What ‘batter’ excuse is there to indulge in some flipping tasty, sweet or savoury treats? So pan your other plans and try one of these great Pancake Day activities.
Back to basics: How to make your own pancake mix
You’d think there was only one recipe for pancake batter which includes milk, eggs and flour but, no, there’s a few, depending on whether you want a basic batter for standard, crepe-like thin pancakes, or you want to feast on American-style fluffy pancakes that you can stack and enjoy States-style.
Or why not combine the two to make a delicious strawberry filled pancake cake – perfect as a dinner party dessert that’s sure to impress your guests? Stack crepe-style larger pancakes at the base and add smaller fluffy American pancakes on top with a beautiful filling of sweetened whipped cream and finely sliced strawberries between each layer, inspired by Contemplating Sweets.
There are some great vegan recipes for those who are following a vegan, egg-free or dairy-free diet (which are lighter than their egg and milk-based counterparts but still delicious!) such as vegan matcha pancakes from Labeless Nutrition, buttermilk pancakes which have a tang to their taste, and sweet potato pancakes.
But some rules remain the same, and when it comes to how to make the perfect pancake: don’t over whisk the batter and always rest it, heat your frying pan well - butter or oil should be very hot but not smoking - and only flip pancakes once during cooking to keep all the air in and keep them light. And, if you are wondering how long can you keep pancake batter in the fridge? It’s recommended between two and five days.
Get the kids involved
Kids love everything about Pancake Day from helping to make them, to flipping them and of course, playing all sorts of pancake games from making a pancake tower to having pancake races.
It helps to get them interested in cooking - and if they’ve cooked something themselves they’re more likely to eat it! - and it helps to educate and support their development in so many different ways.
For a simple idea children will love, join small circular pancakes together in a line to make a caterpillar and add a face and legs using fresh berries.
Try a new topping
The fun doesn’t end once you’ve made your pancake and flipped it - there are lots of Pancake Day topping ideas to make sure it carries on (and not just in the eating). You can decorate pancakes with sweet toppings like homemade syrups, fruit and cream and ice-cream, chocolate sauce and all your favourite confectionery. You can even make pancake portraits and create weird and wonderful characters, using fruit for facial characteristics, squirty cream for a beard, and sweet laces for hair. Why not base it on someone you know and see if anyone can guess who it is?
Savoury pancakes like bacon and avocado, goats cheese and poached eggs make a wonderful breakfast. Or celebrate St David’s Day (March 1st) by using Tesco’s recipe for Welsh rarebit as a filling. If you’re really in the mood to indulge, load your pancakes with smoked salmon, sour cream, capers and dill, and enjoy a glass of bubbly on the side. We love this recipe from BBC Good Food for smoked salmon blinis.
How to make pancake shapes
It’s easy to create fun shapes with your pancakes, either by using any cookie cutters to cut them out once you’ve made them, or by using metal cookie cutters which you can place in your frying pan and pour the mixture inside.
Continuing the pre-St David’s Day celebrations you could use a Welsh dragon cookie cutter and add colour using fruit. Or use a Welsh flag stencil and sift colourful icing sugar or sherbet over to create your design.
You can even put the batter into a recycled squeezy bottle to ‘draw’ shapes, or the initials of your children, in the pan; and add natural dyes to make them in a variety of colours such these 'pink power' pancakes made with beetroot. Depending on your artistic skills you can create anything from animals to insects and dinosaurs (you can buy a pancake pen but a squeezy bottle works just as well!).
Turn your Pancake Day into a fundraiser
We have games evenings, quiz nights and coffee mornings from home to raise money for our favourite charities - so what about Pancake Day fundraising ideas? You can organise a pancake party! It’s an easy and affordable way to feed all your friends and ask them to donate to your chosen charity - Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation or The Trussell Trust to name a few popular ones - or you might even have one closer to your heart. It’s a great way to catch up with friends and enjoy getting together again, and for every pancake you make you can ask for a donation to your chosen charity. You could even play the Pancake portrait game and give a prize to the best one.
We’d love to see your Pancake Day creations. Tag us on social media and we’ll share our favourites.