A popular British breakfast food, English Crumpets warm and fresh out of the toaster with a slight crispness to the exterior and a warm soft center and bathed in melted butter because it oozes through all the holes. Serve with a hot tea and you have a classic taste of England. Doesn’t this sound yummy? Everything’s better with butter and these crumpets are no exception.
One can enjoy them topped with jam, but not for me. Served warm and dripping with butter is the only way I like eat them. They are one of my favorite items to eat for breakfast, with a large mug of tea of course or as an afternoon tea time snack, tea and crumpets is one of Englands best afternoon treats.
What is a crumpet?
Crumpets are savory, light, airy and a little bread-like. They are made by cooking a yeast and flour batter in a round ring mold in a pan until cooked through and bubbles develop on the top. They are then turned and when the bubbles pop, they create the famous holes on the top that butter melts into.
Crumpets v’s English Muffins
Crumpets are not to be confused with English muffins, but they are similar. With the combination of only 6 ingredients, milk, sugar, yeast, flour, baking powder and salt, the batter is poured into ring molds and cooked stovetop in a skillet over low heat. As they cook the batter bubbles and when the bubbles burst this is how the holes are created.
The crumpet rings (shown in the picture above) which are the same as muffin rings can be purchased from Amazon.
Crumpet distinctive holes
I have had many questions regarding the holes not developing. The holes are created by the heat causing steam which rises up through the dough and creating bubble pockets that burst and create holes. SOMETIMES THEY MAY NOT DEVELOP, this has happened to me. You can see in the video some of mine don’t have holes. Make sure you use the freshest yeast and baking powder. Also, only fill the molds to 3/4-inch (2 cm).
I have to admit, I was standing over them a little too eagerly as they cooked and urging on as many bubbles to appear as possible so that would equate to lots of holes. The more holes means more butter melts into the center of the crumpet.
Crumpet making tip
To retain the characteristic holes, it is important not to turn the crumpets too soon.
If you look at the picture above, the bottom one was turned too soon (still wet in the center) and it flattened the dough and closed the holes. You want it to look like the top one. This is also important, because the step is partially cooking the crumpet that you can finish in the toaster.
I’m so excited that after many attempts, I have perfected my own crumpet recipe and I’ll never buy store bought again. Why eat rubbery, manufactured crumpets when homemade is so much better?
These are lighter, better tasting and I can control what ingredients put into them, which are all real and nothing I can’t pronounce.
43 Comments on “English Crumpets”
Will doubling or tripling the recipe effect the results?
Doubling yes, I’m not sure about tripling
Thank you! I made 2 double batches for brunch today. Everyone loves them. And thank you for the skewer trick. Every crumpet had nice holes to accept butter.
I’m so happy they were a hit! Thank you for the feedback.
We are lucky enough to have this little bakery in Rochester , NY called Crumpets! Apparently, they have been open for 2 years, but I just discovered them as they are selling their crumpets in a little store near my house. All they make are the most heavenly crumpets! The owner said that in England crumpets are not a big deal and are very common. I had them in London years ago and could never really find them here until now!
I used to get some from Wegmans who carried them in their processed bread section, but they were not all that good. I didn’t realize what I was missing until I bought them from this bakery …fresh! You can sit down in their little tea room and they serve them with butter, honey or jam. You can also get them as a breakfast item/cooked egg, cream cheese and cucumber and a few other delicious combinations. I go and buy them each week and freeze them. I put one out in a plastic bag over night to thaw and pop it into the toaster each morning! So very good! I am going to try your recipe! I am not sure I can actually make them any better than I can get them at Crumpets ,but thank you! And thank you for including all the US measurements for all your recipes! I can’t wait to try many of these!
Thank you for the info, I need to check them out the next time I’m in New York. Crumpets are definitely a popular breakfast staple in England, best warm with butter and sometimes jam. I see that Crumpets serves them with lots of different savory toppings which is interesting. Enjoy the crumpets and let me know if you have any questions.
Do think I could use large mouth canning lids? I don’t have the molds.
I have not used them myself, but I have seen them used for making English muffins so I don’t see why not. Enjoy.
Hello my name is aaron i am a british crumpet lover i love this recipe and i hope you make more like it
Hello Aaron, thank you so much.
Have you ever tried making these with buttermilk?
I look forward to making them.
I have not tried making them with buttermilk, but I have seen some recipes that use it so you should just be able to substitute the regular milk with the buttermilk. Enjoy.
Thank you for your reply! I made them this morning using the buttermilk I already had that I had previously frozen. They are delicious. For the first time making them they looked okay but I’m going to have to make more to learn to perfect (oh darn!😂).
I’m happy they tasted good and I’m sure you’ll perfect them 🙂
Since were talking English crumpets here, they’re also delusions with Bovril on top of the butter, for a savory taste. Or you can use honey too for the sweet taste, of really anything that takes your fancy!
I had completely forgotten about the use of Bovril. I think I may have tried this as a kid and knowing me, probably liked it 😀. Thank you for the tips.
Do you cook them on a high heat?
The crumpets must be cooked over low heat to develop the holes and to ensure they cook through.
I am a bit unsure of the rest times.
How long do I leave the milk yeast mixture to develop?
After I add the flour mixture to the milk yeast mixture do I allow it to stand 50 minutes?
Many thanks gonna try them in the morning.
Thanks for your time.
All the ingredients get mixed in step 1. This mix is left to rest for 50 minutes to allow the yeast to develop. A couple of tips (and this is in the recipe but key to getting them right) don’t fill the molds more than half full so they are not too thick/tall because this can prevent the bubbles and holes from forming as it will take longer for the heat to get through. 2nd, cook on low heat so they cook through and this is what develops the holes once the bubbles pop. I hope this helps and I’m here if you have any more questions. Enjoy!
Made them exactly to the recipe, but they didn’t turn out very well at all. Basically no holes. I kept waiting for them to appear so let them cook abit longer and now I have a dark underside. Flavor is good, but this was a Birthday surprise for my husband., so I am disappointed.
I’m sorry they didn’t turn out how you expected. The holes come from the fermentation process and steam pushes the air up causing the bubbles and air pockets and this could mean that your yeast was not as active, it is not your fault and has happened to me. You can see in the video I recently made, some of them do not have holes. Baking is a science and we rely on all of the ingredients to work together. I made some a couple of weeks ago and while they were cooking, when the bubbles developed, I actually was starting to pop them with the end of the knife to make the holes. Whenever you make something that you have never made before, I always advise people to do a practice run of the recipe so you are familiar with it and this is very important when it comes to baked goods. I do hope you try them again.
Did you allow the yeast to develop?
Yes, step 1
I gave your recipe a try tonight and was quite pleased with the result, they were all eaten in one sitting. I couldn’t find crumpet rings but I did find silicon egg rings at the dollar store and they worked fairly well. I”ll definitely make them again.
I’m glad you enjoyed them, in one sitting 🙂 Thank you for the feedback.
How long can these be stored, and would you recommend keeping them in the refrigerator or on the shelf.
The crumpets can be stored at room temperature for the first 2-3 days, then I would refrigerate them and then eat within 5 days, well wrapped. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months and I like to heat them in the oven right from the freezer. I hope this helps.
I just made these for breakfast, and they are delicious! I’d never eaten crumpets before, but I’m sure they will be a staple for me now. They are so simple to make. I’m almost ashamed to admit it, but I ate 3 of them and didn’t even take a bite of my yogurt with blueberries! This could be dangerous.
There is no shame in eating 3, I’ve done it myself. I’m happy you enjoyed them and envious that I haven’t made any myself lately 🙂
I would love to make them for my British husband but I cannot use a cast iron pan on my smooth top stove. Will a regular steel or non-stick pan work as well?
When you say ‘smooth top stove’, do you mean an electric cooktop? This is what I have and use all my cast iron skillets on it just fine. Any heavy skillets will work. I just recommend cast iron because they distribute the heat evenly. There are also enamel coated cast iron skillets available now also. I hope all of this helps and please come back and let me know how what he thought of the crumpets.
My favorite UK food is crumpets, it’s very difficult to find them, I’m lucky enough to have a Kroger’s grocery store that carries then sometimes.
I’m going to try my hand at your recipe. I have a question; Does the milk need to be whole milk or can you use 2%?
I agree, it is hard to find crumpets, that’s why I make my own. I don’t think the fat content of the milk does affect the recipe, I have always used whole but I could be wrong. I hope this helps.
I absolutely love crumpets! I’ve wanted to find good quality ones since I discovered them while visiting my cousins who live in Scotland. This might sound like a stupid question, but is all of the milk supposed to be warm? Or just the one tablespoon? Haven’t seen a recipe with that description before so I’m just a little confused. Thanks so much!
Yes, all of the milk that is mixed with the sugar and the yeast needs to be warm. I should clarify, it is more luke-warm, it should feel comfortable when you put your finger in. The reason for this is, yeast needs a warm environment to grow and if the milk is too cold it will not develop and the crumpets will not rise and give the holes that we all love about crumpets. I hope this helps and if you make them, please come back and let me know how it went.
Just made these and I had similar with not too many holes. No idea if its milk related as I use low fat milk…. and mine were small in size due to my rings I used…. but still tastey little morsals…! Not bad for my first attempt. I let my yeast mixture sit for about 10mins or so to prove first…
Some I have made don’t have as many holes as well. I’m not sure why this is, but I’m glad you’re happy with your first attempt and that is what’s most important 🙂
I just finished trying your recipe. One issue about which I am uncertain is the viscosity of the batter. Mine was quite thick and poured very slowly. The “holes” developed mainly at the outer one-third of and I wonder if a more viscous or watery batter might have produced a more satisfactory crumpet? Also, I used Coconut Milk instead of Cow Milk. Perhaps that influenced my results? I would appreciate your observations, comments.
Hi Jim. I’ve never used coconut milk for crumpets so I really can’t say if this was the reason for your outcome. I have seen crumpets that do not make any holes. The batter should be the consistency of thick pancake batter. I hope this helps.
These look so yummy! They’d go great with coffee :]
Thank you for sharing this recipe on Tasty Tuesdays! I have always wanted to try crumpets.
Omg…. I love crumpets! I HAVE to make these! I could seriously eat an embarrassing amount and like you, dripping with butter is the way to go! I’ve never made my own, but have always wanted to! Thanks for this recipe – I can’t wait to make them!