Friday, 17 February 2012

Classic British pancakes

I love pancakes of all kinds….but especially the typically British thin pancakes with thin crispy edges and bubbly holes across the surface.

But even though I love them I rarely make them this way! I think that’s partly because I look forward to Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras if we’re going to be proper about it) every year and for me the novelty and the excitement just wouldn’t be the same if I ate these pancakes all year round.

Last year was my first attempt at making vegan pancakes in this traditional style. Bearing in mind I only was only just getting into the vegan lifestyle and so my experience and maybe more importantly my intuition was simply not there….so the pancakes were an absolute disaster!  I made a big batch for me and the Boy to share but they just weren’t edible.  I think the main issue was the amount of baking powder I’d used. I looked up a number of recipes which called for 2 tablespoons of baking powder but that was just too much. The pancakes were beyond ‘fluffy’ with big crater like holes and the taste, well, it simply fizzed on the tongue! I’ve learnt a lot this past year and a lot of that has to do with trusting your instincts.

So, based on this intuition I put together a recipe that works a treat. Lightly, fluffy pancakes that holds together well and spread nice and thinly. I have used white spelt for a lighter pancake but wholemeal spelt or other flours should work fine also.  I have some more gluten free and superfood pancake experiments up my sleeve over the next couple of days ready for Pancake Day on tuesday…but for now the perfect simple classic pancake which reminds me just how far I’ve come!

Ooo yes toppings…I almost forgot! 

I have shown a classic lemon and (coconut) sugar combo, as well as a PB&J mix made from a tablespoon each of sugar free raspberry jam, homemade peanut butter and soy yoghurt- mix these together then spread on to your pancakes and top with cherries or cranberries of you fancy.

Recipe: classic pancakes

Makes 3 medium pancakes (serves 1 if you are greedy like me!)


½ cup white spelt flour
1 tsp ground flax or chia seed
1 tsp agave syrup
1 tsp baking powder
tiny pinch salt
2/3 cup soy milk (reduce to half if you prefer a thicker pancake)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs melted coconut oil/vegetable oil


Mix dry ingredients and then add wet ingredients. Mix well until you have a smooth batter with no lumps.

Meanwhile heat a medium sized frying pan with very light covering of oil (I used rapeseed oil lightly rubbed over the surface with kitchen roll). Once the pan is hot add a large spoonful of batter to the pan and move the pan in circular motions to spread the batter into a larger circle. Cook for approx. 2 minutes and then carefully flip to cook the reverse for approx. 1 minute until both sides are lightly brown. Run a little more oil over the surface of the pan and then repeat for two more pancakes. 

Serve hot with toppings of your choice.

For tips and info on recipe measurement conversions, ingredients, substitutions and the methods behind how I do things.... check out my 'baking tips' tab at the top of the page.


  1. these pancakes are so beautiful- i love the little holes on the top! these look like they would be easy to de-glutenize, too! i'm going to try these out over the weekend ;)

    1. Thank you Caitlin! i'm going to try some gluten free versions too either today or tomorrow- let me know how you get on, we can compare notes!

  2. Hi Jo, I made this today in preparation for Tuesday and followed the instructions excatly but for some reason they got stuck to the pan and they would not flip at all. I wondered if you could suggest anything? Maybe the temperature was too hot? Thank you.

    1. Hi Nicola, That's strange. I have made these quite a few times and have not found any differences to my old regular pancakes. Make sure the pan you use is non-stick (old pans sometimes loose there non stick coating) and make the sure the oiled pan surface is nice and hot before pouring the batter nice and thinly. I use a large flat spatula to ease up the edges before flipping over. I am not sure what else to suggest, I hope it works out for you if you give them another try!

  3. Hi Jo, thanks for your reply and suggestions. I will definitley make these again on Tuesday and will make sure the oiled pan is hot first. Thanks for your help :)

    1. Really hope they work out well for you...let me know how you get on! I will be making myself a batch too :-)

  4. Made these tonight and they worked perfectly! I realised that I didn't put enough flour in the first time and that the batter was thicker this time. I had all three; one with agave and lemon juice, one with sugar free jam and one with your dark chocolate ice cream. The one with the ice cream was the best! Thank you :)

    1. i'm so glad they worked out for you...your toppings sound amazing! I made them too and have just posted my topping of choice :-)


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