What can you do with leftover crêpes? Learn the best way to freeze crêpes and how to reheat them. You can apply these tips to spruce up refrigerated crêpes or even premade crêpes from the supermarket.
Almost every time I cook crêpes from scratch, I end up with several perfect specimens leftover. It seems like a shame to throw them out. Yet, I can’t force myself to eat them when I’m already full. That’s why I’ve experimented over the years on how to store crêpes in the fridge, how to freeze them for later, and how to reheat them.
In this article, we’re dealing with a hodgepodge of related tips:
- How to store crêpes immediately after cooking
- My preferred ways to freeze crêpes
- How to reheat crêpes
- If you must microwave frozen crêpes, how to reheat them well
I’ll include a few nuanced answers (as usual) depending on your situation (storing 2 crêpes versus a dozen). Let’s jump in!
How to store crêpes immediately
The crux of freezing crêpes properly is the preparation to avoid dry edges. As soon as a cooked crêpe is off the pan, allow it to cool on a plate. Then stack the cooled crêpes and cover them with plastic wrap to seal in the moisture. If you’re fastidious, you can layer wax paper between each crêpe to stop them from sticking to each other and tearing when you separate them later.
Crêpes last 3 days in the fridge. But they get progressively drier and more stale as time goes on. You should freeze them as soon as possible if you know you can’t finish the leftovers in a day.
Because the crêpes are often wider than my plates, I bundle the plastic wrap around the plate on the “x- and y-axes” going underneath the plate to capture the overhanging crêpe edges. You’ll be glad you used the extra plastic (even if it makes you cringe) because dry edges are the main reason defrosted crêpes become brittle and dry.
RELATED: Explore more recipes suitable for batch cooking and freezing
Freezing crêpes experiment
I read a lot of crêpe freezing tips on the Web. Here are the main suggestions for how to freeze crêpes:
- Layer wax paper between the crêpes on a plate and cover with plastic wrap
- Wrap each crêpe with plastic wrap and put them in an airtight sealable plastic bag
- Layer the crêpes with foil and place in a sealable plastic bag (doesn’t work when your crêpe is big)
- (My preferred method for years) Layer each crêpe with plastic wrap on one side and a paper towel/kitchen towel on the other side and envelop in plastic wrap
Naturally, I tried all the techniques (with some variations) and concluded which method is my favorite based on the taste and texture of the reheated crêpes. Let’s take a look at what worked for me.
The best way to freeze 4 or more crêpes
Stack the crêpes on a plate with wax paper, plastic wrap, foil, or paper towels in between. Wax paper is the easiest to work with, followed by the other options in descending order of effectiveness for keeping in moisture. Wrap the plate and crêpes with plastic wrap and freeze. You can remove the crêpes one by one from the freezer if you are not ready to thaw the entire stack.
The best way to freeze 3 or fewer crêpes
Stack the crêpes with wax paper or paper towels in between each layer. Fold the stack in half and place it in an airtight sealable plastic bag to freeze. You’ll have trouble separating each crêpe because they are rolled up so you will need to thaw the entire stack in one go. That’s the tradeoff for the ease of using a plastic bag.
Can you freeze crepe batter?
Yes, crêpe batter freezes fine. But I don’t see much reason to freeze crêpe batter. The batter is the easiest and fastest part to make, even after accounting for straining it with a sieve. Cooking individual crêpes is what takes time so it makes more sense to cook all the crêpes in one go and freeze the leftovers. If you disagree, leave a comment to let me know why.
Can you freeze crepes with filling?
Yes, but I wouldn’t recommend freezing crêpes with the filling, especially if the filling is fresh fruit. Since you likely don’t have a flash freezer at home, the filling will drench the crêpe and make it soggy as it sits waiting to get frozen. Fresh fruit turns mushy when you freeze it. After you thaw the crêpe, the wet filling will make it hard to reheat the crêpe in the pan to return it to its original texture.
Since it doesn’t take a long time to fill a crêpe, it’s best to freeze crêpes flat and without a filling. You can fill them after reheating them.
I compared the taste of crêpes defrosted the day before in the fridge and frozen crêpes, both reheated in the pan. I didn’t notice much of a taste difference. But the already-defrosted crêpes were easier to work with and faster to reheat.
So, if you remember, go ahead and defrost them in the fridge the night before. But don’t sweat it if you forget.
They reheat faster if you don’t have to wait for them to defrost in the pan. But they soften and thaw quickly on the countertop anyway because they are so thin.
How to reheat and fill crêpes
- Frying Pan
- Gather the ingredients.
- Heat your pan (or wok in my case) on medium heat. Don't get the pan too hot or your cooked crêpe will burn. Add half of the butter to the pan. Your pan should melt the butter but the butter shouldn't sizzle. Place the crêpe directly in the pan.
- When the crêpe has softened, flip it over, about 3 minutes. Lift the crêpe up and add the remaining butter under the crêpe. (You can also take the crêpe out of the pan before flipping it so you can safely add the butter if that is more comfortable for you. I'm just lazy.) Push the crêpe around the pan to evenly distribute the butter.
- While the underside of the crêpe is heating up, place your crêpe filling on the top of the crêpe, especially if the toppings benefit from melting, such as chocolate. If your filling is fresh fruit or whipped cream, you can fill it later once the crêpe is out of the pan.
- Add any additional toppings, such nuts or peanut butter.
- Fold the crêpe in half and it is ready to eat. You can follow these tips on how to fold the crêpes for serving. Enjoy your crêpes!
How to reheat crêpes in the microwave
As a lazy person, sometimes I want my crêpe now without turning on the stove. If you microwave a frozen crêpe, it hardens and dries out 🙁. After some experimentation, I discovered you can put a damp paper towel on top of your crêpe and microwave it for 1 minute (start with 30 seconds and check if you need another 30 seconds to avoid overcooking the crêpe).
The damp paper towel does a great job of lightly steaming the crêpe, and it’s ready in 1 minute. The downside is that microwaved crêpes are soggy and lifeless compared to freshly cooked crêpes or even frozen crêpes reheated in the pan. Don’t get me wrong. It’s still delicious, and if you’re having a pajamas day, it’s not a bad technique for reheating.
NOTE: I realized I never considered the situation of having a crêpe party and needing to reheat dozens of crêpes. My reheat-in-a pan and microwave techniques rely on reheating crêpes one by one, which is not scalable to dozens of crêpes. Benjamin thinks reheating a big batch of frozen crêpes in the oven might work more efficiently. Truthfully, reheating dozens of crêpes isn’t a problem for me but if you have this issue, leave a comment below and I will run the test for you to determine if reheating dozens of frozen crêpes in the oven is possible.
Taste Test: Reheated vs. fresh crêpes
Can you tell the difference between a freshly cooked crêpe and a reheated one? Taste test time!
Alex tells me that reheated crêpes aren’t as good as the freshly cooked ones if he puts his food critic hat on. But they’re still tasty, and he had no problems downing 2-3 reheated crêpes this past weekend.
Here are ways we spruced up the reheated crêpes to make them tastier:
- Use the right amount of butter to keep them moist: Too much butter makes crêpes sloppy and greasy. No butter makes them dry, which is equally unappealing. Put enough to grease the pan and no more. We’re not frying crêpes here.
- Reheat the crêpe in the pan for longer to get them crispy: If you reheat the crêpe for 5 minutes on each side, it gets crispy like a quesadilla. This tasted amazing for the chocolate crêpes. It was less appealing for the lemon and sugar crêpes. It’s an unexpected twist that you can try if you find your crêpes end up too dry.