Traditional English pancakes are essentially a thin crepe that has been lightly brushed with melted butter, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and a sprinkle of granulated sugar. At least, that’s how I like to eat them! My mom would make English Pancakes for breakfast on holidays (like Christmas, Thanksgiving, my birthday) or when we had guests over. This recipe holds a special place in my heart because it’s one that was passed down from my late grandma Baker. 

A fork cutting into English pancakes.

There’s definitely no shortage of breakfast recipes around here. A few of my absolute favorites are my fluffy buttermilk pancakes, buttermilk waffles, and baked oatmeal cups.

Every few weeks I like to make this English pancake recipe and over the years I’ve really come to master it. Although, it’s not really a recipe that requires mastering, haha. It consists of simply mixing eggs, flour, and milk together. The trickiest part would be making the actual pancake without tearing them.

Ingredients needed to make English Pancakes

You need only a few ingredients to make these English pancakes/crepes.

  1. Eggs
  2. Flour
  3. Milk

For the toppings you’ll need:

  1. Melted butter
  2. Lemon juice
  3. Granulated sugar

Pro tip: you can forgo the lemon juice and sugar and dollop some Greek yogurt whipped cream with a drizzle of raspberry sauce. YUM!

Two photos, the left photo is a bowl with cracked eggs; the right bowl shows the eggs after mixing.

How to make English Pancakes

In a large bowl add the eggs. Using a hand mixer, or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs on medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute.

Add the flour and mix again. Beat for another minute.

Two glass bowls with English pancake batter.

Pour in the milk. And mix again.

Now, all of this mixing might seem a bit tedious, and maybe it is! This is how my grandmother made her English pancakes so I haven’t done otherwise. With that said, I do have a pretty good sense of food and food science.

Milk being poured into English pancake batter.

So I’ll offer a pro tip: You can get away with adding all of the ingredients to a large bowl and mixing them at once. With this being a family recipe I’ve always made them as written, but I do know they’ll turn out beautifully if you choose to forgo the three separate mixing stages! 

Once the batter is made, you can place it in the fridge to sit for about 15-30 minutes. I’ve always heard that allowing the batter to rest prevents the crepes from tearing. Is this true? It’s hard to say! I usually don’t have a lot of tearing issues, whether I let the batter sit or not.

If you choose to let the batter rest, this will give you enough time to prep the cast iron skillet and toppings. OR continue and make the crepes immediately after prepping the batter.

Either way works!

Cooking English Pancakes

Warm a cast iron skillet over medium to medium-low heat. (You’ll want to finagle with your stove top settings to get a feel for what the best temperature for you will be).

Butter the skillet. Pro tip: I like to use a fresh cube of butter and fold down the top of the butter wrapper. I then grab the wrapped end of the cube and quickly swoosh the open portion of the butter stick over the skillet. (I hope that made sense to you!)

Holding the skillet in one hand (with a hot pad on!!) pour 1/3 cup of the batter into the skillet while rotating the skillet around in a circle so that the batter dribbles across the entire pan.

Place the pan on the burner and let cook for 1 minute or until lightly golden brown. Use a rubber spatula and flip the pancake over and continue to cook the other side until lightly golden.

Transfer the cooked English pancake to a plate. Continue this process until all of the batter has been used up.

A cast iron skillet cooking an English pancake.

English Pancake Toppings

Lay a single crepe on a large plate. Using a pastry brush lightly brush some melted butter overtop of the crepe.

Next, squeeze fresh lemon juice overtop, about 1 1/2 teaspoons worth.

And lastly, sprinkle a nice dosage of granulated sugar over the lemon juice.

Starting on one end, roll the crepe up until it sort of resembles a log.

Top with additional lemon juice and sugar, if desired!

A plate of English pancakes.

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A plate of English pancakes.
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5 from 1 vote

English Pancakes

English pancakes are essentially crepes topped with melted butter, lemon juice, and sugar. These make for a delicous breakfast, brunch, or even dessert!
prep time 5 mins
cook time 25 mins
total time 30 mins
servings: 16 English pancakes
calories: 150kcal

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter cold

Toppings

  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • lemon juice (use as much or as little as you'd like)
  • granulated sugar use as much or as little as you'd like

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a large bowl add the eggs. Using a hand mixer beat the eggs for 1 minute on medium speed, or until well combined. *
  • Add the flour to the eggs. Mix until combined.
  • Add the milk to the eggs and flour. Mix until combined.
  • Either set the batter in the fridge to let rest for 15-30 minutes while you prep the skillet and topping ingredients, or continue on without the "batter resting" phase.**
  • Warm a cast iron skillet over medium to medium-low heat. (You'll want to finagle with your stove top settings to get a feel for what the best temperature for you will be).
  • Butter the skillet (I like to use a fresh cube of butter and fold down the top of the butter wrapper. I then just grab the wrapped end of the cube and quickly swoosh the butter stick over the skillet.) Holding the skillet in one hand (with a hot pad on!!) pour 1/3 cup of the batter into the skillet while rotating the skillet around in a circle so that the batter dribbles across the entire pan.
  • Place the pan on the burner and let cook for 1 minute or until lightly golden brown. Use a rubber spatula and flip the pancake over and continue to cook the other side until lightly golden.
  • Transfer the cooked English pancake to a plate. Continue this process until all of the batter has been used up.

Topping the Crepes

  • Lay a single crepe on a large plate. Using a pastry brush lightly brush some melted butter overtop of the crepe.
  • Next, squeeze fresh lemon juice overtop, about 1 1/2 teaspoons worth or more to your liking.
  • And lastly, sprinkle a nice dosage of granulated sugar over the lemon juice.
  • Starting on one end, roll the crepe up until it sort of resembles a log.
    Top with additional lemon juice and sugar, if desired! Serve warm.

RECIPE NOTES

*With this being a family recipe, I usually make it how my grandmother did... with mixing everything in 3 steps. However, you can add the eggs, flour, and milk to the bowl and mix everything together at once. But, for keepsake purposes I'm writing the recipe as it was given to me from my grandma. 
**It's said that allowing the batter to rest will reduce the amount of tear that happens in crepes. I've let the batter rest and I've also made the crepes without the rest period. I don't get a lot of tear-age in either circumstance. So you can do whatever you wish!
nutrition facts do not include lemon juice and sugar in the calculation.
Calories: 150kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 116mg | Potassium: 88mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 421IU | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
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