Want to know how to make pancakes? Here’s how to make pancakes from scratch and some inspiring recipes for Pancake Day. Try indulgent sweet pancakes for brunch or healthy breakfast crepes. Follow our guide to make perfect pancake batter and even which pan to choose. Remember, the majority of pancake batters can be made the night before (along with their toppings) and kept in the fridge, to save time in the morning.
How to make pancakes…
The best pan for pancakes
A heavy non-stick frying pan about 16cm across is best. Heat the pan over a steady medium heat then just before you add the batter brush lightly with melted butter. You can use a pastry brush or just a piece of kitchen paper dipped in the butter.
Pour a little batter in the pan and tilt the pan so the batter coats the bottom. Leave the pancake until you start to see tiny bubbles appearing on the uncooked surface.
How to flip pancakes
Now you have a choice – you can either flip the pancake in the air using just the pan, or flip with a spatula. If you want to flip with the pan angle it down to the floor slightly holding it in both hands and let the pancake slide to the front of the pan. Now give the pan a quick jerk upwards, the pancake should fly up and over then you can catch it, uncooked side down, in the pan. Cook the other side until pale golden then slide out.
The first pancake will usually fail. It often comes out a bit anaemic looking and flabby rather than crisp and golden. Don’t panic! Think of this as your practice one as the pan comes up to proper temperature and you get a feel for the batter.
If you are cooking for a crowd, stack the pancakes on a plate as you cook them with greaseproof paper in between and then reheat in a 150C/fan 130C/gas 2 oven.
How to make the perfect pancake batter
- plain flour 75g
- salt a pinch
- sugar a pinch
- whole milk 120ml
- eggs 1
Our best pancake recipes
Now you know how to make the perfect pancakes, here are our favourite recipes to try. Our simple pancake recipes are all easy to make, from crepes to stacks of American pancakes, savoury pancakes to indulgent chocolate versions, and even healthy pancake recipes.
Oranges and mandarins give these thick, American-style breakfast pancakes a sweet and zesty finish. Serve with crème fraîche or yoghurt for a delicious Pancake Day recipe.
These light and fluffy Nutella pancakes are simply delicious and come drizzled in a smooth and creamy hot chocolate sauce. Adding booze to the sauce is optional but highly recommended for an extra treat! Make these American pancakes for an indulgent treat on Shrove Tuesday.
Check out our fluffy pancakes with vibrant berry compote. This indulgent vegan brunch recipe is easy to make and ready in under 30 minutes.
Covered in a vibrant array of summer fruits and a lip-smacking peanut butter sauce, these light and fluffy pancakes from food writer John Gregory-Smith make a fabulous brunch for two, or dessert for four.
We've layered fluffy coffee pancakes with mascarpone and covered in mocha syrup for an indulgent brunch dessert.
These gluten free and dairy free pancakes are really quick to whip up and use just 3 ingredients. The peanut butter makes them sturdy so they’re easy to flip, and you can use any nut butter you like. Try making these easy pancakes for Shrove Tuesday.
Check out our light and fluffy pancakes packed with salted caramel. This easy recipe is simple to make and ready in just 30 minutes - an easy treat for the whole family.
Try these satisfying savoury crêpes, stuffed with chunky ham and oozing salty gruyère. Perfect for a quick, comforting midweek meal or Sunday brunch.
Serve a stack of these fluffy American-style pancakes soaked in maple syrup for an indulgent, plant-based breakfast.
Crêpe suzette is a classic French dessert combining thin pancakes with a boozy orange sauce and we think they're perfect for Shrove Tuesday.
Check out this vibrant recipe for green spinach pancakes with soured cream, smoked salmon and dill. Our easy spinach pancakes make for a lazy weekend brunch recipe
These fluffy ricotta pancakes with whipped honey butter are perfect for Shrove Tuesday. If you haven’t tried whipping butter try this. It makes it light and airy and allows you to incorporate subtle sweet or savoury flavours.
Check out this indulgent pancake recipe with boozy banana and bourbon butterscotch sauce. This quick and easy recipe is not only great for a decadent Shrove Tuesday pancake, but it makes a fun sweet treat to serve at gatherings with friends and family.
This recipe for coconut pancakes with strawberries and lime syrup is a delicious start to the day. Plus, they're under 500 calories making them a healthier option for Pancake Day.
Looking for an easy crepe recipe? Try these espresso pancakes with chocolate and hazelnut for an indulgent dessert on Shrove Tuesday.
Like small, thick pancakes, these spelt buttermilk drop scones are a great brunch option, super soft and fluffy. Serve these pancakes with homemade blueberry compote and a dollop of natural yogurt for Pancake Day.
This matcha mille crêpe cake looks really impressive but is also easy to make. Create this beautiful green tea inspired cake using layers of crepes and custard cream and dust with some matcha powder to finish. This recipe also includes a handy how-to video which show the steps in detail.
The classic combination of warm toffee sauce and sweet apples with a calvados kick makes these pancakes impossible to resist. Ready in under 30 minutes, these are quick and easy crepes for Shrove Tuesday.
Looking for a gluten-free pancake recipe to make for Shrove Tuesday? Try these buckwheat pancakes with yogurt and fruit for a lower calorie pancake option.
Make these ricotta pancakes with honey and figs for a dessert this Pancake Day. These American-style pancakes are easy to make from scratch and would be great for breakfast, too.
These easy savoury crêpes are made dairy-free by using plant milks and coconut oil. Fill them with garlicky mushrooms and vegan sort cheese for an easy plant-based lunch.
These American-style buttermilk pancakes are the fluffiest you'll ever taste. We've topped these pancakes with sticky caramelised banana and Brazil nuts for an alternative to lemon and sugar.
These American-style strawberry pancakes are ideal for brunch or pudding. The amaretto syrup and sugared almonds give them a sweet and sophisticated twist. Why not make them for Shrove Tuesday this year?
Three healthy pancake recipes
From buckwheat flour to coconut oil, our top three healthy pancake recipes have all been injected with a dose of nutrition. We’ve taken away the sugar and added roasted rhubarb to give the french crêpe a good-for-you British twist; butternut squash steals the limelight in our version of the Eastern European ‘latke’; and we've also created a vegan, blueberry buckwheat pancake. Written by Natasha Warder, these recipes have not been tested in the olive kitchen
Healthy crêpes with roasted rhubarb compote
Makes 6-8 pancakes
The beauty of crêpes is that they can be both sweet and savoury, without the batter changing. Here we've swapped traditional butter for coconut oil and substituted sugar with honey to lighten the batter.
In their simplest form crêpes can be served with jam or a squeeze of lemon and sugar. We've added a roasted rhubarb compote* that can be made in advance and kept in the fridge.
plain flour 300g
eggs 3 medium
coconut oil or sunflower oil 50g, plus more for the pan
honey 1 tbsp
ROASTED RHUBARB COMPOTE
rhubarb stalks 8, topped and tailed and cut into 5cm pieces
cinnamon stick 1
dark muscovado sugar 4 tbsp
maple syrup 4 tbsp
For the rhubarb: Heat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Put all the ingredients in a large baking dish, making sure to coat the rhubarb evenly with the maple syrup and muscovado sugar. Put in the oven and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the rhubarb has softened completely.
Stir a few times during cooking to prevent the rhubarb from sticking to the dish. Once cooked, discard the cinnamon. The compote can be served hot with the crêpes or left to cool and kept covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.
For the crêpes: Whisk the flour and a pinch salt in a large mixing bowl, then make a well in the centre. In a separate bowl whisk the milk and eggs until they look like a pale omelette mixture (a few minutes) then set aside.
Heat the coconut oil and honey together in a small saucepan over a medium heat stirring constantly. When the first bubbles appear, whisk into the flour mixture, followed by the whisked milk and egg. Whisk the mixture until it's smooth–use the back of a wooden spoon against the side of the bowl to dissolve any small lumps.
Once the crêpe mixture is smooth, cover it will cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Don’t worry if the coconut oil re-solidifies a little when chilled, give the batter a strong whisk and it will melt again once it hits the pan.
Heat a large non-stick frying pan or crêpe pan. Add a splash of oil, and using a heatproof spatula, help coat the pan with oil. Using a ladle, pour a spoonful of the batter into the centre of the pan, lifting and tilting the pan to circle the batter around.
The key is to make sure the batter is spread evenly to almost the edge of the pan – remember they are supposed to be thin. Once the edges begin to curl and the centre of the crêpe starts to look doughy, flip it over and cook for another few minutes until both sides are golden.
Buckwheat lemon and blueberry pancakes
Makes 6-8 pancakes
Paired with polenta, lemon and blueberry, the density of buckwheat becomes a delicious base for breakfast. This recipe can easily be made vegan by substituting the milk for almond milk. Enjoy with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a generous drizzle of honey, or with fresh blueberries and maple syrup.
buckwheat flour 120g
fine polenta 50g
gluten-free baking powder 1tsp
baking soda ½ tsp
coconut oil 1 tbsp, melted plus more for the pan
cider vinegar 1 tbsp
milk or almond milk 260ml
vanilla extract ¼ tsp
lemon 1, zested
blueberries 150g, plus a few to garnish
greek yogurt or coconut yogurt and honey to serve
Whisk the flour, polenta and baking powder with a pinch of salt. Create a well in the centre and add the melted coconut oil. In a separate bowl add the apple cider vinegar to the milk, stir and then let stand for five minutes – it should bubble up slightly.
Whisk the milk and vinegar into the flour mixture and until smooth, and then mix in the vanilla extract, lemon zest and blueberries.
Heat a non-stick frying pan with a little oil. Using a ladle, add some of the mixture to the pan (making sure to get a a few blueberries in each ladle), tilting the pan to spread the batter to about a 12cm diameter. Once bubbles start to appear in the pancake and hold their shape, use a spatula to flip the pancake.
Cook until both sides are golden brown and the blueberries have begun to soften. Depending on the size of your pancakes, the batter will make about six generous sized pancakes or eight smaller ones.
Butternut Squash, Cumin and Sage 'Latkes'
Makes about 10-15
Latkes aren't glamorous, but when styled correctly and paired with flavourful accessories they can be the understated belle of the feast. Traditionally made from just grated potatoes and lightly seasoned with garlic or onion, the simplicity of the Eastern European latke leaves a great amount of room to be creative.
Paired with herbs and a few spices, the latke can easily accompany scrambled eggs for a delicious breakfast or add warmth to a lunchtime salad. However you choose to eat them, latkes always taste best with creme fraiche or yogurt.
butternut squash 1 medium, peeled, cut in half length ways, seeded and coarsely grated
potato 1 large, peeled and coarsely grated
red onion 1 small, grated finely
parsley ½ a small bunch, leaves picked and chopped
sage ½ a small bunch, leaves picked and chopped
plain flour or fine semolina 50g
gluten-free baking powder a pinch
cumin seeds ½ tsp, dry toasted and then ground in a mortar and pestle
nutmeg ⅛ tsp, grated (pinch of ground nutmeg if you don’t have fresh)
eggs 3 medium, beaten
parmesan 50g, finely grated
Put the grated butternut squash and potato in a colander over the sink, pressing any excess liquid out then transfer to a large mixing bowl. Mix in the grated onion and chopped parsley and sage, making sure they are evenly mixed throughout the squash.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, season and add the ground cumin seeds then add to the grated squash, mixing with a wooden spoon until combined. Whisk the eggs with the nutmeg and add to the grated squash along with parmesan, mixing thoroughly.
Heat a non-stick frying pan with a little cooking oil (sunflower or vegetable is fine, but not olive oil). Using your hands take about 2 tbsp of squash mix and pat it into a flat circle, and carefully drop into the hot pan.
Using the back of a spatula, press the latke down slightly and allow to cook for about 2 min on both sides or until it starts to crisp and turn golden brown–don’t worry if the latkes catches a bit, it adds to the flavour. You should be able to fit three latkes in the pan at once which speeds up the cooking a bit. Serve with creme fraiche and some fresh chives.