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Shrove Tuesday's English Pancake Recipe

Updated on February 5, 2020
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Common sense becomes common sense once it is pointed out. Thanks for dropping in.

Origin of the Basic Pancake Recipe

Every year we have pancake day or Shrove Tuesday, as it is officially known today.

When is pancake day? is a question asked by children worldwide, as they look forward, to this traditional family cooking day. It next falls on Tuesday, 28th February 2017.

It was always one of those very special days of the year, when the whole family could get together to make and eat these simple pancakes. Often covered with sugar and lemon juice.

It dates back into the mists of time. It's Pagan origin are well documented. A feast of unleavened bread indicates that it predates baking with yeast, and shows a more primitive form of flat bread making.

It coincides not by accident, with the time of year, when people would be preparing to feast after surviving the winter, but may still have to tighten their belts until the spring harvest.

So it is basically a feast of flat bread.

English Pancakes

No Attribution Required
No Attribution Required | Source

Home Economics

Lent, like many other Christian festivals, was grafted onto existing pagan feast days, to assist with the transition from one belief system to another.

Today this is a worldwide festival or feast day.The terms are interchangeable.

This is how we do it in Britain, the recipe and the method.

It is still a big deal today in Britain and elsewhere around the world. Many people still practice the arcane arts of home pancake making. Kids and adults love getting stuffed on pancakes.

Basic Home Economics and Old Fashioned Good Sense

In the past, any good food that was still lying around the house, that had survived winter would be cobbled together and combined, into a huge feast, before the fasting time began.

This of course helped the finance's of the household and made sound economic sense. These old festivals on closer inspection have some interesting aspects. By the end of February to early March.

We have passed midwinter and are halfway to spring. Foodstuff that we had stored, to keep us going over winter, may now be becoming a bit ripe. It needed to be eaten to save waste and money. And as spring was on the way, new food stuff would soon be available.

Simple Pancakes Method

Add The Flour Egg Milk Water to A Bowl And Mix Well
Add The Flour Egg Milk Water to A Bowl And Mix Well | Source
Heat The Butter In The Pan And Then Add The Mix Turning Once. Cooking Time Less Than 1 Minute
Heat The Butter In The Pan And Then Add The Mix Turning Once. Cooking Time Less Than 1 Minute | Source

Traditional Pancake Mix

Traditional Pancake

The traditional pancake is unleavened bread. No raising agent is used. It is easy to see why it was thought to be from a biblical source. Food has played an important role in many religions.

If you want someone to remember something important, it is good to associate it with food. Weddings, baptisms, birthdays etc.

All have 'special foods' and meals to make the day memorable. Eating is something we do daily. By associating special food with these feast days, made people constantly have religion on their mind.

Fasting for 40 days and 40 nights has a direct connection to the struggles of Jesus Christ in the desert. Every Lent believers are encouraged to give up (fast) something they like. Smoking, drinking etc as an act of devotion?

Today, many people may have forgotten the origins of this traditional feast day.

Pancakes are now 24/7

It is possible to have pancakes whenever the fancy takes us. Pancakes are big business today and have been for many years. Like many on the tourism trail, on my visits to the USA. I too, have visited the many fast food outlets, that offer pancakes for breakfast lunch and tea.

Travel and trying new foods, go together like honey and ice cream. (also very nice on these pancakes) iHop, Denny's, Sizzler and many other fast food outfits all serve pancakes by the truckloads daily.

So why do we still want to make our own at home? Tradition. It is usually a family affair or friends come over. It is after all a celebration; that we all survived the winter.

We are looking forward to losing those extra pounds, we may have put on over winter, and of course. Spring is coming. Shrove or shriven by the way, means to acknowledge ones sins, in order to be forgiven.

How to Make a Traditional Pancake.

Pancake Method

This original version not what you will get at the IHOP, think more along the lines of french crepes'. You can buy a mix from the shop ready made but where is the fun in that? Go on make your own.

Fast dessert recipes don't get much faster than this. If possible borrow a grand-kid to help, as it can get messy. Which is nice!


1 cup of plain flour

1 cup half milk half water

1 egg

Half a small packet of butter


Granulated Sugar

Cooking time less than 1 minute


Add the flour egg and water/milk ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix to a runny consistency until it coats the back of a spoon.

Place the covered bowl in a fridge for at least 30 minutes.


In a hot non-stick frying pan add a small knob of butter.

Swirl the butter around the pan coating the surface, (or use vegetable oil)

Take a cup of the mixture and pour it into the pan just coating the bottom of the pan. Not to thick just about enough to cover the whole surface.

Cook until it appears to lift on the edges and then toss the pancake over if you are feeling brave or use a spatula for convenience and safety.

Cook this side, then slide out onto a warmed plate. Squeeze the lemon over the pancake and then sprinkle some sugar over it. Roll it up and serve. Done.

There are thousands of other toppings you could use. Pancakes and Ice Cream is delicious

Continue until all the mix is finished or everyone is full, whichever comes first. Usually you will have to make a second batch.

I hope you like these fast dessert recipes and ideas for lower calorie pancakes. They are just as tasty and much more fun to make.

Shrove Tuesday

Will You Be Making Pancakes?

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