Three mouthwatering pancake recipes

Tossing Pancakes

Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, is the traditional feast day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday

Lent – the 40 days leading up to Easter – was traditionally a time of fasting and Shrove Tuesday was the last opportunity to use up eggs and fats before embarking on the Lenten fast. Pancakes were the perfect way of using up these ingredients.

My Grandma cooked amazing pancakes. She made parcels of them for all the family – she must have made hundreds over the years – neat stacks divided by greaseproof paper.

I haven’t quite mastered her skills but love to have a go at flipping pancakes with my children. Classic lemon and sugar is still our favourite filling!

Shrove Tuesday always falls 47 days before Easter Sunday, so the date varies from year to year. In 2022, Shrove Tuesday will fall on 1 March.

As well as giving up “luxury” foods during lent, people were expected to give up fun pastimes such as dancing and football. Therefore, Shrovetide (the four days preceding Lent) was a time for merriment.

In some parts of the UK, Pancake races form an important part of the Shrove Tuesday celebrations – an opportunity for large numbers of people, often in fancy dress, to race down streets tossing pancakes.

In Scarborough, Yorkshire, Shrove Tuesday is known as Skipping Day. People assemble on the promenade and long ropes are stretched across the road – there might be ten or more people skipping on one rope!

Many towns throughout England held traditional Shrove Tuesday football games dating back to the 12th century. The practice mostly died out with the passing of the 1835 Highways Act, which banned football on public highways, but a number of towns have managed to maintain the tradition to the present day.

Here is a classic pancake recipe to serve with lemon and sugar taken from The Dairy Book of Home Cookery and two twists on the classic if you fancy a change?


I look after communications and marketing at Dairy Diary. I’m a busy mum and love home baking and cooking for my family. In my spare time I enjoy visiting the theatre, eating out with friends and exploring the great outdoors!

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