Are crepes and blintzes the same thing?

Quick Answer

No, crepes and blintzes are not the same thing. While they are both thin pancake-like dishes, they have some key differences in their ingredients, cooking methods, and traditional toppings/fillings. Crepes originate from France and are made with a simple batter of flour, eggs, milk, and butter. They are cooked quickly in a skillet or crepe pan. Blintzes originate from Eastern Europe and are made with a soft cheese filling wrapped inside a thin pancake or crepe. The blintz pancake batter contains more eggs and oil than a traditional crepe batter. Blintzes are pan-fried until golden brown. Crepes are often served as dessert with sweet toppings like fruit, whipped cream, or Nutella. Blintzes are usually filled with cheese, fruit, or potatoes and served as an appetizer or light meal.

Origin and History

Crepes and blintzes have distinct cultural origins and histories.


Crepes originated in Brittany, a region in northwest France, as early as the 13th century. The name “crepe” comes from the French word “crêpe” meaning pancake. Crepes were a staple food for peasants in medieval times as they were inexpensive and easy to make with simple ingredients like flour, eggs, milk, and butter. The thin pancakes could be cooked quickly over an open fire. As crepes became popular throughout France, every region developed its own crepe specialties. Savory galettes (made with buckwheat flour) are popular in Brittany, while thin sweet crepes are more common in Paris. The dessert crepe with lemon and sugar became a classic French delicacy. Today, creperies and food trucks can be found throughout France, specializing in both sweet and savory crepes. The French have also contributed to crepe cuisine abroad, like the popularVietnamese street food dish banh xeo, an adaptation of the French savory galette.


Blintzes originated in Eastern Europe among Ashkenazi Jewish communities as early as the 15th century. The Yiddish word “blintz” comes from the Ukrainian word “blyntsi” meaning pancakes. Blintzes were likely inspired by French crepes but with ingredients more readily available in Eastern Europe like soft cheeses, berries, and potatoes. They were often served for Shavuot, a Jewish holiday associated with dairy foods. Blintzes became a staple dish among Ashkenazi Jews in countries like Poland, Russia, Lithuania, and Ukraine. Immigrants later brought blintzes to North America, and they became an iconic food in New York Jewish delicatessens. Blintzes are still closely tied to Jewish cuisine today, but they have also become popular fare in American and Canadian breakfast diners.


Crepes and blintzes require different batter ingredients to achieve their distinct textures and flavors.

Crepe Batter

The basic crepe batter contains:

  • Flour – Typically all-purpose flour. Can use a mix of flour types.
  • Eggs – Usually 2 eggs
  • Milk – About 1 cup
  • Water – Around 1/4 cup
  • Butter – Melted butter for flavor and richness
  • Salt – For seasoning
  • Sugar – Sometimes a small amount of sugar

This makes a thin, delicate batter. The simplicity allows the crepe to take on the flavors of whatever fillings or toppings are added.

Blintz Batter

The blintz batter is richer with more eggs and fat:

  • Flour – All-purpose or combination of flour types
  • Eggs – Usually 3-6 eggs
  • Milk or water
  • Butter or oil – More fat for extra richness and crispness when fried
  • Salt
  • Sugar – Sometimes a small amount of sugar
  • Sour cream or cottage cheese – For tangy flavor (optional)

The extra egg and fat give the blintz its signature golden brown crust and tender texture to envelope the filling.

Cooking Process

Crepes and blintzes require different cooking techniques.

Cooking Crepes

Crepes are made by pouring a small amount of batter into a hot, lightly greased skillet or crepe pan. The batter is swirled to coat the bottom in a thin, even layer. Crepes cook for just 1-2 minutes per side. Traditionally they are cooked over an open flame for excellent control. The crepe is delicate enough to be lifted with a spatula and flipped. Alternately, the skillet can be inverted to cook the other side. Well-made crepes are lacey and lightly browned without any holes. The crepe batter is thin enough to spread easily but thick enough not to run.

Cooking Blintzes

Blintzes have a thicker batter that cannot be poured and swirled in the same way as crepes. To cook blintz pancakes:

  1. Pour a small amount of batter onto a hot greased pan in a circle shape.
  2. Cook until the bottom is lightly browned, about 1 minute.
  3. Flip over and cook 1 minute more on the other side.
  4. Stack cooked blintz pancakes between sheets of parchment.

To form the filled blintz:

  1. Place a tablespoon or so of cheese/fruit/potato filling in center of blintz pancake.
  2. Fold sides over filling to make a rectangular packet.
  3. Fry stuffed blintz in oil or butter until both sides are crispy and golden brown.

The blintz gets both pan-fried for the pancake and deep-fried for the finished blintz. This extra cooking and the batter’s egg/fat content gives it a rich, tender, decadent quality.

Fillings and Toppings

Crepes and blintzes diverge the most when it comes to fillings and toppings.

Crepe Fillings

Crepes are filled and topped with both sweet and savory ingredients, for example:

Sweet Crepe Fillings

  • Fresh fruit – Sliced bananas, berries, mangos, etc.
  • Jams, jellies, and compotes
  • Nutella or other chocolate spreads
  • Whipped cream or ice cream
  • Custards
  • Nutella and bananas is a popular combination

Savory Crepe Fillings

  • Cheeses – Like brie, goat cheese, gruyere
  • Cooked vegetables
  • Sautéed mushrooms
  • Seafood – Smoked salmon is classic
  • Meats – Prosciutto, chicken, ham
  • Herbs

Crepes are all about folding up fresh, complementary flavors into a thin, melt-in-your-mouth pancake.

Blintz Fillings

Blintzes are all about the filling wrapped inside. Traditional blintz fillings include:

  • Cheese – Soft, fresh cheeses like ricotta, cottage, pot cheese, or farmer’s cheese.
  • Fruit – Berries, apples, cherries, plums, or apricots.
  • Potatoes – Mashed with onions.
  • Meat – Mostly beef or chicken.

The cheese filling is rich and creamy. Fruit fillings have a fresh, tart pop of flavor. Potatoes offer heartiness. The fillings are well-contained by the tender blintz wrapper.

Taste and Texture

The different ingredients and cooking techniques give crepes and blintzes unique textures and flavor profiles.


Crepes have a delicate, eggshell-like texture. The minimal batter means the crepe is thin and lacey, sometimes even crispy at the edges. This allows it to wrap around fillings without overpowering them. The plain crepe batter also takes on the flavor of whatever you add, sweet or savory. It has a subtle richness from the butter with a faint eggy taste. Overall, crepes highlight the fillings and toppings.


Blintzes have a soft, pillowy texture to both the pancake wrapper and cheese filling. The extra egg and fat makes them tender almost like a ravioli versus a crepe. They have a rich, indulgent quality. The browned exterior provides nutty flavor and pleasing crispness. The cheese filling is tangy, creamy, and luxurious. Fruit fillings provide brightness. Potato blintzes combine hearty and comforting textures. The blintz itself also has a subtle sweetness. Overall, blintzes offer a decadent, fried, flavorful experience.

Common Pairings

Crepes and blintzes are eaten in different culinary contexts based on their flavors.

Crepes Pairings

Here are some classic flavor pairings for crepes:

  • Lemon and sugar
  • Warm berries and whipped cream
  • Caramelized bananas and Nutella
  • Ham, egg, and cheese
  • Ratatouille vegetables
  • Chicken, tomatoes, spinach, and mushroom
  • Strawberries and Grand Marnier liqueur

Sweet and savory crepes are served as breakfast, brunch, dessert, dinner, or for a snack. They pair well with fruit, chocolate, herbs, vegetables, seafood, cheese, and meat.

Blintz Pairings

Popular flavor combinations for blintzes include:

  • Cheese blintz with sour cream
  • Blueberry blintz with lemon zest
  • Cherry cheese blintz with cinnamon sugar
  • Potato and caramelized onion blintz
  • Farmer’s cheese blintz with fresh dill

Blintzes are considered an appetizer, snack, brunch, or light meal. They pair especially well with tangy dairy like sour cream and applesauce. They can be topped with sweet flavors like jam, cinnamon, and lemon.

Origins Summary

Crepes Blintzes
Originated in Medieval France Originated in Eastern Europe
History dates to at least 1300s History dates to at least 1500s
Name comes from French word for pancake Name comes from Ukrainian word for pancake
Were made by peasants and became high cuisine Were made for Jewish holidays and in Ashkenazi cuisine

Ingredient Differences

Crepes Blintzes
  • Basic flour, eggs, milk, butter
  • Thin, delicate batter
  • More eggs and fat/oil
  • Richer, thicker batter

Cooking Differences

Crepes Blintzes
  • Poured into hot pan, swirled thin
  • Delicate, can be flipped with spatula
  • Cooked for 1-2 mins per side
  • Formed into small circles in pan
  • Fried for 1 min per side
  • Filled blintz fried until crisp

Filling Differences

Crepes Blintzes
  • Wide variety sweet and savory
  • Fruit, chocolate, cheese, veggies
  • Wrapped around external filling
  • Cheese, fruit, potato, meat
  • Filling enclosed inside blintz

Flavor Profiles

Crepes Blintzes
  • Delicate, eggshell texture
  • Takes on flavor of fillings
  • Subtly rich from butter
  • Soft, tender, pillowy texture
  • Fillings have tangy, tart, sweet flavors
  • Rich and indulgent when fried

Typical Pairings

Crepes Blintzes
  • Fruit and cream
  • Cheese and meat
  • Herbs and vegetables
  • Sour cream and cinnamon sugar
  • Applesauce
  • Preserves and lemon


In summary, while crepes and blintzes are both thin pancakes, they have distinct histories, ingredients, cooking methods, fillings, textures, and uses in cuisine:

  • Crepes originated in France, blintzes in Eastern Europe
  • Crepe batter is thin and delicate, blintz batter is richer
  • Crepes are cooked quickly in a skillet, blintzes are fried
  • Crepes envelop sweet or savory fillings, blintzes enclose cheese, fruit, potatoes
  • Crepes highlight fillings, blintzes offer indulgent flavor
  • Crepes pair with wide variety of ingredients, blintzes with tangy dairy

So while both are thin stuffed pancakes, crepes and blintzes offer very different culinary experiences. Crepes are the quick, flexible French-style pancake, while blintzes provide decadent Eastern European comfort food. Checking the origin, ingredients, and cooking method can help identify whether a recipe is for true crepes or blintzes.

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