Griddle Cakes vs Pancakes: Easy Tips and The Best Griddle Cake Recipe

There are a wide variety of griddle cake recipes, and many regions of the world have their own griddle cake recipe. So, what is a griddle cake anyway? Essentially, when a batter is cooked on a griddle pan into a flat cake, the result is known as a griddle cake. These are usually sweet and can be eaten with a variety of toppings, such as maple syrup or fruits. So, what are the differences in griddle cakes vs pancakes? What is the best griddle cake recipe? Read on for our tasty guide.


Griddle Cakes vs Pancakes: Are Griddle Cakes the Same as Pancakes?

This really depends on where you live. In the US, what we refer to as pancakes and griddle cakes are one and the same. Our pancakes or griddle cakes are thicker, containing bubbles of air which create a fluffy texture. This is achieved by adding a raising agent into the batter. In many countries, such as the UK, a pancake is considered to be a flat, wide and thin affair, more similar to a French crepe. An American-style breakfast pancake is instead referred to as a griddle cake, scotch pancake, and various other regional names.


Hotcakes vs Pancakes vs Flapjacks: Are Pancakes and Flapjacks the Same Thing?

In the US, flapjack is another word for an American-style pancake. These are also sometimes referred to as hotcakes. However, it's well worth noting that in Britain, the flapjack is something completely different. These flapjacks are made from a mixture of oats, butter and honey or syrup. They are pressed down into a tray and baked, then cut into squares. The results are delicious, but nothing like a pancake.


Griddle Cakes History

Believe it or not, some historians believe that our prehistoric ancestors may have been making a form of pancake as long ago as 30,000 years ago. While it's hard to know for sure what these early 'pancakes' would have been like, fast forward to Ancient Greece and Rome and there is clear evidence that pancakes or griddle cakes were eaten regularly. These were flavoured with honey. It's also clear that griddle cakes were eaten in Tudor England. These were flavoured with foods widely available at the time, mainly apples and rosewater, which were both popular Tudor flavours.


In the USA, people in the colonies ate griddlecakes made from corn or buckwheat. Recipes for pancakes are mentioned in recipe books in America as early as 1796. Thomas Jefferson was known to enjoy eating pancakes, although the surviving recipe we have from him is more similar to a crepe. In his day, our modern 'puffy' pancakes would have been called griddlecakes.

Types of Griddle Cakes

There are a wide variety of griddle cake types, and most regions in Europe and the USA have their own traditional griddle cake. These are two numerous to list in full, but here are some of the most commonly-eaten types:

  • Old-fashioned griddle cakes: these are the traditional, simple griddlecakes commonly eaten in the US.
  • Amish griddle cakes: these are extremely similar pancakes, traditionally eaten in Amish communities. However, they have gained popularity across many different social groups in the US.
  • Cornmeal griddle cakes: made with cornmeal instead of wheat flour.
  • Buttermilk griddle cakes: using buttermilk instead of regular milk makes the pancake richer in flavour.
  • Banana griddle cakes: these are popular as a healthy option, as they are bound with bananas.
  • British griddle cakes: more similar to a French crepe.
  • Irish griddle cakes: made with potato, these are pretty different to the other griddle cakes on this list. They are often referred to as 'potato bread' in Ireland.
Types of Griddle Cakes

How to Make Griddle Cakes

Griddle cakes are really pretty simple to make. Once you've made your batter, it's simply a matter of ladling it onto a griddle and cooking for a couple of minutes on each side until they're golden. If you're making an aerated griddle cake, you'll need to cook them until they puff up. Apart from a stove-top, flat top or electric griddle, the only special equipment you will need is a whist, bowl and spatula for flipping the griddle cakes.

Griddle Cake Recipe

Which griddle cake recipe you decide to use depends on what type you want to make. Perhaps you want to make a delicious stack of fluffy American-style pancakes for a family breakfast. However, you may want to experiment with some new types of griddle cakes for a bit of a change. Whatever kind of griddle cake you want to try out, we've got a handy set of recipes to get you one step closer to the griddle cakes of your dreams.

Old Fashioned Griddle Cakes

This great recipe will make a yummy stack of traditional pancakes. Also, you can add variety to this recipe by adding extras such as chocolate chips and berries to the batter before cooking. These traditional pancakes should be a sure-fire hit with your whole family.


  • 1 cup regular plain wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • ​1/4 tsp baking powder
  • ​Pinch of salt
  • ​1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon of melted butter


  • Using a sieve, sift the baking powder, salt and flour into a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the baking soda and milk. Whisk the milk mixture little by little into the flour until you have a smooth batter. Then, whisk in the melted butter.
  • For each pancake, you should use about 1/8 of the mixture. Using a ladle, pour it carefully onto a medium-hot griddle. When bubbles start appearing on the top of the griddle cake, flip it over. When the second side is golden brown, it's ready to serve.

Amish Griddle Cakes

Popular in Amish communities for hundreds of years, these types of griddle cakes have also grown in popularity in many parts of America. However, there are various types of Amish griddle cakes. So, we've included our favourite variety, which are Dutch in origin. They are bound together with eggs and are delicious served with lemon juice and sugar.


  • 3 large beaten eggs
  • 1/2 cup regular plain wheat flour, sifted
  • ​1/2 cup milk
  • Pinch of salt


  • Mix together the flour and salt, then beat in the eggs until smooth. Then add the milk little by little, beating thoroughly until the batter is silky. Melt a little butter onto a medium-hot griddle and pour on around 1/4 cup of the batter.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes until golden, then flip and cook the other side for the same amount of time. Serve whilst still steaming hot.

Cornmeal Griddle Cakes

For a nice change from a traditional griddle cake, this version uses cornmeal instead. So, you will get a result that is closer to the cornmeal griddle cakes eaten in America in days past. If this sounds like something you'd like to try, here's our fool-proof recipe.


  • 2 cups finely ground cornmeal
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ​A couple pinches of salt
  • ​1 large beaten egg
  • ​1 cup cold water
  • Cooking oil for the griddle


  • First, mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl. Then, whisk the egg together with the water until thoroughly combined. Stir the egg and water into the flour. Also, try to stir as minimally as possible. Your mixture should be smooth but still retained as many air bubbles as possible.
  • Add a drizzle of oil to the griddle and heat to medium. A 1/4 cup of batter will make one griddle cake. Pour it carefully onto the hot griddle and cook for 2-3 minutes. Flip, then cook the other side for the same amount of time. Serve immediately while they're hot, and enjoy!

Buttermilk Griddle Cakes

Using buttermilk instead of regular milk gives a richer flavour and makes the griddle cakes taste more indulgent. However, if you can't get buttermilk, soured milk will work just fine.


  • 1 large beaten egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ​1 1/2 cups plain white flour
  • ​1 tsp baking soda
  • ​1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • ​Pinch of salt
  • 2 ounces melted butter


  • First beat the egg and the buttermilk together thoroughly. Then sift the dry ingredients into the egg and buttermilk and beat together thoroughly. Next, add the melted butter little by little and stir to combine.
  • Heat your griddle to a medium heat and drizzle with a little cooking oil. Ladle 1/4 cup of the batter onto the griddle and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip the griddle cake over, and cook the other side for 2-3 minutes until it is golden. Serve immediately with your favourite toppings.

Banana Griddle Cakes

Banana pancakes can be a much healthier option than regular griddle cakes. However, many recipes include lots of sugar and butter which can make them less wholesome. So, our recipe only uses two ingredients: banana and liquid egg whites. This makes a pancake lower in overall calories and higher in protein than other griddle cakes.


  • 1 large banana, mashed thoroughly
  • 1/3 cup egg whites


  • Making these pancakes really couldn't be simpler. Half of the batter makes one pancake, so this recipe will yield 2 pancakes overall. First, heat your griddle to medium and drizzle with a little cooking oil.
  • Add half of the batter to the griddle and cook for 2 minutes until it starts to become more solid. Flip, and cook the other side for another minute or so until golden brown. Now you're ready to enjoy your healthy banana griddle cakes!

English Griddle Cakes

In England, their pancakes are more similar to French crepes and are very thin, made from a more runny batter. While griddle cakes are not usually eaten for breakfast very often, most English families enjoy eating pancakes together on Shrove Tuesday. This recipe is the one cooked on this special day of the church calendar in houses around England and the UK.


  • 1 cup plain wheat flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • ​1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil


  • Whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl until you have a smooth, runny batter. Heat your griddle to a medium temperature and add a drizzle of cooking oil.
  • Using a ladle, pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto the hot griddle. Cook for a minute or so, then flip and cook the other side for another 1-2 minutes until the griddle cake is golden.
  • ​It can take a few goes to master flipping a thin pancake - in fact, it's a running joke in England that your first pancake will always be a little messy.
  • These are usually eaten with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

Irish Griddle Cakes

In Ireland, these potato griddle cakes are traditionally called 'boxty'. They are steeped in tradition: in fact, a traditional Irish rhyme says that if you can't griddle boxty properly, you'll never get a man! Therefore, it was clearly a pretty important and traditional part of the Irish diet. Here's our recipe:


  • 1 cup plain wheat flour
  • 1 cup mash potato
  • ​1 beaten egg
  • ​1 tbsp milk
  • ​1/4 cup sunflower oil
  • ​Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 and 1/3 cups raw potato, grated


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients apart from the oil very thoroughly.
  • Heat the griddle to medium-high and add the oil. Drop blobs of the mixture into the griddle and flatten a little to make little 'burger' shapes about 2 inches wide.
  • Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden and crisp.

Griddle Funnel Cakes

Funnel cakes are a little like a doughnut, a little like a churro. The batter is poured into a bath of hot oil to create unique, curly shapes. While these are quite simple to make, we don't recommend making them on a griddle. They will require a bath of hot oil at least 4 inches, and this can spit when you pour the batter in. Therefore, a heavy bottomed pan or even a deep fat fryer are the safest way to make them.

Griddle Rice Cakes

In some parts of the US, griddle cakes made from rice are very popular. While they are less well-known than some other types of griddle cake, they are delicious and make a nice change. So, if you fancy giving them a god, here's our favourite griddle rice cake recipe.


  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup cooked white rice
  • ​2 beaten egg yolks
  • ​1 tbsp melted butter
  • ​1 scant cup of flour
  • ​2 beaten egg whites
  • Pinch of salt


  • Mix together all of the ingredients apart from the egg whites until thoroughly combined. Then, fold in the egg whites gently with a spoon, trying not to knock the air out as you do so.
  • Heat your griddle to medium and drizzle with oil. Cook the griddle cakes for a couple of minutes on each side, until golden brown.

Easy Griddle Cakes Recipe

If you're a griddle cake rookie, then you may be wondering which the easiest recipe to make is. Therefore, we recommend either making the banana pancakes or the old fashioned griddle cake recipe we showed you earlier. Both of these are manageable for beginners and still yield delicious results.

Healthy Griddle Cakes

A healthier griddle cake should be low in fat, sugar and overall calories. Therefore, we recommend our banana griddle cake recipe. It is sweetened naturally with banana and is high in protein and low in calories. This makes it the perfect option for those who want to eat healthy, or are trying to lose weight.

The Final Word

So, hopefully you now know the answer to the time-old griddle cakes vs pancakes debate. Furthermore, you now have a wealth of different recipes at your fingertips to help you choose the perfect griddle cake recipe for you and your family to enjoy. Happy griddling!

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