Flammkuchen: a tasty recipe for German pizza that you can make in no time

Total time: 30 Min + Resting Time
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
By Cookist

Flammkuchen is a sensational main dish that's perfect when you need an easy, delicious dinner you can whip up in no time. It's similar to a pizza or flatbread and traditionally topped with bacon, onion, and crème fraiche, although you can easily customize flammkuchen however you like. It's deliciously savory, with a slightly smoky flavor and a beautifully crispy thin crust.

While it's normally made in a wood-fired oven, you can easily make German pizza in your oven at home. Flammkuchen is a fantastic light dinner you can make during the week or slice and serve as an appetizer for guests. Enjoy it with a chilled glass of white wine from Alsace or a crisp German pilsner.

What is Flammkuchen?

The German name flammkuchen (pronounced “flam-kook-en”) translates to “flame cake” in English. Although it looks like an Italian pizza, flammkuchen is more like a flatbread and uses crème fraiche as a sauce, rather than tomato, and crème fraiche instead of mozzarella. It's usually topped with bacon or German speck and onions.

Flammkuchen Origins

Also known as flammekuchen and tarte flambée, flammkuchen is a speciality of Alsace, Mosel, and Baden, making it both German and French. These regions have gone back and forth between the two countries throughout history. Flammkuchen was made as a way for home bakers to test their wood fire ovens and see if they were hot enough for baking. During the 1960s, restaurants began serving it to guests.

Flammkuchen Ingredients

For the flammkuchen dough, you need flour, warm water, olive oil, and salt. Olive oil gives the dough flavor and helps make the dough supple. The water should be between 110 and 115F to activate the yeast. If it's too cold, the yeast won't activate. If it's too hot, the yeast will die off.

For the toppings, you'll need bacon, pancetta or German speck, an onion, and crème fraiche.

How to Make Flammkuchen

Never made pizza before? Not a problem – anyone can make flammkuchen. Start by preheating your oven to 500F. A hot oven is essential here. To make the pizza dough, mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the olive oil and warm water until a dough forms. Lightly flour a work surface, then turn out the dough and knead it for several minutes until smooth and supple. Put the dough in a greased bowl and cover it with a damp towel. Let it rise for 20 to 30 minutes in a warm, draft-free place.

Now to assemble the pizza. Roll out the dough and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Traditionally, flammkuchen are rectangular, but there's no reason you can't make a round one if you prefer. Season the crème fraiche with salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Smear it over the dough, then put the bacon and onions over the creme fraiche. Bake your flammkuchen for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown.


Tips for Making German Pizza

Leave the dough in a warm spot to rise.

Traditionally, the bacon and onions aren't cooked before cooking the whole pizza. If you prefer, you can lightly sauté them before assembling the pizza – just let them cool down first.

Instead of crème fraiche, you can use sour cream or Greek yogurt mixed with a little olive oil.

Don't go crazy with toppings – this will weigh down your pizza and make it soggy.

Use a pizza stone to help your dough get crispier.

Add a touch of nutmeg to your crème fraiche for a richer flavor.

The cooking time may vary depending on your oven. Keep an eye on the flammkuchen.

Flammkuchen Topping Ideas

Bacon and onions are the traditional toppings for flammkuchen, but there are loads of fabulous variations to try.

Top your German pizza with thinly shaved potato slices and cheese, and thin slices of vegetables like leek, squash, zucchini, and mushrooms.

Instead of bacon, try sausage slices or prosciutto.

You can also make dessert flammkuchen with apples, baking spices, and sugar.

What to Serve with Flammkuchen

Serve your flammkuchen with a green salad and a side of grilled or roasted vegetables. Typically, local Alsatian Riesling, Pinot Gris, or Pinot Blanc is the wine of choice for pairing with flammkuchen. Sparkling wine would be a lovely pairing as well. If you're more of a beer drinker, try a crisp, refreshing pilsner, wheat beer, or a Dunkel or Schwarzbier from southern Germany.

How to Store Flammkuchen

Wrap any leftover flammkuchen in foil and place it in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy within 3 days.

More Recipes You'll Like

for the dough
2 cups
Warm water
1/2 cup
Extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp
1/2 tsp
for the topping
crème fraîche
1/2 cup
thick-cut bacon, cut into small pieces
7 oz slice
small onion, thinly sliced


Preheat your oven to 500F.

For the dough

Combine flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.

Add in olive oil.

Pour in warm water.

Mix until a dough forms. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 5 minutes until smooth. Don't overwork the dough.

Wrap the dough in plastic film and leave it to rise for 20 to 30 minutes in a warm, draft-free place.

For the pizza

Roll out the dough. Place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Season the crème fraiche with salt and pepper. Brush it over the dough.

Season the onions with salt. Arrange the onions on the dough.

Top it with bacon.

Make sure to coat the surface evenly.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown, then take it out of the oven.

Garnish with chopped chives or herbs.

Remove the German pizza from the baking tray, then slice, serve and enjoy!


You can use store-bought pizza dough for extra convenience.

Every dish has a story
Find out more on Cookist social networks