Fans of pancakes will tell you that they are one of the finest additions to a brunch table you can get, and we would certainly agree! These soft and light cakes taste amazing when topped with maple syrup, making every bite a taste sensation!
But when it comes to griddle cakes vs pancakes, what is the difference? And which is best? Well, if you are in the U.S, you might have noticed that they are exactly the same thing! The reason we use two different names for one of our most popular brunch items is that they are referred to differently in other countries around the world.
However, the story doesn’t end there! Pancakes and griddle cakes are known by many different names around the world, with some fascinating regional variations.
Let’s take a look at pancakes and griddle cakes and find out all about these batter-based treats!
What Are Griddle Cakes?
A griddle cake is not what we normally think of as a cake, baked in the oven. These little cakes are made by dropping batter onto a griddle pan, where it is cooked into a flat cake. Basically, a griddle cake is a cake cooked on a griddle!
The great thing about griddle cakes is that they are made from ingredients we normally have available, and they are incredibly quick and easy to cook.
The basic ingredients for griddle cakes are egg, milk, flour, sugar, baking powder.
This is all you need to create perfect little griddle cakes, with amazing light and fluffy texture! The baking powder creates tiny bubbles in the batter, giving our griddle cakes the perfect fluffy consistency.
What Are Pancakes?
Pancake = cake cooked in a pan!
In the U.S., pancakes are made from egg, flour, sugar, milk, and baking powder. This thick batter is ladled onto a hot griddle, to form perfect circles of round cakes.
These are commonly served with toppings such as fruit, maple syrup, chocolate chips, peanut butter, and sliced nuts.
A tower of freshly cooked pancakes with your favorite toppings is one of the finest things in life!
Are Griddle Cakes And Pancakes The Same Thing?
The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed one thing: the ingredients for griddle cakes and pancakes are identical! So, when it comes to griddle cakes and pancakes, what is the difference?
Well, if you live in the U.S., there is absolutely no difference at all! What we call pancakes and griddle cakes are actually the same thing, made in exactly the same way using identical quantities of ingredients.
Griddle cakes and pancakes have a long history in one form or another—it has been discovered that our prehistoric ancestors also ate food made from batter cooked over a fire!
They were eaten regularly in Ancient Greece and Rome and were also hugely popular in Tudor times.
The two different names most likely come from regional variations or names that have been adopted from elsewhere in the world.
But now for the confusing bit! In some other countries, griddle cakes and pancakes are not the same thing! For example, if you ordered both in a café in Scotland, you would be served two different things.
Let’s find out all about the difference between pancakes and griddle cakes all around the world!
What Is The Difference Between Pancakes And Griddle Cakes?
Although in the U.S. we use the names interchangeably to refer to the same food item, around the world many different names are used for similar foodstuffs.
A thin batter is used to make pancakes in the U.K, crepes in France, Bao bing in China, palacsinta in Hungary, and blintz in eastern Europe and Israel.
Thicker pancake batter makes what we know of as griddle cakes in the U.S. In other countries, you will find the same mix used to make Australian pikelets, Scotch pancakes or dropped scones, and Greek tigantes.
Basically, pretty much every country in the world has its own take on the pancake recipe, and they all contain the same basic ingredients!
There will be some variations in the consistency of the batter, and some have adapted the recipe to include other local ingredients.
In America, pancakes or griddle cakes are thicker and contain bubbles of air that create a fluffy texture. This is because a raising agent is added to the batter, which is not the case in other countries.
For example, in the UK a pancake is flat and thin because no raising agent is used.
If you went on a world tour and asked for pancakes and griddle cakes, you would get served something different in every location.
A pancake in the U.K does not contain any leavening agent, and is normally thinner than a U.S pancake, but not as thin as a French crepe!
A Norwegian griddlecake contains buttermilk rather than milk, and the Scottish version, the drop scone (or Scotch pancake), is sweetened and slightly thicker than the U.S version.
(Incidentally, a world tour sampling pancakes sounds like the dream holiday!)
There is a good reason for this worldwide phenomenon: pancake batter is thought to be one of the first ways in which humans ate flour.
So, we’ve been eating pancakes for thousands of years, and it is no wonder that the terminology for this versatile batter has become somewhat muddled!
Are Hotcakes And Flapjacks The Same As Pancakes?
An American-style pancake is sometimes also referred to as a hotcake or a flapjack. These names are often used in certain regions, and might not be well known all around the country.
However, if you ask for a flapjack in Britain, you’d be served a baked cereal bar made from oats, butter, and honey! Delicious, but maybe not quite what you were looking for.
The Ultimate American Pancake Or Griddle Cake Recipe
There aren’t many people who would turn away pancakes for breakfast, and they are so easy to make!
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 cup (240 ml) milk
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- Assorted toppings of your choice
- Mix together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder) in a small bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and vegetable oil.
- Add the dry ingredients to the liquid mixture and stir gently.
- Heat your skillet or griddle over medium heat, adding a thin layer of vegetable oil.
- Pour 2-3 tablespoons of batter onto the skillet to make one pancake.
- Cook the pancake until you see bubbles forming on the surface – this will take around 1 minute.
- Take a thin spatula and carefully flip the pancake over.
- Cook for a further 1-2 minutes, until the bottom of the pancake is brown.
- Remove the pancake and place it on a heatproof platter in a warm oven while you cook the remainder.
- Serve the pancakes with a selection of toppings, such as fresh berries, crème Fraiche, and chocolate chips.
Now that we’ve gone over all of the key differences between griddle cakes and pancakes, let’s take a look at a few related questions on the subject!
Can waffle mix be used to make pancakes?
A waffle mix could be used to make pancakes, but it depends on the type of waffle mix. Belgian waffle mix will not make good pancakes, because the ingredient profile for Belgian waffles is very different from pancakes.
A standard waffle mix can be used to make pancakes. To use waffle mix to make pancakes, you just need to dilute the batter to make it thinner and adjust any other additions slightly.
Your pancakes might be slightly sweeter and crispier than normal, but this isn’t a problem for most people!
If your waffle mix requires water or milk to be added, use double the amount to get a pourable batter, and reduce the number of eggs by half. If the directions ask for extra oil to be added, skip this ingredient altogether.
Are pancakes the same as crepes?
Crepes are a traditional French method of making delightfully thin and light pancakes. If you’ve never tried a crepe with a light dusting of sugar and a dash of lemon juice, you don’t know what you are missing!
For the perfect crepes, combine 1 cup of pancake mix with 4 whole eggs, 1 ½ cups milk, 2 tsp vanilla extract, and 3 tbsp unsalted butter in a blender.
Leave the mix to stand for 30 minutes, then cook your crepes in a sizzling hot non-stick skillet (we’d recommend this one). About ¼ cup of batter mix will be the perfect amount to create one deliciously thin crepe.
Are waffles the same as pancakes?
Pancake and waffle batters contain the same ingredients, so does that mean they are the same?
Well, they are both batter-based recipes, but the quantities of each ingredient are very different depending on the type of batter you are making.
Waffle batter is normally much thicker in consistency than pancake batter. This is because it contains a higher proportion of flour in relation to the amount of milk used.
The batter used to make waffles also contains higher amounts of sugar and fat. Waffle batter is thick, creamy, sweet, and rich, perfect for making our favorite crispy breakfast treats.
If you’d like to learn how to make Japanese soufflé pancakes as well as traditional American pancakes, check out this video from Joshua Weissman!
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