25 Pancakes Around the World

Get in the spirit of National Pancake Day with this comprehensive list
Indonesian Serabi


Indonesia's version of the pancake is called serabi.

Almost two-thirds of American adults buy pancake or waffle mix at the store, and slowly waking up to the smell of pancakes is an oft-treasured childhood memory. There are infomercials for pans claiming to make the perfect pancake dream come true. Singer Jack Johnson even wrote a hit song devoted to banana pancakes. Pancakes are comfort food, says Jimmy Lee, owner of the Original Pancake House in Atlanta. “Most people desire comfort food. So if they have a little stress or something going on in their lives and they need to come and relax and have a good meal, that’s where they come. Some people like cheesecake and some people like pancakes, see?”

The pancake isn’t a new concept, however, or an exclusively American one. Ancient Greeks enjoyed pancakes enriched with sesame seeds and honey, and the Elizabethans added rosewater and sherry. Today, cultures all over the world have some variation on the theme.

The incredible pancakes on our list vary from sea to shining sea. Some are sweet, some are savory, and some are so versatile they can be eaten at any time of day.

In the spirit of National Pancake Day coming up on Sept. 26, here's a world tour through the international pancake hall of fame.

Click here for the 25 Pancakes Around the World slideshow.

Australia: Pikelets

Australian Pikelets

Photo Modified: Flickr / theimpulsivebuy / CC BY-SA 4.0

Australia's version of a pancake is the pikelet.

In Australia, the small and thick pancakes called pikelets are popular as a snack, often served with afternoon tea. Pikelets can also be purchased ready-made in grocery stores, and heated up or served cold. Toppings often include jam and whipped cream.

Austria: Kaiserschmarrn

Austrian Kaiserschmarrn

Photo Modified: Flickr / Thomas Jaehnel / CC BY 4.0

Austria serves kaiserschmarrn, which often incorporate raisins in the batter.

With a nickname like “The Emperor’s Trifle,” you know the dish has to be high-quality. This classic Austrian treat is made of very thick and custardy pancakes, fried in butter, and torn into bite-sized pieces to finish the browning process. The pieces of pancake — which often incorporate raisins in the batter — are then served with fresh or preserved fruit.  Some legends say that kaiserschmarrn were first served to Emperor Franz Joseph I around the turn of the 20th century.

Additional reporting by Elsa Säätelä.