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Popovers: The Most Delicious Science Experiment This Holiday Season

Popovers are fun, easy, and impressive enough for kids to cook.

Published Dec. 21, 2021.

By the time I was 10, my parents, brother, and I had our Christmas Eve dinner down pat. The menu was decidedly European: a beef rib roast with jus and horseradish sauce, a deliciously herby potato gratin, haricots verts (French-style green beans sautéed in butter), a winter citrus salad to cut through all the rich, celebratory flavors.

And then there was my favorite: popovers.   

My parents liked to serve popovers because they’re similar to Yorkshire puddings, which traditionally accompany a beef roast in the U.K. They also consist of only four ingredients, and getting me to help make them was a way to keep me busy during dinner crunch time.

The Perfect Popover

The ideal popover is crisp and well browned on the outside and hollow on the inside, with inner walls that are lush and custardy. Learn our recipe today.  

I remember being enthralled by the spectacle of a thin batter turning into a beautifully puffed, crispy yet custardy, handsomely varnished masterpiece. All it took was heat. They were so fun to watch in the oven, rising out of the cups of their special pan to an almost absurd height. It's like making a gateway soufflé. Most of all, popovers were delicious. 

My husband’s family has a similar Christmas Eve tradition: a full English traditional roast, helmed by my sister-in-law’s parents who immigrated from the U.K. Pan after pan of steaming individual Yorkshire puddings emerge from the oven every year—remarkably similar to my childhood popovers, yet a bit more savory with the addition of beef fat.

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My niece and nephews love watching them rise in the oven, and it makes me think back to my annual task as a kid—my baking science experiment, the results of which were always delicious. 

I think popovers are the perfect holiday baking activity, especially to entertain kiddos as the rest of dinner comes together. Adding this culinary curiosity to your list of holiday traditions will bring a smile to their faces—and give you a new delicious side to accompany your holiday dinner. All you need is our winning popover pan (or a standard muffin tin), as well as the ingredients for our foolproof recipe. Happy holidays, indeed.  

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