The ultimate guide to Pancake Day

While most people see Pancake Day as a great excuse to stuff their face (and why not?), there’s more to this particular holiday than simply choosing your favourite toppings.

So, whether you’re wanting to find out more about the history and how to remember the date or just seeking some culinary inspiration, we’ve got you covered with everything you need to know about Pancake Day. And if your favourite person’s birthday happens to fall on the yummiest day of the year, then celebrate that with a Pancake Day card from our brilliantly inventive thortful card creators!

What is Pancake Day?

Also known as Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day is typically observed as a day of feasting and indulgence before the Easter Lent period – although many people just celebrate as an excuse to enjoy pancakes!

But why do we eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday? Well, traditionally, Christians would observe Lent as a time of fasting, so Shrove Tuesday was the last chance to use up any remaining eggs and fats, making pancakes the perfect food!

When is Pancake Day?

It somehow sneaks up on us every year, and with no fixed date, nobody ever really seems to know the answer to the question: when is Pancake Day?

While the date changes annually, Pancake Day occurs each year in either February or March, falling the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. This means Pancake Day is exactly 47 days before Easter; so, this year, you’ll need to have all your ingredients and toppings at the ready for Tuesday 1st March.

What are some of the best pancake topping ideas?

One of the best parts about making homemade pancakes is how easily you can add different ingredients and toppings to completely change up the flavours, regardless of whether you have a giant sweet tooth or prefer a delicious savoury treat.

This means you can enjoy pancakes all day as the perfect option for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and, of course, dessert – it’s no wonder they’re so beloved!

Sweet pancake ideas

If you’re keeping things sweet but hoping to be healthy, you might want to try fresh fruit like strawberries, bananas, and blueberries. Or, if you’re feeling extra indulgent, why not go for a stack of chocolate-filled pancakes? Alternatively, super simple options such as syrup or lemon and sugar can be just as yummy.

Savoury pancake ideas

Don’t worry if you aren’t a big dessert person, as there’s a whole array of great savoury pancake options to choose from. Whether you like the sound of potato pancakes, classic ham and cheese, or even brunch-worthy eggs benedict, you’re in complete control here; so feel free to experiment with different recipes and toppings you love.

Pancake ideas for kids

Pancake Day is the perfect time to come together as a family and have some fun in the kitchen, so we’ve brought together some of our favourite suggestions for getting everyone involved!

  1. Rainbow pancakes

Children are bound to love a super stack of colourful pancakes and, luckily enough, it’s super easy to achieve.

After making your pancake batter, all you’ll need to do is separate the mixture into individual bowls and add different coloured food dyes to each. Then cook each coloured batter separately and get stacking!

  1. Pancake art

Pancake art is a great way to impress your children, even if you’re not particularly artistic! Fortunately, there are two different approaches you can take, depending on your creativity levels.

If you’d rather keep things simple, you might find it easiest to cut different shapes straight into your pancakes after they’ve been cooked, using any toppings as extra flourishes.

If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, though, you could try making art directly in the pan. This can be achieved by carefully piping different coloured pancake mixtures into the pan as you cook – who knows, you might be the Picasso of pancakes!

  1. Flipping competition

A flipping competition is a great way to get the whole family involved in the most nerve-wracking moment of the pancake making process. Just make sure to keep little ones away from hot pans and flying food!

How to make pancakes without eggs

If you’re looking for vegan-friendly pancake options (or just ones without eggs), we’ve got you covered!

Mashed banana, pumpkin puree, or even avocado are all great choices when it comes to making vegan pancakes. The only thing to bear in mind is that using fruit can add an extra distinctive flavour or sweetness.

Other substitutes you might want to consider in place of eggs include seeds like flax or chia (pulverized with a little water), tofu, or even a mixture of baking soda and vinegar.

Crepe vs pancake

It’s perhaps one of the most controversial food battles out there, with nearly everyone squarely on one side or the other; but what exactly is the difference between crepes and pancakes? When we Brits say ‘pancakes’ we usually mean crepes, but American pancakes are usually thick and fluffy.

While both dishes seem similar and do share many of the same ingredients, the crepe is missing one of the key components of the pancake: the raising agent.

These raising agents, such as baking powder or baking soda, help give pancakes their iconic fluffiness, whereas crepes are thinner and a lot more delicate. Moreover, this thinness is what can give crepes a crispier texture around the edges.

Another difference is how they’re served – crepes are typically larger and tend to be rolled or folded, meaning you can easily add a filling inside, whereas pancakes are usually stacked in a pile with extra ingredients added during the mixing process or as toppings.


And there you go – hopefully you’re now all clued up and ready to have a flipping great Pancake Day! Plus, if you’re looking forward to other tasty celebrations like Easter, we’ve also got some exciting colouring activities or egg hunt ideas sure to keep the kids entertained! Or for more great ways to enjoy those special occasions together, be sure to check out the rest of the thortful blog.