What’s the Difference Between Flapjacks and Pancakes?

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When I was younger, I used to confuse the terms flapjack and pancake. In my view, they both referred to the flour-based griddle cakes that we would prepare on Saturday or Sunday mornings. They paired best with cartoons and pillow fights because they were rich and fluffy, with warm wonderful butter and sweet maple syrup.

I was just having a conversation with some friends from across the pond when the topic of breakfast items came up. Someone had said that their favorite breakfast was a tiny stack of silver dollar pancakes, and I responded, “Oh yeah, I love flapjacks,” to which my British pals looked perplexed.

While we use the terms flapjack and pancake interchangeably in the United States, they seem to be significantly different in other countries. After talking with several British friends and delving into cookbooks and recipes, I realized that the Flapjacks vs. Pancakes debate is much more difficult than I had expected.

Flapjacks vs Pancakes in the USA

Flapjacks vs Pancakes: What’s The Difference?

Flapjacks and pancakes appeared to signify the same thing to me when I was younger. I always called them pancakes, but previous generations and others from various regions of the nation named them Flapjacks as well.

Pancakes, also known as flapjacks in the United States, are a kind of griddle cake prepared with flour, milk, eggs, sugar, salt, oil or butter, and baking powder. There are several dry mixes available at the grocery store, but you can most likely prepare them at home using things you already have in your cupboard.

There are several regional variants on the theme around the nation, one prominent variation being Dutch Baby Pancakes, a German style pancake that is popular in the Pennsylvania Dutch communities of Central Pennsylvania.

A Dutch Baby Pancake is a hybrid that is similar to a pancake and a popover. They are light and fluffy, and go well with syrup, butter, or fruit toppings, but they take a little longer to make than standard pancakes and often need a cast iron pan for the finest results.

Fillings or fruit toppings are one of the most prevalent variants on regular pancakes. It’s simple to add your favorite tastes to your pancakes, such as bananas, blueberries, or chocolate chips, and the results are spectacular. Pumpkin pie pancakes with a steaming cup of coffee are one of my personal favorites on a crisp fall weekend morning.

toppings: Here are a few of my favorite pancake fillings.

  • blueberries
  • banana
  • chocolate chip
  • slivered almonds
  • peanuts
  • peanut butter
  • butterscotch chips
  • chia seeds
  • granola
  • macerated strawberries
  • marshmallows

Johnny Cakes, Hoe Cakes, and Hot Cakes.

Pancakes or flapjacks are often referred to as Hot Cakes, although they are all the same thing: flour-based griddle cakes. One explanation for this might be the popularity of the McDonalds Hot Cakes morning dish, which was the more widespread word for pancakes when McDonalds launched their breakfast menu.

If you’ve spent any time in the northeast, you’ve probably heard of Johnny Cakes, which, although similar to pancakes, are made with cornmeal and have a chewier, crunchier feel. Corncakes are known as hoecakes in the south, although they are usually a savory meal eaten with lunch or supper.

Flapjacks and Pancakes in the UK.

As I previously said, my finding was triggered by a talk with some British friends. While pancakes are the same meal that we love in the United States, flapjacks are a completely distinct cuisine item.

Pancakes in the UK.

If you find yourself in the United Kingdom and suddenly need a small stack of pancakes, you’re in luck since you’ll find them much the same as you would here in the United States.

Pancakes are flour-based, baking powder-risen griddle cakes eaten with butter and syrup in other countries. You’ll discover many of the same toppings and flavor combinations you’ve grown to enjoy, whether you’re seeking for chocolate chip pancakes or blueberry recipes.

Flapjacks or Muesli Bars.

While pancakes are widespread from area to region and over the world, flapjacks are a different story. Flapjacks are tray-baked bars comprised of oats, brown sugar, golden syrup, and butter that originated in the United Kingdom.

This is a tray-bake recipe, and if you’re acquainted with the Great British Baking Show, you’ll already know what it means. The ingredients are combined to form a dough or firm batter, which is then pressed into a baking pan and cooked until golden brown and crispy.

Flapjacks, which have a considerably firmer texture than soft-baked granola bars, make a fantastic quick breakfast with a cup of coffee. These sweet, delectable oat bars are commonly served with a smear of chocolate frosting or on their own, and they make a perfect pantry staple since they can keep for 3-4 days without becoming stale.

What about crumpets?

Crumpets are another baked food that originated in the British Isles and are made in a manner similar to pancakes. The main difference between the two is the consistency of the batter. Pancakes are created with a thinner batter, which results in flatter, plate-shaped disks or fluffy, griddlecake perfection.

Crumpet batter, on the other hand, is considerably firmer. This gives them a breadier, biscuit-like form that works well for spreading jam or butter, but it also means they take considerably longer to cook. Both are excellent and have a similar texture, yet they are quite distinct gastronomic experiences.

Where do waffles fit in?

Waffles, like pancakes or crumpets, are produced with a batter that includes eggs, butter, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. The main distinction here is the technique of preparation.

While pancakes and flapjacks may be made in a frying pan or griddle, waffles need the use of a waffle iron. Depending on your requirements, they are available in a variety of sizes and forms. There are also cast-iron variants designed for use on a barbecue or over a campfire.

Waffles, like pancakes, may be filled with anything from fruit to candies. Simply pour the waffle batter onto your waffle pan and top with your preferred toppings!

Flapjacks & Pancakes Final Thoughts

While pancakes and flapjacks are practically identical terms in the United States, Flapjacks or muesli bars are significantly different from the griddle cakes we know as pancakes in the United Kingdom. Flapjacks are a delightful tray baked oat bar made with oats, brown sugar, golden syrup, and butter that makes for a great breakfast on the run or a light snack with coffee or tea.

If you want pancakes drenched in maple syrup and fresh creamy butter, or a British Flapjack or tray baked oat bar, either will be excellent, and now you know the difference!Whether you want a stack of American flapjacks or not,


Is flapjacks and pancakes the same thing?

While flapjacks is an informal nickname for pancakes, some individuals may refer to certain varieties of pancakes as hotcakes or griddlecakes. In the United Kingdom, the term flapjack refers to something altogether different: an oat-based baked dish that resembles a granola bar.

Why do American call pancakes flapjacks?

The term flapjack is said to derive from the act of flipping, or “flapping,” the cake on a griddle.

What is flapjack called in America?

“Flapjack” is a well-known but lesser-used name for pancake in the United States and Canada.

What is difference between hotcakes and pancakes?

Our team looked it up, and the definition of a hotcake is “a pancake.” There is, however, a small difference between preparing a hotcake and a pancake. Pancakes are typically broad and fluffy in texture, while hotcakes are thicker and denser.

What country calls pancakes flapjacks?

Not only are “flapjacks” their own thing in the UK, but British cuisine has a distinct definition of what constitutes a pancake. Though they’ll call it a “pancake,” the British version is unleavened and more akin to a crepe than the puffy, pillowy dish we’re used to.

Is flapjack British or American?

What exactly are Flapjacks? While the phrase flapjack originally referred to a pancake in the United States and Canada, it now refers to a baked bar made from oats, butter, golden syrup, and sugar that is molded into a big, flat rectangle, cooked, and then sliced into little rectangles.

Can pancakes be called flapjacks?

Flapjacks and pancakes are two separate products in the UK, however they may be used interchangeably in the US.

What is the difference between British flapjacks and American flapjacks?

A flapjack is a chewy, sweet granola bar in the United States and a less frequent way of describing “pancake” in the United Kingdom.

What do Southern people call pancakes?

In the South, pancakes are sometimes referred to as hoecakes. Most Southerners have heard of lacy cornbread, sometimes known as hot water cornbread. A hoecake is a fried, rustic form of a pancake made with pounded cornmeal.

What is an English slang flapjack?

A flapjack is an oat bar in England, Ireland, and even Australia and New Zealand, and these flapjacks are the polar opposite of a fluffy, light pancake.

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