Crepes Suzette

Crepes Suzette is the decadent French dessert of thin pancakes covered in a buttery, orange sauce and sometimes served flambeed or set on fire.  They are sweet, buttery, tender, and so impressive. 

This recipe is easier than you think and doesn’t involve setting liquor on fire.  If you’re like me, you don’t really want to torch your kitchen.

Dish of the French dessert of Crepes Suzette - thin, tender pancakes in a buttery, orange sauce.


I love learning about the origins of recipes.  True or not, they are amusing, inspiring, and always entertaining.  This one doesn’t disappoint.

The story has it that this dish was a serendipitous accident by a 14-year-old assistant waiter named Henri Carpentier in the late 1890s while preparing dessert for the Prince of Wales.

Mr. Carpentier accidentally caught the orange liqueur on fire while making a sauce for the crepes.  Not wanting to start over in front of the Prince, he poured the liqueur over the crepes and sauce and served them anyway.

The Prince was an instant fan and requested that the dish be named after his companion for the evening, Suzette.  And an iconic dessert was born.


First, chalk up bonus points if you get the movie reference (Sipsy from ‘Fried Green Tomatos’).

Useless movie quotes aside, the secret to the dish is the buttery, orange sauce.  The crepes themselves are not filled but instead are folded and bathed in the sauce.

The sauce is made with orange juice, lots of butter, sugar, orange zest for even more flavor, and orange liqueur.  It’s simmered into a light syrup just waiting to be slathered on top of the tender crepes.

To flambe the crepes, pour 4 tablespoons of brandy or cognac over the Crepes Suzette and use a lighter stick to ignite the alcohol.

This does add a delicious caramelized flavor and an impressive presentation but makes me nervous.  

Makings for Crepes Suzette


To make this dish in a classic way, it only takes about an hour.  But if you’re short on time, by all means, take a couple of shortcuts.

  • Buy premade French crepes.  You can usually find them by the berries in the produce section of your market.  They aren’t as tasty as homemade but definitely work in a pinch.
  • Fresh squeezed orange juice is always better, but sometimes finding good oranges makes it difficult.  Luckily, there are good, ‘not from concentrate’ juices out there and some grocery stores even sell fresh-squeezed orange juice.  
  • I would still grate the zest of an orange, but if that isn’t an option use a ¼ teaspoon of orange extract in the crepe batter and a ½ teaspoon in the sauce.  You won’t get the pretty flecks or strips of zest, but the dish will still be amazing.
  • Finally, use whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, fresh raspberries, or sectioned oranges as a garnish.

Plate of homemade crepes


Treat mom to a gorgeous dinner on her special day.  Here are a few more menu suggestions:


A plate of Crepes Suzette with orange sauce and garnish of orange zest



Crepes Suzette is the decadent French dessert of thin pancakes covered in a buttery, orange sauce and sometimes served flambeed or set on fire.  They are sweet, buttery, tender, and so impressive. 

  • Author: Millie Brinkley
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes + chilling time
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes + chilling time
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Pan fry
  • Cuisine: French



For the crepes:

  • 1 ½ cups Italian ‘00’ flour (you can use all-purpose flour, but the crepes won’t be as light)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons melted butter, divided
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon orange liqueur (I used Grand Marnier)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest

For the sauce:

  • 1 ½ cups freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 10 tablespoons butter 
  • ⅓ cup superfine sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • ⅓ cup orange liqueur (I used Grand Marnier)


Make the crepes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and pinch of salt.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until pale in color and the sugar is dissolved.

Pour in 2 tablespoons of the melted butter, milk, orange liqueur, vanilla, and orange zest.  Whisk till well combined.

The batter should be thin.  If it looks too thick, add additional teaspoons of milk until the desired consistency is achieved.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sauce.

In a large skillet over high heat, combine the butter, orange juice, sugar, and orange zest.  Bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until syrupy – 10-15 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the orange liqueur. Keep warm over very low heat.  Stir often.

Cook the crepes.

Heat an 8-inch crepe pan or skillet over medium heat for a minute or until hot.

Use a silicone pastry brush to slather melted butter onto the surface of the pan.

Ladle 3-4 tablespoons of the crepe batter into the center of the pan and immediately swirl the pan in a circular fashion to distribute the batter evenly over the bottom.

Cook until the crepe is slightly moist on the top and lightly golden brown on the bottom – 45 seconds to 1 minute.

Loosen the edges of the crepe with a spatula under it, and then gently flip the crepe over and cook the other side for 20 seconds.

Remove the crepe to a plate and repeat with the remaining batter.

To assemble the crepes:

Working in batches, gently place a crepe into the skillet with the orange syrup.  Allow the crepe to sit for 1 minute to absorb the liquid.  

Use a spoon to drizzle a bit of the liquid over the top of the crepe.

Fold the crepe into fourths and remove to a warm serving platter or serving skillet.

Repeat with the remaining crepes.

Serve 2 folded crepes per person.  Spoon any remaining sauce over the crepes and top with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Serve immediately.

Keywords: crepes suzette, dessert recipes, French food, Mother's Day, brunch recipes, restaurant recipes, crepes, sweet crepes