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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pancakes with strawberries and cream with powdered sugar, as served in Australia
Scottish pancake and fruit crumpet
Crêpe opened

A pancake is a thin, flat cake prepared from a batter and cooked on a hot griddle or frying pan. Most pancakes are quick breads; some use a yeast-raised or fermented batter. Most pancakes are cooked one side on a griddle and flipped partway through to cook the other side. A crêpe is a very thin pancake cooked on one or both sides that is rolled and stuffed. Depending on the region, pancakes may be served at any time, with a variety of toppings or fillings including jam, fruit, syrup or meat.



The Middle English word Pancake, appears in an English culinary manuscript 1430.[1][2]

Regional varieties

United Kingdom

English pancakes have three key ingredients: plain flour, eggs, and milk. The batter is runny and forms a thin layer on the bottom of the frying pan when the pan is tilted. It may form some bubbles during cooking, which results in a pale pancake with dark spots where the bubbles were, but the pancake does not rise. English pancakes are similar to French crêpes, and Italian crespelle, but are not "lacy" in appearance. They may be eaten as a sweet dessert with the traditional topping of lemon juice and sugar, drizzled with golden syrup, or wrapped around savory stuffings and eaten as a main course. Yorkshire pudding is made from a similar recipe, but baked instead of fried. This batter rises because the air beaten into the batter expands, without the need for baking powder; the result is eaten as part of the traditional roast beef dinner.

Scotch pancakes are more like the American type and are served as such. In Scotland they are also referred to as drop scones or dropped scones.[3][4][5] They are made from flour, eggs, sugar, buttermilk or milk, salt, bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar.[3][4][5] Smaller than American or English panackes at about 3.5 in / 9 cm in diameter, they are made by the traditional method of dropping batter onto a griddle (a girdle in Northumberland or in Scots). They can be served with jam and cream or just with butter. In Scotland pancakes are generally served at teatime.

Welsh pancakes (known as crempog, ffroes and other names) vary considerably. Some are very much like American pancakes, others may be made with yeast (called crempog furum or oatmeal (although this is also true of American pancakes) and some are like Scotch pancakes.[6][7]

Crumpets and pikelets are sometimes considered a variety of pancake.

North America

North Americans sometimes garnish pancakes with banana slices.
Raspberry chocolate chip pancakes from Vermont.
Stacks of "silver dollar" pancakes.

American or Canadian pancakes (sometimes called hotcakes, griddlecakes, or flapjacks in the U.S.) are pancakes which contain a raising agent such as baking powder; proportions of eggs, flour, and milk or buttermilk create a thick batter. Many recipes remind the reader that the ingredients should be mixed until they are just combined, even if lumps remain, as the lumps will smoothen out during the cooking process.[8][9] Sugar and spices such as cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg are added. The pancakes can be made sweet or savory by adding ingredients such as blueberries, strawberries, cheese, bacon, bananas, apples or chocolate chips to the batter. This batter is ladled or poured onto a hot surface, and spreads to form a circle about ¼ or ⅓ inch (1 cm) thick. The raising agent causes bubbles to rise to the uncooked side, when the pancake is flipped. These pancakes, very light in texture, are usually served at breakfast topped with maple syrup, butter, peanut butter, jelly, jam, fruit or honey. In the Southern United States, cane syrup and molasses have also been common toppings. Some pancake recipes call for yogurt to give the pancakes a semi-thick, relatively moist consistency.

Johnny Cakes made in Rhode Island from Kenyon's Corn Meal

Jonnycake (also spelled "johnnycake," johnny cake, and "journey cake") or Johnny Bread is a cornmeal flatbread that was an early American staple food, and is still eaten in the West Indies and Bermuda.[10] The modern johnnycake is stereotypically identified with today's Rhode Island foods, though jonnycakes are a cultural staple in all of the northern US.[11] A modern jonnycake is fried cornmeal gruel, which is made from yellow or white cornmeal mixed with salt and hot water or milk, and frequently lightly sweetened.

Yaniqueques or yanikeke are a Dominican Republic version of the jonnycake. They are a fried bread rather than a pancake and are a popular beach food.[12][13]

Sourdough was used by prospectors and pioneers to make sourdough pancakes without having to buy yeast. Prospectors would carry a pot of sourdough to make pancakes and bread as it could last indefinitely, needing only flour and water to replenish it.[14] Sourdough pancakes are now a particular speciality in Alaska.[15]

A flapjack is a thick small pancake, generally around 10 cm in diameter. Flapjacks are often served in a stack with syrup and butter, which can be accompanied by bacon. The terms pancake and flapjack are often confused and today in the US are nearly synonymous. The Oxford English Dictionary records the word flapjack as being used as early as the beginning of the 17th century, referring to a flat tart or pan-cake. Shakespeare pancakes in All's Well That Ends Well and to flap-jacks in Pericles, Prince of Tyre:[16]

"Come, thou shant go home, and we'll have flesh for holidays, fish for fasting-days, and moreo'er puddings and flap-jacks, and thou shalt be welcome."
Act II Scene I

The word elements: flap- meaning a tossed mixture and jack, an uncertain word suggesting a variety, imply any ingredients could be called a flapjack.

A silver dollar pancake refers to a pancake about two to three inches (5 to 7 cm) in diameter, or just a bit bigger than the pre-1979 silver dollar coins in the United States, for which they are named. It is usually made by frying a small spoonful of the same batter as any other pancake. One serving is usually five to ten silver dollar pancakes.

German Pancakes or Dutch baby pancakes served in American pancake houses are bowl-shaped. They are eaten with lemons and powdered sugar, jam, or caramelized apples, as well as fritters.

Mexican hotcakes are similar to US pancakes. Hotcakes are often made with cornmeal — as well as, or instead of wheat flour. Hotcakes are popular breakfast items at restaurants throughout the country, and are often sold by street vendors in cities and during the local celebrations of towns through the day; the vendors sell a single hotcake topped with different sauces such as condensed milk, fruit jam or a sweet goat milk spread called "cajeta."


Uttapam, an Indian style pancake with Sambhar.
Dosa, prepared and served at a restaurant in India.
Bánh xèo, a style of Vietnamese pancakes.

In India the Pooda (sometimes called Cheela) is a pancake. They can be made either sweet or salty and are of different thicknesses in different places. They are made in a frying pan and are of a similar batter as their European counterparts.

Dosa and Uttapam could be said to be another Indian pancakes. They are prepared by fermenting rice batter and split skinned urad bean (black lentil) blended with water. What Punjabis call a Meetha Pooda which are a common breakfast food item in the Punjab. It is a sweet pancake which can be eaten with pickles and chutney. Most of the pithas in Assam are type of pancakes served on occasions such as Bihu.

In Malaysia and Singapore, a pancake-like snack known as Apom Balik (in Malay) or Ban Chian Kuih (面煎粿 in Chinese). The Chinese version is made with a filling, traditionally ground peanut with sugar, butter and additional condiments such as sweetened coconut or egg. Increasingly non-traditional condiments such as cheese, kaya (egg and coconut milk custard), blueberry or chocolate are used in variations. There are other variations, such as those made with soya bean milk replacing egg and water. The Malay version (Apom Balik) frequently has sweet corn and condensed milk as filling.

In the Philippines, pancakes or "hotcakes" are also served with syrup (maple or imitation corn syrup) margarine and sugar or condensed milk. They are served for breakfast, but there are roving street stalls that sell smaller hotcakes topped with margarine and sugar as an afternoon snack.

In Vietnamese cuisine there is a variety of traditional pancakes; these include bánh xèo and bánh khọt in southern Vietnam, and bánh căn and bánh khoái in central Vietnam.

In Nepal, the Newar have a savory rice pancake called chataamari cooked with meat or eggs on top.

The Indonesian pancake serabi is made from rice flour and coconut milk.

In Korea, pancakes include jeon, pajeon, bindaetteok, kimchijeon, and hotteok.

Banana pancakes are a menu item in Western-oriented backpackers' cafes in Asian countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, India, and China. This has elicited the term Banana Pancake Trail.


In Australia and New Zealand, small pancakes (about 75mm in diameter), known as pikelets are also eaten. They are traditionally served with jam and/or whipped cream, or solely with butter, at afternoon tea. However, they are also common at morning tea. They are made with milk, self-raising flour, eggs and a small amount of icing sugar.

In some circles in New Zealand, very thin, crêpe-like or UK pancake-like pancakes (around 20cm in diameter), are known as "flapjacks". This may refer to their thinness, making them more likely to "flap". They are traditionally served with butter, or butter and lemon, possibly something sweet, and then rolled up and eaten.

American style pancakes are also popular in Australasia. They are eaten for breakfast or as a dessert, with lemon juice and sugar, butter and maple syrup, stewed fruits such as strawberries and cream, ice cream or mascarpone.

Northern Europe

Pannekoek with bacon and Gouda cheese
Palacinky, Slovak pancakes
Swedish pancakes
Palačinky, Czech pancakes

French crêpes, popular in France, Canada, and Brazil (where they may be called pancakes or crêpes) are made from flour, milk, and eggs. They are thin and are usually served with a large amount of sweet or savory filling, ranging from fruit or ice cream, to seafood (in Brazil, most usually ground meat).

A Breton galette is a large thin pancake made of buckwheat flour, mostly associated with the regions of Normandy and Brittany in France. It is often cooked on one side only.

German pancakes are called Pfannkuchen (Pfanne and Kuchen meaning 'pan' and 'cake'). In some regions (Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxonia) pancakes are called Eierkuchen, as the term Pfannkuchen refers to Berliners there. In Swabia sliced pancake strips (Flädle) are often served in soup. A Berliner Pfannkuchen is not a pancake; it is a doughnut.

In the Netherlands and Flanders, pancakes are called pannenkoeken and eaten at dinnertime. Pancake restaurants are popular family restaurants and serve many varieties of sweet, savory, and stuffed pancakes. Pannekoeken are slightly thicker than crepes and usually quite large (12" or more) in diameter. The batter is egg-based and the fillings can include sliced apples, cheese, ham, bacon, candied ginger and many other ingredients — alone or in combination — as well as "stroop", a thick syrup. One classical Dutch filling is a combination of bacon and stroop.

Poffertjes are another Dutch pancake-type dish. They resemble American pancakes somewhat, but are sweeter, and much smaller. The technique used also varies; they are flipped repeatedly before a side is completely done, in order to attain a softer interior.

Scandinavian pancakes are similar to the French crêpes. They are served with jam and whipped cream or ice cream as a main dish with a variety of savory fillings. Traditional Swedish variations can be exotic. Beside the usual thin pancakes which resembles the French crêpes and are eaten on Thursdays with pea soup, the Swedish cuisine has plättar which resemble tiny English pancakes, and are fried several at a time in a special pan. Others resemble German pancakes but include fried pork in the batter; these are baked in the oven. Potato pancakes called raggmunk contain shredded raw potato, and may contain other vegetables (sometimes the pancake batter is omitted, producing rårakor). Raggmunk and rårakor are traditionally eaten with pork rinds and lingonberry jam. A special Swedish pancake is saffron pancake from Gotland, made with saffron and rice, baked in the oven. Norwegians like their pancakes with sugar or blueberry jam, and they are often served with hot soup. Norwegians eat a great deal of rice pudding or porridge - leftovers from this can be made into small pancakes called "lapper". An other special ``swedish pancake´´ is the äggakaka (eggcake), also called skånsk äggakaka (scanian eggcake),it is almost like an ordinary swedish pancake but it's a lot thicker and also a lot more difficult to make due to the risk of burning it. It's made in a fryingpan and is about 1½ to 2 inches thick and is served with lingonberries and bacon.

In Sweden and Finland, pancakes follow the pea soup traditionally eaten on Thursdays[citation needed].

Central and Eastern Europe

In Austria, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia pancakes are called palatschinken, palačinka, and palacinka, respectively (plurals palatschinken, palačinky, palacinky). In Romania they are called clătită (plural clătite). In countries of former Yugoslavia (Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia, and Bosnia) they are called palačinka (plural palačinke). In these languages, the word derives from Latin placenta, meaning cake. These pancakes are thin and filled with apricot, plum, lingonberry, strawberry or apple jam, chocolate sauce or hazelnut spread. Kaiserschmarrn is an Austrian pancake including raisins, almonds, apple jam or small pieces of apple, split into pieces and sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Home-made naleśniki filled with sweet white cheese (Poland)

In Hungary, pancakes called palacsinta (also derived from Latin placenta) are made from flour, milk or soda water, sugar and eggs. Sweet wine is added to the batter. The filling is jam, sugared and ground walnuts or poppy seeds, sugared cottage cheese, sugared cocoa or cinnamon powder, but meat and mushroom fillings are also used. Gundel palacsinta is an Hungarian pancake, stuffed with walnuts, zest, raisins and rum, served in chocolate sauce. The dish is often flambéed. The Hungarian pancakes are served as a main dish or as a dessert.

In Poland, thin crêpe-style pancakes are called naleśniki (pronounced naleshniki). Like any crêpe or blintz, they can be served with a variety of savory or sweet fillings as a main dish or a dessert. Sweet fillings include fresh fruits (e.g. bilberries), jams, and soft white cheese with sugar. Savory fillings include fried vegetables, fried chicken, minced meat, and a variety of added ingredients such as potatoes, mushrooms, cabbage, or ham. The Polish pancake was adopted by the Russian and the Ukrainian cuisines, which call them nalesniki.[17]

In Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, pancakes may be breakfast food, appetizer, main course, or even dessert. Blintzes (Russian: блинчики blinchiki) are thin crepes made without yeast. Blini (Russian: блины) are thicker pancakes made from wheat or buckwheat flour, butter, eggs, and milk, with yeast added to the batter. Blini cooking has a long history in Russia, dating back to pagan traditions and feasts, which are reflected in today's "pancake week" celebrated in the winter before the Great Lent. Small thick pancakes made from yogurt or buttermilk based batter (without yeast) are called oladyi (оладьи) (diminutive: oladushki оладушки, further abbreviated as ladushki ладушки).


Pancakes in South Africa are similar to English pancakes. They are traditionally prepared by the Afrikaans community on gas stoves, and called pannekoek in Afrikaans, eaten on wet and cold days. Pannekoek are served with cinnamon-flavored sugar (and sometimes lemon juice); the sugar may be left to dissolve onto the pancake; if eaten immediately the pancake is crispy. It is a staple at Dutch Reformed Church fetes.[18] American-style "silver dollar" pancakes are eaten in South Africa, as "plaatkoekies" or "flapjacks".

Pancake restaurant chains

An IHOP restaurant in Poughkeepsie, New York

In the US, Mexico and Canada, a franchised restaurant chain named International House of Pancakes (IHOP) has restaurants serving pancakes at all hours of the day. The Original Pancake House is another chain of pancake restaurants across the US, and Walker Brothers is a series of pancake houses in the Chicago area that developed as a franchised spin-off of The Original Pancake House.

The popularity of pancakes in Australia has spawned the Pancake Parlour and Pancakes on the Rocks franchised restaurants. In British Columbia and Alberta, the restaurant chain De Dutch serves Dutch- and Flemish-style pannenkoeken.

Pancake Day

In Canada,[19] the United Kingdom,[20] Ireland,[21] and Australia,[22] pancakes are traditionally eaten on Shrove Tuesday, which is also known as "Pancake Day" and, particularly in Ireland, as "Pancake Tuesday". (Shrove Tuesday is better known in the United States, France and other countries as Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday). Historically, pancakes were made on Shrove Tuesday so that the last of the fatty and rich foods could be used up before Lent.

Charity and school events are organized on Pancake Day: in a "pancake race" each participant carries a pancake in a frying pan. All runners must toss their pancakes as they run and catch them in the frying pan. This event is said to have originated in Olney, England in 1444 when a housewife was still busy frying pancakes to eat before the Lenten fast when she heard the bells of St Peter and St Paul's Church calling her to the Shriving Service. Eager to get to church, she ran out of her house still holding the frying pan complete with pancake, and still wearing her apron and headscarf.[citation needed] Pancake Day is widely celebrated in Australia.

Every Shrove Tuesday since 1950 the towns of Olney[23] and Liberal, Kansas have competed in the International Pancake Race. Only local women may compete; they race, and their times are compared to determine the international winner. In Olney the main women's race is augmented by races for local schoolchildren and for men.

The Rehab UK Parliamentary Pancake Race takes place every Shrove Tuesday, with teams from the British lower house (the House of Commons), the upper house (the House of Lords), and the Fourth Estate, contending for the title of Parliamentary Pancake Race Champions. The fun relay race is to raise awareness of the work of the national brain injury charity, Rehab UK, and the needs of people with acquired brain injury. In 2009, the Lords won.[24]

Pancake Breakfast

The Calgary Stampede Breakfast is a regional tradition where local organizations put on "free pancake breakfasts" to residents and visitors to Calgary,Alberta during the Calgary Stampede and Exhibition every July. [25]

See also



  1. ^ Pancake History Pancakeology
  2. ^ Online Etymology Dictionary
  3. ^ a b McNeill, F. Marian (1929). The Scots Kitchen. Paperback: 259 pages, Edinburgh: Mercat Press; New Ed edition (25 Oct 2004) ISBN 1841830704, p179
  4. ^ a b Maw Broon (2007). Maw Broon's Cookbook. Waverley Books; (18 Oct 2007) ISBN 1902407458, p131
  5. ^ a b S.W.R.I. (1977). S.W.R.I. Jubilee Cookery Book. Edinburgh: Scottish Women's Rural Institutes; Reprint of 8th Edition (1968), p117
  6. ^ Freeman, Bobby First catch your peacock: her classic guide to Welsh food Y Lolfa; New edition edition (30 Oct 2006) ISBN: 978-0862433154 pp.195-196 [1]
  7. ^ Tibbit, Sara Minwell Baking in Wales National Museums and Galleries of Wales (Dec 1991) ISBN: 978-0720003468 p.13 [2]
  8. ^ Example:
  9. ^ Example: Wiki page on how to make pancakes
  10. ^ Darwin Porter, Danforth Prince, Frommer's 2010 Bermuda excerpt at Google Books
  11. ^ New England Country Store Cookbook by Peter W. Smith (iUniverse 2003)
  12. ^ Uribie, Millizen "Creole Cravings" Hoy Digital 25 February 2010 [3]
  13. ^ "Yaniqueques: food and security" DR1 11 December 2008[4]
  14. ^ Ridgwell, Jenny Finding Out About Food OUP Oxford (30 Jun 1983) ISBN 978-0198327165 p.89
  15. ^ DuFresne, Jim; Aaron Sprizter Alaska Lonely Planet Publications; 6th Revised edition edition (1 April 2006) ISBN 978-1740599917 p.40
  16. ^ Thiselton, T.F> Folklore of Shakespeare Kessinger Publishing Co (11 Jan 2004) ISBN: 978-0766183087 p.281[5]
  17. ^ Nalesniki in V.V. Pokhlebkin's Culinary Dictionary, 2002 (Russian)
  18. ^ Boer op ons werf
  19. ^ "The Presbyterian Church in Canada" (PDF). The Presbyterian Church in Canada. 
  20. ^ "Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday), in the UK". British Embassy, Washington DC. Retrieved 17 November 2006. 
  21. ^ "Shrove Tuesday - Pancake Day!". Irish Culture and Customs. Retrieved 17 November 2006. 
  22. ^ "Easter in Australia". The Australian Government Culture and Recreation Portal. Retrieved 17 November 2006. 
  23. ^ Olney Pancake Race 2007 Video
  24. ^ Peers batter MPs in pancake race, BBC News, 24 February 2009,, retrieved 18 May 2009 
  25. ^ Stampede Breakfasts site

Further reading

  • Albala, Ken (2008). Pancake: A Global History. Reaktion Books. pp. 128. ISBN 9781861893925. [6]

External links

Simple English

Pancakes (also called "griddlecakes", "hot cakes" or "flapjacks") are a kind of bread made on a frying pan. They are baked in different ways, such as thin French crêpes or Vermont-style multigrain pancakes. Most pancakes are quick breads that use baking powder, although some are also made using a yeast-raised or fermented batter.

In many different places, pancakes are served as breakfast or as a dessert, and they are served with sweet sauces or toppings such as maple syrup, jam, or sugar. Pancakes are also served with savory (non-sweet) fillings and toppings such as meat.


How pancakes are made

American or Canadian pancakes contain a raising agent (something that makes the pancake get bigger while cooking), usually baking powder and eggs, flour and milk which make a thick batter. This batter is either spooned or poured onto a hot surface which is coated in cooking oil or melted butter. The batter spreads to make a cake about 1/4 or 1/3 inch (1 cm) thick. The raising agent makes bubbles rise to the uncooked side of the pancake, where now the pancake is ready to be flipped (turned over).

End the end, the pancakes are very light in texture and are often served at breakfast topped with maple syrup, butter, or fruit. Vermont pancakes usually have a secondary grain added to the wheat flour, either oatmeal or buckwheat flour. Both of these recipes need more baking powder to leaven. The texture is coarser, the flavor deeper, rather like toasted nuts.

Variety of pancakes

North American (Canada and the United States) style pancakes

Some pancakes served in restaurants are 3 to 4 pancakes of more or less 14 cm (5 inch) diameter. A smaller number may be ordered by asking for a "short stack". Restaurants usually serve 1 or 2 pancakes of more or less 25 cm (10 inches) diameter. A "silver dollar" pancake is the same as a pancake about 7 cm (3 inches) in diameter - these pancakes are usually served in groups of five or ten.

British pancakes

British pancakes have three main ingredients: white flour, eggs and milk. Some people also add melted butter to the batter. The batter is quite runny and makes a thin layer on the bottom of the frying pan when the pan is tipped to one side. It may form some colors during cooking, which result in a dark pancake with pale spots where the mix were, but the pancake does not rise.

These pancakes may be eaten sweet with the traditional topping of lemon juice and sugar, or wrapped around savoury stuffings and eaten as a main course. When baked instead of fried, this batter rises (even though it has no raising agents such as baking powder, it rises because the air beaten into the batter expands) and is known as Yorkshire pudding. British pancakes are similar to French crêpes, and Italian crespelle, but do not look "lacy".

However, in Scotland pancakes, known as Scotch pancakes or drop scones in the rest of Britain, are more like the American variation and are served as such (see below). Scotch pancakes often have sugar in the batter.

Scottish pancakes

Scottish pancake and fruit crumpet. Pancakes similar to the North American pancake but smaller (usually about 3.5 in / 9 cm across) are known in the British Isles as Scotch pancakes or (after the traditional method of dropping batter onto a griddle) drop-scones, and in Australia and New Zealand as pikelets. They can be served with jam and cream or just with butter. In the U.S. these are known as "silver dollar pancakes" because each pancake is about the size of an old-style U.S. silver dollar (with Eisenhower on the face, no longer minted).

In Scotland, they are rarely served for breakfast, but are usually served for dessert. They are available plain, or as a fruit pancake with raisins baked in, and larger thinner crumpets are made from the same recipe by watering down the mix. The griddle is generally called a girdle in Scotland.

French crêpes

French crêpes, popular in France, the French-speaking Canadian province of Quebec, and Brazil (where they are usually called pancake, or only crêpe) are made from flour, milk, and a relatively large proportion of eggs (compared with other types of pancakes). Due to their thinness, they are usually served with a filling such as fruit or ice cream. Maple syrup or other sweetened sauces are sometimes served with crêpes. Crêpes are also served as a dinner meal, by filling them with seafood or other meats.

German pancakes

German pancakes often served in American pancake houses, are shaped like a bowl. They come in a variety of sizes, some quite large and nearly impossible for one person to finish. They are commonly eaten with lemons and powdered sugar, although jam is sometimes used as well. The pancakes eaten in Germany, however, are of the British variety. They are called Pfannkuchen, although in some areas (Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxonia) that is instead the local name for Berliner, a type of doughnut. Pancakes are called Eierkuchen (meaning "eggcake") there. In Swabia, cut pancakes (Flädle) are a traditional soup ingredient.

Austrian pancakes

In Austria, pancakes are called Palatschinken, a word which comes from Latin "placenta" by way of Romanian, and are usually filled with apricot jam but are also known to have a pleasing taste filled with a chocolate sauce or hazel nut spread. Similar pancakes with similar names can be found throughout the former Austria-Hungary (today Austria, Bosnia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia), (see Palatschinken).

Scandinavian pancakes

Scandinavian pancakes are similar to British pancakes. They are traditionally served with jam and/or ice cream or whipped cream, although they may also be served as a main dish with a variety of savoury fillings. Traditional Swedish variations can be somewhat exotic. Some resemble British pancakes with a tiny diameter; these are called plättar, and they are fried several at a time in a special pan.

Others are like German pancakes but include fried pork in the batter; these are cooked in an oven. There are also potato pancakes, called raggmunk. These contain shredded raw potato and, sometimes, other vegetables. If the actual pancake batter is left out, the fried cakes of grated potatoes are called rårakor. Both the last two kinds are eaten traditionally with pork rinds and/or lingonberry jam.

Vegan pancakes

Vegan pancakes are not associated with any nationality, however they are a different and popular type of pancake. Vegan pancakes try to be like the American pancake by using direct substitues such as egg substitute and soy milk. However, some kinds use baking soda and occasionally a small amount of vinegar as raising agents.

Indonesian pancakes

In Malaysia and Singapore a pancake-like snack is made with a filling, usually cheese or kaya but occasionally bean paste, ground peanut, blueberry or custard. There are other interesting variations, such as those made with soya bean replacing some of the flour. More commonly seen are serabis, pancakes made with rice flour and coconut milk and smoothered with a sauce made from coconut milk and palm sugar (or brown sugar).

Eastern European blintz and blini

In Russia, Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine, blintz and blini are made from wheat or buckwheat flour, yeast, butter, eggs and milk. Blini come from the French crêpes which were introduced during before the time of the Soviet Union.

Mexican hot cakes

In Mexico they are generally called "hot cakes" rather than "pancakes". They are similar in style to pancakes served in the U.S. but are perhaps more likely to mix or replace wheat flour with corn. As well as being a popular breakfast at restaurants in all parts of the country, "hotcakes" are often sold on the streets of Mexico City and other cities and during the local celebrations of small towns at all hours of the day and night. These vendors sell a single cake topped with some kind of sweet sauce.

Other kinds

In Ethiopia, injera is made from a fermented sourdough batter of buckwheat or the more traditional teff. Unlike North American and European pancakes, the injera is not served with sweet sauces or sugar. Instead, it is served with meat sauce, vegetables, and cooked eggs.

In Hungary, palacsinta are made from flour, milk and soda water, sugar, and eggs. They are served as a main dish. They are also served as a dessert. However, this depends on the filling. Sweet wine can also be added to the batter. In Italy, cannelloni are made from pancake batter or noodle dough. They are then filled, covered with cheese, and baked.

In the Middle East, pita is made from flour and yeast.In India, dosa are made from rice flour and fried in a skillet. In Chinese cooking, green onion pancakes are the thin pancakes made with buckwheat flour and green onions, served with moo shu dishes. In Egypt, katief is made. In Venezuela, pancakes are topped with butter and white cheese.

In Japan, Dorayaki are a popular sweet consisting of bean paste sandwiched between two pancake-like patties of castella.


[[File:|thumb|left|Pancakes with strawberries and cream]] Most types of pancake, (but not the Breton galette), are cooked one side at a time and flipped (turned over) by the cook halfway through. Tossing a pancake well can be quite difficult, but good cooks become very good at it, tossing them high in the air.

North American pancakes can be made sweet or savoury by adding foods like blueberries, strawberries, cheese or bacon to the batter; bananas or chocolate chips are sometimes dipped in the batter too. British pancakes can be stuffed (put things in the middle) after cooking with a wide variety of sweet or savoury fillings. Both are often sweetened after cooking by pouring on syrup or sprinkling with powdered sugar.

In Canada and the United States, the pancake is usually a breakfast food made in a person's home. Pancakes are also served at restaurants and diners. One restaurant even specializes in pancakes; the International House of Pancakes has more than 1,000 restaurants.[1]

In Britain, pancakes are eaten as a dessert, or served savoury with a main meal. They are also traditionally eaten on Shrove Tuesday which is also known as "Pancake Day". (Shrove Tuesday is better known in the United States, France and other countries as Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday.) According to tradition, this used to be done in order to use up the last of the fat and rich foods before Lent which was a time when people did not eat rich foods. Charity or school events are often organised on Pancake Day.[2]

In the Netherlands pancakes are called pannekoeken and eaten at dinner. Pancake restaurants are popular family restaurants and serve many varieties of sweet, savoury, and stuffed pancakes. The Netherlands also has another kind of pancake called "poffertjes". Each poffertje is quite small. They are cooked on a large griddle with lots of holes for each poffertje. The cook pours the batter quickly into all the holes by pouring up and down the rows. When they are cooked,several poffertjes are put on a plate and sprinkled with icing sugar. There is often a poffertje stall at Dutch markets.

In Sweden and in Finland it is traditional to eat yellow pea soup followed by pancakes on Thursdays. A smaller pancake, often called a "silver dollar" pancake, is sometimes used to make hors d'oeuvres in place of crackers or other bread-like items.

Banana pancakes are a popular item in Western-oriented backpackers' cafes in many Asian countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, India, and China.


  1. North American pancake lovers travelling abroad should bring their own maple syrup, as it is produced in North America and can be expensive and hard to get elsewhere. Even table syrup (a less expensive artificially-flavoured replacement for maple syrup) can be difficult to get elsewhere.
  2. One popular event is a pancake race in which each person runs carrying a pancake in a frying pan. They have to keep tossing their pancakes in the air (and catching them again) as they run. Every Shrove Tuesday, the towns of Olney, England and Liberal, Kansas have a pancake flipping competition. The two towns' competitors race along an agreed-upon course, and the times of all of the two towns' competitors are compared, to find a winner. There are other 'Pancake Races' in Britain, but Olney (according to legend) is where it all began. In an old story about Olney a woman was cooking her pancakes when she heard the bells of St Peter and St Paul's Church calling her to worship. She ran out of her house still holding the pancake in its pan, and still wearing her apron. This is how the Pancake Race originated..
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