What Is a Sweet Crepe?

Amanda R. Bell

A sweet crepe is a breakfast or dessert dish that can be filled or topped with a variety of sweet ingredients. Although crepes are believed to be originally a French dish, they are popular all over the world, and whether they are sweet or savory, crepes start with the same basic batter and cooking method. What makes a sweet crepe different from a savory one is all in the fillings and toppings used. It can be filled with spices, sugar, or creams, and oftentimes fruit. They can be topped with nearly anything, from syrups or preserves to confectioners’ sugar or a drizzle of chocolate.

Nutella is a very popular crepe filling.
Nutella is a very popular crepe filling.

Sweet crepes are popular all over the world, although they are often tied to French cuisine, where they are known as crepes sucrees. Several other countries have adapted sweet crepes into their cuisines as well, including Italy with the dish known as crespella. A sweet crepe can be found everywhere from street vendors to fine, five-star restaurants, as well as in private homes.

Sweet crepes are often garnished with fresh fruit or berries.
Sweet crepes are often garnished with fresh fruit or berries.

Crepes, whether sweet or savory, are made from the same basic batter. A combination of flour, eggs, and milk, as well as water is cooked in a thin layer in a nonstick skillet. Once cooked through, a sweet crepe is used much like a tortilla, and filled with a variety of ingredients and then rolled or folded onto itself prior to topping and serving.

Fillings and toppings make the difference between a sweet crepe and a savory one, and the most common for sweet crepes are simple spices or sugar. Cinnamon, cloves, or nutmeg can be lightly sprinkled onto a cooked crepe and served as-is, or have additional ingredients added to it. A dusting of confectioners’ sugar prior to folding the crepe is also popular, especially for basic sweet recipes. Creamy fillings, such as custards and whipped cream, are common as well, especially in combination with some sort of fresh fruit such as berries, apples, and tropical fruits like papaya and mango; however, nearly any fruit can be used.

In addition to fruits being used as a filling, preserves and fruit sauces are also often used to top sweet crepes. Confectioner’s sugar, often referred to as powdered sugar, is one of the simplest toppings for sweet crepes, and can be used for both desserts and breakfasts. Chocolate, including dark, milk, and white varieties, is perhaps one of the most common toppings for dessert crepes, and may be flaked or melted and drizzled over the top of the dish.

Applesauce may be used a crepe filling.
Applesauce may be used a crepe filling.

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