The Ultimate American Pancakes


Shrove Tuesday has come around again – and before we hit the recipe here is a small reminder as to what Shrove Tuesday actually is about.

The name Shrove comes from the old word “shrive” which means to confess. On Shrove Tuesday, in the Middle Ages, people used to confess their sins so that they were forgiven before the season of Lent began. Lent, for many, is a time of abstinence, of giving things up, and being the last day before the period of Lent, Shrove Tuesday is a day of celebration (indulging!) as well as penitence.

Shrove Tuesday is also known as Pancake Day, and throughout the United Kingdom the day used to be (and still is) associated with pancakes because they were a way to use up rich foodstuffs such as eggs, milk, and sugar that traditionally aren’t allowed during Lent. (read more on Wikipedia)

I have spent many Sunday mornings perfecting my American pancake recipe. As a family we have devoured thin, thick, soggy, crunchy, hard, chewy…all types….and finally we have reached the pinnacle of success! This recipe is divine. I am almost tempted to keep it to myself – it is that good – but as sharing is caring here goes! Recipe for the ultimate american pancakes – including reasons why some of the ingredients are used! Enjoy.

Please have a look at other great Pancake Day recipes too….

Spinach layered pancakes

Original crepes

Chocolate pancake layered cake

Why use….?

  • Why a combination of cornflour and regular flour? It makes for a more delicate cake because cornflour does not have the two amino acids that wheat flour contains (glutenin and gliadin which combine to make gluten) – not really necessary for cakes. By using cornflour you therefore decrease the gluten content of a cake making it lighter.
  • Why vinegar and baking soda? I tried this in some cupcakes and the result was amazing. They turned out to be the softest cup cakes I have ever had. I therefore decided to try to add it to the pancakes..and yes…it works. Vinegar (acetic acid) + baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)= CO2 (carbon dioxide gas). This gas leavens the cake/causes it to rise. Think of your classroom volcano experiment: mix soda and vinegar and you get a big old foamy mess. Add that foamy mess to cake batter and you get a lighter, fluffier cake.
  • Why yogurt? When used in cakes it provides moistness..simple as that. If you have never tried, do! It retains that lovely moist feel and taste for days.

Ultimate American Pancakes

Drizzle of vegetable oil (equivalent of 2 tbsp)

115g plain flour

115g corn flour

pinch of salt

2 tbsp caster sugar

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/2 tsp white wine vinegar (trust me!)

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

100ml natural full fat yogurt

300ml milk

  • I always put my oven on 50C to keep the pancakes warm – that way we all eat together as a family which is much nicer than throwing them over my shoulder to a pack of wolves who devour them and leave the room!
  • Sieve the flour and cornflour into a bowl and add the salt, sugar and baking powder to it
  • Put the egg, milk and yogurt into a different bowl and whisk to combine
  • Place the bicarbonate of soda on a tablespoon and add the vinegar to it – it will bubble up (great for volcano experiments with the children…that’s for another blog!)
  • Add this wet mixture to the egg, yogurt and milk bowl – stir to combine
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix VERY briefly until just combined – it will seem like there are lumps of flour in the mixture – do not worry about those. Do not over mix…. 
  • Drizzle the oil into the mixture (doing this reduces the need for oil/grease on the pan)
  • Put a frying pan over medium heat and brush it with a tiny bit of vegetable oil
  • Using a large spoon or small glass, place small dollops of batter onto the pan and cook until they begin to bubble on the top. Flip them over and cook the other side until golden
  • Put into the oven to keep warm while you cook the rest of the pancakes
  • Serve warm with lots of freshly chopped fruit, syrup, icing sugar, nutella, lemon, jam….so much choice!

Lemon Dressing

This is quick to shake together and really lovely on salads or fish or meat…. I use it a lot!


3 parts olive oil
1 part white wine vinegar
Juice of a lemon
Some lemon zest
Salt and pepper to taste


  • Pour it all into a jar – add seasoning – shake! It will go lovely and creamy as olive oil blends with lemon
  • Will keep a week in the fridge

Lemon and Luke Warm Water

It may seem silly to dedicate a whole recipe page to this very simple drink but it really can change how you feel and look – and believe me – when you have young children any little bit of help is mostly welcomed!


  • Feeling of a cold or flu coming on: drink the freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon in a glass of lukewarm water every 2 hours.
  • Sore throat: add the juice of 1 lemon and 1 teaspoon (5ml) of sea salt to 1 cup (250ml) lukewarm water. Gargle three times a day for 1 minute to diminish the burning sensation.
  • Tonsillitis:  gargle every 2 hours for at least 30 seconds with the freshly
    squeezed juice of 1 lemon. Tilt the head back to allow the antibacterial and antiviral properties of the juice to flow into the back of the throat.
  • Healthy looking skin: drink a glass of half the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon with lukewarm water twice a day (morning and night)
  • Promote weight loss: drink a glass of half the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon with lukewarm water twice a day (morning and night)

Have a read on for more ideas!

Warm lemon roasted vegetable salad

My husband inspired this recipe as he always roasts peppers and marinades them in lemon juice – the Sicilian way. This works just as well and to my surprise the children adored it!

Almost any vegetable will work with this however I like to use these as they become soft while still retaining a bit of bite!
1 aubergine
1 courgette
1 yellow pepper
1 red pepper
Good glug of olive oil
Small splash of balsamic vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
A bit more olive oil
  • Preheat the oven to 220C
  • Wash and slice your vegetables – not too thin or they will burn but not too thick as they will not cook! About 5mm slices work well.
  • Place the vegetables in a bowl, throw in the oil and balsamic vinegar and toss till coated. They should only be lightly coated – not swimming in oil!
  • Place them on a baking parchment on a baking sheet and cook them for about 30 minutes or until soft and coloured (can be quite dark in places but not burnt)
  • Remove from oven and return to bowl – add lemon juice, a bit more olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Toss and leave until you are ready to eat.
  • This is really lovely as a starter or served with red meat or fish.

Salmon with Lemon, Honey and Soya Sauce

A great lunch or light evening meal – wrap these up in baking parchment and serve as a little parcel!

A couple of slices of salmon fillets
5-6 thin slices of lemon
Drizzle of honey
Drizzle of olive oil
Drizzle of soya
Sprinkle of grated lemon zest
  • Preheat oven to 200C
  • Place the salmon fillets on a large piece of baking parchment
  • Lay the thinly sliced lemons on top
  • Drizzle the sauces over the top
  • Sprinkle with the lemon zest
  • Close the parcel like you would a present – making sure it is shut properly
  • Place on baking tray and cook in the oven for about 20 minutes
  • Serve with a green salad, cous cous, sticky rice or oven roasted vegetables tossed in lemon juice and olive oil.
  • Beautiful, simple – the children love it – husband loves it – what more could you ask for in a recipe?!

Citron Fromage

The best dessert in the world! Melts in the mouth, sweet and tangy. Beautiful! Directly translated it means Lemon Cheese but really has nothing to do with that at all!

4 eggs – separated
6 tbsp caster sugar
Zest of 1 lemon – grated
1 envelope of gelatin
Juice of 1 lemon
50g dark chocolate (70% cocoa content or more)
Whipping creme – optional
  • Beat the egg yolks with sugar until light and fluffy
  • Add the grated lemon zest to the yolks
  • Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff (to ensure stiff enough try the upside down bowl trick….if it doesn’t fall out it is done! Better be sure before you try! 🙂 )
  • Pour the lemon juice into a saucepan and dissolve the gelatin in it over very low heat. As soon as it has dissolved, turn off heat and allow to cool
  • Once cool, add the gelatine to the egg mixture
  • Chop the chocolate into very small pieces and stir into the mix
  • Fold in the egg whites gently. Don’t knock it around too much or you will lose the light, airy feel of the dessert
  • Pour into a glass bowl and allow to set for 1 to 2 hours in the fridge – you can also pour into several smaller pots if you want to serve the dessert individually
  • If you like whipped cream, add the juice of two lemons rather than one. Just before serving, whip the cream and spread or pipe it on top of the souffle. By using two lemons rather than one you create a much sharper flavour that contrasts well with the whipped cream
  • This really is the closest to heaven I get when it comes to food! It brings me back to being a child and if my family are not quick the whole bowl is gone before they have even had a chance to taste it!

Lemoned Fish Goujons and Chips

Fresh fish fillet, lemon breadcrumbs and homemade oven chips with garlic, lemon aioli…yum! The children love this and always want to make their own strips of fish!

Lemon Breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 slices of toast – seedy bread is good
Lemon and Garlic Aioli – as in Lemon recipe section
(or the cheats version:
Good quality mayo
Clove of garlic – crushed
Grated zest of half a lemon)
Oven Chips
2 jacket potatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste
Fish Goujons
300g white fish fillet – cod, lemon sole, haddock all good
1 egg
  • Preheat your oven to 200C
  • Halve your washed jacket potatoes and thinly slice. Put in a pot of cold water and bring to boil, Once the water boils, drain the potatoes and toss in 2 tbsp olive oil.
  • Place potatoes on baking sheet line oven tray and sprinkle with salt.
  • When oven warm, place slices of toast in it and let them go brown and crisp – time will depend on thickness
  • Place crisp bread in food processor and whizz until crumbs with the salt, pepper and grated lemon zest
  • Pour onto a large, flat plate
  • Make lemon and garlic aioli as per recipe in Lemon section or to make cheats version – put amount of mayo you want to serve into a bowl. Add crushed garlic and grated lemon zest and stir to combine. Leave in fridge and let flavours combine
  • Pour flour onto large flat plate
  • Crack egg into bowl and stir with fork to combine
  • Slice the fish into strips
  • Let the children roll the fish strips in flour, then into egg and finally into lemon breadcrumbs.
  • Once covered, lay on a baking sheet covered oven tray
  • Place potatoes in oven – they will need between 25-30 minutes depending on thickness. Keep an eye on them, they are done when brown and crisp
  • The fish will need about 15 minutes – maybe more if you have made large strips. Put them into the oven so that they will be done at the same time as the potatoes.
  • Serve with peas, mange tout or broccoli – anything green looks nice on the plate

Top Tip

Use the lemon breadcrumbs with any meat – especially gorgeous with veal and chicken!