It’s almost Pancake Day! Also known as Shrove Tuesday, the origin of the day saw Christians using up the last of their foods (such as eggs and fats) before they fasted over Lent. Pancakes were the perfect option to use up these items.

Now it is a time-honoured tradition, widely celebrated across the country and a brilliant excuse to gather the family round for some food and fun. Life in your home should be packed full of these little moments, such as good food shared with those you love, and Pancake Day is the perfect excuse to create something amazing on a normal day.

We’ve pulled together some family-friendly activities for Pancake Day, as well as a few recipes to suit all different tastes.

Pancake Day Activities

If you have little ones who are excited about the festivities, but you don’t want them eating pancakes the entire day, why not get some arts and crafts going? Create some cardboard pancakes (cut a circle out of a cardboard box), and let them colour on or stick on toppings from any other craft supplies you have. You could also fashion a cardboard pan (wrap it in kitchen foil for a more realistic shine), and they can practice flipping pancakes too!

If you’re getting your family involved in the celebrations, why not all dress up as chefs? A little fashion show to showcase your chef outfits, and complete the look with some chef hats. When everyone looks as daft as each other, even older kids will find it hard not to laugh and join in. It can also dissolve any tension from the pancake mix not working as planned, or a pancake getting stuck on the ceiling, when you all realise how silly you look.

If you’re blessed with space, why not host a pancake night for the wider family? Those without young ones might not bother with the celebration normally, and this is a good opportunity for some low energy family fun. Keep it nice and chilled with a stack of ready-made pancakes, and a ‘toppings’ station, where each person can create their own, or kick up the fun a bit with a pancake tossing contest. Whoever wins gets the first pick of pancakes and toppings.

(If you are looking for a little more room at home, Jelson have a number of spacious properties across the East Midlands). 

Pancake Day Recipes

The beauty of pancakes is they can be as simple, or as complex as you like. Whatever your budget or taste, you can still create a delicious dish. 

We have a few pancake recipes below for each member of the family. 

Super Simple Pancakes

The Simple and Traditional

For those who don’t want to deal with the rigmarole of all the fancy and over the top flavourings, stick with the traditional squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of sugar. You could add a slightly different take by adding a handful of raisins in with the mixture. 

Ingredients -

  • 100g plain flour

  • 2 large eggs

  • 300ml milk

  • 1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil, plus a little extra for frying

  • Lemon wedges to serve (optional)

  • Caster sugar to serve (optional)

  • Raisins to serve (optional)

Recipe - 

  1. Put the flour, eggs, milk, oil and a pinch of salt into a bowl or large jug, then get your arm muscles working by whisking it into a smooth batter.

  2. Set a frying pan over medium heat and carefully add a little oil to the pan, making sure it has a thin covering across the whole pan.

  3. Once the pan is hot, pour a little mixture into the pan, move the pan until the mixture spreads out a little, and then cook for around 1 minute on each side, or until golden brown. Place your cooked pancake to the side and repeat the process until you’ve used all your mixture. 

  4. Serve with lemon wedges and caster sugar. 

The Cute Kid

You can adapt this for your toddler, by using the same recipe, and taking one pancake to some unicorn magic. Fold the edges of the pancake in slightly to create a horse face shape. Use blueberries for eyes, a strawberry for a mouth, a swirl of squirty cream for the unicorn horn and an artistic sprinkle of mini marshmallows for the unicorn mane. 

Light and Fluffy Pancakes

The All American Stack

For those wanting a bit more excitement, a bigger bite and a different mix of flavours, you can go all out with the American stack. Enjoy the sweet and savoury flavour by adding crispy bacon and a dollop of syrup to serve. 

Ingredients - 

  • 200g self-raising flour

  • 2 large eggs

  • 200ml milk

  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder

  • 1 tbsp golden caster sugar

  • 25g melted butter (plus extra for frying)

  • 1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil for frying

  • 8 rashers of bacon to serve (optional)

  • 4 tbsp of golden syrup to serve (optional)

Recipe - 

  1. Mix flour, baking powder, golden caster sugar and a pinch of salt together in a large mixing bowl. 

  2. Create a well in the centre with the back of your spoon then add the eggs, melted butter and milk.

  3. Whisk together until smooth (you may need an electric whisk for this one!), then pour into a jug for easy pouring.

  4. Heat a small knob of butter and 1 tsp of oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over medium heat. When the butter looks frothy, you’re going to pour some of the mixture in. You want them to be fairly small, and not too close together (this mixture will naturally spread as it cooks!), so you’re going to have 2 - 3 pancakes cooking at the same time. Cook the pancakes on one side for about 1-2 mins or until lots of tiny bubbles start to appear and pop on the surface. Flip the pancakes over and cook for a further minute on the other side. Repeat until all the mixture is used up.

  5. If you wish to serve with bacon and maple syrup, be sure to cook your bacon in your preferred method (in a separate frying pan, on a baking sheet in the oven etc.) at the same time as your pancakes. 

The Too Cool For School

Making a stack of pancakes so irresistible, even the moodiest teen can’t turn away. Use the same recipe as the all American stack (steps 1-4), and make a small stack of pancakes, with a thin layer of Biscoff spread between each, top with some crumbled Biscoff biscuits and some chocolate buttons.

Healthier Pancakes

The Fruity and Fun

It’s very easy to overindulge on Pancake Day, but if you want to stick with a healthier option, you can go for a healthier pancake mixture, and top with a variety of your favourite fruit, a dollop of low-fat yoghurt, and even a spoon of sugar-free syrup. 

Ingredients - 

  • 2 medium ripe bananas (best when they have lots of brown spots)

  • 2 large eggs

  • 120ml unsweetened almond milk

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 130g rolled oats

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • 1 tbsp olive or coconut oil for frying

  • Low-fat yoghurt to serve (optional)

  • Punnet of strawberries to serve (optional)

  • 3 tsp sugar-free vanilla syrup to serve (optional)

Recipe - 

  1. Add all of the ingredients together in a bowl and whisk until completely smooth. 

  2. Lightly coat a frying pan with olive oil (or coconut oil if you prefer) and place over medium heat. 

  3. Once the pan is hot, add a small dollop of the mixture (this should make 9 pancakes in total) and cook for 2-4 minutes until the pancakes slightly puff up and you see a few bubbles along the edges.

  4. Flip the pancakes and cook until golden brown on the underside. Repeat the process until you have used all of your mixture. 

  5. Serve with a dollop of yoghurt, a handful of fruit and a dash of sugar-free syrup. 

Savoury Pancakes

The Sticking With Savoury

For the relative who isn’t totally convinced about having so much sweet stuff, this savoury alternative makes for a delicious meal, whilst still being part of the tradition. This recipe focuses on some core toppings, but this could be easily mixed up to also include some veggies such as spinach, spring onions or mushrooms. 

Ingredients - 

  • 200g plain flour

  • 2 large eggs (beaten)

  • 500ml milk

  • 1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil for frying

  • 130g ham (cut into small chunks)

  • 150g cheddar cheese (grated)

Recipe - 

  1. Add the flour, eggs and milk with a pinch of salt into a large bowl. Mix together well until completely smooth. 

  2. Heat a frying pan on medium heat, and then pour a little oil into the pan, swirl the oil around to make sure the pan is evenly covered. 

  3. Pour a little mixture into the pan, move the pan until the mixture spreads out a little, and then cook for just under a minute, and then flip. Once flipped, scatter with some of the cheese and ham, and cook until the cheese is melting. 

  4. Repeat until your mixture and savoury toppings are gone. 

Our Top Tips For Perfect Pancakes

  • Having your oven on a very low, warming setting whilst you cook means you can transfer any of your cooked pancakes into there to stay warm whilst you cook up the rest of the batch. 

  • All pancake recipes will require you to whisk your ingredients together. If you don’t have a whisk, you could use a blender, for a quick fix. Or, you can use two forks, turn them in to face each other and hold them together to form a makeshift whisk. This last one may require a bit more effort to get to the required effect.

  • Once you’ve made your mixture, setting it aside for a small period of time (around 30 minutes), can help to solidify the mixture, but it is not a necessity.

  • When cooking your pancakes, if you find that they are starting to brown too quickly, your pan is too hot. Take it off the heat for a moment, and turn your stove ring down, before putting it back on the heat. Always start with medium heat and go up or down as you need. 

  • Once your pancakes are cold, you can add some baking parchment in between each pancake, and you can freeze them for up to 2 months. An easy way to not waste any tasty pancakes!

If you need a bit more room for flipping pancakes, or want a kitchen big enough to house the whole family, why not take a look at our available properties across the East Midlands?