good sports because sometimes this has meant days and days of eating slightly different versions of the same recipe. Lately it’s been crepes. Many batches of crepes later, the family and I agree that these coconut buckwheat crepes are so delicious, you would never guess they’re gluten free.
Gluten-Free Flours: Do I Really Need Three Different Flours for These Crepes?
The short answer to the above question is, “Yes and no.” As I was developing this recipe, I tried different flours and milks, as well as both coconut cream vs. coconut milk. I tried a lot of recipes I found online that used all coconut flour or a mix of coconut flour and almond flour. But the resulting texture wasn’t very reminiscent of a good crepe and unless I made them very small, they dried out and broke easily, which pretty much defeats the purpose of a crepe.
Coconut flour is very absorbent, so even with the addition of the eggs, it can leave you with a denser batter than is ideal for a good crepe. Adding a touch of almond or hazelnut flour helps to lighten the batter and adds both depth and softness without unwanted heft. But those two flours alone didn’t give me the beautiful crepe texture I was looking for. I found that equal parts coconut flour and buckwheat flour with that added touch of almond flour resulted in delicious crepes that cooked well and folded nicely without breaking.
Crepe batter—whether gluten or nongluten—needs to rest before you cook the crepes. This allows the flours to hydrate (which is particularly key with coconut flour) and helps create the most delicate consistency. These crepes only need to rest for 10-15 minutes.
Coconut Buckwheat Crepes Recipe
Makes approximately six(6) 10-inch crepes
- 4 large organic, free-range eggs
- 1 Tbsp. organic butter or organic coconut oil, melted, plus more for cooking crepes
- 1/4 cup organic milk or nut milk of choice
- 1/4 cup full fat organic coconut milk (shake the can well to blend thoroughly before measuring)
- 1/2 tsp. organic vanilla extract (optional for savory crepes)
- Sea Salt, to taste
- 2 Tbsp. organic coconut flour
- 2 Tbsp. organic buckwheat flour
- 1 Tbsp. organic almond flour
- Organic dried herbs or spices of choice to compliment filling (optional). Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, etc. are nice additions for a fruit filling. Tarragon, chives, shiitake mushroom powder, nettle leaf or nettle leaf powder, saffron threads, garlic granules, and onion granules are good additions for a savory crepe.
- In a medium mixing bowl using a hand mixer or a whisk, beat the eggs until thoroughly blended.
- Beat in the melted butter or coconut oil, milk of choice, coconut milk, and vanilla.
- Beat in the flours to create a smooth batter without lumps.
- Whisk in a pinch or two of optional herbs and spices to compliment planned filling.
- The batter will be very thin.
- Set bowl aside for 10-15 minutes to give flours time to hydrate.
- Check your batter; it should have thickened slightly and will be about the consistency of heavy cream. You can thicken with a little more buckwheat flour if necessary, then set aside again for 5 minutes to let hydrate. Don’t overdo it or you won’t be able to achieve the super-thin crepes that are the best.
- When ready to cook, heat your favorite crepe or pancake pan over medium heat.
- Depending on the size of your pan, add about 1 teaspoon butter or coconut oil to melt. When melted, swirl butter/oil to coat pan.
- Whisk the crepe batter again to reincorporate any buckwheat flour that has settled. If you are using a 10-inch pan, measure out 1/3 cup of batter. If you are using a 6-8” pan, measure out 1/4 cup batter.
- Pour measured batter into pan. Tip and swirl the pan gently to spread the batter as thinly as possible around the bottom of the pan.
- Brown on the first side (2-3 minutes) until the center is set and dry and the sides are just beginning to crisp and curl.
- Gently flip the crepe and brown the other side.
- Plate immediately or set on rack to cool.
- Continue cooking remaining batter, buttering/oiling the pan each time and whisking up the batter before measuring to pour in pan.
- Fill crepes with savory or sweet filling of choice.
- Crepes can be held, well wrapped, in the refrigerator for 24 hours and will reheat well. They also freeze nicely.
- I have heard many crepe cooks say that the first crepe is the sacrificial victim, the one they use to perfect the heat and method… which is to say, if your first crepe isn’t perfect, use the experience of cooking it to adjust your batter, heat, or pan as necessary to make the rest of the crepes beautiful. Also eat the first crepe to hide the evidence.
- I hardly ever need a whole can of coconut milk, so I buy a can, shake it well, and pour it into an ice cube tray. Once frozen, I pop the coconut milk cubes out and put them in a freezer bag. I thaw three cubes to get the 1/4 cup coconut milk for this recipe. Alternatively, try mixing leftover coconut milk one-to-one with water and use it to cook rice. Mmm, coconut rice!
Sweet Breakfast Crepes: Fried Apples or Pears with Whipped Cream
- Crepe batter as above
- 1 pinch organic nutmeg powder
- 1 mini-pinch organic clove powder
- Organic butter or coconut oil for frying
- 1 large, crisp organic apple or pear
- 2 Tbsp. organic butter or organic coconut oil
- 1 squeeze organic lemon juice
- 2-4 Tbsp. organic sugar, brown sugar, or another sweetener (optional)
- 1/2 tsp. organic cinnamon powder
- Pumpkin pie spiced roasted mixed nuts, finely chopped (optional)
- Whipped cream or homemade whipped coconut cream (optional)
- Add nutmeg and cloves to crepe batter and cook as described in the crepe directions above.
- Meanwhile, peel, core, and slice apple or pear.
- Melt butter or coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat.
- Add sliced fruit and drizzle with a squeeze of lemon juice.
- Let simmer, stirring occasionally, until fruit is just barely tender and has absorbed most of the butter or coconut oil.
- Add the optional sweetener and toss with the fruit in the pan.
- Stir in cinnamon.
- Lower heat and let simmer briefly, just until sweetener is completely dissolved and incorporated, and fruit is perfectly tender.
- Remove from heat.
- Divide hot filling between two crepes and top with a sprinkling of chopped roasted nuts and whipped cream or coconut cream.
Savory Breakfast Crepes: Egg or Tofu Scramble with Salsa
- Crepe batter as above
- 1-2 Tbsp. organic nettle leaf
- 1/8 tsp. organic onion granules
- Organic butter or coconut oil for frying
- 3 large organic free-range eggs, or 8-12 oz. firm, pressed, crumbled organic tofu
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sauteed vegetables of choice, preferably with onion included (optional)
- Grated cheese of choice (optional)
- Organic chives for topping
- Salsa of choice for serving
- Add nettle leaf and onion granules to crepe batter and cook as described in the crepe directions above.
- Meanwhile, scramble eggs or crumbled tofu over medium heat in butter or oil. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Fold in optional sautéed vegetables.
- Top with optional grated cheese, cover and let melt.
- Divide hot filling between two crepes and top with salsa.
Want more options to go with crepes?
You may also enjoy:
- Gluten-free Vegan Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
- Elderberry Syrup Overnight Oats
- Vegan Coconut & Matcha Chia Pudding