It’s Pancake Day on Tuesday 28th February, and you’re probably already planning to spend breakfast, lunch and dinner indulging in this British tradition.
One reason Pancake Day is so popular, beyond the fact pancakes are delicious, is they’re a brilliantly adaptable dish. Sweet or savoury, healthy or indulgent, pancakes can be made to delight even the most particular palate.
According to a recent survey we conducted of 2,000 Brits, the majority of the UK will be eating three pancakes this Pancake Day, though 5% of us will indulge in a pile of eight!
Seeing as you may be having a few, we thought we’d offer some of our favourite pancake recipes and toppings to give you some variety, and take the next taste level. Bon appetite.
Pancakes: A global phenomenon
Every region has its own twist on the pancake. Some are sweet, others are savoury; but undoubtedly, all are delicious.
There’s the thick and fluffy American buttermilk pancakes; delicate French crêpes; bitesize blinis from Eastern Europe; adaptable Japanese okonomiyaki; shareable soufflé pannenkoeken from the Netherlands; the spicy Indian uttapam, and many more in between.
Classic English pancake recipe
Stuck for choice? You can’t go wrong with a classic English pancake, which serves as a great foundation to most other pancake recipes:
- 300ml milk
- 100g plain flour
- 2 eggs
Combine your ingredients in a wide jug or bowl, whisking into a smooth batter. Lightly oil a frying pan, and pour one ladle of mixture into the hot (but not smoking) pan. Cook on each side for one minute.
It’s really that simple! The English pancake is generally unseasoned, as it’s designed to work as a simple base for your toppings, which can be sweet or savoury.
American pancake recipe
For a sweet breakfast-style pancake, try out iconic thick and fluffy American pancakes.
- 130ml milk
- 135g plain flour
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp baking powder
Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl, and whisk the wet ingredients in a jug. Combine the wet with the dry, and whisk until you have a smooth batter. Pour one ladle of the batter into a hot, oiled pan, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip and continue cooking until golden brown.
The baking powder helps to add the much-loved fluffy depth to these pancakes, and the sugar makes them perfect for a sweet breakfast. Nothing beats a stack of these pancakes, served fresh from the pan to get your day started in the best possible way.
Healthy pancake recipe
Naturally, buttery pancakes aren’t the healthiest treat, so if you’re looking to keep your calorie count low, consider this super simple healthy pancake recipe as an alternative.
- 1 ripe banana
- 2 eggs, whisked
Mash the banana in a bowl, and mix in the eggs. Heat a pan with low-calorie oil scoop a ladle of batter into the pan. Fry on either side until golden.
These simple healthy pancakes are high in protein to give you plenty of energy, and can be tolerated by most allergy sufferers. You can add all sorts of ingredients to them, including baking powder for a fluffier finish, cocoa powder for a chocolatey twist, or granola for a crunchy bite.
Pancake toppings: What’s your favourite?
To many, a pancake is nothing without toppings. Much like the style of pancake, every culture has its own favourite toppings that perfectly compliment the doughy cake.
North American pancakes are synonymous with maple syrup and crispy bacon, or filled to bursting with fresh blueberries. French crêpes can be served with a fancy orange Curaçao liquor and orange peel (known as crepe Suzette), or a simple dusting of icing sugar.
But what about the classic British pancake that many tuck into on Pancake Day in the UK? Lemon and sugar is perhaps the best-known topping, but has the British palate turned away from this simple, sour treat?
According to our survey, pancake tradition is strong in the British Isles. Our research uncovered lemon and sugar is Britain’s favourite topping: 43% of respondents named it their number-one choice.
Other popular toppings included chocolate spread at 10%, golden syrup with 8% of the vote, Canadian classic maple syrup got 7%, while ice cream had 5%.
Fancy a twist on these classic toppings? These tried and tested ideas may get your mouth watering:
- A twist on lemon and sugar
Add raspberries for an extra layer of tangy sweetness, or grate lemon zest into the batter, and top with whipped lemon ricotta for an impressive dinner party dessert.
- Seriously good chocolate spread
Melt dark chocolate and white chocolate together and drizzle over strawberries for a seriously indulgent pancake stack.
- Oat-ily delicious golden syrup
This sticky treat is a common ingredient in flapjacks, so couple it with oat pancakes or add a sprinkle of granola to your topping for a crunchy finish.
- Maple syrup: Fruits of the forest
Fresh dark forest fruits, such as blackberries and cherries, work perfectly with maple syrup-soaked pancakes, as do walnuts for a smoky flavour.
- Bittersweet ice cream
Enjoy a spin on the classic ice cream sundae by making banana pancakes topped with a scoop of ice cream and whipped cream, or enjoy an adult twist with coffee flavoured pancakes and Irish cream ice cream.
Armed with our tips, you should have enough variety to enjoy a different taste sensation with every one – whether you have three, or eight! Whatever way you like your pancakes, we hope you and the rest of the family enjoy Pancake Day on Tuesday 28th February.