My moms Cheese Crepes (Nalesniki) are the best! These thin golden crepes are wrapped in one the creamiest cream cheese fillings, it’s no wonder they’ve made it to weddings and special events!

cheese filled crepes in pyrex pan

 

This is my favorite crepes recipe and I have many! I’ve made these for multiple weddings already and get requested to make them for special events! They’re everything a Ukrainian crepe recipe should be and if you’ve attended a Russian or Ukrainian wedding you’ve likely seen these kind. I love how thin these turn out to be, yet totally workable. Crepes are not hard to make and once they’ve been baked with butter you’ll have silky delicious crepes that are worth the process.

 

Cheese Crepes (Nalesniki)

Crepes with cheese can be prepared so many different ways! Many people like to pan fry them in butter once filled. I like to stack them filled layered between butter chunks and keep them refrigerated. That way I can microwave as many as I need, in small batches. However, for weddings or special events crepes are commonly baked with butter when serving. It’s also common to see them eaten with sour cream or even drizzled with warm nutella! This recipe makes a double portion of my easy crepes recipe. Check out my cottage cheese crepes that are deliciously good pan-seared and made from only 3 eggs!

 

 

Tools I own and used for crepes:

  • 11″ non-stick skillet– Best non-stick skillets! I’ve owned these for years and have the exact one that I use just for crepes! I like to use two to speed up the process.
  • Kitchen aid flex spatula– Very thin spatula that is flexible and makes it easy to flip thin crepes. Gifted by my mom and favorite spatula to turn to when making crepes.
  • Hand mixer– Similar but mine is way older.

Cheese Crepes (Nalesniki)

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 23 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 8 minutes
Servings: 32 crepes
Author: Alyona's Cooking
My moms Cheese Crepes (Nalesniki) are the best! These thin golden crepes are wrapped in one the creamiest cream cheese fillings, it's no wonder they've made it to weddings and special events!

Equipment

  • 11" non-stick skillet

Ingredients

Batter:

  • 4 1/4 cups milk
  • 10 eggs
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Cream Cheese Filling for Crepes:

  • 48 oz cottage cheese rinsed and drained
  • 16 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 8 tbsp butter thinly sliced

Instructions

How to make Cheese Crepes:

  • Pre-heat an 11-inch non-stick skillet over low heat. Beat together the eggs and flour until a thick paste forms. Gradually add milk over low speed until mixture smooths out. Beat in remaining ingredients.
  • Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the pre-heated pan and quickly tilt and shake side to side for the batter to spread evenly. Cook until edges slightly crisp and flip over. Cook an additional 45 seconds before removing. Stack and repeat.
  • Beat all the filling ingredients, except the butter. Spread a thin layer of the cheese filling over the crepe and then rollup.
  • Stack into a greased 9x13 pan with butter chunks between each layer. Cover and bake in a pre-heated 350°F oven for 25-30 minutes. Slice in half before serving.

Notes

3 ways to heat Crepes: 
  • Pan-fry rolled crepes in 2 Tbsp of butter until golden on each side.
  • Bake as directed.
  • Microwave crepes with buttered slices until butter melts. 
Cottage Cheese Substitute: Farmer's cheese, ricotta or any fine curd cheese like mascarpone cheese can be used for the cottage cheese. 
 

Nutrition per serving

Serving: 1crepeCalories: 178kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 11gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 422mgPotassium: 156mgFiber: 1gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 281IUCalcium: 132mgIron: 1mg

 

Q&A

What are Nalesniki?

Nalesniki are Ukrainian crepes. Although crepe recipes vary the concept remains, which is a batter made from eggs and milk then spread thinly and cooked in a skillet.

What kind of cheeses can I use to fill crepes?

Typically small or fine curd cheeses are used inside crepes. Go for a mild spreadable cheese like Mascarpone, ricotta, cottage and farmer’s cheese or even cream cheese. For savory crepes add salt and for a standard sweetened cheese filling sweeten your cheese with sugar and dilute with sour cream or heavy cream to make a spreadable consistency.

Can you freeze crepes?

Rolled crepes can be frozen! I like to freeze them filled layered between butter pieces inside a disposable pan for baking later. For freezing unfilled crepes, fold into fours then stack. Do not freeze stacked crepes alone they can tear later.

How do you store crepes?

Keep crepes stacked room temperature wrapped in ceramic wrap or a bag for up-to 24 hours. Do not refrigerate they will stick! If they are filled or rolled individually then it’s safe to refrigerate.

How do you prevent lumps in crepes?

After making hundreds of crepes you can come to realize some things. This tried technique for a lump-free batter (without a blender) works! Always mix your eggs and flour first to make a thick paste. Then gradually add the milk and the remaining ingredients, this works wonders!

How to make thin crepes?

The secret to a thin crepe is a smooth runny batter with correct milk, flour and egg proportions! You want enough strengthening ingredients for the crepes to hold their shape. If your batter is too thick it won’t spread quick enough in the skillet and will create thick eggy crepes. If your batter is lacking binding ingredients is will tear and not set properly so it’s crucial for the right proportions! This crepe batter is perfect and is easy to work with. Learning how to tilt your pan quick enough is also an important tip in creating thin crepes.

How are Savory Cheese Crepes made? 

Savory cheese crepes are typically mixed with salt instead of sugar. Although you can omit the sugar for both batter and filling, it’s ok to have the crepes slightly sweetened.

How do you prevent crepes from sticking or tearing?

Crepes could tear easily when flipping over too soon or when the batter is lacking a binding ingredient such as flour or eggs. It’s important to always make crepes over low heat and when the edges of the crepes start crisping run your spatula around the crepe and start lifting to flip your crepe over.

Do you have to oil the pan for making crepes? 

If using a non-stick skillet, then no. However, it’s crucial to pre-heat the skillet before batter hits the pan otherwise your crepe will dry out before you can flip it. I specifically have non-stick skillets just for crepe making and I only advise the black coated pans for best results since that’s the only way I make them.

Can I use a blender?

Yes, a blender can be used but when making large crepe quantities (which is usually my case) you’d have to blend in batches which is more of a hassle if you ask me. But if making a single batch portion a blender is the easiest way!

What can crepes be filled with? 

Oh the possibilities with stuffed crepes! HERE is a list of stuffed crepes that can inspire you:

Tips

  1. Drizzle warm nutella over warmed crepes!
  2. Make these savory crepes by adding cabbage or a chicken filling!
  3. Can keep refrigerated for up-to 1 week unbaked!
  4. If making large portions beat with a hand mixer in an XL bowl, otherwise you’ll have to blend in batches if using a mixer.

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Leave a comment

6 comments

    • Olga

    Hi, I would like to make these. The more eggs the more crepes? Would it be possible just to make smaller crepes from smaller pan and then bake it without having to cut up up afterwards?

      • Alyona’s Cooking

      Hi Olga, I do seem to get more crepes out of this recipe than another, but I like these quite thin so it may vary in quantity depending on how much crepe batter you ladle in. This batter is thin to work with so it should not be difficult. You can certainly try a smaller pan but that may take up more time so use two.

    • Nataliya

    I have tried many recepies before this one and they were ok but not great these nalesniki were truly fluffy this is a keeper thank you for sharing.

      • Alyona’s Cooking

      Thank you for the awesome feedback, Nataliya! I’m glad to know:)

    • Nataly

    Made this recipe, it it is beyond my expectation, thanks a lot!!!
    I have put a batch in freezer, do I have to defrost it first, or I can put it straight into the oven???
    Thanks and Merry Christmas!!!

      • Alyona’s Cooking

      Nataly, Thank you for the kind feedback! You can place the frozen nalisniki right into the oven, however the baking time will vary. If you were to bake them thawed the baking time usually takes up to 25 minutes. If baking frozen they can take anywhere from apprx 30-45 min, however do check on them for doneness as the bottom layer can brown.

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