Pancakes from around the world

February 12, 2019
Blueberry pancakes on a plate on a table with a blue napkin beside them

Pancakes are delicious in all their forms, for breakfast, dessert or a snack. This list of pancakes from around the world will inspire you on pancake day.

Every country in the world has their own version of pancakes. From delicate French crepes to fluffy American pancakes and Korean kimchi pancakes. They are all different and all equally delicious.

Are you struggling for ideas for what to make this pancake day? This round up of pancake recipes from around the world and different pancake day traditions should give you some ideas.

Pancake recipes from around the world

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom we eat pancakes on pancake day, or Shrove Tuesday. This is the last day of feasting before Lent begins. Making pancakes is a great way to use up any rich foods before the fasting for Lent begins.

The name Shrove Tuesday comes from the old English word ‘shrive’. This means confess all sins which has links to the religious period of Lent.

The date of pancake moves depending on when Easter is. It is exactly 47 days before Easter Sunday.

English pancakes with lemon and sugar

These thin pancakes are the traditional pancakes made for pancake day in England. The normal method of flipping them is by tossing them out of the pan and catching them again. This is a source of great amusement. It takes a bit of co-ordination to catch them.

They are delicious with a topping of lemon juice and sugar but you can top them with whatever you wish. Savoury and sweet toppings both work well.

English pancakes with lemon and sugar

Get the recipe: English pancakes with lemon and sugar

Lemon and raisin Scotch pancakes

Scotch pancakes are smaller than English pancakes. They contain self raising flour which helps them rise.

To make Scotch pancakes drop dollops of batter into the pan to cook them. This gives them their other name of drop scones.

These lemon and raisin scotch pancakes from FabFood4all look delicious .

Scotch pancakes on a plate with lemon curd
Image Credit: FabFood4All

Get the recipe: Lemon and raisin Scotch pancakes

Chicken and bacon crispy pancakes

Pancakes are not only sweet they can be savoury as well. These chicken and bacon crispy pancakes are a delicious and filling meal. They taste much nicer than the frozen version I remember from my childhood.

Chicken and bacon crispy pancakes

Get the recipe: Chicken and bacon crispy pancakes

Sticky Toffee Pancakes

Sticky toffee pudding is a classic British dessert. Something Sweet, Something Savoury has come up with a twist on this classic with these sticky toffee pancakes. These would finish a dinner in style.

Sticky toffee pancake stack on a plate with glass behind
Image Credit: Something Sweet, Something Savoury

Get the recipe: Sticky Toffee Pancakes

American Pancakes

Every day is pancake day in America. Stacks of pancakes are a traditional breakfast food.

American pancakes are light and fluffy with a touch of sweetness allowing maple syrup to bring out the best in them. They should also be savoury enough to complement a pile of bacon

American pancakes with maple baked bacon

The first time I went to America I found the stacks of pancakes they serve for breakfast amazing. This is my recreation of a recipe I remember from my childhood.

A stack of American pancakes on a plate with maple baked bacon

Get the recipe: American pancakes with maple baked bacon

Synfree American pancakes

Pancakes can be fattening. The good news is that you can eat these Synfree American pancakes from Basement Bakehouse when you are on a diet. The topping of raspberries adds a touch of sweetness as well as one of your five a day.

Synfree American pancakes on a plate with a topping of raspberries
Image Credit: Basement Bakehouse

Get the recipe: Synfree American pancakes

American blueberry pancakes

Pancakes with fruit, that has to be good for you right? These American blueberry pancakes are another classic American pancake recipe that the whole family will enjoy. Perfect with fresh or frozen blueberries.

Blueberry pancakes

Get the recipe: American blueberry pancakes

Canadian pancakes

Yukon flapjacks – sourdough pancakes

Life in the Yukon during the Gold rush was a harsh life for the miners. Food was scare and winters were long. Wild yeast is dormant in cold weather but sourdough bread is made by conserving a pot of starter. This fermented yeast allowed miners to supplement their diet with breads, biscuits, cakes and these sourdough pancakes.

Yukon flapjacks or sourdough pancakes on a plate with syrup being poured over them
Image Credit: Chez Maximka

Get the recipe: Yukon flapjacks – sourdough pancakes

European pancakes

Pancake day in Europe goes under many other names including Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, the Tuesday of Carnival, and Pancake Day. European pancakes come in many varieties. Think thin French crepes, puffy Dutch and German pancakes and Polish blini.

German apple pancakes

German apple pancakes are delicious pancakes which puff up when you bake them in a pan. They make a fabulous dessert pancake.

German apple pancakes

Get the recipe: German apple pancakes

Polish apple pancakes

For a smaller version of the German apple pancake try these Polish apple pancakes from Little Sunny Kitchen. They would be perfect for a Sunday brunch.

Dutch Apple pancakes on a cloth
Image Credit: Little Sunny Kitchen

Get the recipe : Polish apple pancakes

Peach Dutch Baby Pancakes

These peach Dutch baby pancakes from Madhouse Family Review are very similar to the German Apple pancakes. I love the addition of peach and these would work really well with a topping of whipped cream.

Peach Dutch Baby Pancakes in a pan
Image Credit: Madhouse Family Reviews

Get the recipe: Peach Dutch Baby Pancakes

Russian pancakes

In Russia pancakes are not just for special occasions. There are many different types of pancakes from blini to oldadi to syrniki. Russians even have a week long holiday, Maslenitsa which celebrates the beginning of Spring with pancakes. This takes place the week before Lent.

Maslenitsa began as festival to remember the dead. Now it is more of a celebration with plenty of pancakes and Spring festivals to help promote a rich harvest.

I love the look of these Russian style honey pancakes from Chez Maximka. If you are looking for a way to celebrate Spring a big batch of these would help.

Russian honey pancakes on blue plate
Image Credit: Chez Maximka

Get the recipe: Russian style honey pancakes

Asian pancakes

In Asia pancakes are both sweet and savoury. They are a common street food. There is even a trail for backpackers known as the Banana Pancake Trail. This is a reference to the number of street vendors selling this type of pancake along the travellers route.

Indonesian Pancakes: Kue Dadar Gulang

Kue Dadar Gulang are a traditional sweet coconut pancake from Indonesia. Dadar is Indonesian for omelette or pancake and gulung means roll. They have an unusual green colour due to the addition of pandan paste. The resulting pancake is very tasty.

Kue Dadar Gulung - Green indonesian pancakes on a plate

Get the recipe: Indonesian Pancakes: Kue Dadar Gulung

Appam Batter Pancakes

Appam batter pancakes are a popular dish in Kerala, a state on India’s tropical Malabar Coast. The batter is made from rice and usually fermented overnight.

These appam batter pancakes from Lathi’s Kitchen look delicious and would be perfect with a stew.

Image Credit: Lathi’s Kitchen

Get the recipe: Appam batter pancakes Indian pancakes

Middle Eastern Pancakes – Atayef

Middle eastern pancakes are popular during Ramadan and you will find them with many different fillings. This Atayef recipe from Little Sunny Kitchen looks delicious and I will have to give it a try.

Stuffed middle eastern pancakes on a plate

Get the recipe: Middle Eastern Pancakes

Vietnamese Crispy Pancakes

Vietnamese crispy pancakes differ from other pancakes as you cook the meat and vegetables in the pan before pouring the batter on top. I think these Banh Xeo from Madhouse Family Reviews would make a great dinner.

Vietnamese crispy pancakes on a plate with salad
Image Credit: Madhouse Family Reviews

Get the recipe: Vietnamese Crispy pancakes

Masala potatoes with spinach chickpea flour crepes

If you are looking for something a little different these masala potatoes with spinach chickpea flour crepes from Sneaky Veg are just that. I love the sound of the spicy potatoes. The addition of spinach in the pancake is a great way to get your kids to eat vegetables.

Image Credit: Sneaky Veg

Get the recipe: Masala potatoes with spinach chickpea flour crepes

African pancakes

Moroccan Semolina Pancakes with Maple Nutmeg Roasted Plantains

If you are looking for a delicious breakfast these Moroccan semolina pancakes from Recipes from a Pantry are ideal. The addition of maple nutmeg roasted plantains adds a touch of sweetness to set you up for the day.

Image Credit: Recipes from a Pantry

Get the recipe: Moroccan pancakes with maple nutmeg roasted plantains

History of pancakes

It is not surprising that pancakes in some form have been around from the stone age. Grains on stone age grinding tools show that flour was made from ferns. After mixing the flour with water the cakes were cooked on a hot rock.

These flat cakes made from batter and fried were the first pancakes.

The Romans and ancient Greeks ate pancakes made from made from wheat flour, olive oil, and curdled milk. Honey sweetened them.

During the Elizabethan era pancakes were traditionally eaten in quantity on Shrove Tuesday. These were flavoured with spices, rosewater, sherry and apples. You will even find mention of pancakes in Shakespeare’s poetry.

The name pancake became standard in American in the 19th Century. Early American pancakes were made with buckwheat or cornmeal. They went by various names, Indian Cakes, Journey cakes and Johnny cakes were common.

The one thing all pancakes have in common is that they are flat, hence the saying “flat as a pancake”.

Planning on cooking some pancakes? Here are some pancake day essentials. (Contains affiliate links)

Which pancakes are you making this pancake day? Let me know below.

Why not pin for later?

Pancakes from around the world

12 responses to “Pancakes from around the world”

  1. Iris Tilley says:

    wow lots of lovely pancakes

  2. Mandy says:

    What a fascinating post – I want to try ALL of these! Thanks for including my green masala pancakes.

  3. Lathiya says:

    Thank you so much for including my Appam in your post…lovely collection of pancakes…Sharing it in my FB

  4. Cliona Keane says:

    Thanks so much for including my recipe! This is such a fantastic round up.

  5. What an interesting and fascinating collection! we don’t do pancakes in Italy for ‘pancakeday’ whichfor us is the end of Carnival…

  6. Yummy. I never knew there were so many different types of pancakes. I’ve visited pancake restaurants in UK, France and Spain

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