A pancake is a batter cake fried in a pan or on a griddle with oil or butter. Pancakes can be eaten hot or cold, and are generally filled or topped with a sweet or savoury sauce or condiment.
Most types of pancake batter contain some kind of flour, most commonly wheat flour, or buckwheat flour, and a liquid ingredient, such as water, milk, or ale, although pancakes are sometimes made with cornmeal in the U.S. and potato pancakes are also popular in various European countries, such as Germany and Poland. In some countries, such as Egypt, Canada and the United States, pancakes contain a raising agent, such as baking soda or yeast. The batter of the Ethiopian injera is left to ferment in order to achieve a similar effect.
The oldest surviving recipe in the English language dates from the 15th century.
British pancakes have three key ingredients: plain flour, eggs and milk. The batter is quite runny and forms a thin layer on the bottom of the frying pan when the pan is tilted. It may form some bubbles during cooking, which result in a pale pancake with dark spots where the bubbles were, but the pancake does not rise. These pancakes may be eaten sweet with the traditional topping of lemon juice and sugar, or wrapped around savoury stuffings and eaten as a main course. When baked instead of fried, this batter rises (depite having no raising agents - it rises because the air beaten into the batter expands) and is known as Yorkshire pudding. British pancakes are similar to the French crêpes, and Italian crespelle, but are not "lacy" in appearance. However, in Scotland pancakes, known as Scotch pancakes or drop scones in the rest of Britain, are more like the American variation and are served as such (see below).
英式的pancake有三种关键成分：（不含酸酵粉的）白面粉、鸡蛋和牛奶。烘焙用的奶油面糊一般非常湿滑柔软，需要把煎锅倾斜着薄薄一层地摊在底部。烹饪时可能会出现些气泡，出气泡的地方会在最后出锅的白白的pancake上留下些黑色的斑点，这种烹饪法不涉及发酵。吃这种pancake时可在顶上涂些传统的柠檬水和糖之类的甜品，或者把一些开胃小食卷进去作为一道主菜来食用。如果是烘烤而不是煎出来的，烹饪时会涉及发酵（即便没有发酵催化物，饼里的空气仍会使面糊饼自身膨胀），烹饪出来的成品被称作"Yorkshire pudding"——约克郡布丁。英式的pancake与法国点心crêpes和意大利食品crespelle很相像，只是没有那些装饰性的“花边”图案。而苏格兰当地的pancake，也被叫作Scotch pancake或drop scone，则更像是美国的品种。