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The Origins of Pancake Tuesday Plus 3 Tasty Pancake Recipes

Updated on April 9, 2018

Homemade Pancakes Smothered in Sweet Maple Syrup: Delicious

Pancake Recipes
Pancake Recipes

The Origins of The Mere Pancake

I realize a hub about pancakes is not eggsactly flour power; sorry couldn't resist, however indulge a little and you might learn a thing or two about the mere pancake and it's origins.

First up: a spoon full of history before the best pancake recipes are revealed. One of the most famous Tuesday's in the world is 'Pancake Tuesday'. Celebrated in numerous fashions from tossing pancakes, to parades and carnivals. Pancake Tuesday, so called due to the mass consumption of traditional rich foods dating back to the 1800's: eggs, milk and sugar (the classic pancake mix) before the famine (self inflicted) called Lent by most Christian faiths. Lent begins the following day, Wednesday and lasts for forty days.

Pancake Tuesday is the last day to eat a normal diet of everyday foods and snacks. Pancake Tuesday in Ireland and the UK precedes ash Wednesday the first day of Lent. Pancake Tuesday also called shrove Tuesday; the past tense of the verb to shrive; meaning 'to obtain absolution from your sins by confession and to do penance.' In other words Pancake Tuesday is the feast before the famine; a day to eat high calorie pancakes and enjoy your favorite treats. Once lent begins all treats and luxury foods are banned. Lent finally ends on Easter Sunday and treats are back on the menu.

Pancake by Any Other Name

  • In France, Pancake Tuesday is Mardi Gras.
  • Italy introduces the famous Tuesday as Martedi Grasso.
  • The Portuguese refer to this special day as Terça Feira Gorda.
  • A traditional treat for the Portuguese at this time of year are malasadas. Similar to a sugared doughnut; deliciously, delightful eaten freshly fried.
  • Don't despair if your holidaying in Hawaii, they make the best malasadas in Hawaii going back to the sugar plantations of the 1800's. Aloha!
  • Take a trip to Iceland for Pancake Tuesday and you'll find yourself tucking into a feast of salt meat and peas other wise known as SPRENGIDAGUR. The meaning; bursting day. I must admit it's got a certain ring to it and indeed rings true I'm sure.

Always Use Fresh Eggs for Your Pancake Recipe

Fresh eggs
Fresh eggs

Fig 1): Lashing and Lashings of Maple Syrup: My Choice Every Time

The Virgin Pancake: A Traditional Classic


  • 2 medium eggs (free range is good, but as long as they're fresh don't worry)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 200 grams of strong plain flour
  • 500 ml full fat milk
  • 60 grams of butter, already melted, plus extra to fry
  • Lemon and sugar/honey/jam or lashings and lashings of Maple Syrup (Fig 1) if you'er like me, to serve


  • Blend all the ingredients together in a bowl (or use a pancake dispenser) except the melted butter, till smooth. If you have an electric blender cool, if not you'll have fab triceps. Add the melted butter.
  • In a non stick pan (Fig 2) melt a knob of butter (from the extra butter) to coat the bottom of the pan. Allow to sizzle.
  • When the melted butter is slightly foaming add a good spoon of pancake mix.
  • Swirl to cover the bottom of the pan.
  • When the underneath is cooked the mix will bubble slightly, use a flick of the wrist to flip or use an egg lift to turn the pancake to cook the other side.
  • The pancake should be a nice golden colour.
  • Lay out flat on a plate, add your filling of choice and roll (the pancake not your eyes).
  • Keep warm till ready to serve.

Cook's Tip:

  • To flip your pancake, ensure the underneath is thoroughly cooked.

Pancakes With Chocolate and Ice Cream

Pancakes With Chocolate and Ice Cream
Pancakes With Chocolate and Ice Cream | Source

Virgin With a Twist

Use the same ingredients as the virgin pancake mix adding the first three ingredients below:

  • 50 grams of caster sugar
  • 25 ml of the liquor, grand marnier
  • 2 tsp of orange zest
  • Caramel ice cream to serve (your choice, Carte D'or is mine)
  • Icing sugar to decorate


  • Mix the batter and fry as the virgin pancake.
  • Lay the pancake flat on a plate; put a scoop of the caramel ice cream in the centre.
  • Roll and tuck the ends under the pancake; sprinkle with icing sugar and devour.

Cook's Tip:

  • Pour over chocolate or toffee sauce if you really want to indulge.
  • If the waist line is already in trouble but the eyes want the chocolate, use a little coco powder instead of icing sugar.
  • These pancakes make a great dessert for a dinner party: cook the pancakes earlier in the day, reheat when ready to serve with your favorite ice cream and dessert sauce.

A Non Stick Pan is The Secrete to a Successful Pancake

Always Use a Non Stick Pan
Always Use a Non Stick Pan | Source

Luxury Eggy Pancake


  • 300 grams plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 100 grams caster sugar
  • 3 fresh eggs
  • 350 ml full fat milk
  • 60 grams of butter melted, plus extra to fry


  • Sift flour and baking powder together into a large bowl.
  • Add sugar, eggs, milk and butter mixing to a smooth batter.
  • Cook as the virgin pancake in a non stick pan.

Serving suggestions:

  • Top with berries such as strawberries, blueberries or raspberries; fresh or frozen with a dollop of creme fraiche.
  • Sliced banana with sour cream and honey.
  • Grilled peaches with treacle or yogurt.
  • Stewed sweet apples and pouring cream.
  • Crispy bacon and fried tomatoes make a delicious breakfast pancake.
  • Fried mushrooms with a sprinkle of parsley is a perfect starter.

Why not invent your own special accompaniment and have your very own special pancake makeover. There are no rules, top or fill the pancake with your favourite foods. Enjoy.

© 2010 Gabriel Wilson


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