Everything you need to know about Pancake Day

pancake day american scottish pancakes

Shrove Tuesday AKA Pancake Day

It’s Pancake Day soon, the one day of the year where it’s acceptable to eat pancakes at whatever time you want and top with whatever you want too.

Want to know where Pancake Day comes from? How to make a good Pancake? Or the BIG question – to go sweet or savoury?!


What is Pancake Day?

Pancake Day, also known as Shrove Tuesday, is the day which precedes Ash Wednesday.  This date is determined by Easter, so it can fall on a different date each year.

The name Shrove Tuesday comes from ‘shrive’, meaning absolution for sins by doing penance. This goes back to Christians confessing their sins before Lent.  The change to Pancake Day came about as rich foods such as eggs and sugar would be used up before the fasting of Lent.  An excuse for a party!

How to make a good pancake

Given that I live in Glasgow, Scottish-style pancakes (also known as drop scones) are the best tasting for me.  None of those wafer-thin crepes for us!  These thick, fluffy smashers are more like American Pancakes, which are perfect for soaking up syrup and handling the baddest of toppings. So, here’s our tried and tested formula for perfect Scotch pancakes.

pancake day american scottish pancakesIngredients

135g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp caster sugar
130ml milk
1 large egg
2 tbsp melted butter


Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar into a large bowl.
In a separate bowl whisk together the milk and egg, then whisk in the melted butter.
Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth batter.
Let the batter stand for a few minutes.
Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat.  Add a ladle of batter (or more make small or large pancakes).
Wait until the top of the pancake begins to bubble, then turn it over and cook.


savoury pancake day

Sweet or Savoury

Toppings such as jam, cream, lemon, sugar, dusted cinnamon, nutella, banana and cream – the list is endless!  Don’t forget you can make savoury pancakes as well.  Omit the sugar and when the pancakes are cooked fill them with ham, cheese, spinach, mushrooms, bacon – again it’s an endless list, the choice is yours!

Happy Pancake Day!

Pancake day




I am Emma and with my husband Mark write Foodie Explorers, which is a food and travel website.

I am a member of the Guild of Food Writers and British Guild of Travel Writers.

We have a wide range of judging experience covering products, hotels and have judged, for example, for Great Taste Awards and Scottish Baker of the Year.

Along the way Mark gained WSET Level 2 in Wine and I have WSET Level 2 in Spirits as well as picking up an award with The Scotsman Food and Drink Awards.    

Usually I can be found sleeping beside a cat.

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  1. Elizabeth

    My husband made crepes for pancake day (I’m Canadian and to me, pancakes are not crepes, lol – it’s an ongoing argument we have!) and I topped mine with lashings of chocolate syrup, whipped cream, chocolate and marshmallows. Yum! Love your pancake recipe!

  2. Evelyne CulturEatz

    I know I am late but I am still coming over for breakfast 🙂 Thank you for explaining pancake day. I am from the capital of maple syrup, Quebec, so glad to see real maple syrup there!

    1. Glasgow Foodie

      Welcome for breakfast anytime x

  3. Caro - Taste of Savoie

    Living in France it’s crepes for us – and I’d always go savoury, normally I put in a blue cheese and cured ham, or goats cheese, honey and bacon. I love your list of fillings ideas!

    1. Glasgow Foodie

      Ooh blue cheese and cured ham sounds delicious. Hungry now!

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