These Durian Cream Pancakes are pillow-like crepe pancakes filled with a light whipped cream and fragrant durian fruit. It's Hong Kong dessert café classic that you can make easily at home.
If you've ever been to an HK-style dessert café, you'll probably have seen these yellow (or green) pillow-shaped desserts.
On café menus, they're often referred to as Cream Pancakes.
What are cream pancakes?
They are a bit of a misnomer as they are actually crepes (rather than pancakes) filled with whipped cream and fruit.
Most commonly, you can find mango cream pancakes, but I've decided to do a version with one of my favourite fruits: durian.
These Durian Cream Pancakes are surprisingly easy to make at home.
What is durian?
Durian is named the "king of fruits" and it elicits lots of strong reactions!
Native to Southeast Asia, durian is a bright yellow, creamy-fleshed fruit that has a strong odor and spiky-covered rind. It has a large brown seed.
It is actually a seasonal fruit, with durian season running from June to August.
Some people can't stand the smell or taste of durian (like my husband), but I think it tastes like a rich and creamy custard!
Nonetheless, if you don't like durian, you can substitute with any fruit you like, including mangoes, strawberries, kiwis, etc.
Fun fact: did you know that durian seeds can be eaten? But ONLY after they've been boiled/cooked! Uncooked durian seeds can be toxic and shouldn't be ingested!
Where to find durian?
If you're lucky enough to live in Southeast Asia, you can get fresh durian.
If you're in North America, you can find frozen durian in Asian supermarkets.
It can come as a whole frozen fruit, with the spiny husk.
Alternatively, you can find durian pods packaged in the freezer section.
These are a little more convenient as you won't have to deal with opening the husk. And if you have people in your family who don't like durian (like me), they usually come in a package of 2-3 pods, which is easier to consume.
The only drawback to frozen durian is that they won't be as aromatic as the fresh ones.
Ingredients you'll need
For the crepes:
- whole eggs
- all-purpose flour: regular all-purpose flour works best for these pancakes
- milk: any type of milk will work here
- unsalted butter: melted, or a light vegetable oil -- but butter will give the pancakes more flavour
- granulated sugar
For the filling:
- heavy whipping cream: cold, and at least 36% MF (milk fat)
- powdered sugar: to sweeten the cream
- durian (or any fruit of your choice): cut into large chunks; you can use fresh or frozen
How to make the crepe/pancake batter
The easiest way to make the crepe batter is to put all the ingredients into a blender and whizz it up.
Strain the mixture through a sieve into a measuring cup or container with a spout.
Then, cover the mixture and place it into the fridge for about 1 hour.
This will allow time for the flour to absorb the wet ingredients.
How to cook th epancakes
Heat up a frying pan over low heat. (Non-stick would be the best option, however it is doable without non-stick).
Lightly grease the pan with oil (if you're not using a non-stick pan) and wipe off any excess with paper towel.
Pour about ¼ C of batter [using a 9" frying pan -- you may need to adjust accordingly depending on the size of your pan] and swirl it around evenly.
Let the batter cook for about 1-2 minutes.
Unlike regular crepes, there is no need to flip the crepe. The top exterior becomes the shiny, smooth side.
Carefully remove the crepe onto a cooling rack and repeat with the remaining batter.
How to attain the smooth pancake texture?
It's easy. Don't flip the crepe!
The crepes are only cooked on one side, so that the top surface becomes the smooth exterior.
Make the whipped cream
To a large bowl, add in the heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar.
Whisk until stiff peaks form, but be careful not to overwhip.
Note: It's best to use a chilled bowl when whipping heavy cream.
How to assemble the pancakes
Once the crepe pancakes have cooled completely, it's time to assemble.
With the shiny, smooth side facing down, add about 1 tablespoon of whipped cream to the centre of the pancake.
Add a chunk of durian (or fruit you're using) on top of the cream, and add another dollop of whipped cream to cover,
Fold the bottom of the pancake over the cream, and then fold in the sides, before folding the top over.
Gently place the pancake pillow onto a serving plate with the seam side down.
Repeat with the remainder.
How to serve & store
Serve the Durian Cream Pancakes with a HK Milk Tea Bubble Tea and just imagine yourself in a little HK-style cafe. 😉
Store the assembled pancakes in the refrigerator.
They're best enjoyed immediately, as the whipped cream will seep over time.
Can you freeze the crepes?
Yes, if you're planning to make the crepes ahead of time, you can freeze the crepes -- but be sure to place a piece of parchment in between the crepes before doing so.
Thaw the crepes overnight in the fridge before assembling with the fruit and cream.
Can you freeze the assembled pancake pillows?
Yes! You can assemble the cream pancakes with the fruit and cream and individually wrap them.
Place them in the freezer to enjoy later.
When you're ready to eat, bring the cream pancakes to room temperature for about 15 minutes to defrost before enjoying.
Other recipes you may like
If you liked this recipe, be sure to check out:
Mango Pomelo Sago Pudding 楊枝甘露
Thai Mango Sticky Rice (Khao Niao Mamuang)
Kueh Dadar Rolled Coconut Crepes
Do you like durian? Let me know if you do and be sure to tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below if you make this!
Durian Cream Pancakes
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter melted or vegetable oil
- ¾ C whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- ½ C all-purpose flour
- pinch of sea salt
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon yellow goldenberry powder optional (for colour only)
- 2 durian pods fresh or frozen, flesh removed and separated into large chunks
- ¾ C heavy whipping cream at least 36% MF (milkfat)
- 2 tablespoon powdered sugar
Prepare the crepe batter:
- Place all the ingredients into a blender and whizz it up.
- Strain the mixture through a sieve into a measuring cup or container with a spout.
- Then, cover the mixture and place it into the fridge for about 1 hour. This will allow time for the flour to absorb the wet ingredients.
Make the pancake crepes:
- Heat up a frying pan over low heat.
- Lightly grease the pan with oil (if you’re not using a non-stick pan) and wipe off any excess with paper towel.
- Pour about ¼ C of batter [using a 9″ frying pan — you may need to adjust accordingly depending on the size of your pan] and swirl it around evenly.
- Let the batter cook for about 1-2 minutes.
- Unlike regular crepes, there is no need to flip the crepe. The top exterior becomes the shiny, smooth side.
- Carefully remove the crepe onto a cooling rack and repeat with the remaining batter.
- To a large bowl, add in the heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar.
Make the whipped cream:
- Whisk until stiff peaks form, but be careful not to overwhip.
- Note: It’s best to use a chilled bowl when whipping heavy cream.
- Once the crepe pancakes have cooled completely, it’s time to assemble.
- With the shiny, smooth side facing down, add about 1 tablespoon of whipped cream to the centre of the pancake.
- Add a chunk of durian (or fruit you’re using) on top of the cream, and add another dollop of whipped cream to cover,
- Fold the bottom of the pancake over the cream, and then fold in the sides, before folding the top over.
- Gently place the pancake pillow seam-side down onto a serving plate. Repeat with the remainder.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.
I love this idea so much! My husband would really enjoy these because he is OBSESSED with durian!
Josiah - DIY Thrill
These cream pancakes look amazing, such a decadent dessert!
Thanks Josiah! They are so pillowy and delicious! 🙂
David @ Spiced
I'm really intrigued by these "pancakes," Michelle! First of all, they look so light and airy - perfect for a fancy breakfast! But the durian is what caught my attention first. I've never smelled one, but I've heard horror stories. I keep joking with Laura that I want to get one just to see...but she keeps threatening to kick me out of the house if I do. Haha! With that said, we might go with the mango version here. 🙂
Haha, it is definitely a polarizing fruit! The frozen ones tend to be more "milder" if you're up for the challenge 😉
Michelle! I think I just died and went to heaven! What could be better on Christmas morning! Pinning!
Ahh, thanks so much Kim!
Thank you for the recipe, it was absolutely delicious and we all loved it!
I never would have thought to use durian like this. I will definitely be giving this a try.
What a fabulous recipe! Like nothing I've ever had before. Love the smooth and creamy inside. YUM!
Bintu | Budget Delicious
These sound like such simple and delicious pancakes - I can't wait to give them a try!
My kids really enjoyed it!! Thank you for the recipe!
This is the 1st time I heard about durian pancakes, although I've been eating all my life. Since durian is always good to eat, I will give it a try making with the pancake.