February 21, 2012


I never heard of Pancake Day (or Shrove Tuesday) until today.  It came as pleasant surprise since it’s been a good few years since I last made any.  Today’s recipe is based on my mother-in-law’s recipe for a crêpes-type pancake, also known as South African pancakes. 

In South Africa, pancakes are as popular as koeksisters or boerewors.  You’ll find them at any fete or festival, usually prepared on the spot and served warm with cinnamon sugar.  I adjusted this recipe slightly by using soy milk instead of dairy milk.  I also used half plain flour and half spelt flour but you can use just plain flour if you wish.

This recipe makes 20 pancakes and can also be used for savoury fillings.

1 1/2 cups plain flour
2 cups Spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt

2 eggs, beaten
2 cups / 500ml milk or soy milk
2 cups / 500ml water
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tsp vanilla essence (leave out for savoury pancakes)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Add the dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk to combine.  Combine the wet ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk well.  Make a well in the center and slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, whisking all the time, to form a pancake batter that’s smooth and runny but will still coat the back of a spoon.  If you’re only using plain flour, adjust the quantity of the flour to get the right consistency.

Wipe a non-stick frying pan with a little oil on a paper towel.  Heat the frying pan to medium-high heat and using a soup spoon, ladle three quarters of a spoon of batter at a time into the pan.  You can add more or less batter depending of the size of your pan.  Immediately swirl the mixture around until it completely covers the base of the pan in a thin even layer.  The pancake will take about 30 seconds to cook, then flip over and cook for another 30 seconds.  The first one or two are always a trial, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be flipping through the rest of the pancakes in no time!

Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.  Sprinkle each pancake with cinnamon sugar while still warm and roll up.