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The Alphabet of Pancakes

by Rasma Raisters about a month ago in cuisine

Different types of pancakes all over the world

Pancakes are not just about flour and water. They are about other ingredients as well and they are also all about love especially if you remember a time when your mother or grandmother made you pancakes. Taking a look at the kinds of pancakes that are made all around the world you will also see that making pancakes can also be like creating something artistic.


These might not look like typical pancakes but they eat like a pancake you would have for dessert. Aebleskiver are shaped like popovers and come from Denmark. They are delicious when dipped in jam and then sprinkle with powdered sugar. If you asked a Dane about these he or she would tell you they are pancakes even though they have a unique shape. These are pan cooked and made with eggs, flour, and butter then poured into special cast iron pans with indentations and cooked until they are fluffy.


A traditional dish from Venezuela and Columbia. Arepas are cornmeal patties that are filled with cheese or served as a sandwich filled with all kinds of delicious ingredients like chorizo or fried plantains or stewed beef, beans, or seafood. These are like daily bread. The flatbreads are made with a dough of white corn. The dough is cooked on a griddle until it shows brown spots. They can be folded around different kinds of fillings.

Banh Xeo

These look like omelettes due to their pale yellow color. They are fluffy but don't have any egg in them. Banh Xeo are Vietnamese rice flour pancakes and the yellow coloring comes from turmeric. The name of these pancakes translates into "sizzling pancake". They are cooked in a wok and can include coconut milk in the batter. These are pan-fried with pork, shrimp, and bean sprouts and served with fresh lettuce and herbs.


These are Chinese pancakes and can be doughy, bread-like or paper-thin. On the Western shores, the best known are the scallion pancake or cong you bing. They have a wheat-based dough rolled up like a jelly roll, spiralled, flattened, and pan-fried. If making the pancakes with yeast they can be split and stuffed with chopped meat or fried egg which is a Xinjang province burger.


In Eastern Europe, these have different names from blintz to blinchiki to blini. They resemble silver dollar pancakes all puffy and small. They are often topped with sour cream and caviar. If made large-sized then like crepes they are served wrapped around a jam or cheese filling and fried to a golden brown, The batter includes yeast, buckwheat, wheat, or millet flour and is left to rise and then mil or boiling water is added before cooking on a heated pan.


Most people know about crepes and associate them with France. However, they are popular all over the world and go by different names. The classic crepe consists of a mix of milk, eggs, salt, and wheat flour. The loose batter makes a paper-thin pancake cooked on a butter greased pan until golden, They are used for the main meal or for dessert. Breakfast and dessert crepes are filled with fruit, whipped cream, or even chocolate. Lunch and dinner crepes and stuffed with ingredients such as meat, cheese, eggs, or cooked vegetables.


This is a savory, crepe-like pancake from South Asia. It is made from fermented batter of soaked rice and urud dai which is a close cousin of the lentil. It has a tangy, fermented flavor. The dosa comes out shiny and crisp. They are served plain or eaten with a filling such as spiced potatoes, cooked vegetables or cheese.

Dutch Baby

The Dutch Baby is similar to the German pfannkuchen. These are pancake puffs that are seasoned with vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. It puffs while cooking but when taken out of the oven the center collapses making a bowl shape. The edges are crisp and the center tender and eggy with a creamy kind of texture. It can be served from the oven with lemon juice and powdered sugar or filled with fresh fruit.


A farinata is an Italian pancake that is made with nutty chickpea flour, olive oil, and water. Once mixed it is baked in a pan until it is crisp on the outside and moist on the inside.


This is a wintertime Korean street food. It consists of yeast, sugar, and wheat flour making a dough that is left to rise like bread, These thick, sugary cakes are pressed flat and cooked on a griddle. They are usually stuffed with a sticky filling including syrup, caramel, or honey. Nuts and spices can be added. The dough is tender and well toasted on both sides.


Injera is a spongy pancake that is the base of most meals in Ethiopia and neighboring Eritrea. They are made of nutty-sweet teff flour and the sour taste is from the fermentation period of several days. They are traditionally cooked on a clay plate placed over an open fire. This is a brown, chewy flatbread served with wat, a spiced meat or vegetable stew.


This Korean pancake is similar to the Chinese bing, They can be filled with vegetables, chicken, meat, or seafood, There are also sweet -rice-based pancakes that have been made with flowers or hwajeon.


Martabak pancakes have different ways to spell the name and different ways to pronounce it, It is street food in Thailand, Indonesia, and India. The soft, elastic dough gets folded around a filling as it cooks. The dough is spread very thin and flash-fried in a pan sometimes using coconut oil until it bubbles and becomes golden brown. It gets filled with spiced meat fillings and folded into a rectangle. There is a dessert version with a filling of margarine, chocolate sprinkles, and sticky-sweet condensed milk.


Comes to you from Japan and if the word gets broken down to okonimy it translates to "what you want." They are made with a versatile batter, fried with shredded cabbage or whatever kind of ingredients you can think of including octopus and squid, The batter consists of nagaimo, a root vegetable that is used to make moist, creamy cakes in Osaka, Once the batter is ready the fillings are mixed right in. When cooked the okonomiyaki is composed in layers and topped of with a fried egg, They are drizzled with Japanese mayonnaise and sweet and savory okonomi or tonkatu sauce and topped with nori flakes and pickled ginger.


Is a pancake that comes from El Salvadore. These are cornmeal cakes that are stuffed with different kinds of ingredients, They consist of cornmeal and are sealed around filling before cooking, All of the melted cheese and or meat or beans stay inside. When served it is topped with a tangy cabbage also known as curtido.


These German pancakes look similar to crepes but made from a thicker, eggier batter and are cooked on both sides. They are usually served with applesauce, jam, or other spreads.

Potato Pancakes

These pancakes are popular all over Europe and throughout the Middle East under a variety of names. Potatoes are grated and mixed with flour and egg and seasoned with onions. Eastern Europeans love them with sour cream or sweet applesauce. They are fried golden brown on both sides making them crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside.


Roti is referred to as an Indian flatbread and can be found everywhere in South and Southeast Asia all the way to the West Indies, They are cooked on a griddle until the dough is speckled brown. These are thin wheat pancakes that can be wrapped around different fillings.


These are Indonesian pancakes made with a combination of rice flour and coconut. Either creamy coconut milk or shredded coconut, They are cooked in an earthenware pan over a charcoal fire, They can be topped with sweet ingredients like chocolate chips or made savory with cheeses or meats. Sometimes aromatic pandan leaf juice is added making the serabi green.

Rasma Raisters
Rasma Raisters
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Rasma Raisters

My passions are writing and creating poetry. I write for several sites online and have four themed blogs.

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