How to cook classic pancakes

by - Monday, February 04, 2013

pancakes with chocolate sauce and mint

This year, Shrove Tuesday falls on the 12th of February, and no doubt your family will be hoping for a plate of pancakes to celebrate the occasion!

Rather than offer pancakes made from a packet (or those awful ready-made things wrapped in plastic), why not treat your family to a batch of delicious home-made ones instead? They really don't take much time or effort to make, and - unless you insist on flipping a pancake only to find it gets stuck on the ceiling - are virtually foolproof too.

Here is my recipe for classic, homemade pancakes to which you can add whatever fillings your family enjoy best.

What you'll need:

A large mixing bowl
Electric whisk (or tabletop mixer if you have one)
A ladle
A fish slice
Large frying pan


125g Plain Flour
250ml milk
1 egg
Pinch of salt
Butter for frying


  • Sift the flour and salt into your mixing bowl (this helps prevent lumps in the batter)
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour mix and crack your egg into it.
  • Using your electric whisk (or tabletop mixer), blend the egg in with the flour and gradually pour in the milk until the consistency of your batter is between single and double cream. 
  • Put your batter aside for a while while you heat up your frying pan on the hob. You need to get the pan really hot - a droplet of water should sizzle on the surface if it is hot enough. 
  • Spoon a generous amount of butter into the pan at this point. At first it will bubble and froth - allow the froth to calm down before adding your batter.
  • Use your ladle to add batter to your frying pan, and swirl the mixture around so that it covers the surface evenly. Leave it on the heat until the base is golden brown and the centre begins to bubble. You can check the base is cooked enough by lifting an edge with your fish slice. The pancake needs to be fairly well cooked on the bottom so that it won't fall apart when you flip it over.
  • When you're ready, use the fish slice to gently flip the pancake over. If it has stuck a little, you may need to shake the pan a little to loosen it first. 
  • Allow to cook on the reverse side as before, and once it reaches the colour you prefer slide it off onto a plate ready to complete with your favourite fillings.

Pancake Filling Suggestions

Syrup, lemon juice and jam are at the forefront of most minds when conjuring suggestions for pancake fillings. If you're feeling a little adventurous, why not try one of these alternatives instead?
  • Chocolate spread and marshmallows
  • Chocolate sauce with a garnish of fresh mint
  • Apple slices cooked in butter with cinnamon
  • Grated cheddar cheese and tomato
  • Smoked salmon and crème fraiche
  • Canned tuna chunks mixed with cream cheese and spring onions (my personal favourite!).

One of my favourite ever pancakes was served as a starter at a Mediterranean restaurant: a small chicken breast topped with slices of mozzarella cheese, wrapped in a pancake and topped with tomato sauce then baked. Absolutely delicious!

What are your favourite pancake fillings?

Will you be enjoying homemade pancakes with your family on Shrove Tuesday? Which fillings do your family enjoy most?

Please feel free to leave your comments and suggestions below.

Image credit: nkzs, via Stock Xchng

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