Pancakes are delicious in all their forms, for breakfast, dessert or a snack. This list of pancakes from around the world will inspire you on pancake day.
Every country in the world has their own version of pancakes. From delicate French crepes to fluffy American pancakes and Korean kimchi pancakes. They are all different and all equally delicious.
Are you struggling for ideas for what to make this pancake day? This round up of pancake recipes from around the world and different pancake day traditions should give you some ideas.
Pancake recipes from around the world
In the United Kingdom we eat pancakes on pancake day, or Shrove Tuesday. This is the last day of feasting before Lent begins. Making pancakes is a great way to use up any rich foods before the fasting for Lent begins.
The name Shrove Tuesday comes from the old English word ‘shrive’. This means confess all sins which has links to the religious period of Lent.
The date of pancake moves depending on when Easter is. It is exactly 47 days before Easter Sunday.
English pancakes with lemon and sugar
These thin pancakes are the traditional pancakes made for pancake day in England. The normal method of flipping them is by tossing them out of the pan and catching them again. This is a source of great amusement. It takes a bit of co-ordination to catch them.
They are delicious with a topping of lemon juice and sugar but you can top them with whatever you wish. Savoury and sweet toppings both work well.
Get the recipe: English pancakes with lemon and sugar
Lemon and raisin Scotch pancakes
Scotch pancakes are smaller than English pancakes. They contain self raising flour which helps them rise.
To make Scotch pancakes drop dollops of batter into the pan to cook them. This gives them their other name of drop scones.
These lemon and raisin scotch pancakes from FabFood4all look delicious .
Get the recipe: Lemon and raisin Scotch pancakes
Chicken and bacon crispy pancakes
Pancakes are not only sweet they can be savoury as well. These chicken and bacon crispy pancakes are a delicious and filling meal. They taste much nicer than the frozen version I remember from my childhood.
Get the recipe: Chicken and bacon crispy pancakes
Sticky Toffee Pancakes
Sticky toffee pudding is a classic British dessert. Something Sweet, Something Savoury has come up with a twist on this classic with these sticky toffee pancakes. These would finish a dinner in style.
Get the recipe: Sticky Toffee Pancakes
Every day is pancake day in America. Stacks of pancakes are a traditional breakfast food.
American pancakes are light and fluffy with a touch of sweetness allowing maple syrup to bring out the best in them. They should also be savoury enough to complement a pile of bacon
American pancakes with maple baked bacon
The first time I went to America I found the stacks of pancakes they serve for breakfast amazing. This is my recreation of a recipe I remember from my childhood.
Get the recipe: American pancakes with maple baked bacon
Synfree American pancakes
Pancakes can be fattening. The good news is that you can eat these Synfree American pancakes from Basement Bakehouse when you are on a diet. The topping of raspberries adds a touch of sweetness as well as one of your five a day.
Get the recipe: Synfree American pancakes
American blueberry pancakes
Pancakes with fruit, that has to be good for you right? These American blueberry pancakes are another classic American pancake recipe that the whole family will enjoy. Perfect with fresh or frozen blueberries.
Get the recipe: American blueberry pancakes
Yukon flapjacks – sourdough pancakes
Life in the Yukon during the Gold rush was a harsh life for the miners. Food was scare and winters were long. Wild yeast is dormant in cold weather but sourdough bread is made by conserving a pot of starter. This fermented yeast allowed miners to supplement their diet with breads, biscuits, cakes and these sourdough pancakes.
Get the recipe: Yukon flapjacks – sourdough pancakes
Pancake day in Europe goes under many other names including Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, the Tuesday of Carnival, and Pancake Day. European pancakes come in many varieties. Think thin French crepes, puffy Dutch and German pancakes and Polish blini.
German apple pancakes
German apple pancakes are delicious pancakes which puff up when you bake them in a pan. They make a fabulous dessert pancake.
Get the recipe: German apple pancakes
Polish apple pancakes
For a smaller version of the German apple pancake try these Polish apple pancakes from Little Sunny Kitchen. They would be perfect for a Sunday brunch.
Get the recipe : Polish apple pancakes
Peach Dutch Baby Pancakes
These peach Dutch baby pancakes from Madhouse Family Review are very similar to the German Apple pancakes. I love the addition of peach and these would work really well with a topping of whipped cream.
Get the recipe: Peach Dutch Baby Pancakes
Mini Dutch Pancakes
These mini Dutch pancakes from Lost in Food are slightly unusual as they use yeast in the recipe. They look delicious and the Moose maple butter on top of them looks like the perfect accompaniment.
Get the recipe: Mini Dutch pancakes
In Russia pancakes are not just for special occasions. There are many different types of pancakes from blini to oldadi to syrniki. Russians even have a week long holiday, Maslenitsa which celebrates the beginning of Spring with pancakes. This takes place the week before Lent.
Maslenitsa began as festival to remember the dead. Now it is more of a celebration with plenty of pancakes and Spring festivals to help promote a rich harvest.
I love the look of these Russian style honey pancakes from Chez Maximka. If you are looking for a way to celebrate Spring a big batch of these would help.
Get the recipe: Russian style honey pancakes
In Asia pancakes are both sweet and savoury. They are a common street food. There is even a trail for backpackers known as the Banana Pancake Trail. This is a reference to the number of street vendors selling this type of pancake along the travellers route.
Indonesian Pancakes: Kue Dadar Gulang
Kue Dadar Gulang are a traditional sweet coconut pancake from Indonesia. Dadar is Indonesian for omelette or pancake and gulung means roll. They have an unusual green colour due to the addition of pandan paste. The resulting pancake is very tasty.
Get the recipe: Indonesian Pancakes: Kue Dadar Gulung
Appam Batter Pancakes
Appam batter pancakes are a popular dish in Kerala, a state on India’s tropical Malabar Coast. The batter is made from rice and usually fermented overnight.
These appam batter pancakes from Lathi’s Kitchen look delicious and would be perfect with a stew.
Get the recipe: Appam batter pancakes Indian pancakes
Middle Eastern Pancakes – Atayef
Middle eastern pancakes are popular during Ramadan and you will find them with many different fillings. This Atayef recipe from Little Sunny Kitchen looks delicious and I will have to give it a try.
Get the recipe: Middle Eastern Pancakes
Vietnamese Crispy Pancakes
Vietnamese crispy pancakes differ from other pancakes as you cook the meat and vegetables in the pan before pouring the batter on top. I think these Banh Xeo from Madhouse Family Reviews would make a great dinner.
Get the recipe: Vietnamese Crispy pancakes
Masala potatoes with spinach chickpea flour crepes
If you are looking for something a little different these masala potatoes with spinach chickpea flour crepes from Sneaky Veg are just that. I love the sound of the spicy potatoes. The addition of spinach in the pancake is a great way to get your kids to eat vegetables.
Get the recipe: Masala potatoes with spinach chickpea flour crepes
Moroccan Semolina Pancakes with Maple Nutmeg Roasted Plantains
If you are looking for a delicious breakfast these Moroccan semolina pancakes from Recipes from a Pantry are ideal. The addition of maple nutmeg roasted plantains adds a touch of sweetness to set you up for the day.
Get the recipe: Moroccan pancakes with maple nutmeg roasted plantains
History of pancakes
It is not surprising that pancakes in some form have been around from the stone age. Grains on stone age grinding tools show that flour was made from ferns. After mixing the flour with water the cakes were cooked on a hot rock.
These flat cakes made from batter and fried were the first pancakes.
The Romans and ancient Greeks ate pancakes made from made from wheat flour, olive oil, and curdled milk. Honey sweetened them.
During the Elizabethan era pancakes were traditionally eaten in quantity on Shrove Tuesday. These were flavoured with spices, rosewater, sherry and apples. You will even find mention of pancakes in Shakespeare’s poetry.
The name pancake became standard in American in the 19th Century. Early American pancakes were made with buckwheat or cornmeal. They went by various names, Indian Cakes, Journey cakes and Johnny cakes were common.
The one thing all pancakes have in common is that they are flat, hence the saying “flat as a pancake”.
Planning on cooking some pancakes? Here are some pancake day essentials. (Contains affiliate links)
Pancake day essentials
Which pancakes are you making this pancake day? Let me know below.
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