Fun Pancake Day Ideas & Recipes

Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday, is the traditional feast day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. Lent is the 40 days leading up to Easter and was traditionally a time of fasting. The Anglo-Saxon Christians went to confession on Shrove Tuesday and were “shriven” (absolved of their sins). A bell would be rung to call people to confession. This came to be known as the “Pancake Bell” and is still rung to this day.

Shrove Tuesday was the last opportunity to use up eggs and fats before embarking on the Lenten fast and pancakes are the perfect way of using up these ingredients.

The ingredients for pancakes can be seen to symbolise four points of significance at this time of year:

Eggs – creation

Flour – the staff of life

Salt – wholesomeness

Milk – purity

Pancake Day is only a few days away so it’s time to start thinking about what ingredients you’ll need to make the most delicious pancakes for friends and family. There are all sorts of different pancakes around the world and here are a few of the most interesting ones.

USA & Canada – Home of the fluffy pancakes

Our friends across the pond are well known for their fluffy pancakes usually served at breakfast, often accompanied by bacon, toast and sausages. This delicacy isn’t usually served as a dessert but when it is the popular toppings include flavoured syrups, ice cream and a variety of fruits.

France – Crepes Suzette

There are many versions of where the name originated from. One claims that in 1895 a 14-year-old assistant waiter created it by mistake when preparing a dessert for the Prince of Wales, which had guests including a French girl named Suzette. Another suggests it was named after a French actress, Suzanne Reichenberg, who worked under the name of Suzette. Who during her performance served crepes and the supplier of the crepes decided to flambé them for attention.

Crepe Suzette is made using caramelised sugar, butter, tangerine or orange juice, a drizzle of Curacao liqueur on top, all prepared in a fiery tableside performance, flambé.

China – Cong You Bing

Cong You Bing is a scallion pancake also known as a savoury flatbread folded with oil and green onions. This pancake is different to conventional Western pancakes as it’s made from a dough not a batter. The dough is pan fried to produce a good balance of crispy edges and a chewy texture.

Sweden – Raggmunk

‘Ragg’ means crispy and ‘monk’ comes from the pan used to fry the Raggmunk, in English it is known as the potato cake. This dish is packed full of flavour and dates back as far as 1904 and comprises grated potatoes mixed into a batter made of milk and flour, which sometimes includes eggs. Typically they are served with fried pork and lingonberry jam.

Now that you’ve got all the pancake knowledge you’ll need why not try out some of these delicious pancake recipes, set to put a smile on everyone’s face!

Fluffy American Pancakes with Cherry-Berry Syrup

You’ll definitely impress with these next level fluffy pancakes. Here’s how to make them:

Ingredients

  • 350g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp caster sugar, plus 2 tbsp.
  • 2 large eggs
  • 150g buttermilk or plain yoghurt
  •  325ml milk
  • 200g fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 150g frozen or canned pitted cherries
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp bean paste or extract
  • 200g thick-cut smoked bacon
  • Flavourless oil such as vegetable or sunflower for, for frying
  • 200g mascarpone
  • Maple syrup to serve

Method

  1. Make the pancake batter up to a day ahead, or just before cooking. Tip the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and 2 tsp sugar into a bowl, add a good pinch of salt and combine with a whisk. Add the eggs, buttermilk or yogurt and milk to the bowl and whisk into a smooth batter. If making ahead, cover and chill until ready to cook.
  2. Tip the blueberries, cherries, cornflour, 2 tbsp sugar and the vanilla into a pan, and stir until the berries are coated in cornflour. Add 1 tbsp water, then place over a high heat and bubble for a minute or 2 until syrupy but the berries are still holding their shape. Set aside to cool, then remove the vanilla pod, if using. This is best served warm.
  3. Heat the grill to medium-high and arrange the bacon on a baking tray lined with foil. Set aside. If you have a separate oven, heat this to a low setting (50C/30C fan/gas ½) with a baking tray in it (this is to keep the pancakes warm as you cook them). If not, they can sit under the bacon, just keep a close eye on them.
  4. Heat a glug of oil in a large, heavy frying pan, wipe the oil around the pan with a piece of kitchen paper, leaving a fine coating of oil on the surface. Transfer the pancake batter to a jug. When the pan is hot but not smoking (keep it over a moderate heat) pour the batter into the pan, making 7-8cm pancakes, with plenty of space between them (you should fit three pancakes in at a time). The batter should sizzle a little as it hits the pan, but not aggressively – adjust the heat if you need to. Cook each pancake until the underside is golden; by this time bubbles should be appearing on the surface and the edges beginning to set, indicating that the pancake is ready to flip over. Use a fish slice to do this. They should take roughly 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the pancakes to the warm baking tray. Wipe a little more oil around the pan and continue cooking the rest of the batter in this way. You should make 12 pancakes.
  5. When you’re halfway through the batter, grill the bacon for 4-5 minutes on each side until crispy.
  6. To serve, stack the pancakes with a dollop of mascarpone, bacon, and fruits between each layer, and serve with a jug of maple syrup.

Eggs Benedict Pancakes

Here’s one for the savoury fans.

Ingredients

  • 200g self- raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp. chopped chives plus more to serve
  • 200ml milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 25g butter melted, plus extra for frying

For the toppings

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 jar or pack (about 250g) ready-made hollandaise sauce
  • 4 slices thick cut ham, halved
  • Small handful spinach leaves

Method

  1. Whisk all of the pancake ingredients together with some seasoning until smooth.
  2. Put a small knob of butter in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat and cook until melted and foaming. Pour 2 tbsp. of the mixture into the pan and use the back of the spoon to shape it into an 8-9cm round disc. Depending on the size of your pan, you may be able to get 2 or 3 pancakes to cook at the same time. Cook for 2-3 minutes on the first side, then flip over and cook for another 1 min.
  3. Heat oven to its lowest setting. Stack up the cooked pancakes on a baking tray and keep them warm in the oven while you cook the rest. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Crack each egg into a ramekin, then carefully lower into the water. Poach for 2-3 minutes until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny. Drain and repeat with the other eggs. Warm the hollandaise following pack instructions.
  4. To serve, stack the pancakes with a layer of hollandaise, the ham and spinach leaves in between them, then top with a poached egg. Spoon over more hollandaise and top with chives and black pepper.

Gingerbread Pancakes

These cosy, festive gingerbread pancakes will make your whole home smell amazing.

Ingredients

  • 150g self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ tbsp. maple syrup, plus extra to serve
  • 200ml full-fat milk or semi-skimmed milk
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 100g pitted dates, chopped to serve
  • 100ml crème fraiche, to serve

Method

  1. Put the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon and sugar in a large bowl with a pinch of salt. Combine the egg, maple syrup and milk in a jug. Gradually add to the dry ingredients, whisking until a smooth, silky batter forms.
  2. Heat a drizzle of oil in a large, non-stick pan over a medium heat and ladle 2-3 small rounds into the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes until bubbles start to appear on the surface, then flip over and cook for a further 1 min until fluffy. Do this in batches until you have 10 pancakes?
  3. Serve in a stack, with extra maple syrup, a blob of crème fraiche and dates scattered over.

Lemon Drizzle Pancakes

One for the citrus fans a guaranteed crowd pleaser.

Ingredients

  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. golden caster sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 200ml milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 25g butter, melted, plus extra for frying
  • 1 lemon, zested

For the toppings

  • 100ml double cream
  • 2 tbsp. icing sugar
  • 100g lemon curd
  • 1 lemon, pared zest, plus 1 tbsp. juice

Method

  1. Whisk all of the pancake ingredients together in a large bowl until smooth.
  2. Put a small knob of butter in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat and cook until melted and foaming. Pour 2 tbsp. of the mixture into the pan and use the back of the spoon to shape into an 8-9cm round disc. Depending on the size of your pan you may be able to get 2 or 3 pancakes to cook at the same time. Cook for 2-3 minutes on the first side, then flip over and cook for another 1 min on the other.
  3. Heat oven to its lowest setting. Stack the cooked pancakes on a baking tray and keep them warm in the oven while you cook the rest.
  4. Softly beat the double cream with the icing sugar using a whisk, then fold in half of the lemon curd. Mix the remaining curd with enough lemon juice to make it a drizzling consistency.
  5. To serve, stack the pancakes with layers of the whipped cream in between them, drizzle with lemon curd, and scatter with lemon zest to serve.

Chocolate-filled Pancakes with Caramelised Banana

These fluffy pancakes have a chocolate centre surprise.

Ingredients

  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp. golden caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 25g melted butter, plus extra for cooking
  •  200ml milk
  • Drizzle of vegetable oil or sunflower oil
  • 200g chocolate hazelnut spread
  • 2 large bananas, peeled and thickly sliced on an angle
  • Maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp. toasted and chopped hazelnuts, to serve

Method

  1. To make the pancake batter, mix the flour, baking powder, 1 tbsp. sugar and a pinch of salt in a large bowl with a whisk. Make a well in the centre, crack in the eggs and add the melted butter and milk. Whisk the wet ingredients in the centre until combined, then gradually incorporate the dry ingredients until you have a thick, smooth batter. Transfer to a jug. Heat the oven to its lowest setting and put a couple of baking trays in to keep the pancakes warm as you cook them.
  2. Heat a knob of butter and a drizzle of oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. When the butter is foaming, pour rounds of batter into the pan, about 8cm wide – leave space between them as they will expand as they cook. Scoop teaspoons of chocolate spread from the jar and pop one in the centre of each pancake, then use a tiny bit more batter to just cover the chocolate spread. Continue cooking for 1-2 minutes until the underside is golden brown, then carefully flip the pancakes and cook for 1 minute more on the other side. When golden, transfer to a baking tray and keep warm in the oven while you cook the next batch.
  3. When the pancakes are all cooked, caramelise the bananas. Wipe the frying pan clean with kitchen paper and scatter in the remaining 2 tbsp. sugar. Heat the sugar until it melts and starts to bubble to a deep amber colour, then toss in the bananas and coat them in the caramel. If the sugar hardens, drizzle in a little maple syrup or water, then bubble for 30 seconds until syrupy.
  4. Serve the pancakes stacked with the caramelised banana pieces between the layers and more piled on top. Drizzle over the maple syrup, then scatter over the hazelnuts.

Squash, Goat’s Cheese & Rosemary Pancakes

These savoury pancakes make a great brunch item.

Ingredients

  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 rosemary sprig, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 300ml milk
  • 25g butter, melted and cooled, plus a knob extra
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 250g butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into small cubes
  • 100g vegetarian goat’s cheese, crumbled into small pieces
  • Handful pumpkin seeds, rocket salad and onion chutney, to serve

Method

  1. Mix the flour, baking powder, rosemary and a good pinch of salt in a large bowl. Beat the egg with the milk. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and whisk in the milk mixture and melted butter to make a thick, smooth batter. Place in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Over a medium heat, add a knob of butter and 1 tsp oil to a large pan, then add the butternut squash and cook for 10 minutes until tender, turning the heat up for the final few minutes to brown a little. Remove batter from the fridge, add the goat’s cheese and squash, then carefully fold everything together.
  3. Heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan, then, in batches, add a ladle full of batter per pancake. Allow to cook for 3 minutes until bubbles cover the surface, then flip over and cook the other side until golden. Serve with dressed rocket salad, a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds and onion chutney on the side.

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