Maple Buckwheat Crepes with Spiced Apple + Chestnut Relish

Maple Buckwheat Crepes with Spiced Apple + Chestnut Relish ⎮ happy hearted kitchenMaple Buckwheat Crepes with Spiced Apple + Chestnut Relish ⎮ happy hearted kitchenMaple Buckwheat Crepes with Spiced Apple + Chestnut Relish ⎮ happy hearted kitchen

Maple Buckwheat Crepes with Spiced Apple + Chestnut Relish ⎮ happy hearted kitchenMaple Buckwheat Crepes with Spiced Apple + Chestnut Relish ⎮ happy hearted kitchenMaple Buckwheat Crepes with Spiced Apple + Chestnut Relish ⎮ happy hearted kitchen

We never had crêpes growing up. My Dad was the king of pancakes and breakfast-for-dinner nights when my mom was off duty. If we were lucky our sunday morning flapjacks would come bearing mini chocolate chips. Some in the shape of a ‘J’  for me and a ‘S’  for my sister and some others in very curious looking forms that we would try to poor for ourselves. Sitting around the kitchen table, filling our bellies with pancakes in our pj’s – some memories just stay with us as we grow up.

During the winters in France, every night I would pass a little crêpe hut on my walk home after work. The smell was enough to stop you in your tracks. And if I was feeling like a loving wife, I’d brave the tourist line up and pick up one of Matt’s absolute favorite treats – a warm crêpe filled with chestnut cream. When I came through the door with his treat wrapped up in a fancy paper plate, I bet the massive grin on his face was exactly the same from when he was a little kid, because those were the flavors that he grew up with.

On the night before we left sweden (for the first time), we made a big feast for everyone. Matt must have made over 60 crêpes and I took  take of all the fillings. We served it up traditional French, with savory crêpes for dinner and sweet ones for dessert. We were a good mix of Swedish, French, German and Canadian around the table and it was a meal that was maybe new to some, but familiar to all. I just love how food can bring us together that way.

These crêpes, well they aren’t your typical kind, but they are the perfect marriage between a pancake and a crêpe – whole and hearty like a pancake, but still soft and thin for all of your favorite fillings. I used whole, gluten-free flours and natural sugars for me, with a few roasted chestnuts in the mix for Matt and maple syrup just keeps everyone happy. Hoping one day they’ll make happy memories for our family too.

Maple Buckwheat Crepes with Spiced Apple + Chestnut Relish ⎮ happy hearted kitchenMaple Buckwheat Crepes with Spiced Apple + Chestnut Relish ⎮ happy hearted kitchenMaple Buckwheat Crepes with Spiced Apple + Chestnut Relish ⎮ happy hearted kitchen

Maple Buckwheat Crepes with Spiced Apple + Chestnut Relish ⎮ happy hearted kitchenMaple Buckwheat Crepes with Spiced Apple + Chestnut Relish ⎮ happy hearted kitchenMaple Buckwheat Crepes with Spiced Apple + Chestnut Relish ⎮ happy hearted kitchen


Feel free to use another nut here instead of chestnuts – hazelnuts or walnuts would be a nice alternative. Roasting the chestnuts is necessary in order to peel them, but I have seen roasted, peeled chestnuts available is most grocery stores if you need to save on time. Most crêpe batter recipes say to let the batter sit for at least 30 minutes to and hour, but I don’t always have time for that. A tablespoon of arrowroot powder will help move things along as it thickens the batter and helps the crêpes hold together in the pan without any wait time. If you have the time to let the batter sit for an hour, I imagine you can leave this out completely. Crêpes are best served right out of the pan, but they can be reheated the next day if you have leftovers. Next time I’m hoping to try out some savory fall fillings – any fun ideas? I’d love to hear them! 

When buying chestnuts, look for healthy unwrinkled shells and a glossy brown finish. Fresh chestnuts are firm to the touch and heavy in the hand, with no space between the shell and the meat of the nut inside. 

*Update – we had a crêpe party here and served these up with sautéed mushrooms, leeks, kale, thyme and a cauliflower béchamel. I used olive oil instead of coconut oil in the recipe below. So good – even if Matt refused to call my sauce a béchamel, we all settled on faux-chamel. I can write the recipe in the comments if you’re interested x

Vegan + Gluten Free. Makes about 20 small crêpes.



1 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
Pinch sea salt
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder  *see notes above
1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 1/2 cups nut milk (I used unsweetened homemade almond milk)
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil, plus extra for the pan (olive oil also works)


3/4 cup roasted chestnuts, peeled and roughly chopped
3 small organic apples, roughly chopped (cortland, empire or lobo work well)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, nutmeg + cloves
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup golden raisins

Water, as needed


Preheat oven to 350 F / 175 C

First, using a sharp or serrated knife, make an incision through each chestnut shell, just into the flesh of the nut, and work your way around half its circumference. Make an incision the same length but in the opposite direction to make an X. Repeat for all nuts. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and roast in the oven oven for about 30 minutes or until the outer shell starts to peel away from the center of the X. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. While the chestnuts are still warm, remove and discard each shell and the papery skin with a small knife or just your fingers. Roughly chop the nuts and set aside.

Cut the apples into small cubes, I chose to keep the skins on here but it you want more of a sauce than a relish peel the apples first. Place apples in a small saucepan with 1/4 cup of water and add the spices. Bring to a simmer and cook down until the apples are soft and tender and starting to fall apart, add more water if need. Stir in chestnuts and golden raisins to warm through, then remove from heat and stir in apple cider vinegar. Set aside.

Place all crêpe ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Tip: put wet ingredients in the blender first and then add flours so that the dry ingredients don’t get stuck on the bottom.

Heat a non stick pan over medium heat and brush with a little coconut oil. Poor in about 1/4 cup of crêpe batter and swirl to evenly distribute. Cook for 45 seconds to a minute or until the batter bubbles and is just set in the middle, then run a spatula around the edges and flip, cooking on the other side for 30 seconds to a minute or until golden brown. Serve immediately or place on a baking sheet in a warm oven until ready to serve. Repeat with remaining batter.

Serve crêpes with warm apple relish, a few fresh apple slices and a good drizzle of maple syrup.

Let me in on your kitchen creations – tag your photos #happyheartedkitchen and share the love!


  • Reply
    November 11, 2015 at 9:20 am

    These looks just delicious and what a lovely story to go along :) .Also, in Portugal, we celebrate S. Martinho (Saint Martin’s day) today and traditionally eat chestnuts so your recipe came right on time :) thank you!

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 12, 2015 at 1:09 pm

      Oh I’m so glad! This was my first recipe roasting chestnuts at home – oh THAT smell! Happy celebrations Inês x

  • Reply
    Ashlae W.
    November 11, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    HA! We used to get the occasional chocolate chip pancake, too. And every once in a blue moon it’d be in the shape of Mickey mouse – never our initials – because my dad’s pancake shaping skills were limited to circles, sadly.

    And girl do I know that smell of freshly made crêpes. In fact, I’m convinced there are few, more pleasing scents in life than walking by a crêpe hut and being overwhelmed by the smell of buttery, sizzling batter. It’s just so, so good. Much like this recipe. I can’t wait to try it. XO

  • Reply
    Laura Mc Grath
    November 11, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    Oh I do remember these little creperies well… Love the recipe! Going to a vegan bro’s & ho’s gathering this weekend, the aptly themed ‘breakfast for dinner’, think these will be perfect! merci madam ;-)

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 12, 2015 at 1:09 pm

      Oh de rien ma belle! Sounds like an awesome theme. Have fun x

  • Reply
    Kathryn @ The Scratch Artist
    November 12, 2015 at 12:52 am

    This sounds so, so good! We had pancakes growing up too, but adulthood has introduced me crepes, thankfully! That crepe place in Sweden sounds dangerous. I wouldn’t have been able to stay away. I love the use of chestnuts here. Thanks for sharing and inspiring me to get back into making crepes.

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 12, 2015 at 1:11 pm

      Thank you, Kathryn! I’m usually an oatmeal or toast in the morning kinda gal, but sometimes its so nice to take a some extra time, I needed the inspiration too x

  • Reply
    danielle is rooting the sun
    November 12, 2015 at 2:19 am

    jodi you stirred such sweet memories within me – when i was younger i was always in charge of the breakfast for dinner pancake duties, and i remember taking so much pride in making them. but when i studied french in school, it was there we celebrated crêpes – and the romance was born and kindled! these are so beautiful, and i love buckwheat fiercely. you evoke the dreamiest autumn day. xo

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 12, 2015 at 1:13 pm

      Oh I’m so glad, Danielle. Autumn is so full of inspiration isn’t it? Hoping you get to enjoy a cozy weekend with a warm breakfast x

  • Reply
    Shelley Ludman
    November 12, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    These crepes sound divine, and have me totally motivated to try roasting my own chestnuts! I’m secretly hoping tomorrow night brings breakfast for dinner… a demain xx

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 16, 2015 at 2:32 pm

      Thanks Shells. Not quite breakfast for dinner but close enough I hope. Next time we’ll roast some chestnuts too x

  • Reply
    Jessie Snyder | Faring Well
    November 12, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Aw I love this Jodi <3 those kid memories are the best, and its crazy how they stick with you for life! I've actually never made a crepe (minus that one time in 7th grade home-ec), yet have a crepe maker my mom passed down to me that is now screaming to be used. These need to happen in my life soon – and I love your choice of fillings/toppings here! Chestnuts are new to me this season and I'm lovvvving them. Glad to have you back and contributing your light to this world, you are something special girl <3

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 14, 2015 at 2:46 pm

      Jessie Snyder – thank you. And yes! A crepe maker collecting dust is a sad sad thing, Matt is a real pro at flipping them, so I guess he’s like own live-in crepe maker here. I had my fair share of chestnuts in France, but never had I made anything with them at home either – SO GOOD. I’m wondering how a chestnut tree would survive in Canada? Maybe one day, a girl can dream. Hoping you’re having a cosy, flurry filled weekend x

  • Reply
    Allysia K
    November 13, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    These are beautiful pictures of beautiful food! I’ve never made gluten free crepes but they seem to have turned out very well.

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 14, 2015 at 2:39 pm

      Oh thank you Allysia! I was indeed really pleased with how these turned out, gluten free baking is not always easy! Have a lovely weekend x

  • Reply
    genevieve @ gratitude and gree
    November 15, 2015 at 2:47 am

    That crêpe stand sounds magical- I can already smell them from where I am! Gorgeous photos and I have a feeling I’ll be whipping up a batch for brunch next weekend ;)

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 16, 2015 at 12:32 am

      Oh thanks Gen! I hope you do, I just made them again this weekend for a little crepe party – so much fun! Hope you’re having a nice cozy weekend too x

  • Reply
    Alena | Rednailsgreenveggies
    November 15, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    Jodi- these sounds divine. I love your time-saving tip of adding the arrowroot, I’ll definitely be trying that asap! In terms of savory- I think these would go perfectly with some hearty roasted mushrooms and thyme, and perhaps some pesto. :)

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 16, 2015 at 12:33 am

      Thank you so much, Alena! Love your savory idea, i think that would be right up my ally! Hope you’re having a lovely sunday x

  • Reply
    November 16, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    Love the crepe party idea, Jodi! And this version looks absolutely perfect with the buckwheat crepes and apple/chestnut filling. I’ve tried to roast chestnuts a few times, but I haven’t had much luck with incorporating them in into a meal that was worthy of the roasting/peeling process. I think it’s time to give them another chance :)

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 17, 2015 at 1:18 pm

      Thank you, Sophie! I honestly thought that roasting my own chestnuts was going to be much more labor intensive than it actually was. Now I’m thinking that maybe they don’t need to be incorporated into a recipe, but rather sautéed with olive oil, rosemary + sea salt and eaten write out of the pan. I think thats the way to go to get the most out of your effort! Have fun with it! x

  • Reply
    Sophie | The Green Life
    November 17, 2015 at 3:48 am

    Jodi, these crepes and that wonderful filling sound absolutely divine. And I LOVE the idea of a crepe party! Why haven’t I thought about this before?! Crepes bring back to many warm memories for me too. We would make them almost every weekend at home growing up. And I loved having them for dinner too. It’s probably due to the French heritage in Quebec, but crepes were always the way to go – I think I didn’t have a pancake before my early 20’s! I bought chestnuts last week for the first time and I was feeling quite intimidated and didn’t know what to do with them. This might just be the recipe I was waiting for. <3

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 17, 2015 at 1:15 pm

      Thanks, Sophie! I just love a crêpe party! It was a pretty standard dinner party occurrence back in France, it’s such a great way to feed a big group of friends, somewhere along the lines of fondue or raclette. It’s fun to make a bunch of different toppings for everyone to mix and match, dessert included. You can take turns making the crêpes too! This was I first time I did anything with chestnuts at home, it’s not as scary as it might seem :) Have fun! x

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Dianne Goldthorpe
    November 6, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    These sound and look really yummy. I have never made crepes so here goes!
    Can I use corn flour/ starch instead or am I going to have to drive to the store to get some arrowroot?
    How do these stand up to being served cool to cold? Thinking of taking them to a pot luck picnic, all stuffed and ready to go. FL is warm even in November so any one got great stuffing/filling ideas that won’t go all peely walla? ( yucky, mucky to those not familiar with the term which my granddad used on return from India) Yeah he was full of strange saying’s LOL

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