Ready, steady, cook!
With pancake day looming, we thought you might be in need of some inspiration. While we don’t recommend letting little ones near the hot pan, they can help stir the batter and add their own toppings. So here are some ideas for both, making the mix itself (we won’t judge you if it’s easier to buy a ready-made one), as well as ways to work in some healthier toppings (obviously Nutella and ice cream works too, but all in moderation).
First things first, the batter! The simpler the better when there are impatient kids and teens waiting to be fed. So the following recipes are both very straightforward. One will give you smaller, fatter pancakes, while the other will give you thin, crepe-style pancakes. We’ve also included a gluten-free option.
100g self-raising flour (sifted)
60g caster sugar
1 medium egg
- Mix the sifted flour and sugar in a bowl or jug.
- Add the egg and milk and beat well, until you have a smooth batter.
- Heat a drop of oil in a frying pan – when the pan is really hot, pour in about 3 tablespoons of batter.
- Cook for just under a minute – using a spatula to keep an eye on how it’s cooking and turn to the other side once the first is cooked.
Recipe courtesy of netmums
1 cup plain flour
2 cups milk
3 eggs (lightly beaten)
- Sift flour into a bowl. Combine eggs and milk in a jug.
- Whisk flour into the milk and egg mixture until you have a smooth thin batter.
- Heat a non-stick pan on medium heat. Spray with cooking oil and spoon in 2-3 tablespoons of batter, taking care to immediately swirl the pan to spread the batter. Reduce heat to low.
- Cook until the surface looks dry and flip to cook the other side. Remove when slightly golden.
Recipe courtesy of Jennifer Cheung via Kidspot
125g gluten-free flour
Butter for frying
- Put the flour in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Crack the egg in the middle and pour in a quarter of the milk. Use an electric or balloon whisk to thoroughly combine the mixture.
- Once you have a paste, mix in another quarter and once lump free, mix in the remaining milk. Leave to rest for 20 minutes. Stir again before using.
- Heat a small non-stick frying pan with a knob of butter. When the butter starts to foam, pour a small amount of the mixture into the pan and swirl around to coat the base – you want a thin layer.
- Cook for a few minutes until golden brown on the bottom, then turn over and cook until golden on the other side.
Recipe courtesy of BBC Good Food
We find crepes are generally too thin to hold any extra ingredients in the batter, and are best served with toppings piled on afterwards (like maple syrup or fresh fruit and yoghurt). It’s also easy to turn the crepes into a savoury dinner option (think cheese and ham, chicken and mushroom, vegetable ratatouille etc.)
All of the following suggestions work best with the American-style pancake recipe.
- Fruit is an easy way to add natural sweetness to pancakes. Drop blueberries, raspberries or sliced banana into your batter mix before, or during, cooking.
- Add some grated carrot and a sprinkle of cinnamon to your batter, for a carrot cake style flavouring. If there’s no nut allergies in your house, you could also add some finely chopped walnuts.
- Mix in the zest of an orange or lemon for some citrus flavour. If you choose to use lemon zest, why not also mix in some poppy seeds.
- If there are any dairy intolerances, replace the milk in the recipe with oat milk (or your favourite dairy-free alternative).
And now for some less healthy alternatives…
- If you want to add a hint of chocolatey flavour, replace the milk in the recipe with chocolate milk or chocolate soy milk.
- If you want more the chocolate flavour to be a bit more obvious, drop some chocolate chips into the batter.
- Why not create some rainbow pancakes by splitting your batter into separate bowls, and adding a few drops of different food colouring in each.
- You can create a confetti effect by adding some coloured sprinkles into the batter mix.