Slice of Dutch baby topped with raspberries on plate
Dutch Baby: The Origin Story Behind The Breakfast Treat
Dutch baby pancakes appear to be an American creation — at least when it comes to the name. The story behind the indulgent sweet breakfast treat is more nuanced than it appears.
An American Dutch baby is an enormous, deliciously fluffy pancake with a custard-like filling that's baked in a cast iron skillet inside an oven rather than on a stovetop burner.
This is nothing like a traditional Dutch pancake made in the Netherlands, known as pannenkoeken, a large pancake with bacon and cheese and served with fruit.
As the contemporary story goes, Dutch baby pancakes originated in a Seattle diner. As such, the name was likely a misunderstanding tied to a much older pancake tradition.
Italian-American Victor Manca, owner of Seattle's Manca's Cafe, created them using custom-made Dutch baby pans. Manca's trademarked the name "Dutch Baby" in 1956.
That pretty much verifies that Manca invented the American Dutch baby. Whether an earlier version existed is hard to prove, but the basic idea may have come from old-world Germany.