Pancake Day Toppings From Around The World

Pancake Day Toppings From Around The World

Shrove Tuesday is almost upon us, landing on 1st March this year. Of course, officially, you might say that it’s more something for the kids to get excited about. In private, though, we all know that grown-ups are looking forward to it just as much. We certainly are.

You can’t go wrong with traditional English pancakes with lemon and sugar, but what if you want to be a little more adventurous this year? After all, variants of pancakes are enjoyed in most countries around the world.

Remember, it isn’t just the topping — the pancake itself can vary just as much. Here’s a quick tour of what you can try, with links to the recipes for each. Because why shouldn’t this year’s Pancake Day be a little different?


We’ll start close to home, and with Greek Tiganites. These are often eaten for breakfast in Greece, and are usually coated in honey and walnuts, cinnamon or dipped in yoghurt. They have a light doughnut-like texture.

In Iceland, Pancake Day is called Sprengidagur, which means ‘bursting day’. A name pretty fitting once you've tried indulgent Icelandic pönnukökur pancakes, with jam and whipped cream.

The Netherlands is famous for poffertjes, or mini Dutch pancakes. They’re tiny, little bite-sized puffed-up pancakes, made in a special dimpled copper or cast iron pan, and are often best served simply with butter and icing sugar.

A Finnish pancake, or pannukkau, is baked in a large pan and then cut into slices to be served. With its puffed-up edges, it slightly resembles a pizza. Serve with whipped cream and some fresh fruit toppings.

Blini pancakes are from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, and are one of the most eaten foods in Slavic countries. They are savoury, made with leavened butter and can be either made in small bite-sized portions for canapés or larger pan-sized varieties. Eat them with smoked salmon, or caviar if you’re feeling particularly fancy.


Uttapam, from South India, is a type of thick dosa. Served with savoury toppings like tomatoes, chillies, coconut and grated carrots, it is a popular breakfast dish.

Japanese okonomiyaki is a griddled savoury pancake that is made with wheat flour batter and includes cabbage. It can be topped with just about anything that takes your fancy, including meat and fish along with a variety of sauces and pickled ginger.

South Korea’s legendary obsession with kimchi (the national spicy fermented cabbage dish) even pervades pancakes, with kimchibuchimgae. Also sometimes called kimchijeon, these pancakes include finely-sliced kimchi incorporated into the batter, and are served with a simple dip.

Apam Balik are Malaysia’s pancakes of choice. These are crispy and fluffy turnovers, with sweet fillings such as roasted peanuts, sugar or creamy sweetcorn.

South America

Capachas are eaten in both Venezuela and Colombia. As small, corn pancakes folded over melted cheese, or sometimes just with butter, they are deliciously simple.

We know what you’re thinking

As well as trying something new and different for Shrove Tuesday, you might also want to stick with some tried and tested favourites. This brings us on to a question — are Scotch and American pancakes the same thing?

Well, not quite. Scotch pancakes, or drop scones as they’re sometimes called, are thick and perfect with maple syrup and butter. Their cousins, American pancakes, look similar but are lighter and often include blueberries.

Similarly, French crêpes aren’t quite the same as similar-looking English pancakes. They’re even thinner, and quite lacey. As well as the classics of bananas and Nutella, they can be wrapped around a huge variety of savoury fillings. Try smoked salmon or spinach and ricotta.

If you have any delicious pancake recipes or toppings you'd like to share, tell us on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels.