Flapjack vs Pancake: How Do They Differ?

Are you more of a pancake or a flapjack person?

In the United States, these two terms are used interchangeably. However, in the United Kingdom, there is a major difference between flapjacks and pancakes!

This article will discuss the similarities, differences, and nutritional worth of pancakes and flapjacks. As an added bonus, we’ll provide our favorite flapjack and pancake recipes for those incredibly delicious mornings!

Difference Between Flapjack and Pancake

The primary difference between flapjacks and pancakes depends on whether you live in the United Kingdom or the United States.

Flapjacks are rolled oat granola bars in the United Kingdom, while pancakes are thin and huge cakes with crispy ends. They are eaten in triangles, wrapped or folded, and loaded with sweet and savory ingredients.

Pancakes and flapjacks are the same thing in the United States: fluffy, thick cakes heaped on top of one another and eaten with fruits, syrup, or other sweet toppings.

To differentiate between the two, we must look at their components, preparation techniques, and serving ways in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Let’s get started!

What Are Their Ingredients?

Eggs, milk, flour, butter, and baking soda are used to make flapjacks. Pancakes in the United Kingdom are created using eggs, milk, flour, and either sunflower or vegetable oil. Flapjacks in the United Kingdom are prepared with rolled oats, brown sugar, golden syrup, and butter.Pancakes from the United States

How Are They Prepared?

Flapjacks are prepared by dumping the batter into the middle of a frying pan rather than spreading it evenly. The idea is to develop cakes that are more compact and fluffy. When bubbles appear on the surface, turn the pancake over and cook until golden on both sides.Pancakes from the United States

In contrast, British pancakes are created by pouring and spreading the batter over the whole pan to make them thinner and broader. As a result, pour some batter into the pan and turn it in circular movements to enable the batter to spread evenly.

All of the ingredients are gently cooked over low heat until a batter formed, then the mixture is baked until golden. They are then sliced into squares and served.

How Are They Served?

Pancakes in the United States are often served with butter spread on top and syrup poured over a stack of two or three pancakes. Maple, simple syrup, grenadine, and corn syrup are the most common syrups for American pancakes. Some individuals like to top their yogurt with honey or agave nectar. Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are popular toppings for American pancakes.

Traditional British pancakes are filled with sugar and freshly squeezed lemon juice then rolled or folded into triangles. Jam, Nutella, whipped cream, ice cream, caramel, and savory alternatives like sour cream and cured salmon are other popular pancake fillings.

British flapjack is a delectable treat that may be served with tea or coffee, packed in a lunch, or just savored as a pleasant snack. You may eat it alone or add a touch of salt to your flapjack batter for a savory twist.

Flapjack vs Pancake Comparison Table

Category American Pancake/Flapjack British Pancake British Flapjack
Definition Fluffy, thick, and circular cake of cooked batter Thin and wide circular cake of cooked batter with crispy edges Rolled oat granola bars
Ingredients Eggs, milk, flour, butter, and baking soda Eggs, milk, flour, and oil, either sunflower or vegetable Rolled oats, brown sugar, golden syrup, and butter
Preparation Pouring the batter at the center of a frying pan without spreading the batter throughout the whole pan Pouring the batter into the pan and tilting it in circular motions to allow the batter to spread evenly throughout the pan Gently cooking the ingredients over low heat until a batter forms, then baking the mixture until brown
Appearance Round, thick, fluffy, small, and golden-brown Round, thin, wide, and brighter in color Rectangular or square-shaped, crunchy, and golden-brown
Served with A stack of two or three pancakes topped with butter, syrup, honey, and fresh fruit Rolled or folded into triangles and filled with sugar and lemon juice, jam, Nutella, caramel, ice cream, whipped cream, sour cream, or smoked salmon Served as-is or with a pinch of sprinkled salt on top

Nutritional Content Breakdown: Which One Is Healthier?

According to the nutritional chart below, British pancakes are the healthiest choice since they contain the fewest calories, carbohydrates, and fat.

When it comes to salt, British flapjacks win hands down, but not when it comes to sugar. Clearly, American pancakes are the least nutritious, but this is due in part to the butter and syrup that are often served with them. To make them more healthy, serve them with fresh fruit and honey instead!

Flapjack vs Pancake: Nutritional Profile

Category (1 serving) American Pancake/Flapjack with butter and syrup British Pancake with sugar and lemon juice British Flapjack
Calories 520 157.9 207
Carbs 90.9g 20.5g 25.38g
Fat 14g 6.9g 11.2g
Protein 8.3g 4.3g 2.6g
Sodium 1104mg 77.6g 0.01g
Fiber 0g 0.3g 1.6g
Sugar 10g 10g 12.64g

Recipe Time!

Now that you’ve learned the distinctions between American and British pancakes and flapjacks, it’s time to put your knowledge to use. We will be your finest culinary guide. Let’s get started!

Making American Pancakes

Batter Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 200ml milk
  • A pinch of salt
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 25g melted butter + a small knob more for cooking
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil

Serving Ingredients:

  • Butter cube
  • Maple syrup
  • Blueberries

Cooking time: 40 minutes

In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (baking powder, salt, sugar, and flour). In a separate dish, whisk together the wet ingredients (eggs, milk, and melted butter). Once it is completed, blend the wet and dry mixtures. Using a whisk, gradually add the wet mixture to the dry mixture while whisking constantly. Remove any lumps with a fork and whisk for a few minutes longer. You may also use a mixer. Allow the batter to rest for a few minutes once you’ve done.

In a nonstick frying pan, cook the American pancakes over medium heat. Heat a knob of butter and oil in the pan, then pour the batter into the pan to make circles. Cook for one to two minutes, or until bubbles appear on the surface. Cook for no more than a minute on the other side. Serve your American pancakes with maple syrup, butter, blueberries, or any toppings of your choosing after the batter is finished.

Making British Pancakes

Batter Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
  • 100g plain flour
  • A pinch of salt and sugar
  • 300ml milk

Serving Ingredients:

  • Lemon wedges
  • Sugar

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Crush and whisk the eggs in a large mixing basin, then add a sprinkle of salt and sugar, oil, and milk. Then, softly whisk the batter while combining the flour using a whisk or a mixer. Scoop out any lumps with a fork. The batter should then be mixed for a few seconds more before resting for no more than 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat up a nonstick frying pan over medium heat with a little oil. When the pan is hot, pour the pancake batter in the center, tilt it slightly, and spin the pan in circles to equally distribute the batter throughout the whole surface. Cook for one minute before flipping the pancake and frying for 30 seconds or so on the other side. Pancakes in the United Kingdom should be rolled or folded into triangles and served with sugar, lemon slices, or other delectable contents.

Making British Flapjacks

Batter Ingredients:

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 6 oz unsalted butter + 1 tsp for cooking
  • 6 tbsp golden syrup

Serving Ingredients:

  • Salt

Cooking time: 35 minutes

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a baking pan with butter and cover the bottom with parchment paper.

Heat the butter and golden syrup in a large saucepan over medium heat until the butter has melted. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the oats until a nice, thick batter forms.

Transfer the mixture to the baking pan and distribute it evenly. Bake the flapjacks for 25 minutes, or until golden brown, and then set aside to cool and firm. The flapjacks should next be cut into squares or rectangles. Serve with a sprinkle of salt on top. Good luck!


The fundamental difference between flapjacks and pancakes is primarily determined by where you live.

In the United States, flapjack refers to what is commonly and colloquially known as pancakes.

In the United Kingdom, the phrase flapjack refers to an entirely different baked food known as an oat-based granola bar.

Furthermore, British pancakes are not as thick and fluffy as American pancakes. They are thin and broad, and instead of being placed on top of one another, they are rolled or folded into triangles.

Whatever you call them or choose on the menu, American pancakes, British flapjacks, and British pancakes all sound fantastic.


How are flapjacks different from pancakes?

In the United States, the phrases flapjack and pancake are synonymous; there is no distinction between the two. Flapjacks are more common in the South, whereas pancakes are more common in the north (akin to the distinction between stuffing and dressing).

Why do American call pancakes flapjacks?

The term “flapjack” dates back to the late 1500s. It’s a mix of the word flap, which means to flip or throw, and jack, which is derived from the given name (a variant of John) and is frequently used in the names of items, such as applejack or skipjack.

What country calls pancakes flapjacks?

In the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man, Ireland, and Newfoundland, the dish is known as a flapjack. The same item is known by several names in other English-speaking countries, such as cereal bar, oat bar, or (in Australia and New Zealand) oat slice.

What is the difference between British flapjacks and American flapjacks?

A flapjack is a chewy, sweet granola bar in the United States and a less frequent way of describing “pancake” in the United Kingdom.

When did people start calling pancakes flapjacks?

It wasn’t until the mid-1930s that the term “flapjack” began to apply to the rolled oat bars we know today, and that meaning has remained in use for the last 80 years.

What do Southern people call pancakes?

In the South, pancakes are sometimes referred to as hoecakes. Most Southerners have heard of lacy cornbread, sometimes known as hot water cornbread. A hoecake is a fried, rustic form of a pancake made with pounded cornmeal.

What do cowboys call a pancake?

Flapjacks were and still are a staple of the wild west. They go by many names, including pancake, hotcake, and griddle cake.

Are flapjacks just pancakes?

As previously stated, flapjacks are pancakes in America (and for some in South Africa), hence the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. They’re basically super fluffy, little pancakes.

What are pancakes called in North Carolina?

Some of our favorite word battles include: flapjacks (North Carolina) vs. pancakes (the rest of the country); dropped eggs (New England) vs.

Are hotcakes the same as pancakes?

What exactly is a Hotcake? It’s called a pancake. Our team looked it up, and the definition of a hotcake is “a pancake.” There is, however, a small difference between preparing a hotcake and a pancake. Pancakes are typically broad and fluffy in texture, while hotcakes are thicker and denser.

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