Sweet Crêpes with Glazed Pineapple

Celebrate Fête du Travail with this recipe for classic Breton crêpes topped with La Dona air pineapple. A wholesome treat, this recipe uses fresh and healthy ingredients and satisfies the sweet tooth for breakfast or dessert.

4 persons
Cooks In
45 minutes

For the crêpes:

3 eggs

1 cup whole-wheat flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour)

1 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)

3/4 cup water

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon butter, dairy-free butter, or coconut oil, melted, + extra for cooking 

For the pineapple topping: 

2 tbsp butter, dairy-free butter, or coconut oil

¼ cup brown sugar

1 fresh pineapple

Maple syrup or honey


For the crêpes:

  1. Add all crêpe ingredients to a blender and pulse until thoroughly mixed. You may get some foam on top of the final mixture. If you don’t have a blender, you can use a food processor, hand mixer, or a whisk and some elbow grease. Just make sure the batter is smooth and runny, with no lumps. Let the batter sit for at least 15 minutes before frying. You can also prepare the batter ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge overnight to cook in the morning for breakfast.  
  2. Heat a nonstick frying pan over medium-high. You want the crêpes to cook quickly without burning, and it may take some trial and error to figure out exactly how hot your pan should be. Perfectly cooked crêpes achieve a smooth, matte surface with golden-brown speckles in 2-4 minutes on the pan. Turn the heat up if you’re waiting for more than 5 minutes to flip, or turn the heat down if your crêpes are turning dark brown and crispy after a minute or so of cooking. Grease the pan with a pat of butter or a spritz of cooking spray. You may find that your nonstick pan is good enough that you don’t need cooking fat, but it helps to use it for the first crêpe just in case, and it’ll add flavor if you’re using butter. Moving quickly, pour ¼ cup of batter onto the pan and swirl it in a circular motion until it forms a thin layer that completely covers the bottom of the pan. You can fill in little gaps with drops of batter if needed. Use a spatula to immediately push down the thin edges of the crêpe so they congeal into a more defined edge; this will make for easier flipping. Batter should begin to bubble very quickly.
  3. After a minute or so, flip the crêpe: use a wide spatula to lift the edges from the pan, then gently slide the spatula under the center of the crêpe and briskly turn it over, giving the edges enough clearance so they don’t fold in on each other and collapse into a heap. I like to lift the crêpe up and sort of slap it gently back into the pan as I’m flipping to get out any wrinkles. Don’t worry if this doesn’t go smoothly for the first few crêpes–you’ll get the hang of it! If you want to be really stylish, you can flip your crêpes by tossing them straight from the pan into the air with a flick of the wrist. You can find great tutorials for this on YouTube. I won’t try to explain the physics of this method, because it baffles me. Be warned that it may involve a steeper learning curve and more collateral crêpe damage. 
  4. Crêpe is fully cooked when it is covered in golden-brown spots–this takes about one minute more of cooking. Stack finished crêpes unfolded on a plate or cooling rack. If you don’t want to use all 10-12 crêpes that this recipe makes at once, you can save the extras in the fridge or freezer, and heat them back up in a pan the same way you cooked them. 

For the pineapple topping:

  1. Cut the pineapple into half-rings, about ¼” thick. You’ll want to reserve one half-ring per crêpe. 
  2. Melt 2 tbsp butter in a pan over medium heat. When butter is bubbling, lay down as many pineapple pieces as can fit flat in the pan and cook one side for 3 minutes. 
  3. Sprinkle the pineapple pieces with 1 tbsp brown sugar, flip to cook the other side, and sprinkle with another tablespoon of brown sugar. Remove the pan from heat once the sugar has fully dissolved into the butter. 

Arrange your crêpes:

  1. When the pineapple filling is ready, spread a little butter over one surface of the crêpe and sprinkle with brown sugar. Fold the crêpe in half twice, butter side facing in, to form a fan shape. 
  2. Starting at the top edge of a plate, layer the crêpe fans and pineapple slices so they form a cascade pattern across the plate, like fallen dominoes (see photo below). Sprinkle your creation with more brown sugar and drizzle with maple syrup or honey. 

About This Recipe

While we can all agree that whipping up a sweet treat in the kitchen makes for good fun any time of year, playing pastry chef on a holiday is extra special. With that in mind, I’m looking forward to putting my La Dona air pineapples to good use for this year’s Fête du Travail celebration on May first. The origins of Fête du Travail date back to ancient times, when early Europeans would convene on the first day of May to celebrate the onset of spring, hold feasts, and dance around Maypoles. In the late 19th century, the holiday evolved into Labour Day/International Worker’s Day for many countries across the globe, including France. Today, the French enjoy it as a welcome day off from school and work, an opportunity to enjoy quality time together and, literally, stop to smell the roses.

For the upcoming Fête du Travail festivities in France, I asked my friend Janig, who lives in Paris, about how the French typically celebrate Fête du Travail and the warmer weather of spring and summer. 

Janig grew up in a small coastal village in the Brittany region of France, and associates springtime most strongly with Easter; she remembers holding laurel branches in Palm Sunday processions, eagerly anticipating the arrival of the Easter bunny and the yearly egg hunt held in her parents’ garden, and surprising her mother with bouquets of fresh-picked forget-me-not, a favorite flower. She always looked forward to May first as a day off of school which, living near the sea, meant a day spent with “sun, beach, sailing, walks in the woods, parties with friends,” and, most importantly, visits from her Parisian cousins. She also recalls upholding the French tradition of offering lily of the valley blossoms to close family members and friends “ as a lucky charm.” These days, she has traded places with her cousins from Paris, and visits them in Brittany on holidays. 

As far as Janig and I know, there aren’t any specific foods associated with Fête du Travail, which leaves the floor wide open for me to humbly suggest you outfit your May Day table with my favorite French dish of all time: sweet crêpes. Crêpes happen to be a Breton staple, which Janig’s grandmother, an illustrious home cook, prepared for her weekly during her childhood. Not to be confused with their savory cousin the galette, which is, in the Breton tradition, a crêpe made of buckwheat flour and stuffed with savory fillings like egg, ham, and gruyere cheese (the platonic ideal of a “salt” galette, according to Janig), sweet, or “soft” crêpes are made with wheat flour and sugar and filled or topped with just about any sucrose-related fantasy: fresh strawberries, melted chocolate, Nutella, caramelized bananas, and vanilla ice cream are de rigueur in crêperies across France. Some even come with a built-in party trick: crêpes Suzette are prepared with a delicious caramelized orange butter sauce, then set on fire tableside with the help of a skilled waiter and a good dousing of Grand Marnier.

This recipe for pineapple sweet crêpes doesn’t involve any flashy pyrotechnics, but satisfies the sweet tooth all the same. To offset some of the sugar shock, I prepared mine with whole wheat pastry flour, which behaves like all-purpose flour in the oven, but has retained the pigment, fiber, healthy fats, and micronutrients that are otherwise stripped from the wheat grain during the refining process. The result is the same sweet flavor and delicate bite from a crêpe made with refined flour, plus the health benefits of a whole grain. Thanks to this recipe, you really can have it all. 

As a note, the pineapple filling for these crepes is very similar to the pineapple coconut crisp filling from another La Dona recipe. If you happen to have some leftover filling, feel free to use it here! Just cook it in a hot pan with a tablespoon of butter until it bubbles, then spoon it on top of the folded crepes.

I recommend cooking your crêpes in a nonstick pan, unless you happen to have a special cast-iron pan on hand. Keep in mind that even with the right cookware, flipping the delicate, paper-thin crêpes can be daunting at first, so don’t worry about sacrificing your first few attempts to the spatula gods. Besides, as Janig will tell you, even crumpled-up crêpes taste amazing when smothered in butter. Bonne chance!