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Spruce up your pancakes with our recipes from around the world

Published 17 February 2015 by

Pancake Day is a firm favourite in most UK households. There’s nothing better than stuffing your face with delicious warm, homemade pancakes, drizzled in lemon juice and crunchy with sugar. But, there’s so much more to pancakes than that. Not only have they been eaten since ancient Greek times, in their various different guises and flavours, but they have become a staple food for many cultures. So, why not have a go at spicing up your pancakes with our recipes from around the world. To get you started here are some ideas.

The Basics!

Most pancakes start off with the same basic ingredients: water, flour, salt, eggs and milk. Then other ingredients are either added or taken away to make the specialities of each country. It’s also worth mentioning, as we only really eat them on Pancake Day, that they are as much a savoury dish as they are sweet.


So the first delicacy we have for you is okonomiyake. These Japanese savoury pancakes are made using the basic recipe, but then yam is added into the batter mix, along with a variety of other ingredients, such as pork belly, green onions, squid, cheese too.

In fact, the translation of the name okonomiyake means ‘what-you-want’ pancake and it’s more like our version of an omelette really. So, if you have a few left-overs that need eating up, this is the perfect solution. Here’s a handy video to take you through the process.


Now let’s move to the north of our fair land and visit Scotland. Scotch pancakes are more American style, smaller and thicker, than the ones that are made around the rest of the country on pancake day. But they are so good! We’re sure you’ve seen them on sale in your local supermarkets, but making them fresh is a delight – you’ll never go back to packets again. Here’s visitscotland’s version, so stack ‘em high and top them with your favourite spreads. We’d suggest Nutella, butter and jam, honey or maple syrup for starters.

The Netherlands

In the Netherlands pancakes, or pannenkoeken, are a national institution, with restaurants serving all kinds of sweet, savoury and stuffed varieties. They are much bigger and thinner than normal pancakes and traditional toppings include sliced apple, candied ginger, bacon or ham and cheese, either alone or mixed together! And if you really want to be authentic, grab yourself some bacon, cut it up small and whack it in with your pancake batter. Then, when it’s cooked, slather it in stroop – the Dutch equivalent of maple syrup. Here’s a great little plain pannekoeken recipe.

The good old US of A!

And to finish, we couldn’t do pancakes without including a classic American-style version. So, here’s a pancake recipe, with a little twist – oats! You can pretend they’re healthy, whilst drowning the things in maple syrup and whipped cream. This recipe from the quintessential oat people, Quakers, includes egg whites to give them a little more lift. They’re flavoured with apple, cinnamon and summer berries and sound utterly delicious!