Pancakes vs. Crepes: What’s the Difference?

The most noticeable difference between pancakes and crepes is a visible one: American-style pancakes are made to be thick and fluffy, while French crepes are thin and delicate. Both pancakes and crepes are made with a batter containing flour, milk, and eggs that is poured onto a pan to cook, but crepes do not contain leavening agents like baking powder or baking soda, so they don’t rise.

You’ll find a couple of other differences in a pancake vs. a crepe, too:

  • Crepes are often rolled or folded around a filling, either savory or sweet, while pancakes usually have toppings or ingredients that are mixed into the batter itself.
  • Pancake batter should rest for a few minutes before cooking, but crepe batter should rest much longer, usually anywhere between an hour and a full day, in order to allow the starch molecules in the flour to absorb more liquid and the gluten to relax.