In an ideal world, you’d be meeting up with friends to scoff pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. But just because your favourite place to eat pancakes isn’t open right now, doesn’t mean you can’t mix up some pancake magic of your own at home.
Throw away the pre-made mixture from the supermarket and dare yourself to have a pancake day you’ll never forget, trying out some delicious recipes from London’s coolest restaurants (plus one of our favourite dessert brands). As we said, if you can’t go to the restaurant, why not bring it to you?
We’ve consulted some of the most-loved brunch spots in the capital on their bestselling pancake recipes and persuaded them to share their secrets so that you can chef this 16 February.
Not only are you now privy to some of the most popular pancake recipes from the London dining scene, but we’ve deliberately chosen recipes inspired by all over the globe so that you can get a taste for pancakes in Italy, US and France.
Below you’ll find the perfect way to whip up a classic crêpe, a ricotta-covered take from Italy and, of course, fluffy, American-style pancakes with lashings of apple pie and custard. Yum.
Gail's savoury pancakes with fried eggs and avocado
- 200g plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 0.5 tsp fine sea salt
- 300ml buttermilk (or use 150ml of each whole milk and yogurt)
- 3 medium eggs
- 90g butter melted and cooled plus more for frying
- 3 spring onions chopped
- Leaves from a small bunch of coriander (15-20g), chopped
- Half a red chilli deseeded and chopped
- 2 large corns on the cob, or 3 small (about 350g corn kernels once removed from the corn’s ear)
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Using a serrated knife, gently saw down the corn ear from top to bottom, allowing the kernels to fall on your chopping board. Arrange the corn kernels on a small baking tray and roast in a hot oven for 15-20 minutes until corn is toasted and turned golden brown but not dry.
Using an oven-safe spatula, mix and turn the kernels half way through the toasting. Take out of the oven and leave to cool down. Reduce the oven heat to 100°C.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda.
In another medium mixing bowl or jug, whisk the eggs, buttermilk and melted butter, then add to the flour mixture and whisk briefly. There will be small lumps of flour and that’s fine. Avoid over-mixing the batter.
Add the coriander, chilli, spring onions and cooled corn kernels and mix again.
Heat a non-stick flat frying pan over a medium heat and add a small knob of butter. When the butter is melted and starts to foam, tilt the pan and make sure it’s coated with butter. Add a little bit more butter if the pan is not fully coated.
Add large spoonfuls of the pancake batter and gently flatten them so you get rough rounds. Depending on the size of your frying pan, start by frying three pancakes at a time. The pancakes shouldn’t touch each other.
Keep frying on medium heat until small bubbles form at the centre of the raw pancake and the bottom appears dark golden brown when checked with a spatula (5-8 minutes – if it happens sooner, reduce the heat and continue).
Gently flip the pancakes and continue frying for 5 more minutes.
When the pancakes are done, arrange them on a baking tray and keep them in the warm oven until you’re done frying the rest of the pancakes.
Continue frying in batches, adding more butter as you go (you might want to cool the frying pan a little between the batches by removing it from the heat and start afresh).
This recipe is from Roy Levy, head baker at Gail’s bakery
Chantilly cream and banana pancakes
For the batter:
- 4 eggs
- 120g caster sugar
- 100g ricotta cheese
- 500ml cultured buttermilk
- 320g flour, preferably Italian ‘type 00’
- 40g cornflour
- 5g/1 tsp baking powder
- 5g/1 ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 pinch of salt
- 50g/4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 bananas, cut diagonally into 1cm-thick slices
- 12 tbsp Chantilly cream
- Maple syrup
Make the batter by separating the egg whites from the yolks. Whisk the egg yolks with the ricotta in a large mixing bowl. Add the cultured buttermilk and mix. Sift in the flour, cornflour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Whisk briskly until you have a smooth batter.
In a second mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites with the salt until they form stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
Heat the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Using a small ladle, add a portion of batter to the pan. Cook the pancake for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden. Repeat the process to make 11 more pancakes.
Stack three pancakes on each individual serving plate. Add three tablespoons of Chantilly cream to each plate and scatter the banana slices over the pancakes. Drizzle each stack with maple syrup and devour!
This recipe is from the Big Mamma restaurant group and appears in the cookbook Big Mamma Cucina Popolare: Contemporary Italian Recipes (£27.95, Phaidon), out now
Apple pie and custard pancakes
- 1 slice of apple pie
- 500ml fresh whipping cream (a dash of vanilla extract and glug of Cointreau is optional!)
- 700ml custard
- Nutella (however much you want)
- 500g plain flour
- 5 eggs
- 250ml milk
- 100g caster sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 25g melted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- secret ingredient: a big glug of sparkling water
Make the batter by sifting the flour and baking powder. Add a pinch of salt.
Whisk the eggs and mix into the batter lightly (careful not to overbeat) with the milk, melted butter, sparkling water, sugar and vanilla extract. The batter should be thick and smooth with no lumps.
Heat a non-stick frying pan. Fill a small ladle with the batter mix and place into the pan. Cook for a few minutes until you see bubbles. Each pancake should be 4-5 inches wide.
Top with your whipped cream, custard (hot or cold), your slice of apple pie and drizzle with Nutella.
This recipe is from the menu at Polo Bar in Bishopsgate, London
Classic French crêpe
- 1 litre whole milk
- 500g T55 flour
- 10g salt
- 9 eggs
- 250g caster sugar
- 1 vanilla pod
- 125g hazelnut butter
- 60ml vegetable oil
- 300ml water/milk
To start, grate the vanilla pod into the milk. Gently cook the butter until it gets a light brown colour and begin to strain it.
Heat the milk until lukewarm and incorporate hazelnut butter. In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour, eggs, sugar, salt and oil.
Once mixed, slowly pour in the heated milk and hazelnut butter, and keep stirring until you get a smooth mixture.
Rest your mixture for a minimum of one hour before use. Add water to create your perfect consistency. Once rested, cook in a frying pan.
Serve with your favourite toppings!
This recipe is from all-day dining spot Le Deli Robuchon in Piccadilly, London
Peanut butter, caramelised banana and cacao pancakes
- 405g plain flour
- 90g sugar
- 40g melted butter
- 25g baking powder
- 3 eggs
- 390ml almond milk
- Manilife deep roasted peanut butter
- 2 bananas
- 50g butter
- 50g golden caster sugar
- 80g cacao nibs (added to taste)
- Maple syrup and coconut yogurt to taste
Sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl – very important to sieve both to avoid lumps. Add the sugar to the flour.
In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, melted butter and milk. Pour into the flour and whisk until smooth. The batter will be very thick, and may be a little lump to start with but will become smooth after a few mins if whisking.
Pour the batter into a large jug. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a little oil to lightly coat the base of the pan.
Pour the batter into the centre off the pan so it evenly spreads to the size of your desired pancake, the mixture should begin to bubble and slightly rise.
Flip the pancake after a couple of minutes, and cook until both sides are golden brown and the pancake has risen to about 1 or 2cm in thickness.
Slice the two bananas into 2cm thick pieces.
Put a frying pan onto a medium heat and melt 50g of butter and 50g of sugar. Once this has melted and started to slightly bubble, place the banana slices in the pan to caramelise.
Don’t move your bananas for around 30 seconds as this will allow your bananas to gain some colour.
The bananas should be turned once the underneath is golden brown, the second side will caramelise faster than the first.
Once you have caramelised your bananas, layer them on top of your pancakes with the peanut butter and sprinkle with cacao nibs for that added texture and slight bitterness to offset the sweetness of the bananas.
Serve with the maple syrup and coconut yogurt on the side to personal taste.
This recipe is from Acai Girls in Chelsea, London
Gü’s chocolate and salted caramel velvety spread pancakes
- 180g plain flour (gluten-free flour can be used)
- 1 pinch of salt
- 15g cocoa powder
- 60g caster sugar
- 15g baking powder
- 2 medium sized eggs (Happy Eggs are our favourite!)
- 100g Gü chocolate and salted caramel velvety spread
- 240ml whole milk
- 30g melted butter
- 100g Gü chocolate and salted caramel spread
- A handful of broken Biscoff biscuits, approx. 4-5
- 20g dark chocolate chips
- 1 sliced banana
Mix together the Gü Chocolate & Salted Caramel Spread with a little milk then whisk in the eggs and remaining milk.
Sift together the dry ingredients.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and gradually whisk in the mixture of spread, milk and egg mixture to make a smooth batter.
Add the melted butter to the batter and fold together.
Heat a non-stick frying pan over a low-medium heat and brush with a little butter.
Pour in a ladle of batter into the centre of the pan and cook for 1 minute each side.
Keep warm under a clean cloth while cooking further batches with the remaining batter.
To serve, stack 5 pancakes on a plate.
Generously drizzle Gü chocolate and salted caramel spread over your stack.
Top with the broken Biscoff biscuits and the sliced banana.
Finish with a sprinkle of dark chocolate chips and drizzle with any remaining spread, if desired.
This recipe is courtesy of Gü
Images: Phaidon; courtesy of brands
Megan Murray is a senior digital writer for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about homeware (particularly candles), travel, food trends, restaurants and all the wonderful things London has to offer.