Flapjacks Vs Pancakes – What’s The Difference?

What is the difference between pancakes and flapjacks?

The distinction between flapjacks as well as pancakes will be determined by the country you’re from. In the UK flapjacks are tray-baked bars made of rolled oatmeal and pancakes are cakes that are thin and made of batter and then fried in a pan or skillet. In the US the words pancakes and flapjacks both refer to the former.

Flapjacks and pancakes, both are delicious and often mistakenly referred to as one another. The confusion is due to the two words that have distinct meanings in both the US as well as the UK.

For the US and Canada Flapjacks and pancakes are the same food. However, the two are distinct within the UK.

It’s understandably difficult, and we are often stuck in a hazy state of confusion:

There’s more to it all than just this alone, and to comprehend the difference between them we must explore the ingredients that they are made from and how they are made and then served.

Flapjacks and Pancakes In The United States

American-Style Pancakes/Flapjacks and Berries

As previously mentioned Flapjacks and pancakes are often used to refer to pancakes and flapjacks throughout the US. Both are round cakes made from a batter that is cooked in the pan or on a griddle with both sides.

The primary ingredients of flapjacks or pancakes are flour, milk, and sugar. A leavening agent, such as baking powder can be employed to make a fluffy and larger pancake.

Pancakes and flapjacks typically are laid out flat, or stacked on top of one another and served with syrups or flavoring ingredients sprinkled over the top.

Flapjacks and pancakes can be often served as breakfast or dessert. They typically are served sweet with honey, maple syrup sugar, cream caramel syrup, chocolate syrup jam, fruit, or.

Sometimes ingredients are added to the batter, for example, apple, bananas, berries nuts, chocolate chips.

However, flapjacks and pancakes are also served as a meal that’s savory. The savory toppings for pancakes and flapjacks can vary quite often and contain ingredients like cheese or beef. Or chicken.

Certain parts of the US use these cakes that are thin as flapjacks, while other regions refer to them as pancakes. The South, as well as the Southeast parts of the US, tend to refer to them as flapjacks.

In certain regions, the flapjacks and pancakes are often called hotcakes as well as griddlecakes and griddlecakes, which could be very confusing if you don’t know the different terminology.

However, don’t confuse these terms with waffles, because they’re not the exact same! In fact, we wrote an entire article on the distinction between pancakes and waffles.

Flapjacks and Pancakes In The United Kingdom


British-Style Pancakes

In the UK pancakes are served, they are exactly the same as pancakes made in America. US are, cakes that are thinly made of batter.

In the UK pancakes are thinner and possess a little more of a crisp edge.

They are similar to crepes more so than American pancakes, however, they are thicker and sweeter, and comprise somewhat different ingredients than crepes.

The pancakes served in the US are served flat or stacked however, in the UK they are served in different ways.

British pancakes are coated with fillings and folded up. The filling may include sweet ingredients such as honey, syrup jam, fruit, or syrup and savory fillings, such as beef, cheese chicken, and eggs.


Cranberry Almond Flapjacks

The next thing to mention comes British flapjacks that are quite different from the flapjacks that are used in the US.

Again, in the US pancakes and flapjacks are similar however the same can’t be said about the UK.

Flapjacks sold in the UK are Oat pieces or tray bakes broken into bars. They’re similar to granola bars, or muesli bars. Their primary ingredients are rolled oatmeal as well as butter and brown sugar.

There is a wide variety of fillings that you can use for the dish, including dried fruits or nuts, coconut, or chocolate.

In the UK Flapjacks are typically served in tea with desserts, or perhaps as a quick breakfast option on the go. They’re quite simple to make, and you can add a few additional ingredients from your pantry to make them more substantial. After cooking, they can last for a long time also.

Different Ingredients

If you’re looking out of the US and are contemplating the differences between pancakes and flapjacks, then we’ll take a deeper look at the specific ingredients that comprise the two breakfast delights.

Pancake Ingredients

The most important ingredients of pancakes are flour eggs, milk, eggs butter, eggs, and occasionally an agent for leavening. Naturally, the ingredients can be substituted for or removed, as we did with our recipes for pancakes that don’t contain butter.

Sugar could be added to make the pancakes sweeter flavor, and salt is also a good option in order to enhance the sweet taste a little more.

There are also those who add vanilla essence to the mix that is typically used when making pancakes to make sweet toppings, not when pancakes are to be served with food items that are savory.

Instead of butter, you could make use of oil. Milk can be substituted by buttermilk, which makes the milk have a smoother texture and a more tangy taste.

If you’re looking for a more adventurous way to cook You can also mix in chocolate chips or fruits to your pancake batter to give it an additional sweet boost. You can choose between dark, milk, white chocolate, or a mix of several.

Flapjack Ingredients

Flapjacks, a type of food from the UK are oat-based bars baked within the oven. The main ingredient is the Oats. Alongside the oats, flapjacks are made up of sugar, butter, and golden syrup.

Demerara sugar or brown sugar are the most popular sugars to make use of, since they provide the flapjacks with an enhanced taste. To add more flavor or to make them healthier for you to enjoy as breakfast treats it is possible to add one or more of the below ingredients:

  • Chocolate chips
  • Dry fruits such as raisins or cranberries
  • Desiccated coconut
  • Nuts like almonds or walnuts
  • Peanut butter
  • Chia seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Grated apples
  • Goji berries
  • Strawberries

There are also healthy flapjack recipes that make use of fresh bananas and apples to tie the mix, which eliminates the sugar processed.

After the flapjacks have been baked, they’re cut and allowed to cool.

To make it a special treat, you can decorate the flapjacks with a sauce or topping. The most well-known option for topping flapjacks is chocolate frosting, composed of icing sugar cocoa, and hot water.

The icing is then drizzled on the flapjack’s top to form a solid icing layer. It is possible to be very creative by adding toppings!

Flapjacks vs Pancakes Final Comparison

Here are the primary distinctions between pancakes and flapjacks. This of course is what is known as the UK variation of flapjacks as well as pancakes which are two distinct things.

  • Pancakes are made of an extremely thin batter, and flapjacks are made of sugar, oats, and butter.
  • Flapjacks are baked in an oven and then fried on the stove.
  • Pancake ingredients are flour as well as butter, milk eggs, flour, and baking powder. The ingredients in flapjacks are brown sugar, oats, syrup, and butter.
  • Flapjacks aren’t served with additional toppings or fillings however they may be decorated with icing, or baked with other ingredients. Pancakes are not served in a plain manner and are often drenched in syrup or honey, or wrapped around with fillings like sugar, syrup lemon juice or chicken, cheese, vegetables and more.

Chart Of The Differences

In order to simplify things Here is a short chart that highlights the major variations between flapjacks and pancakes.

in the USFlat cake made of thin batterFlat cake made of thin batter
The UKSweet bars that are baked and tray-baked made from OatsFlat cake made of thin batter
Main ingredientsOats, brown sugar syrup, brown sugar, and butterEggs, flour milk, butter and occasionally baking powder
ToppingsChocolate icingMaple syrup jam, honey sugar, fruits, or other sweet ingredients
Also referred to asPancakes are sold in the US and muesli and granola barsFlapjacks and hotcakes or Gristcakes
Cooking methodBakedFried in a pan on both sides

Related Questions

What Do You Make Perfect American Pancakes?

Pancakes aren’t easy to prepare. The batter must have the right consistency for spread, and you must be aware of when to flip the pancakes.

To cook a pan to cook pancakes. Heat it over high heat on the stove. Incorporate a tiny amount of butter to see whether it starts to sizzle. If it does then lower the heat and then add the batter to make your first pancake.

It is essential to check the cooking process before moving on. When the edges begin to brown and cook and bubbles begin to form, the pancake is ready for flipping and its bottom will be golden brown.

Here are some additional tips to make flawless pancakes:

  • You can substitute it with buttermilk to create more fluffy and tangy pancakes. Buttermilk can be substituted by milk in the same ratio, but you’ll have to substitute the 1 teaspoon baking powder with 1 teaspoon baking soda.
  • The milk should be heated within the microwave to the point that it’s cool prior to adding the remaining ingredients. This will prevent lumps from forming and creates a smoother batter.
  • To avoid lumps and to create an easier pancake mix make sure to sift dry ingredients into a bowl before mixing other ingredients.

Buttermilk is essential because it has an acid that assists in kicking off baking soda and making the pancakes more affluent.

It also helps dissolve gluten strands that make the pancakes have a smoother and more creamy consistency. Buttermilk is the key ingredient to soft, fluffy, and smooth pancakes!

How do you make Perfect British Flapjacks?

Flapjacks to cook (the UK type) is quite simple and you won’t have any trouble making the recipe if you’re following a recipe.

But, to aid you, here are some suggestions to help you make your perfect flapjack:

  • Don’t cook the flapjacks to long. If they are left in the oven longer than the time they are supposed to be dried out, they’ll become dry, hard and unpalatable to eat.
  • Give more flavor to the flapjacks by adding dried fruits, nuts, or coconut.
  • To make healthier flapjacks you can use applesauce or bananas to help bind the oats instead of sugar.

What is A Johnnycake?

Another factor in the confusion between flapjacks and pancakes is the Johnny cakes.

Johnnycakes are akin to pancakes, however, they are made from cornmeal instead of flour and are typically seen within the United States, predominantly along the Atlantic Coast.

Johnnycakes are served sweet or savory, and topped with various ingredients, based on what you’re having for breakfast or lunch, snack or dessert!

Johnnycakes tend to be a bit denser and have a distinct taste than pancakes, however, they are still delicious and quick to cook.

What is Crumpets?

Along with pancakes and flapjacks, you’ve probably heard of crumpets, too!

Crumpets are remarkably similar to English Muffins and are thought to be very similar in the US however, they’re not muffins.

This may all sound complicated, but in reality, crumpets are cakes made from the griddle, which are made from flour and milk, as well as water and yeast, or other leavening agents.

Crumpets are smaller in size but are thicker than pancakes. The crumpets can be served hot, with syrup, butter, honey, or jam drizzled over the top.

Similar to pancakes and flapjacks, crumpets are great for breakfast as well as tea, dessert, or even dessert. They typically originate from the UK however they are a widely consumed food item all over the world. The Queen is known to be fond of crumpets for breakfast.

Crumpets can also be already prepared and packaged for sale in shops and can be put in the oven, toaster, or microwave, to be heated up and then enjoyed.

Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, the founder and editor of YummyTasteFood! She's a seasoned food writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. When not writing about food, she explores new recipes or travels the world for culinary inspiration.