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Pancakes Filled with Custard (Frisuelos con Crema Pastelera)

Claudia Roden

by Claudia Roden from The Food of Spain

This traditional recipe for Pancakes Filled with Custard (Frisuelos con Crema Pastelera) is taken from Claudia Roden's The Food of Spain and makes a rich and satisfying dessert.


This recipe will give you 16 19cm pancakes filled with custard. My favourite flavour for the custard is rum but see the variations below for the other common flavours. Keep the leftover unfilled pancakes for another day.

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For the custard filling:
175g caster sugar
5 large egg yolks
3 tbsp plain flour
3 tbsp rum
500ml whole milk
For the pancakes:
300g plain flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
300ml water
1 tsp salt
600ml whole milk
1 tbsp olive or sunflower oil, plus more to grease the frying pan
1 tbsp brandy


For the pancakes, put the flour in a bowl. Add the milk and water gradually, beating vigorously with an electric mixer. Add the eggs, salt, oil and brandy and beat until the batter is smooth and free of lumps.
Cover with cling film and leave to rest for 1 to 2 hours.

Heat a non-stick frying pan with a base diameter of about 19cm over a medium heat and grease it with oil, using a folded piece of kitchen paper. Stir the batter well and pour about 2 tablespoonfuls into the frying pan. Tilt the pan around very quickly until its entire bottom surface is covered with the batter. The pancake should be thin. When it becomes detached from the pan and the bottom is lightly browned, flip it over with a large heatproof spatula (or pick up the edge with your fingers) and cook for a few moments only on the other side until it just becomes detached. Continue this process until all the batter is used up, rubbing the pan with oil each time, and stacking the pancakes in a pile on a plate.

For the filling, beat the sugar in a large bowl with the egg yolks, using an electric mixer, until
you have a smooth pale cream. Then beat in the flour.

Bring the milk to the boil in a heavy-bottomed pan – be careful not to let it boil over. Pour the milk into the egg mixture, a little at a time, beating until well blended. Pour this back into the pan and stir constantly over a low heat with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula until the custard thickens and almost reaches boiling point. Beat in the rum towards the end. If lumps form they will disappear as you work the custard vigorously.

To fill the pancakes, put a heaped tablespoon of cooled custard in a line on one end of the pancake and roll it up. Place the stuffed pancakes, seam side down, in two baking dishes greased with butter. Finish by pouring over a little Calvados or apple brandy and sprinkling with sugar. Heat through in an oven preheated to 200°C/gas 6 for 10 to 20 minutes. Serve hot.


Omit the rum and add one teaspoon of pure vanilla extract to the milk as you bring it to the boil.

Omit the rum and add the grated zest of ½ and orange to the milk as you bring it to the boil.

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