Pancake Day – British Recipes to take Stateside!

It’s Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday) here in the UK!  It still makes me laugh that a few years back I had said to my American Husband: “yay it’s Pancake Day!” to which he replied “you have a day that celebrates pancakes?!?!”.  Not quite!  It’s tradition that the day before Lent starts…the 40 days leading up to Easter, we eat pancakes!  The idea being, to use up the left over flour, eggs and milk before fasting until Easter.  In the States it’s just referred to as Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras (in the Southern States) but there’s still no pancakes!  This is a British tradition I’ll definitely be taking with me when I emigrate!

The Tradition

Traditionally, pancakes are made with plain flour, so they are more like thin crepes.  I tweaked the ingredients and now use self raising flour instead and haven’t looked back since!  They come out a lot more fluffy and thicker!  We also serve them with lemon juice and sugar on top, not syrup!  However there’s a whole world of possibilities, my personal favourite is adding in fresh blueberries and desiccated coconut into the pancake while it’s cooking (and then scrap the lemon and sugar)!

Pre-made pancake mix is just shocking, there’s literally 4 ingredients all chucked into one bowl, it couldn’t be any simpler!  I was disappointed that in America, even in the IHOP (International House of PANCAKES) restaurants, doesn’t seem to serve proper pancakes?  They are all sugar filled processed discs of nastiness and taste more like sponge cake? Homemade pancakes for the win!  Who cares if they aren’t perfect circles or unevenly coloured, they taste yummy and that’s all that matters.  Here’s how to make them:


(Makes 4 big pancakes)

60z – Self Raising Flour

1 egg

Pinch of Salt

Roughly 3/4 pint of Milk (until a thick gloopy consistency)


  1. Mix flour, 1 egg, a pinch of salt together with a wooden spoon, adding the milk a little at a time until the mixture is thick but still runny enough to pour easily.
  2. In a frying pan, melt a small amount of lard/fat.  Make sure it is HOT before adding the pancake mix.
  3. Add enough mixture to cover the bottom of the pan.
  4. OPTIONAL: Quickly place halved blueberries (or cherries like I did today!) into the mix and drizzle a tiny bit more of the batter over the top of the fruit, just to cover it so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan when ‘flipped’.
  5. When the top of the mix starts to bubble, flip the pancake over in the pan.
  6. Every 30 seconds or so, keep flipping the pancake over, until a nice brown colour.  I find that this helps to make the outside crispy if you keep flipping it!
  7. Serve on a plate and add whatever topping you feel like! (Lemon and sugar – for the traditional British way! or Ice cream, icing sugar, strawberry sauce, syrup, fresh fruit, chocolate drops etc etc!)

Easy!  In the coming months, I’ll be doing a recipe post about a British MAIN COURSE that uses almost exactly the same ingredients, so stay tuned!

Do you make homemade pancakes?  What’s your favourite topping?  Feel free to comment below!


3 thoughts on “Pancake Day – British Recipes to take Stateside!

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