Pancakes vs Crumpets vs Flapjacks, what’s the difference?

Pancake, Crepe, Flapjack, or Crumpets….let the ‘banter’ commence, and let’s try to clear up this doughy debacle. 

For us, South Africans, pancakes, flapjacks, and crumpets, we have a mix up between them.  Pancakes are also known as crepes, which are different from flapjacks – also known as crumpets, but we also call a flapjack a pancake…Say what?!  We’ll dive into it “now now”. 

Let’s start with the easiest because one simply does not mess around with classic french cuisine.


A Crêpes is a pancake’s french counterpart. They are paper-thin “cakes” that are made to cover the whole base of a pan. They are generally served folded or rolled with various sweet and savoury fillings, like cinnamon & sugar, a dash of lemon juice, or filled with ice cream! In the UK, these are also known as pancakes, and many of us (South Africans) also called these pancakes. This is where the pancake vs. flapjack debacle comes in. 


So what are pancakes?

Pancakes are said to be American and are thicker than crepes. Ingredients of pancakes are flour, milk, eggs, butter, and baking powder whereas those of flapjacks are brown sugar, butter, and golden syrup. For some of us, we also called pancakes, flapjacks. 


So then,

What are flapjacks?

As we mentioned, in America (and for some in South Africa), flapjacks are pancakes – which is why we often interchange the two. Basically, they are extra fluffy, small pancakes.

BUT in the UK, flapjacks are something totally different, UK flapjacks are actually a traybake, made with oats, butter, and sometimes dried fruit. Somewhat similar to the South African Crunchie. 

Try these pancake/flapjack stack recipes:



we get Crumpets

Crumpet batter is similar to a pancake batter but with a raising agent which makes it bubble and become thicker, light and fluffier than a pancake. They’re actually a thicker and smaller, a bit like an english muffin with a bubbly outside and chewy inside.


No matter what you call them, all of them can be eaten as breakfast OR dessert, sweet or savoury. It’s a bit of a ‘mix-up’, but a win-win battle. So get mixing, get flipping and enjoy your pancakejackcrepes. 

To summarise:

Crepes are the thinnest, flat-pan style. Flapjacks are thicker, and pancakes are actually in between. 

SO, are pancakes and flapjacks the same thing? Yes, and No, depending on what country you’re in 😉 . 

According to the UK community, flapjacks and pancakes are two different things but in the US, they can be used interchangeably.


TELL US – what do you call them? Click here to comment and show us what you make!

6 Tips for the Perfect Pancake

American-style pancakes, French Crêpes, Indonesian Serabi, Irish Boxty… The classic pancake has variations from all around the world. The one thing we can agree on, however, is that the skill required to achieve the perfect pancake is not easy. A versatile food loved by everyone. Whether it’s crispy bacon, cheddar, and chive pancake, or a buttery pancake soaked in silky maple syrup, pancakes are a versatile food that is loved by everyone. Here are just a few tips to help you achieve that perfect pancake.

  1. You cannot make that perfect pancake without the necessary equipment, the thicker the base of the pan the better the batter will cook. Therefore since the pan is thicker, the heat will be less intense and as a result, the batter will cook slower which will help avoid burning.
  2. Lumps are fine! Add your wet ingredients to the dry, then mix until the flour and big lumps have disappeared. It’s okay if there are a few small lumps because the crucial thing here is to remember not to over-mix the batter. After all, you don’t want to end up with chewy pancakes…
  3. Don’t be discouraged if your first pancake is a flop, it takes one or two attempts before you get it right. Use the first batch as testers to see what works and then cook away!
  4. If you going for the thick American-style pancake, it’s important to remember that the fresher the baking powder the fluffier the pancake. If you use old or expired baking powder you will be left with flat pancakes and who wants that? We want airy fluffy pancakes that melt in your mouth.
  5. Don’t forget to rest! A tip most people forget is that in order to get the perfect pancake, the batter needs to rest. Depending on the recipe the resting period will differ but the average time is 30 minutes. Rest allows the gluten to relax which makes for a softer result, it’s worth the wait…
  6. The next tip would be to add sparkling water. I’m sure you would have never thought of adding this particular ingredient but believe it or not, it will make the pancake more airy and fluffy.

So the next time you decide to make yourself or the family some pancakes, take into account these top 6 tips to help you achieve that perfect pancake.