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.
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.
Double raising agent (baking powder on top of self-raising flour) makes extra-fluffy pancakes in this classic recipe, best served warm and drenched in maple syrup.
Ever thought of swirling Biscoff through your next batch of pancakes? Give it a whirl for an indulgent brunch dish, served with a Biscoff drizzle, toasted pecans and sliced banana.
Use up brown bananas the best way possible: in these super-sweet, fruity and moreish pancakes.
Make the most of leftover sourdough starter with a stack of fluffy pancakes, flavoured with brown butter and drizzled with maple syrup.
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?