Crêpe Suzette Recipe: With and without alcohol

The classic French crêpe suzette didn't always involve a flambée with Grand Marnier. Find out the traditional recipe, as well as an alcohol-free version.
You are currently viewing Crêpe Suzette Recipe: With and without alcohol
(As an Amazon affiliate living in France, I may earn commissions on purchases. All information provided is for entertainment purposes only.)

This Recipe includes

Main ingredients:

flour All purpose flour
egg Eggs
Milk Milk
butter Butter
oil Canola oil
brown sugar Regular or brown sugar
sugar Vanilla sugar
rhum (Optional) Rhum
grand marnier (Optional) Grand Marnier

Without alcohol:

juice Orange juice
lemon Lemon

Why we love it

When it comes to French desserts, one of the most spectacular has to be the crêpe suzette. And that is even before you set it on fire. Flambée comes from the French verb “flamber” which means to set a flame.

In French cuisine, the process of flambée involves covering the crêpe with alcohol spirits and lightly setting it aflame for a few minutes. The result is quite striking and wonderous. (It is not very child-friendly though, more on that later.)

Crêpe Suzette Flambée with vanilla ice cream and pineapple slice
Crêpe Suzette flambée with vanilla ice cream and pineapple slice

The original crêpe suzette recipe is said to have been created accidentally. Legend has it that a 14-year old waiter named Henri Charpentier, at the Café de Paris in Monte Carlo, was preparing to serve the crêpes to the future King Edward VII of the United Kingdom in 1895, when the dish accidentally caught fire.

After putting the fire out, he realized that the resulting medley of flavors was even better than before. Prince Edward loved it and insisted that the dish be named after a lovely French woman at the table, a lady named Suzette. And thus was born the Crêpe Suzette.

Now, there are a few holes in this story, namely that it is highly doubtful a 14-year old would have been allowed to serve the future King of England, but I digress!

It is also highly unlikely that the original recipe would call for the Grand Marnier to be set on fire in front of guests, rather than being cooked on the stove in the kitchen.

All this logic is no reason to discount the romance of it all however, especially when we have now an excellent dessert to go with the story.

Crêpes in France

Crêpes are the French version of pancakes, but unlike pancakes, they can be sweet or savory. Sweet crêpes like the ones in a crêpe suzette are made from regular all-purpose flour, while savory crêpes are made from buckwheat flour. You can all sorts of ingredients to savory crêpes from spinach to ham, to eggs.

Dessert crêpes similarly can easily be topped with chocolate, fruit, ice cream etc. I’ve used the traditional ingredients here in the recipe for crêpe suzette, but don’t hesitate to add some raspberries, other fruit or even ice cream, if that is what catches your fancy!

One of the quirkier celebrations in France, la Chandeleur (“Candlemas” in English) entirely centers around crêpes. (Assuming you are not going to church that is.) It is practically mandatory during Chandeleur to gather at a friend’s house in the afternoon, and eat copious amounts of home-made crêpes topped with syrup (flambée or not), and down it with a pitcher of cider.

Cooking without alcohol

The crêpe flambée is traditionally drenched with Grand Marnier, but you can also cook it without alcohol.

Crêpes are regularly served, not just as a dessert, but also as an afternoon snack. It is a staple for young children during their gôuter after-school. With an orange juice syrup, the crêpe suzette can be easily adapted for those who prefer not to use alcohol. I’ve included this alternative in the recipe below.

What drinks to serve with it?

Traditionally crêpes are usually served with cider, but not when it is a dessert. Instead, choose a French digestif, such as cognac or a grand marnier.

Note: coffee in France is usually served after dessert, not at the same time.

crêpe suzette

Crêpe Suzette Recipe

Nassie Angadi
A light French dessert, the crêpe suzette always impresses.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Desserts
Cuisine French
Servings 4
Calories 480 kcal


For the Crêpe

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 tablespoons 50g melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons of rhum (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of orange juice (as an alternative to rhum)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of canola oil or butter to grease the pan

For the Syrup

  • 3/4 cup of Grand Marnier (optional)
  • 1 cup of orange juice (as an alternative to Grand Marnier)
  • 1 lemon (with the orange juice, as an alternative to Grand Marnier)
  • 100 g in butter
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 sachet of vanilla sugar


  • In a bowl, mix together the flour, milk, eggs, butter, rhum (or orange juice), and salt.
  • Whisk vigorously until the batter is completely smooth.
  • Let the mixture rest for at least 15 minutes in the fridge.
  • At medium heat, grease the skillet with the canola oil.
  • Scoop a portion of the mixture into the skillet to cook the crêpe, flipping it over with a spatula to each side after 1-2 minutes. Remove from skillet when golden brown.
  • Repeat with the remaining mixture to make the rest of the crêpes (should be 4-6 crêpes in total).
  • Fold the crêpes and place them in individual serving plates.
  • To make the syrup, heat the butter and sugar in a saucepan.
  • Lower the heat and mix in the Grand Marnier into the saucepan so that it warms lightly.
  • (Alternative to step 9: Lower the heat and add in the orange juice, lemon juice, and some lemon zest to the saucepan, so that it warms lightly.)
  • Pour the syrup onto each crêpe and serve to guests.
  • (Optional) With a long matchstick, light the Grand Marnier to lightly flambée, taking care not to burn yourself.


This recipe should make around 4-6 crêpes. Please adjust quantities for additional servings.


Serving: 1gCalories: 480kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 10gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 17gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 166mgSodium: 288mgFiber: 1gSugar: 20g

Please note: We are not certified nutritionists and these estimates are approximate. Each individual’s dietary needs and restrictions are unique to the individual.

You are ultimately responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health. This website is written and produced for entertainment purposes only.

Keyword crepes, desserts, snacks
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

If you enjoyed that, check out my savory crêpe recipe that will make a perfect main dish before the crêpe suzette. Bon appétit and à bientôt !

Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating