Dutch baby


variants or less commonly Dutch baby pancake
plural Dutch babies also Dutch baby pancakes
: a large puffy bread that is made from a thin batter of eggs, flour, and milk and that is baked usually in a skillet and served with sweet or savory toppings
In reality, the Dutch baby is less like a pancake and a lot more like a large version of a Yorkshire pudding or a popover. Baked in the oven in a cast iron skillet, this breakfast hero is equally appealing in both savory and sweet incarnations, which means you can decorate it with everything from apple slices to ham and chives.Dakota Kim
A Dutch baby is basically a giant pancake, though I'd say it's slightly less fluffy and more chewy. The batter is poured into a heated cast iron skillet with melted butter. No leavening agent is needed, as the oven's high temperature steams the eggs and milk, causing it to rise and puff up. … At its simplest, a Dutch baby is a blended mixture of flour, eggs and milk.Taylor Goebel
Some people say a Dutch baby pancake is similar to a crepe, while others claim it's more like Yorkshire pudding. We say—it's just straight up delicious!Erin Cavoto
Dutch baby pancakes are the love child of a pancake, a popover and a crepe all baked up in one giant skillet.Renee Kohlman

Word History


of uncertain origin

Note: The nature of the allusion implied in the name is unclear. An obvious correspondence might be between the inflated look of the pancake and the stereotypical rotund healthiness of Dutch (or German) babies. Dutch baby has been associated with Manca's Café, a restaurant in Seattle that allegedly introduced the dish in the early twentieth century (see Seattle Star, November 27, 1944, p. 4), but there appear to be no early citations that support this connection. (The Oxford English Dictionary, third edition, has no evidence earlier than 1927.) Note that "Leedle Dutch Baby" was an oft-reprinted poem written by James Whitcomb Riley in a spelling purporting to reflect a Dutch or German accent.

First Known Use

1959, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Dutch baby was in 1959

Dictionary Entries Near Dutch baby

Cite this Entry

“Dutch baby.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Dutch%20baby. Accessed 24 Jul. 2024.

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