Differences between British and American style pancakes

One of the things I’m asked about most, through this blog, is about the difference between British and American style pancakes.

Both versions can be served with either sweet or savoury fillings and in the UK we traditionally eat them on Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday) and I believe they’re typically eaten as a breakfast food in America.

The ingredients used are very similar. A British or English pancake is made up of three main ingredients, flour, milk and eggs. The batter is a lighter mixture and the pancakes are thinner and again lighter in colour often being a lot larger. They are very similar in look to crepes.

For British pancakes.

You will need
8oz/230g plain flour
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
600ml milk


There are also varying recipes used in Scotland, Wales and Ireland but I’ve never made these.

The receipe for American pancakes vary with more eggs being added to the mixture and also a raising agent, which gives the pancakes their thicker heavier texture. They also tend to be slightly smaller, but stack better, meaning they’re perfect for pouring syrup or sauce over and I recently had some for a birthday breakfast with banoffee (banana and toffee) sauce.


I believe American pancakes are traditionally served with maple syrup which is thinner in consistency to UK syrup and slightly darker in colour.

For American pancakes.

You will need
2 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 eggs
3 tablespoons melted butter

Unsurprisingly, I now have a real craving for pancakes! Might have to make some later on. 😉


  • Georgie

    June 6, 2016 at 13:58

    Interesting, I am not a huge fan of pancakes but I like them thin and much like the British style. I had no idea there was a British style and to be honest I have called these thin pancakes that I like ‘crepes’. I suppose because they really are more like crepes. I hate American pancakes because I’m not a fan of the thickness haha.

  • Karin

    June 5, 2016 at 20:13

    In Sweden we eat the British style pancakes, usually as a side dish or as dessert with jam or berries and whipped cream or ice cream.
    I’ve never tried the American kind, but I want to as they look pretty good. Might have to try making some 🙂

  • Kya

    June 5, 2016 at 02:56

    That is really cool, I had no idea that there was a difference. In Australia it seems that we are using the American style a lot more. However, I like to make them without sugar and they can be just as nice. 😀

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