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How to make perfect pancakes plus a collection of sweet and savoury pancake batter and complete pancake recipes


Jump to:-     Basic Pancake Batter Recipe  |   How to Fry Pancakes  |   Flavoured Pancake Batters  Gluten/Dairy Free Pancake Batters  | FAQs



See also:-   

Pancake Recipes  |  Shrove Tuesday


Making pancakes is not only easy but also very quick once you've got into your stride and provided you observe a couple of rules, you can guarantee to make perfect pancakes every time. Furthermore, with a littler ingenuity, they can be transformed into sweet or savoury delights.


Probably the first thing which comes to mind is to add a filling and we have lost of filled pancake recipes on the site, however this page is dedicated not only to cooking the perfect pancake, but also flavoured batters which will add an  extra dimension to your pancakes creating exciting and unique recipes.


Basic Homemade Pancake Batter Recipe


Serves 2

Makes 6 x 18cm/7-inch pancakes OR

4 x 25cm/10-inch pancakes

50g/2oz Plain Flour

A pinch of Salt
1 Egg
150ml/5fl.oz. Milk

Oil for frying

Serves 4

Makes 12 x 18cm/7-inch pancakes OR

8 x 25cm/10-inch Pancakes

100g/4oz Plain Flour

A pinch of Salt
1-2 Eggs
300ml/10fl.oz. Milk

Oil for frying

Other ingredients can be added to the above batter for extra flavour. (See below)

How to make perfect pancakes


5  Tips for perfect pancakes

Always use a plain flour  (never self-rising) and don't over-beat the batter. See FAQ's below


Heat the frying pan until very hot then add 1-2 teaspoons of vegetable oil and heat until almost smoking, swirling it around to coat the bottom of the pan

Pour off the excess oil  before adding enough batter to thinly coat the bottom of the pan (around 4mm/ ⅛-inch thick)

Let the pancakes cook until the edges start to look dry and don't be tempted to move them before this as they will just tear apart. This should take 30-60 seconds


Turn and cook for around 30 seconds only the second side and bear in mind it will not colour as evenly as the first side. Also, for some reason, the first pancake made never seems as even as the following ones. Weird but true.

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Step by Step guide to making perfect pancakes

1. Place the flour, salt, milk and egg in a large bowl and whisk until smooth and lump free.
2. Transfer the batter to a measuring jug.
3. Heat 1-2 teaspoons of oil in a frying pan until very hot, then pour most of it into a heatproof container, leaving just enough oil to coat the pan.
4. Pour in a little of the batter, tilting the pan to evenly cover the base with a thin layer. Fry over a moderate heat, shaking the pan gently so it doesn't stick, until the underside is golden. This will only take 1-2 minutes.
5. Using a palette knife, turn the pancake over and cook the other side until golden. This will only take 30 - 60 seconds.
6. Remove to a plate, cover with foil and place in the warmed oven whilst you cook the remaining pancakes in the same way.






Flavoured Pancake Batter Recipes


Including extra ingredients in the batter adds another flavour dimension to the finished recipe, but the additional ingredients  need to be chosen carefully so as not to conflict with any filling or sauce.  Below are a few ideas for flavouring both sweet and savoury pancake batters


Flavourings for sweet pancake batter

Mix dry ingredients in with the flour and wet ingredients with the liquid  or eggs.


For every 100g/4oz flour used add


2 tablespoons Cocoa Powder

2 tablespoons Honey

2 tablespoons Maple Syrup

2 teaspoons finely grated Orange Zest

2 teaspoons finely grated Lemon Zest

1 level teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1 level teaspoon Ground Allspice

50g/2oz Sultanas

50g/2oz Blueberries

1 large mashed Banana

1-2 tablespoons alcohol e.g. Grand Marnier, Rum, Cognac

1-2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Flavourings for Savoury pancake batter

Mix dry ingredients in with the flour and wet ingredients with the liquid  or eggs.


For every 100g/4oz flour used add


1-2 teaspoons dried Herbs e.g. Sage, Thyme, Tarragon (1 teasp), Oregano

1-2 tablespoons finely chopped  fresh herbs e.g. Parsley, Basil, Rosemary,  Chives, Thyme

2-3 tablespoons finely chopped Onions

2-3 tablespoons finely chopped Sweet Peppers (Capsicums

1-3 teaspoon finely chopped Fresh Chilli

2-3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

4-6 tablespoons freshly grated Cheddar Cheese

1-2 teaspoons Chilli Powder

1-2 teaspoons Curry Powder

1-2 tablespoons Tomato Purée

Finely chopped Mushrooms

4-6 rashers chopped cooked Bacon




Gluten Free Pancakes and Dairy Free Pancakes


Although there are quite a few gluten free flours, many are not suitable for use by themselves i.e. without the need for additional and unusual ingredients such as xanthan gum, and many are not readily available to buy. Between these two factors, there are really only three which would be suitable and which are easily obtainable from supermarkets, namely - Gram (chickpea) flour and Rice Flour and Maize (corn) flour.


All of these can be made into a batter in the following proportions which is sufficient to serve 4 (makes 8 x 25cm/10-inch Pancakes)

  • 100g/4oz flour,

  • 180ml/6fl.oz.milk

  • 1 egg

  • 2 tbsp melted butter

  • a large pinch of salt

Note when using maize flour and gram flour, mixing it with rice flour achieves a more refined finish. The mixing and cooking is the same as with an ordinary batter, adding the melted butter at the same time as the milk,  and the pancakes hold together well even when made quite thinly. 


Rice Flour Pancakes Gram (Chickpea) Flour and Maize Flour Pancakes

Rice Flour batter is suitable for both sweet and savoury pancakes. It is recommended that 2 tablespoons of sugar or honey is added for sweet pancakes and extra salt and pepper or other seasoning be added for savoury pancakes

Both these flours are more suited to savoury pancakes because of their texture and flavour. The natural nuttiness of the chickpea flour goes very well with the herbs. The flavour of both is greatly enhanced by the addition of seasonings.


Dairy free pancake batter is relatively easy to achieve by replacing the milk and melted butter where applicable, with any of the following COLD liquids:









FAQ's about making pancakes


What flour can be used to make pancakes?

Always use plain flour. This can be white or brown wheat flour (wholemeal/whole wheat), Atta four, buckwheat flour, white or brown rice flour, gram (chickpea) flour, corn (maize)  flour (Masa Harina) - not to be confused with cornflour/cornstarch - teff flour.


What liquids can be used to make pancakes?

The usual liquid used to make pancakes is cows milk however this can be replaced wholly or partly with other cold liquids such as soy milk, coconut milk, almond milk, stock, fruit juices or water depending on the recipe.


How to avoid lumps in pancake batter ?

Under normal circumstances when using sifted flour and a whisk lumps shouldn't be a problem. However, to be doubly sure,  beat together the liquid and eggs in a jug or bowl, mix the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, make a well in the centre then add one quarter of the egg mixture and gradually mix in until the mixture is smooth before adding the remaining egg mixture a little at a time.


Should pancake batter be left to stand?

Should pancake batter be left to rest?

Although some cooks swear by it, saying it allows the flour to swell creating a lighter pancake,  it is not necessary to leave pancake batter to rest. Having said that, it doesn't hurt so if you find you need to make the pancake beforehand, you can. Leave at room temperature for up to 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for up to 10 hours. Any longer and it may start to ferment.


How long will pancake batter last before it needs to be cooked?

Around 12 hours if kept in the refrigerator. After this time it may start to ferment and separate.


What type of oil or fat should be used to fry pancakes?

Any ordinary vegetable oil  such as sunflower, rapeseed or corn oil is suitable to cook all pancakes. For savoury pancakes, lard or bacon fat can be used. Do not use olive oil or butter on its own as it burns easily and can cause ugly discolouration (black buts) on the pancake.


Can pancakes be frozen?

Yes pancakes can be frozen. Allow to cool completely, interleave with parchment or greaseproof paper, wrap well in clingfilm and freeze.


What's the difference between crepes and pancakes?

In general, a crepe is much thinner, more delicate and softer.


What is an American Pancake?

American pancakes are smaller in diameter but much thicker. The use of a raising agent such as baking powder also makes them lighter and fluffy.



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