Pancake Day recipes: London’s top chefs share their tips for nailing Shrove Tuesday

Look on the flip side: try a new recipe this year  (Mae Mu on Unsplash)
Look on the flip side: try a new recipe this year (Mae Mu on Unsplash)

There has been plenty of time to perfect the pancake; the dish is truly ancient, having been enjoyed sufficiently by the Greeks to make it into poetry circa 600BC, but thought to have been eaten by those chipping away during the Stone Age. While the dumbly-straightforward “pancake” name wasn’t coined until the 17th century — astonishing it took so long to come up with — the idea of mixing flour, milk and eggs appears to have been one of mankind’s earliest.

As such, long before lemon and sugar became the standard — and centuries before Nutella was even a glint in Pietro Ferrero’s eye — chefs, cooks and Neolithic sorts were experimenting. Old favourite pairings included everything from rosewater to sherry (still a smart choice).

Still, tens of thousands of years of history later, and few agree on the perfect accompaniment — or even a basic recipe. Below, five of the capital’s top chefs share their thoughts.

Crepes with crispy maple bacon and spiced apple chutney

Gregory Marchand, Frenchie,

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(Press handout)

“One of my favourite dishes at the restaurant for pancake day is this one, of pancakes topped with crispy maple bacon, spiced apple chutney and smoked bacon ice cream. The blend of fatty bacon, sharp, sweet apple and the cooling ice cream is just perfection.”

Makes: Six pancakes


For the pancakes

  • 140g plain flour

  • 200ml whole milk

  • 2 eggs

  • 25g melted butter

For the bananas

  • 4 tbsp brown sugar

  • 2 bananas

For the apple chutney

  • 1 green apple diced

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar

  • 50g light brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

  • 1 tablespoon corn starch

  • 1 teaspoon all spice


  1. Combine all the ingredients for the pancakes together using a food processor. Then, in a non-stick pan on a medium heat, cook the batter while making sure that the crepe is about half a millimetre thick.

  2. Meanwhile, reduce the vinegar, sugar and maple syrup by half, add corn starch and cook for one to two minutes, add the apple and then the allspice, cook for a further two minutes, and then cool.

  3. Sprinkle the banana slices with brown sugar and caramelise with a blow torch or simply under a hot grill. Garnish with icing sugar.

Pancakes with berry compote, fresh berries and clotted cream

Henry Omereye, Riding House Cafe,

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(Press handout)

“My secret to light and fluffy pancakes is to add the egg yolks first to your mixture and allow it to rest for three minutes. Then in a separate bowl, beat the egg whites and combine all ingredients together. If you want thin, crispy crepes, always make sure your pan is not too hot as the batter goes in; you should be able to tilt the pan, so the batter forms a thin (!) layer over the base. Then gradually turn up the heat and cook for two to three minutes on each side. Keep checking so it doesn’t burn.”

Makes: 20 pancakes


For the pancakes

  • 1.7kg malted flour

  • 250g unsalted butter

  • 8 eggs

  • 1l whole milk

  • 200g caster sugar

  • 500ml water

For the berry compote

  • 1kg frozen blueberries

  • 400g caster sugar


  1. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl, melt the butter and separate the egg yolk from the whites.

  2. Make a well with the flour in the bowl and in the centre add the yolks, sugar, butter and milk. Mix and adjust the texture with water and allow to rest for three minutes.

  3. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites into a foam and then combine with the rest of the mixture. Have your non-stick pan and some butter ready to cook.

  4. Put a ladle full of batter into the pan and cook the pancakes for two minutes on each side, then finish in the oven for five to six minutes at 190°C.

  5. For the compote, combine all the ingredients together in a pot, and cook them over on a low heat till it’s all reduced by half, then take it off the heat.

  6. When everything is ready, assemble your pancakes. Top with clotted cream and garnish with a mixture of fresh blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. Add some good quality maple syrup and icing sugar, et voilà.

Sweet Goan pancakes filled with jaggery and coconut

Will Bowlby, Kricket,

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(Press handout)

“There are hundreds of different pancakes across India, from sweet malpua to savoury dosa. I am constantly discovering new ones. This year I am making Alle Belle, which is a sweet pancake recipe from Goa and makes for the perfect afternoon treat.  If you fancy going the extra-mile, then garnish the pancakes with a dusting of icing sugar and some chopped pistachios.”

Makes: Four pancakes


For the pancakes

  • 80g plain flour

  • A pinch of salt

  • 1 egg

  • 150ml whole milk

  • A pinch of baking powder

  • A little ghee or clarified butter

For the filling

  • 6 pitted dates, finely chopped

  • 50g fresh grated coconut, desiccated coconut is a fine alternative, toasted to a light golden brown in a dry pan

  • 50g Jaggery or dark muscovado sugar

  • 1 cardamon pod, grounded to a powder

  • A small pinch of Maldon salt


  • In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, the egg and baking powder. Slowly incorporate the milk until you have a thin batter consistency. Leave this to one side whilst you make the filling.

  • Combine all the ingredients for the filling in a pan. Add a little splash of water to prevent the mixture from sticking.

  • Cook over a low heat until all the ingredients have come together, and you have a nice thick sweet paste with no liquid — this should take about 10 minutes. Allow to cool and set aside.

  • To make the pancakes, heat up a little ghee or clarified butter in a non-stick frying pan over a low to medium heat.

  • Pour a ladle of the batter into the pan, and swirl around to allow the batter to spread into a thin pancake. You don’t particularly want any colour on the pancake itself, so keep the heat relatively low and flip the pancake after a couple of minutes or so.

  • Once flipped, add some of the stuffing into the middle of each pancake and remove from the pan onto a serving plate. Roll up the pancakes, and repeat until you have used up all the batter and filling!

Classic America-style pancakes

Richard Sawyer, Maddox Tavern,

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(Press handout)

“For the best American-style pancakes, always make the batter at least 24 hours before, refrigerate, then take out of fridge at least 45 minutes before cooking. When you’re making the pancake, having poured the batter into the pan, let it bubble on the top before flipping — this is how you’ll know it’s cooked on the other side and is ready to flip.”

Makes: Four pancakes


  • 480g buttermilk

  • 4 whole eggs

  • 57g  melted butter

  • 297g flour

  • 70g sugar

  • 1g salt

  • 14g baking powder

  • 3.5g baking soda


  1. Combine all the dry ingredients, then add the buttermilk and eggs, and gently add melted butter too. Ideally leave this to rest overnight.

  2. This one’s simple — just pour it into a medium hot pan, and leave it to bubble, then flip. Keep an eye on it to watch it doesn’t burn. I particularly like these with caramalised banana.

Banana pancakes with golden syrup

Nelsandro “Sandro” Farmhouse

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(Press handout)

“Everyone loves banana pancakes, and what better way to eat them than in bite size pieces, drizzled with something like golden syrup? What’s great about this recipe is that you can switch out some of the flour with protein powder, making them just that bit more filling and a great start to the morning. But why stop at bananas? The sky is the limit as what you can dip in pancake batter — I’ve even tried them with fried bacon.”

Makes: Four pancakes


  • 120g plain flour

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 2 tbsp caster sugar

  • 150ml milk

  • 1 scoop protein powder or 30g plain flour

  • 1 large egg

  • Olive oil or vegetable oil, for frying

  • 2 bananas, sliced

  • Lyle’s golden syrup for topping


  1. In a medium bowl, mix all your ingredients into a smooth batter.

  2. Heat a medium-sized pan with oil over medium to high heat.

  3. Slice the bananas and using a fork coat in the pancake batter.

  4. Fry each banana bite on each side for about 30 seconds.

  5. Dish out and drizzle with the Lyle’s golden syrup.