Our Easy English Pancakes make the best breakfast, brunch or dessert. Our simple British sweet pancakes recipe uses a homemade pancake batter made from scratch to give you perfect pancakes every time.
The hardest part is choosing the topping; from classic lemon and sugar or maple syrup to chocolate sauce or even bacon you can have whatever your heart desires.
They're great for pancake day!
How to make Sweet Pancakes
Watch this video to see our easy recipe for delicious pancakes that both adults and kids love.
You can jump straight to it now or continue reading below for more information about Pancakes and Crepes.Jump to Recipe
We will go through the ingredients needed to make delicious homemade pancakes, including any alternatives.
The basic pancake recipe ingredients are flour, eggs, milk and oil.For measurements and printable instructions jump down to the recipe card.
Caster sugar is best when it comes to baking as it adds sweetness without any of the graininess that coarser sugar brings.
You can also turn granulated sugar into caster sugar by putting it into a blender.
Milk adds moisture to the mixture and thins out the batter. You can use whole milk, semi-skimmed milk, or skimmed milk.
Or you could choose dairy-free options like coconut or hemp milk.
Eggs help the ingredients to combine and the mixture to cook well.
Banana or apple sauce can be used in place of eggs for vegans or those with egg allergies.
Oil helps make the pancakes soft and rich. We use vegetable oil as we find it doesn't affect the flavours of the pancakes.
Olive oil is also good for cooking pancakes as it adds a great fragrant flavour, but any cooking oil will work.
Melted butter is also a great luxurious option. A spray oil is great for spraying the pan before cooking each pancake to prevent the batter from sticking.
Vanilla extract adds a lovely sweet flavour to the pancake recipe, enhancing the sweet taste.
Flour makes up the bulk of the pancakes, giving them structure. For super thin French crepes or slightly thicker English pancakes you will want to use plain flour.
Use self-raising flour or add baking powder to create fluffy American style pancakes. We have a fluffy pancakes recipe for them here Thick Fluffy Pancakes Stack.
To make these simple pancakes you will need a frying pan, preferably a shallow-lipped pan, to make it easy to get your spatula under the pancake when it is ready to flip it.
It is best to use some sort of blender to mix the pancake batter, it can be a stand blender or a hand blender.
Of course, a whisk will work too if you don't mind giving it a really good mix.
Making a homemade pancake mix is so easy to do, it takes very little prep time and uses everyday ingredients that you probably already have at home.
Making the Pancake Batter
Add the castor sugar, eggs, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract to a large jug.
Start by blending the wet ingredients first, then slowly add the flour 1 tablespoon at a time whilst still mixing. This helps prevent lumps from forming.
Once all the ingredients are mixed and your batter is the correct consistency its time to start cooking.
Cooking the Pancakes
This easy pancakes recipe is simple to cook!
Start by oiling your pan slightly so the entire surface is covered with a light oil coating. We use a spray oil or butter for this.
Remember: You'll need to repeat this step and re-oil the pan between each pancake.
Heat the pan to a medium heat and keep it there during cooking. It's important to never add the batter mix to a cold pan.
Gently pour enough of your homemade pancake mix into the pan to make a thin layer over the entire surface.
You may need to tilt the pan to help it reach the edges. Try not to add too much it should be fairly thin. If you want French sweet crepes, make them wafer thin!
The first pancake is the tester and you will find the sweet spot for your hob after the first one is cooked!
If your pancakes start to cook too quickly and you don't have enough time to tilt the batter around the whole pan you may need to lower the temperature slightly.
If the batter is not cooked on the first side within 1 minute you may need to raise the temperature to a medium-high heat.
After 1 minute the first side should be cooked to a perfect golden brown, it is time to flip your pancake.
The sensible way to do it is with a wide spatula.
Slide the spatula under the pancake, if it is ready it will slide under easily, if it is too floppy still, wait a bit longer.
If you really want to impress you can flip the pancake in the pan using a sharp upwards jerk to flip the pancake into the air!
Keeping Pancakes Warm
If you're making a large batch of thin British pancakes, here's a handy tip to streamline your cooking process and ensure your pancakes stay warm, soft and non-sticky.
After you've cooked each pancake, place it on a plate and lay a sheet of parchment paper over it. Cook your next pancake and place it on top of the first one, again covering it with a sheet of parchment paper. Repeat this process for all your pancakes. This simple trick prevents the pancakes from sticking together, maintaining their individual texture and integrity.
To keep your pancakes warm while you finish cooking the batch, preheat your oven to a low temperature (100C / 200F). Once you've stacked a few pancakes with parchment paper between each, pop them into the oven. This low temperature won't cook the pancakes further, but it will keep them nice and warm until you're ready to serve them.
So, no more cold or sticky pancakes! With this efficient hack, you can make a large batch of British pancakes that are just as delightful as if they were made to order. Enjoy your cooking and your meal!
Serve warm with your chosen toppings for the perfect dessert, breakfast or brunch.
When it comes to making pancakes, it's the toppings that really finish off the masterpiece and there are so many options, we'll list a few below, so play around and find your family's favourites!
Lemon and Sugar
A classic topping for thin pancakes, the refreshing tang of lemon juice paired with a sprinkle of sugar topping. Creates a simple yet delicious flavour combination. It's a light and zesty choice that never fails to please.
For the chocolate lovers, a generous spread of chocolate on your pancake will satisfy your sweet tooth. You can use any type of chocolate spread, from Nutella to a dairy-free alternative.
Banana and Chocolate Sauce
The combination of fresh, sweet bananas with rich chocolate sauce is a match made in heaven. It's a delightful mix of textures and tastes that will make your pancakes absolutely irresistible.
Chocolate Chips or Melted Chocolate
If you want to take your chocolate indulgence to the next level, consider adding chocolate chips or drizzling melted chocolate over your pancakes. It's a decadent treat that's perfect for a special breakfast or dessert.
For a fruity twist, try drizzling your pancakes with our tangy raspberry sauce. The sweet-tart flavour of the raspberries adds a wonderful contrast to the soft, warm pancakes.
Strawberries with Icing Sugar
For a fresh and sweet topping, try strawberries sprinkled with icing sugar.
The natural sweetness of the strawberries pairs beautifully with the light dusting of icing sugar. This combination not only tastes delightful but also adds a vibrant splash of colour to your pancakes.
Bacon and Maple Syrup
If you fancy a savoury option, bacon and maple syrup is a classic American pairing. Our air fryer crispy bacon complements the sweet, sticky maple syrup perfectly with a small knob of butter. Creates a flavour profile that's both satisfying and indulgent.
Our recipe will give you perfect thin pancakes every time! Let us know what your favourite topping is? Lemon and sugar is mine!
📖 Step by Step Recipe
Easy English Pancakes - Sweet Crepes
- 30 grams Sugar Caster is best but granulated is fine too.
- 360 ml Milk skimmed, semi or whole.
- 2 medium Eggs
- ½ tablespoon Vegetable Oil can substitute for other oils or use melted butter
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract optional
- 160 grams Plain Flour
- Spray Oil To spray pan between each pancake
Pancake Toppings Optional
- Sugar or Icing Sugar
- Chocolate Sauce
- Raspberry Sauce
Prepare Pancake Mix Batter
- Measure 30 grams Sugar, 360 ml Milk2 medium Eggs, ½ tablespoon Vegetable Oil, and ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract into a large jug.
- Use a hand blender or whisk, to combine the ingredients together. (can be done by hand using a whisk).
- Add 160 grams Plain Flour in a spoonfull at a time. Continue to blend with the hand mixer between each spoonful. Whisk or blend until smooth and no lumps of flour can be seen.
- Prepare your pan with a few sprays of Spray Oil. Allow to heat before pouring pancake batter into the pan.Spray Oil
- Try to keep the mixture in a thin layer, if needed you can tilt the pan to cover the whole surface of the pan.Fry on medium heat for about 1 - 1½ minute until you can easily get the spatula under the pancake.
- Flip using your spatula onto the other side and cook for another ½ -1 minutes
- Serve straight away or pile up into a stack, keep covered with foil to retain heat until all ready.
- Serve with your choice of toppings!Nutella, Strawberries, Lemon, Sugar or Icing Sugar, Banana, Chocolate Sauce, Raspberry Sauce
Originally published on 04/12/2020. Updated on 19/07/2023 to include new pictures, a clearer structure for the blog post, an updated recipe card with measurements in each step and a FAQ section.
You can store leftover batter in the fridge for up to three days and can even make the pancake batter up in advance.
Once cooked leftover pancakes can also be stored in the fridge for three days, wrap them in cling film or keep them in an airtight container.
You can re heat the pancakes in the microwave for a few seconds, turning them halfway through. You'll need to ensure they are piping hot throughout. Alternatively, enjoy them cold.
Various versions of pancakes have been around for over 30,000 years and can be traced all the way back to the Stone Age!
Most famously pancakes are often associated with Shrove Tuesday or as it's better known, Pancake Day. Pancake Day is always on the day before Ash Wednesday and the date changes every year depending on when Easter is, as it always falls 47 days before.
Shrove Tuesday is a Christian holiday, marking the last day before Lent. Historically pancakes are made as they are a way to use up eggs, milk, and sugar before fasting.
More British Recipes
If you enjoy this British sweet pancake recipe, check out some of our other British recipes.
The ingredients used for pancakes around the world are pretty much the same. However, American's, the British and the French all have a different idea of what a Pancake should look like!
American Pancakes are thick and fluffy compared to the UK version, whereas French crepes are wafer thin.
Yes, substitute the cows milk for a plant based milk and the eggs for banana or apple sauce for a great vegan version. The taste may be a bit different, but they will still be delicious.
Be sure to use a good non stick pan. If your pancakes are still sticking to the pan it will be because you didn't use a coating of oil. Check to make sure the whole bottom of the pan is coated, but also don't use too much. You can use a piece of kitchen towel to ensure even coverage. Don't forget to oil the pan again for each pancake you cook.
We hope you've enjoyed our British pancakes recipe and these topping suggestions. Pancakes are a versatile dish that can be enjoyed with so many different flavours, so don't be afraid to get creative and try new combinations.
We'd love to hear about your favourite pancake toppings. Please share your preferences and any unique topping ideas you might have. Happy pancake making!