Chefs share their favourite recipes for Pancake Day

Chefs share their favourite recipes for Pancake Day

by Great British Chefs8 February 2024

Whether we're scoffing them on the big day or pulling together a makeshift meal from some leftover eggs, milk and flour, pancakes are a delicious vehicle for all sorts of flavours. Our brilliant chefs have shared their go-to recipes just in time for Pancake Day.

Chefs share their favourite recipes for Pancake Day

Whether we're scoffing them on the big day or pulling together a makeshift meal from some leftover eggs, milk and flour, pancakes are a delicious vehicle for all sorts of flavours. Our brilliant chefs have shared their go-to recipes just in time for Pancake Day.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews as well as access to some of Britain’s greatest chefs. Our posts cover everything we are excited about from the latest openings and hottest food trends to brilliant new producers and exclusive chef interviews.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews as well as access to some of Britain’s greatest chefs. Our posts cover everything we are excited about from the latest openings and hottest food trends to brilliant new producers and exclusive chef interviews.

Pancakes might be a once-a-year occasion when Shrove Tuesday rolls into view for many of us, but they are so much more than a yearly gimmick – they're a delicious way to bring together all sorts of flavours. In the UK we tend to gravitate towards fluffy American and thinner French-style recipes, but pancakes actually have roots in food cultures all over the world. In Vietnam, crispy coconut milk 'bánh xèo pancakes are filled with crunchy vegetables and wrapped in lettuce leaves. Cachapas (corn pancakes) are eaten in South American countries like Colombia and Venezuela, often folded around melted cheese. You have okonomiyaki in Japan and kimchi pancakes in Korea. Even injera – the aerated, slightly tart flatbread that Ethiopians eat with every meal – is reminiscent of a pancake. The concept of cooking starch-based batter in pans exists all over the world, largely because of its versatility.

That adaptability makes the potential for combinations and toppings endless, and – tough as it is to choose between a whole host of fantastic pancake options – we hope these six recipes from our excellent chefs will offer some inspiration as a starting point. They range from sweet through to savoury, and include classic recipes you might not yet have tried. Scroll down for our top picks, or take a look at our huge collection of pancake recipes for even more ideas.

Pancakes with sugar and lemon

For many of us the ideal Pancake Day boils down to a bowl of sugar and several juicy lemons, loath to gild the lily any further with elaborate sauces and fillings. Simplicity is not without its pitfalls, however; as Mary Berry is so fond of saying, nothing shows up a culinary mistake quicker than a classic. For guaranteed pancake success we turn to Dominic Chapman, a man whose batter can't be bettered, and his easy pancake recipe which creates the perfect canvas for a little lemon and sugar. 

Bánh xèo – crispy Vietnamese pancakes

Savoury pancakes are easily forgotten in all the excitement of sugar and syrups on Shrove Tuesday, but if you plan on basing your entire evening meal around the pancake theme, Thuy Pham's incredible bánh xèo are a great place to start. They're a little more complex to make – the pancake batter is made with coconut milk and the crêpe is then filled with pork belly, prawns, carrots and beansprouts, before being eaten with lettuce leaves, tons of herbs and a classic Vietnamese dipping sauce.

Galvins' crêpes Suzette

Once the little ones have gone to bed and you've peeled any errant pancakes off the ceiling, Pancake Day for grown-ups can begin in earnest. For this, we turn to the French classic (after all, they know their pancakes) that is the Galvin brothers' crêpes Suzette. With wafer-thin crêpes drenched in a sticky, boozy sauce, this recipe is largely faithful to the traditional crêpes Suzette, although forgoes the final flambéing – good news for kitchens already in a state of semi-destruction after the whole family has had their go.

Perfect banana pancakes

Give these banana pancakes a shot on Shrove Tuesday, and you might just find yourself making them every Sunday morning for the rest of the year – they're that good. Sally Abe's recipe is dead simple too – just mix all your ingredients together, then cook your batter in a pan until golden brown on both sides.

Blintzes with a rhubarb and berry compote

If you're looking for a straightforward pancake recipe to really impress your guests, Colin McGurran's rhubarb and berry blintzes are a fantastic start – combining three simple elements to create a striking, delicious result. Colin makes his pancakes then folds them neatly with a cream cheese filling, before topping with the compote.

Venezuelan chocolate pancakes with chocolate maple syrup

With bitter chocolate added to the pancake batter and a salted chocolate maple syrup to drizzle over the top, this Paul A Young recipe is a seriously indulgent Sunday brunch and perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth. Top them with blueberries or nuts for even more flavour.

Ricotta pancakes with strawberry compote and homemade chocolate spread

Chantelle Nicholson's ricotta pancake method is full of clever little tricks that you can apply to all your pancake creations. Perhaps the best of all is the separation of the eggs – Chantelle beats her egg whites until they're fluffy, almost like a meringue, then folds them back into her pancake batter, giving the final result an incredibly light, airy finish.