Pancake Day is always an important date in any foodie’s yearly calendar. But after the past year, everyone should be treating themselves by going all out to celebrate the world’s best breakfast food. There are many different ways you can make this pancake day one to remember. You could try breaking the record for the highest pancake toss (just over 31 feet, in case you were wondering). Or you could try to make and flip the largest ever pancake, although you may need a bigger frying pan.
If you’re looking for an easier way to celebrate pancake day, why not try making something a bit different? There are so many different types of pancakes, but most of us just stick to the same one every year. So rather than going for your usual recipe, mix it up. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out this list of the best pancakes from around the world.
When most people hear the word pancakes, their minds immediately go to the American buttermilk variety. It’s easy to see why — they’re fluffy, they’re filling, and like most food from the USA, they can fill you up just by looking at them. But despite their worldwide popularity, they aren’t the first ever version of the pancake. In fact, American pancakes are relatively new. The recipe for pancakes landed in the US in the late 1700’s. After being around for a few years, someone added a bulking agent to thicken the pancakes up, and the recipe for American pancakes was born. If you decide to opt for these pancakes, make sure to build up an appetite! Even the people with the strongest stomachs can struggle to polish off a portion.
For a simple and easy recipe to make the best American pancakes, check out this blog post from Del’s Cooking Twist. The recipe is incredibly easy to follow, so you can’t go wrong. Popular toppings for American pancakes include blueberries, banana, chocolate sauce and chocolate chips. But if you want your pancake to be in true American style, opt for a simple topping of maple syrup with a side of crispy bacon.
Poffertjes – Dutch Mini Pancakes
These pancakes are as delicious as they are hard to pronounce. Although they’re not as well-known as other types of pancakes, they’re often found at European Christmas markets, so you’ll probably recognise them. Poffertjes are just a fraction of the size of American pancakes — they’re only around 5cm in diameter, which is why they’re also known as baby pancakes. But they’re easily as fluffy as the American variety, maybe even more so. Like many recipes, poffertjes were not an intentional creation. They were eaten at weekly communions at a Dutch Abbey, and originally made with wheat flour. But a shortage of wheat flour during the French Revolution led them to being made with buckwheat flour instead. This type of flour gave them their textbook fluffy texture.
Today, many recipes use a mixture of buckwheat and plain flour so they don’t taste too bitter. Making poffertjes at home can be difficult, as they are traditionally cooked in a special pan — but it isn’t impossible. Check out this guide from Recipe Pocket to make the pancakes, with or without a poffertjes pan. Opt for the traditional simple topping of icing sugar and butter to have the poffertjes in their most authentic form.
Sri Lankan Wellawahum
Sri Lanka isn’t well known for pancakes, but they definitely should be. The crêpe I had in Sri Lanka are some of the best that I’ve ever had. There are a couple of ingredients that make wellawahum distinct. Turmeric is often used to give them their distinct yellow colouring, and coconut milk makes them a lot softer than traditional crêpes. But unlike the other pancakes on this list, the most important thing about wellawahum isn’t the batter but the incredibly tasty filling. The filling is called pan poli, and if you’ve never had it before, you need to change that ASAP. It consists of grated coconut, cinnamon, palm treacle, vanilla and palm sugar. It’s incredibly sweet and full of flavour — it’s the perfect pancake.
Palm sugar can be difficult to find in some countries, but wellawahum still works well with dark brown sugar. And if you can’t find palm treacle, then golden syrup makes a great substitute. Use this step-by-step recipe from Peckish Me to make the tastiest wellawahum and fall completely in love with these pancakes.
There’s simply no beating a traditional French crêpe. They are easily one of the most popular forms of pancakes, as they can be found all over the world. They’re very much the antithesis of American pancakes. Rather than being big and bold, crêpes are delicate and paper-thin. But they’re easily just as delicious — and they’ve been around a lot longer too. Crêpes have been found to date back as early as the 13th century. Legend has it that they were made by mistake. The crêpe was supposedly born when a woman spilt a thin layer of porridge on a hot stove and discovered that it actually tasted pretty good!
Today, crêperies ensure that the crêpes are made as thin and delicate as possible by using a batter spreader. To make the perfect crêpes, use this step-by-step recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. Enjoy crêpes like the French by topping them with butter and granulated sugar.
Yes, these are probably your go-to pancakes for Shrove Tuesday. But if none of the other pancakes take your fancy, there’s nothing wrong with sticking with a classic. English pancakes — and the tradition of flipping them — have been found to date back to the 1400’s. They share a lot of similarities with crêpes — so many in fact that I didn’t even realise they were two different types of pancake until rather (embarrassingly) recently. However, the batter for these pancakes is a little thicker than crêpe batter which makes them easier to make — and more importantly easier to flip.
The recipe is incredibly simple, made up of a handful of food staples. It was originally developed by Christians as a way to use up ingredients before fasting for lent, so they wouldn’t have temptation in the house. For the best English pancake recipe, use this simple one from The Spruce Eats. Top it with lemon and sugar to enjoy the pancake in its traditional form. It’s the perfect balance of bitter and sweet, which makes it my favourite way to enjoy a pancake.
What’s your favourite type of pancake? Will you be trying a new recipe this Shrove Tuesday? Let me know in the comments below!