These are my British Pancakes for Shrove Tuesday. Typically served in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and Ireland on Pancake Day, otherwise known as Pancake Tuesday. These are not thick American pancakes, but thinner like a thicker French crêpe, that I like to serve with golden syrup and lemon.

Folden pancakes on a plate with raspberries and blackberries

If you’re from the UK, then you know that this is one of the best days of the year. Eating traditional English pancakes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is such a treat. A thin pancake batter is made with basic ingredients like plain flour, eggs, and milk. This is an important part of the Shrove Tuesday celebrations as well as some others. Read on…

What is Shrove Tuesday?

Shrove Tuesday is also celebrated as Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras around the world. They are feast days celebrated before the beginning of Lent, on Ash Wednesday. ‘Shrove’ is the past tense of ‘shrive,’ which means to confess one’s sins, and it is also the last day of Shrovetide.

Pancake races and  the tradition of tossing pancakes

This fun tradition, dating back to 1445, takes place on this day. Just as their name suggests, participants engage in running a race while tossing a cooked pancake in a frying pan. These races occur in schools, neighborhoods, and anywhere people want to participate, often wearing aprons, chefs’ hats, or scarves. 

Thin crepe pancakes with lemon wedges fruit and syrup from overhead

Legend has it that this tradition started when a woman was making pancakes and heard the pancake bell, or shriving bell, from the church calling her to confession. She then ran to the church in her apron, carrying the pan with the pancake, tossing it while she ran to prevent it from burning.”

What is a British Pancake?

This British/English pancake recipe is a little thicker than crêpes. My mother liked to serve them with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and golden syrup. Golden syrup is a British thick, amber-colored caramel-tasting syrup that has been around since 1881. It is now available in many U.S. supermarkets.

Traditional English Pancake Batter

Unlike fluffy pancakes, the batter for this recipe is thinner, similar to thin cream. This consistency ensures a nice thin even layer in the pan which is achieved by moving the pan in a circular motion with enough batter to cover the base of the pan.

Best pan for making thin pancakes

I like to use a 10-inch (20 cm) non-stick pan. I prefer cooking the pancakes in a little butter as it adds delicious flavor and helps give them a nice color.

Serving Shrove Tuesday Pancakes

For presentation, I like to fold the pancakes into triangles because that’s how my mother did it, but they can also be rolled up like traditional thin crepes.

Pancake/Crepe Toppings 

Melted butter is also a delicious option, along with caster sugar and fresh fruit. Many people have their own preferred way of serving them. Adding lemon juice might sound like a strange addition, but trust me, it goes really well with the pancake and the nutty sweetness of the golden syrup. It’s a taste sensation.

In recent years, I’ve noticed many of my friends back in the U.K. making American-style pancakes for Pancake Day. No problem, I’ve got you covered with my Whole Wheat Pancake recipe.

Yield: 8 pancakes

British Pancakes for Shrove Tuesday

Drizzling syrup onto European style pancakes

These are not thickAmerican-style pancakes, but the thinner crêpe-type, European pancake that I like to serve with golden syrup and lemon. 

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes


  • ¾ cup (100 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup (236 ml) low fat milk
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • Lemon wedges
  • Golden syrup


  1. To a mixing bowl add sift in the flour and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour and whisk in the eggs incorporating a little flour. Add ⅓ of the milk and continue whisking in more flour.
  2. Add the rest of the milk and whisk incorporating the rest flour. Scrape the sides and whisk until smooth and the consistency of thin cream.
    To a non-stick 10-inch (25 cm), non-stick sauté/frying pan melt the butter over medium high heat.
    Using a ½ cup (8 tablespoons) measuring cup, add batter to the pan when the butter is melted. Tilt the pan until the pancake has coated the pan evenly. Cook for 2 minutes until the pancakes is loosened when you shake the pan. Lift the edge to see if the bottom is golden brown. Flip the pancake using a spatula and cook for a few seconds. Slide onto a plate and fold into a triangle shape or roll.
  3. Serve warm and squeeze lemon wedges and drizzle with golden syrup. * see note


These are my traditional toppings, you can serve with maple syrup, powdered sugar, jam, marmalade anything you would add to pancakes.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size

2 pancakes

Amount Per Serving Calories 125Total Fat 3gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 51mgSodium 103mgCarbohydrates 21gFiber 1gSugar 5gProtein 4g