The summer Olympics provided the perfect excuse to update my Swedish Pancakes recipe, first published in 2011. The family was psyched for a good breakfast. And I was excited to get big points making a really easy, 5-ingredient recipe!
Making the batter in a blender makes this recipe super easy!
You start by blending the liquid ingredients together, then adding the flour.
Set your burner to medium and preheat your pan. Spray your pan with non-stick spray and pour in about 1/3 cup of batter. Tilt the pan and swirl around around to create a thin round layer (but not too thin). Imperfect rounds are absolutely fine!
Scrape or wipe pan between pancakes and re-spray. Repeat until batter is used up.
And as a special tip, using two frying pans at a time will speed things up!
The most common way to serve Swedish Pancakes is with butter and syrup or with lingonberry preserves. Berries or other fruits with whipped cream is also popular.
You can even serve Swedish Pancakes with savory sides. Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant in Sister Bay, WI offers options like Ham and Swedish Meatballs.
How are Swedish pancakes different from crepes?
Of course everyone’s first question is how do they compare to crepes–even from my daughter who started eating them as a baby! After reading a number of answers (some of which made no sense), I decided to do a recipe comparison myself. And the short answer is that Swedish pancakes have more milk.
The average Swedish pancake recipe has a ratio of 1 cup flour to 2 cups milk to 2 eggs. A typical crepe recipe has 1 cup flour to 1 ¼ cups milk (or a combo of milk and water) to 2 eggs. Both recipes had similar amounts of sugar, butter and vanilla (those seemed to vary randomly)
This may be responsible for the slightly greater strength of crepes that allows them to wrapped around fillings more easily. When you see a crepe, the filling is frequently inside where for Swedish pancakes it is usually on top.
While most people use a non-stick pan, I don’t own one (for why, see Harvard School of Health on PFAS) and have no problem making Swedish Pancakes in a stainless steel pan. There are a couple secrets however. First you need a good quality pan—it doesn’t need to be a top dollar All-Clad, but that dollar store pan may have too rough of a finish to work well.
Next the pan needs to be hot before you start—a few drops of water dropped on the surface should immediately sizzle (if they spurt off, volcano-like, the pan is too hot). Finally a spray of Pam completes the preparation process—butter is not recommended since the solids in it can burn and stick.
Finally, when the pancake is ready to turn, I run a thin stainless steel spatula gently under it to make sure it is loose, and to dislodge any small areas of sticking. Then between pancakes, I scrape off leftover residue, if any, with the same metal spatula. (This is also done, just with a cloth for a non-stick pan). The first pancake or two is the hardest, so sometimes, I just have to eat those myself!
Yes, I have used stainless steel successfully for years and I expect cast iron would yield similar results. And of course, back when Swedish pancakes were first made, Teflon-style pans didn’t even exist.
Since there is no need to develop gluten in pancakes, they will work with whole wheat flour, but the flavor would change. Less intensely flavored options like white whole wheat flour might work better. Start by swapping out just half the flour at first (these are about 2/3 white whole wheat flour).
And if you are really looking for healthier options, consider serving with fresh berries. Then you get a serving of fruit plus less sugar than with syrup or preserves. And even if you still add a little whipped cream or syrup, you are likely to use less.
Can I freeze these?
If you are looking for a make-ahead and freeze recipe, consider this first. Since these are blended in a blender, then cooked up quickly, the time spent wrapping, freezing, thawing and re-heating is certainly more than the time spent just cooking up a fresh batch.
But should you happen to have leftovers before going on vacation, I hear that they freeze well. Just be sure to separate the individual pancakes with wax paper so they don’t stick.
On a busy day, I think having breakfast for dinner is a perfect “Desperate Mom” option. And, happily, this recipe requires no unusual ingredients.
In fact this post was originally written as a nod to my “corporate mom” days, when I’d regularly arrive home late, then realize I was either too tired to cook what I’d planned, or forgot to thaw the chicken.
Since it’s low on veggies, add a bagged salad or serve some carrots and dip “while you wait”. A little leftover ham or cheese could add some protein (though I worry more about getting in veggies, than enough protein).
Pretty sure your kids will love it!
And for more Olympics inspired international recipes see:
Wednesday #SummerGamesWeek Recipes
- Fluffy Japanese Pancakes representing Japan by House of Nash Eats
- Hokey Pokey representing New Zealand by Simply Inspired Meals
- Crepes representing France by Lemon Blossoms
- German Pancakes representing Germany by Devour Dinner
- Japanese Royal Milk Tea representing Japan by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Beef Empanadas representing Argentina by Take Two Tapas
- Steakhouse Burritos representing the USA by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Air Fried Biscuits and Cocoa Tea representing St. Lucia by Our Good Life
- Japanese Steakhouse Ginger Miso Dressing representing Japan by Palatable Pastime
- Tea Brack representing Scotland and Ireland by That Recipe
- Korean Strawberry Milk representing Korea by Magical Ingredients
- Vegetable Fried Rice for One representing China by The Spiffy Cookie
- Scottish Raspberry Buns representing the United Kingdom by The Redhead Baker
- Swedish Pancakes representing Sweden by Art of Natural Living
- 3 cups milk
- 3 eggs
- 2 Tablespoons melted butter
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 ½ cups flour
- Blend the liquid ingredients (milk, egg, melted butter, vanilla and sugar) together, then add the flour and blend until incorporated.
- Set the burner to medium and preheat your frying pan. Spray the pan with non-stick spray and pour in about 1/3 cup of batter. Tilt the pan and swirl around to create a thin round pancake. Imperfect rounds are absolutely fine!
- When surface is dry and edges are turning golden, run a spatula (metal for a stainless pan, silicone for non-stick) under the pancake to ensure that it's loose, then flip the pancake over.
- Continue cooking until the second side is turning golden, then fold into thirds. You can keep warm in a 200F oven if desired.
- Scrape or wipe pan between pancakes and re-spray. Continue until batter is used up.
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