Enjoy our foolproof pancake recipe - and eight enticing ways to make them better than ever.
Shrove Tuesday is looming, and that can only mean one thing: pancakes.
The numbers are staggering. 52 million eggs are used across Britain on this day – some 20 million more than any other day of the year. And while lemon and sugar is still the go-to standard, other toppings are increasingly popular: Clarks sell 130,000 bottles of maple syrup on this day alone, while Nutella sell more.
Our simple recipe is below – if you want something even easier, our colleagues at Good To Know also have a video pancake recipe – as well as six more adventurous suggestions for pancake connoisseurs.
The basic method
- 125g plain flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- 300ml semi-skimmed milk
- oil for frying
Sift the flour into a large bowl. Making a well in the centre of the flour, add the beaten egg and slowly whisk in the milk until the mixture becomes a smooth batter. Cover and leave to rest for half an hour.
Gently heat a heavy based frying pan and when hot, brush with oil. A good trick is dipping a sheet of kitchen towel into the oil and wiping the base of the frying pan.
Pour a small ladleful of batter into the centre of the pan and tilt to spread mixture evenly to the edges. Cook for a couple of minutes and using a spatula begin to ease the pancake from the surface of the pan.
The pancake should come away fairly easily and lightly golden brown. Flip and cook the other side. The first pancake is usually a little trickier than the rest – in between pancakes, lightly re-oil the pan using the same piece of kitchen towel.
For the chocolate lover
That’s if you’re not happy just to grab the Nutella, of course. This Recipe from Adventures with Chocolate by Paul A. Young (Kyle Books, £14.99) should hit the spot…
- 25g Venezuelan 100% dark chocolate, grated
- 200g buckwheat flour, or spelt
- 1 free-range egg
- 45g light muscovado sugar
- 350ml milk
- 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 25g unsalted butter, for frying
Place all the pancake ingredients (except the butter) in a blender or food processor and whizz until a smooth, thick batter is formed. Leave to rest while you make
Top the pancakes with chocolate syrup made by dissolving a pinch of sea salt in 50ml water, adding 250g of maple syrup and then, once it’s simmering, pour the lot onto 100g of dark chocolate, whisking the whole lot together.
For the orange and gin lover
You might be a bit over the whole ‘gin in everything’ phase, but if not this one from Fentimans looks very intriguing.
- 140ml of Fentimans Valencian Orange Tonic Water
- 1 tbsp gin of choice
- 200ml of orange juice (add extra if consistency is too thick)
- Zest of 2 large oranges (optional)
- 200g of golden caster sugar
- 4.5 tbsp corn starch
- Pinch of salt
Add all ingredients into a saucepan and heat over medium–high heat until boiling, stirring constantly. This should take 5-8 minutes, and should thicken and turn clear.
Remove from the heat and set aside into a heat proof bowl; if consistency is too thick, add extra orange juice at this stage and stir through. You can store it in the fridge once cooled, and pour over the pancakes when ready.
Crêpes St Marie
In this fruity dessert, inspired by Bonne Maman’s new Salted Caramel spread, sweet mangos and pineapple lend a tropical flavour to your average Tuesday morning.
Cut up and mix together a mango, a kiwi, a quarter of a pineapple, a handful of small seedless black grapes, a squeeze of lime juice and some lime zest.
Fold 4tbsp of Bonne Maman Salted Caramel and a tbsp of dark rum (or clear apple juice if you’re cooking for the family) into a tub of Greek strained yogurt.
Spread the yogurt onto the crêpe, spoon over the lime-soaked fruits and sprinkle with toasted coconut flakes and lime zest.
Oat and banana pancakes with caramelised maple pecans
This one comes from Waitrose and should help those with wheat intolerance – not to mention those who love The oat-based pancakes with caramelised maple pecans.
- 50g rolled porridge oats
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1 medium eggs, beaten
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp butter
- Maple syrup
- A couple of handfuls of pecans
Blitz the oats in a food processor, add mashed bananas, the egg, baking powder and cinnamon. Stir until smooth.
For the caramelised maple pecans, heat 1tbsp of maple syrup in a frying pan with the nuts for about 1-2 minutes, until the syrup is absorbed. Stir in a pinch of salt and leave to cool on some baking parchment, before finely chopping and sprinkling onto cooked pancakes with a dollop of yogurt and some extra maple syrup.
Home-made blueberry sauce
This recipe from SeasonalBerries.co.uk looks great: Place 125g of blueberries in a medium pan then cover with 50ml water, 5ml of honey and a few drops of vanilla extract.
Heat over medium-high heat until the mixture comes to a low boil and simmer until the blueberries start to break apart. Dissolve a 15ml spoon of cornflour in 30ml of water, and add to the blueberry mixture. Bring to a boil, adding more water if too thick, then cook for 3–4 minutes until the sauce turns thick and glossy.
Buckwheat Crêpes Traditionelle
Another Bonne Maman beauty, these crêpes are gluten free (and the mixture can be dairy free if you use a different kind of milk).
For the batter, which is best made and covered the night before:
- 160g buckwheat flour
- 65g plain flour (or more buckwheat if you want to keep them gluten free)
- 2 eggs
- 600ml milk
- pinch of salt
Spread crêpes with goats cheese and a spoon of Bonne Maman Fig Conserve, top with a slice of Bayonne ham (or other charcuterie), a sprinkle of grated cheese, a little pickled onion and a handful of soft leaves (try baby spinach or pea shoots). Enjoy cold or warm through in a hot oven for five minutes.
Whisky maple syrup and pulled pork, or pina colada
The Book Club in Shoreditch has an all-day pancake special on Shrove Tuesday, but their glorious-sounding recipe looks like something you could pull off at home. Drench your stack of pancakes in whisky maple syrup and crispy pulled pork.
If you don’t fancy that, among their other recipes is a pina colada pancake topped with caramelised pineapple rings, coconut cream, a caramel rum sauce and finished off with a cocktail umbrella.
Crème caramel liqueur
Alternatively, put your toppings straight into your mixture. Swap out 50ml milk for 50ml of Aldi’s Bellucci Crème Caramel Liqueur for a boozy brunch treat, or even make your pancakes chocolate by swapping out 25g of flour for 25g cocoa powder.
If you’re struggling to find the motivation to make your own…
M&S have created mini pancakes (panapés, if you will) perfect for a pancake party. Just pick up the pancakes, grab some toppings and you’re good to go.
Cook these light, fluffy pancakes this weekend and top with fresh berries for a great winter pud.
Nothing says Christmas like a side of smoked salmon. This year, try it on pancakes.