Poffertjes are the ultimate Dutch street food snack. Sweet, fluffy, bite-sized pancakes, Poffertjes are commonly found at market stalls and food trucks all around the country. The best ones are made fresh to order, cooked individually on a specialised cast iron pan.
Dutch street food
Poffertjes are made from buckwheat flour, milk, eggs, yeast, butter, and a pinch of salt and sugar. They are usually made fresh on order, so just take a step back and watch as your poffertje batter is poured into their molds, and are turned over as they become golden brown. Typically, they’re served dusted with icing sugar, as well as other toppings such as chocolate syrup, strawberries, cream, even butter or Advocaat.
Often, they’re served on a paper plate, with toothpicks to enjoy them with. These aren’t individual snacks, but served in groups of a dozen or so. The perfect snack as you wander around a Dutch marketplace!
The name ‘poffertjes’ probably arises from the verb poffen, to pop, which is the noise that they make when air escapes during cooking. (Maybe in English they could be called poppers? – Just thought). Poffertjes are traditionally cooked on large pans with 100 wells, although many other variations exist.
Where to buy poffertjes
Poffertjes are commonly seen during special occasion markets. National holidays (such as King’s Day), the Christmas period, and summertime festivals are all great chances to find a poffertjes stall open for business.
But, you can easily find poffertjes year round. Some poffertjes stalls are open at weekly markets, like the stand at Albert Cuyp market in Amsterdam, or in the Saturday markets in Haarlem.
If you can’t make it out to the market, then supermarket poffertjes are available too. The batter is sold almost ready to go, and just needs eggs and milk before cooking at home. They just need to be fried on a poffertjes pan, and voila! They’re ready to enjoy at home.
Other similar treats to poffertjes
There are other local street foods around the world which are similar to poffertjes. Some are sweet, some are savoury, but it seems that the scalloped pan is a common theme. In Hong Kong, you won’t need to look far for a classic egg waffle, whilst Japan’s takoyaki is an octopus-filled variation, with a rich, savoury batter.
Poffertjes are one of the best local snacks that you can find in The Netherlands; sweet, fluffy mini-cakes that are ideal for sharing. Have you tried poffertjes in The Netherlands? Do you have a preferred Dutch snack? Let me know in the comments below!