Solving the big issues: Pancakes V crepes

A little while ago I put a snap up on Instagram, as I am wont to do, of some pancakes that I had made for Harps and I. It’s sad and true that Daisy doesn’t like them, and Rob is impartial. I know. So, there was the shot, placed in some good light, just so….OR SO I THOUGHT. It would appear I started a pancake versus crepe debate.

Some immediately told me “that’s not a pancake! That’s a crepe!”. Others disagreed “that’s a pancake alright, a crepe needs to be thinner, crispier!”. Controversy on the Instagram all on a Saturday morning.

To me, I think a pancake is a big flat vessel for lemon and sugar cooked in a fry pan. A crepe? Thinner, crispier, a little smaller and made in a crepe pan which can be used as a vessel for many different things – nutella namely. And then there is their cousins the pikelets (a small, round and thicker version of the pancake) similar to the hotcake. Fluffy! Stacked high with maple syrup dripping down. Confused? Me too!


Here’s my version of pancakes which could be considered a crepe (I think?!). A childhood favourite of mine and so easily prepared that you would be mad to buy a packet version because you will ALWAYS have this stuff on hand. You will! It’s only a slight variation on my pikelet recipe – just thinner and more added to the pan and swirled around to be flatter (if that makes sense?!) And you know the only difference for me to make these crepes would be to cook them in a crepe pan and make them even thinner. Yes, that would be my point of difference: a different pan. That and maybe I fold a crepe fancy like rather than roll a pancake. What? I never claimed to be chef.

Pancakes (makes about 500mls)

1 cup plain flour
1 egg
2 cups milk

1. Into a bowl throw in the flour, egg and milk and whisk

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2. I then transfer to a jug for easy pouring


3. Heat your pan up and add in a little knob of butter

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4. Pour in a little batter and give it a good swirl around to the edge of the fry pan and once you start seeing bubbles and the edges crisping then it’s time to flip!

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5. Serve immediately and smother with lemon and sugar because in my humble opinion, there is NO finer combination! For the kids I roll and for me? I fold. Because I’m so fancy.

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[gmc_recipe 9595]

But know I’ll leave it to YOU to tell me.

Is this a pancake, or a crepe?
What is the difference – the pan you use? The way you fold it?
What’s your favourite pancake topping?


  1. I make pikelets, using my Kiwi Edmonds classic recipe book, in our Scanpan omelet pan, and call them pancakes.

    I eat mine rolled with lemon juice and sugar. The Welshman isn’t a fan. Boyo likes his stacked with maple syrup. Canadian organic maple syrup because he’s a food snob.

    Leftovers are made into pikelets for school leftovers.

    Oh and I make mine in my Pyrex jug to save time and dishes! X

  2. I put the “cake” in pancake and am absolutely useless at cooking them but agree x infinity that lemon, sugar and lashings of real butter are the ONLY toppings for them. I wish I could get them as thin as yours – to me they become a crepe when you start getting all fancy like with what you put in them.

  3. The secret to a truly excellent pancake/crepe/whatever is to put the mix in the fridge and let it sit for half an hour before cooking. If you have to willpower to do that, I commend you. But it is totally worth it.

  4. same , same for me, we makes pancakes ( well Kitty makes them) every weekend and with the same recipe as above.. possibly crepes are larger and crispier but safe diff!

  5. That is most definitely a crepe in my book.

    Crepes are the best.

    Favourite topping – cinnamon and sugar with lemon juice.

    Crepes are my favourite sweet treat in the WORLD. When I was a kid we had them for DINNER every Sunday night but we had to eat a plate of cut up fruit first. To like, cancel out the badness of the crepe or something.

  6. Unfortunately I’m still confused!

  7. Oh yummy! Guess what I am now cooking for lunch! Just like Nanna’s but she always served oranges with sugar! Thanks

  8. That, my friend, is a crepe! If it’s thin and able to be folded – crepe in my book. Thicker and stacked – pancake. Smaller version – pikelet. Like Rob, I’m impartial too. Except for some amazing banana pancakes I had in Vietnam once, they were the king of pancakes!

  9. Pancakes are thicker and fluffy. Crepes are fine and thin. My favourite topping is banana and golden syrup. V x

  10. I think it’s a crepe but maybe that’s because you have folded it? I use the same recipe as you for pancakes but only 1 cup milk (I try not to make too many or I’d just scoff them) and I add some baking powder to get a bit of a rise. I still swear by your grated apple tip to get my 4-yr-old to eat a good brekkie. So simple but genius!!

  11. Sew Brunswick says

    That is a crepe! You can’t fold a pancake. My fave topping for pancakes is maple syrup and butter with fresh coffee. Crepes are usually eaten for dessert around here with salted caramel. Delicious!

  12. I completely agree with your assessment of the situation. That is a PANCAKE.
    Also entirely agree it must be consumed with lemon and sugar.
    In an ideal world I would let my batter sit at least thirty minutes after whisking before I cook it, but the girls’ patience rarely stretches that long!

  13. I am no expert either but they are more crepe like to me.
    I use a Exclusively food pancake recipe – no fail and they use about same milk 1 1/2C to 1 1/2 c of self raising flour. They are thick and you couldn’t possibly fold it.
    My kids roll them with Nutella.
    I like mine with strawberries or Lindt choc chunks or both and a drizzle of real maple syrup.
    I make mine in my Pyrex jug to save time too!

  14. I vote crepe! I agree with whoever said above that you can’t fold a pancake.

    My husband loves pancakes so I cook them for him for special occasions and as a thank you for letting me sleep in breakfast. I use’s recipe for basic pancakes. I’ve found this is to be the best recipe for pancakes. It was recommended to me by a friend. It didn’t turn up in my “best pancake recipe” search though. Apparently pancakes are really modest *G*.

  15. Martina Walsh says

    In Europe that’s def a pancake. A real crepe is much thinner, almost wafer thin, they are scraped around a hot plate while cooking. I would hazard a guess that Americans (whose pancakes are really thick) would call this a crepe. Anyhow, we were always told the batter absolutely had to sit in the fridge but I never knew why, I would love to know??? Any food science people?

    • Something about it giving the batter a chance to thicken I think? Something magical happens although I don’t know what that is! I know exactly what you mean about the batter scraped around for a crepe – they do it with he back of a ladle almost right?

  16. Ok so I would call this a crepe and the Dictionary tells me that a crepe is a thin pancake. Mmmmm, I want these now with lemon and sugar.

    crêpe |kreɪp|
    1 [ mass noun ] (also crape)a light, thin fabric with a wrinkled surface: [ as modifier ] : a crêpe bandage.
    • (also crêpe rubber)hard-wearing wrinkled rubber, used for the soles of shoes.
    2 |also krɛp| a thin pancake.

  17. YUM! There’s dinner sorted. With a glass of red of course

  18. Not sure! We use a similar recipe – but only one cup of milk. So 1.1.1 Sometimes we add grated apple. Sometimes soaked oats. We always let it sit – makes a difference. We make bigger ones and call them pancakes. Smaller ones…. little pancakes. Or pikelets.

  19. That’s a crepe. pancakes are what you get at the pancake parlour. Thick, dripping with maple syrup and ice cream.


  20. Lisa Mckenzie says

    Got to have lemon and sugar that’s the way I like them,I prefer a pancake rolled over a flatter crepe!

  21. To me that’s a crepe. Pancakes a fat & fluffy. Crepes are eaten with lemon & sugar, pancakes with bacon & maple syrup. Either way they are all yum!

  22. That’s how we make them at our house & we’d call it pancake….. But it’s probs a crepe in terms of thinness but that’s the only way I like them:) gotta be able to roll them I reckon!

    My fave is lemon & sugar with maple syrup:)

  23. Crepe!

    My Grandma’s 2nd husband was Hungarian and he made these for us…only we called them “Pollachinga”. Which I found out years later is really Polachinkta sp?

    We filled them with grape jelly, but I’ve had them with other fillings as well.

    Pancakes are thicker….see Aunt Jemima.

    No likey pancakes….like Pollachinga!

  24. Rach aka stinkb0mb says

    For me the difference between a Crepe and Pancake comes down to obviously how thin/thick the end product is, which is where the batter comes into it. Your batter is too thin for a true pancake – we do the 1-1-1 ratio AND let it sit in the fridge for at least half an hour before cooking, this thickens the batter up, which makes for a fluffier scrummier pancake!

    Either way – does it taste good? If so, who CARES what it actually is! LOL

  25. I agree with those that think it is a crepe. In the US, pancakes are too thick to be folded. They might have add-ins to the batter, like blueberries, but you would never be able to fold a pancake.

  26. Emily Furlong says

    I grew up eating what we called crepes or pancakes depending on if we were at Mum or Dad’s house. I’ve since learned they are thicker than a crepe, but not what I would call a true pancake….. Basically the picture above is what we ate. And I love them!

    I dished them up for my husband (back then just the boyfriend) a few years back and he looked at me weird, “these aren’t pancakes….”, he then quickly apologised and started eating as I think I may have given him a case of Hairy Eye-ball….

    Needless to say I went on the hunt and now make Stephanie Alexander’s pancake recipe from The Cook’s Companion – the one where she separates the eggs and then beats the egg whites to stiff peaks and folds in just before cooking the batter…. yeah those. I have to say as much as the good old crepe/pancake fills me with warmth and memories…. Stephanie has NAILED pancakes! Thick and fluffy and light and not a hint of stodgy in sight! Delicious with lemon and sugar OR maple syrup!!

    Ahhh… the humble pancake… Think I’ve just added them to this week’s menu 🙂

  27. while you’re all arguing about pancakes or crepes. I am eating them. Mwahahahaha

  28. Crepe to me, although my crepe recipe was one I pinched off masterchef a few years back and make it at least weekly for the kids (ok mostly me!)
    It is the 1, 2, 3 recipe.
    1 cup plain flour
    2 cups milk
    3 eggs
    Bit of vanilla and couple of tablespoons of nut brown butter and pour in to pan and swirl to edges. I’ll try your recipe if you try mine!
    Also, pro tip: we cook all of our pancakes/crepes with ghee, not butter. Doesn’t burn, still gives lovely flavour.
    Lemon and sugar all the way, although am partial to more butter and maple – the real gear, never the maple flavoured shiz.

  29. It’s a pancake in my book. If you call it a crepe you must be French. If you think pancakes are thick and fluffy then you are American.
    All delicious, but as per your recipe above is how I REALLY like them. I sometimes add a little yoghurt to the mix too (started when we ran out of milk once).

    OMG I’m so hungry now!!

  30. These are just like my nannas. Thanks for the trip down memory lane to my childhood. Very nice 😊

  31. Elise Schaefer says

    Yum! Pancakes for me today!!

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