Sunday, May 31, 2009

Swedish Pancakes (pannkakor)

There is nothing more comforting than Swedish Pancakes. Breakfast? Lunch? Dinner? I'll eat them anytime. These were one of my favorite meals growing up and I practice little restraint when it comes to them.

So what's the difference between Swedish Pancakes and crepes? While the two are often considered interchangeable, I consider a crepe to be just a touch thinner and taste more "eggy." Also, growing up my mother always used half whole-wheat flour in the Swedish Pancakes which gives them a more robust slightly nutty flavor. Without that whole-wheat flour they taste just a little flat to me - but that's a personal thing. If you're looking more for a traditional Swedish Pancake feel free to just use all-purpose flour.

So if you've got a skillet and some milk, eggs, and flour (& a little butter) in your kitchen - you're set. So why not break out of that breakfast rut and try these next weekend?

Start by cracking two eggs into a large bowl & whisk them together.

Add 1.5 dl whole-wheat flour and 1.5 dl all-purpose (white) flour. If you're using US measurements, that's a heaping half cup of each type of flour. You can go ahead and use all white flour if you'd prefer.

Add 6 dl of milk (2.5 cups). Now whisk it all together. You don't need to worry about getting every little lump out. If you're a perfectionist, you could use a blender. I don't.

Now heat up a non-stick (or really well seasoned cast iron) over medium heat. Add a pat of butter and swirl to coat the pan. Don't skip this step between pancakes. While they won't stick to the nonstick pan, they won't get that beautiful lacey appearance that you're going for.

Add 1 dl (~1/2 cup) of batter to the pan and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Do this fairly quickly as the pancake will begin to cook almost immediately.

Don't worry if you don't get it right the first time, you've got plenty of batter. Plus, sometimes the first few pancakes don't look as perfect because the pan isn't quite hot enough yet. It's okay - people will still be fighting over who gets to eat them.

Let the pancake cook for a minute or so until you can feasibly flip it over with a spatula and they look a lovely speckled brown. They only need to cook for about 30 seconds on this second side. Then I just fold them in half and in half again and stick them in a warming bowl within easy reach of the stove (or onto your hungry friends plates). Repeat with the remaining pancakes. This might take about 20 minutes or so to go through the whole bowl of batter. If you're talented and up for the challenge, you can get two pans going at once to speed up the process.

There are endless toppings you could put on your Swedish Pancakes but I usually go for jam (and whipped cream, if I'm going all out).

Today I tried whipping cream with a fork while making the pancakes. How is it that I always forget how long that takes to whip by hand? Sigh. We decided to use the half-whipped yet still pourable cream because we were too hungry to wait any longer. It was delicious!

Now just fold up your pancake and you're ready to eat! Other favorite toppings include: butter & sugar, lemon juice & powdered sugar, and of course nutella. These Swedish pancakes also work particularly well with savory fillings (creamed spinach or mushrooms, etc.).

Sit back. Relax. And Enjoy!

This makes about 10 pancakes (I forgot to keep count) and serves roughly 3 hungry adults.

Here are those ingredients again:
2 eggs
1.5 dl (heaping 1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
1.5 dl whole wheat flour
(or more all-purpose)
6 dl (2.5 cups) milk

Mix it all together. Heat up buttered skillet. Add 1 dl (1/2 cup) batter to pan and swirl to coat. Cook for 1 minute. Flip. Cook for 30 seconds. Repeat with remaining batter (buttering skillet in between each pancake). Serve with desired toppings.


  1. Sarah- These look terrific. I haven't made them but I would love to try.

    Your blog is very nice!

    Thanks for visiting me!

  2. Hmmm...those sound really good. I for one like the addition of whole wheat flour. It gives things such a good flavor.

  3. These look fabulous! A restaurant we used to go to a lot when I was a kid had them on the menu. I ordered them every time. Soooo good!

  4. Just found your blog... love it!
    Wonderful recipes -- I intend to make these soon!

  5. I will be adding you to my daily perusing of favorite blogs. Hope there is more coming soon.
    I loved a very similar version of these pancakes growing up. We had a German neighbor who made "German pancakes" that had a bit of tang to them (maybe from sourdough starter?). Anyway, I will try your recipe and the cabbage recipe for sure.

  6. Thanks for all the wonderful comments! I'll try and post a new recipe soon. This 85 degree weather makes it hard to be in the kitchen (I know, living in Seattle for so long has made me a wuss when it comes to heat).

    In the meantime, let me know how this recipe works out for those of you who try it!

  7. Mmmmm, pancakes - a scraping of runny honey and jam is delicious!!

  8. My Swedish ancestors would be ashamed that I haven't tried making their version of the pancake. I'm inspired now! Thanks!

  9. wow, these look so good. i've never heard of swedish pancakes, but now i'll have to try making them. thanks for the recipe!

  10. Mmmm...I love Swedish pancakes & crepes, too =)

  11. yum! I love thin lil cakes. really brings out the goodness of the toppings! simple and intriguing picture!

  12. hey Sarah...i just stumbled across your blog and have to comment about how cool this is. FYI ever since we went to Europe cooking Swedish pancakes has become one of my staple meals. I LOVE these things...and you're right, you really can eat them for any just change the filling. :) good

  13. Looking for a recipe for a layered pannkakor cake. I have a foreign exchange student living with me from Stockholm and he would like me to make it for him. He says it's a speciality on an island near Goteland. I have been making him regular pannkaka but for Christmas he would like this. Can you help? Thanks. Peace. Fifi