Get Flipping With the Perfect English Pancake Recipe (2024)


Elaine Lemm

Get Flipping With the Perfect English Pancake Recipe (1)

Elaine Lemm is a renowned British food writer, classically trained chef, teacher, and author with over 25 years of experience writing about British food and cooking.

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Updated on 04/14/23


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Prep: 5 mins

Cook: 5 mins

Resting time: 15 mins

Total: 25 mins

Servings: 12 servings

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Shrove Tuesday, or pancake day in the UK and Ireland, is the day for eating English-style pancakes. The holiday is the equivalent of Mardi Gras, the day before Ash Wednesday, which leads to the 40-day Lenten period of food abstinence according to Catholic and some Protestant church law. A good use for the eggs, milk, and butter people used to give up on Lent, these pancakes are closer to crepes than they are to American fluffy pancakes, the main difference being the lack of a leavening agent. Thecustom of eating pancakes continues today. Even though strict adherence to certain food abstinence during Lent is rare nowadays, it's not uncommon to see British families eat many of these pancakes on pancake day.

Makingthese pancakes is quick, easy, and cheap, and because they're thinner than American pancakes, people usually eat more than one. Prepare plenty and serve with your favorite jellies, preserves, fresh fruit, powdered sugar, or the traditional way, with sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Get Flipping With the Perfect English Pancake Recipe (2)


  • For the Batter:
  • 8 ounces all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 largeeggs (fresh)
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoonsbutter (melted)
  • For Cooking:
  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Get Flipping With the Perfect English Pancake Recipe (3)

  2. Sieve the flour into a large baking bowl, and add the salt.

    Get Flipping With the Perfect English Pancake Recipe (4)

  3. Make a well in the centerof the flour and add the eggs.

    Get Flipping With the Perfect English Pancake Recipe (5)

  4. Beat well until you obtain a smooth and lump-free mixture. It will be sticky.

    Get Flipping With the Perfect English Pancake Recipe (6)

  5. Add half the milk and melted butter and beat well. Add the remaining milk and stir until you have a smooth batter. Leave the batter to rest for 15 minutes.

    Get Flipping With the Perfect English Pancake Recipe (7)

  6. Lightly grease a pancake pan or frying pan with a little bit of melted butter. Heat until very hot, being careful not to burn the butter. Add a ladleful of batter and try to evenly and thinly coat the base of the pan. Cook until set and lightly golden.

    Get Flipping With the Perfect English Pancake Recipe (8)

  7. With the help of a spatula flip the pancake to the other side and cook for approximately 30 seconds.

    Get Flipping With the Perfect English Pancake Recipe (9)

  8. Slip the pancake from the pan onto a plate. Cover the plate with a tea cloth to keep warm. Continue cooking the pancakes until all the batter is used up.

    Get Flipping With the Perfect English Pancake Recipe (10)

  9. Serve and enjoy!

    Get Flipping With the Perfect English Pancake Recipe (11)

Are English Pancakes and Crepes the Same?

Although the batters are very similar, some crepe batters have a pinch of sugar. The ultimate difference is that crepes are larger in size and much thinner, as true crepes are cooked on a special griddle that cooks the batter only on one side. English-style pancakes are cooked on both sides.

Traditionally, crepes are meant to be eaten with simple fillings or toppings. More and more, other decadent ingredients are becoming mainstream, both for English pancakes and crepes.

Beautiful Pancake Toppings

These pancakes are traditionally eaten sprinkled with sugar and a squeeze of lemon. However, serve as you like with one of the following suggestions:

How to Store and Freeze Pancakes

  • For leftovers, simply wrap in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat very quickly in an oiled and very hot frying pan for about 15 seconds on each side. Serve immediately.
  • The pancakes freeze really well: simply layer them between greaseproof paper one-by-one. Pop them into a large freezer bag, seal, and freeze. They keep well for up to 3 months. To defrost, place the bag into the refrigerator and let the pancakes thaw overnight. Reheat very quickly in an oiled and very hot frying pan for about 30 seconds on each side. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
7g Fat
14g Carbs
6g Protein


Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g9%
Saturated Fat 3g13%
Cholesterol 82mg27%
Sodium 342mg15%
Total Carbohydrate 14g5%
Dietary Fiber 1g5%
Protein 6g
Calcium 104mg8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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Get Flipping With the Perfect English Pancake Recipe (2024)


How do you flip pancakes perfectly? ›

The trick is simple: Instead of using your wrist to turn the spatula, simply use your thumb, middle, and index fingers. Isolate the three digits and use a quick twisting motion to flip the pancake. This smaller motion will use less force, and you'll be less likely to splatter the wet batter.

Why won't my pancakes flip? ›

This could be a heat problem, too.

Not hot enough and the pancake won't have cooked enough to stand up to a flip. Too hot and the pancake's bottom will have cooked too fast with a top that's barely warm.

What should we do before flipping the pancake we should for five minutes? ›

Leave the pancake to cook for about 1 min or until it's just starting to pull away from the sides of the pan and is golden brown underneath. To cook the other side either flip it over or turn it with a fish slice or spatula and leave it for another 30 sec or so to finish cooking.

How do you flip a pancake without making a mess? ›

To do this, simply pinch the bottom of the spatula with your index finger and middle finger, then place your thumb on top. Once you scoop the pancake into the pan, you'll twist your three fingers to flip the spatula, making it easy for the pancake to flip and slide off without splatters.

How does Gordon Ramsay cook pancakes? ›

Cooking instructions

Ladle the pancake batter in to a non-stick pan that has been greased with butter. Cook on a medium heat until small bubbles have formed on top of the mix, or for around 5-6 minutes. Flip once and cook for another 2 minutes.

How many minutes does it take to flip a pancake? ›

The Flipping

Each side will take about 2 to 3 minutes, but look for visual cues as well. As the pancake cooks, the top will start to form many tiny bubbles and appear just set around the edges. You can always give it a little peek, but avoid moving the pancakes around too much during this stage.

Do you use a spatula to flip pancakes? ›

You'll know it's time to flip when you see some. bubbles on the top (like the beginning of this video). Then, slide your spatula underneath the pancake. This usually works best when doing it in one quick.

What is used to flip pancakes? ›

In American English, spatula refers broadly to a number of broad, flat utensils. The word commonly refers to a turner or flipper (known in British English as a fish slice), used to lift and flip food items during cooking, such as pancakes and fillets.

Why do you always throw away the first pancake? ›

The first pancake is in effect the trial run, working out the kinks before all the variables of even heat and pan seasoning come together. While that first pancake cooks the pan comes to temperature, and it absorbs just enough of the fat on the cooking surface so that second one will cook more evenly.

How long should a pancake cook on each side? ›

Cook, until bubbles break the surface of the pancakes, and the undersides are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip with a spatula and cook about 1 minute more on the second side. Serve immediately or transfer to a platter and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.

What spatula is best for flipping pancakes? ›

A flexible spatula made exclusively for pancakes and larger foods, the TENTA Kitchen Flexible Large Spatula is the editor's choice for this guide. This product is dishwasher safe and it comes with a special handle that keeps your hands away from the hot pan.

How many bubbles before flipping pancakes? ›

Your pancake will tell you when it's ready to flip. Wait until bubbles start to form on the top and the edges look dry and set. This will usually take about two to three minutes on each side.

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