Easy sugar and lemon pancakes

Rating: 4.88
31 January 2023

My kids love pancakes. And whether it’s for breakfast, brunch, or Shrove Tuesday pancakes, they’re always a winner in this household. While my youngest could devour American pancakes at any time, the rest of us like good old-fashioned English pancakes – and for me, they’re best served with sugar and lemon. My absolute favourite combination of pancake toppings. 

Why do we eat pancakes for  Shrove Tuesday?

Ever since I can remember, I’ve always eaten sugar and lemon pancakes on Shrove Tuesday – or Pancake Day as it’s affectionately known here in the United Kingdom. Traditionally a feast day before the start of Lent – the 40 days leading up to Easter – it was the last chance to use up butter, milk and eggs before fasting. 

lemon and sugar pancakes - Cook Simply

How to make basic pancakes

The beauty of this English pancake recipe is that it really is simple and you only need a few ingredients including eggs, flour, sugar and milk. That’s it. 

To make the batter, get a large bowl, and sieve the flour – you want it as fine as possible so the batter is smooth and lump free. Then make a well in the middle of the flour. In another bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar and milk. Then pour the mixture into the well. Using a balloon whisk, whisk together the mixture until you get a smooth batter. 

Heat some butter in a non-stick frying pan on a medium heat, then pour around a tablespoon or more, if you like your pancakes to be thicker. Swirl the batter around the pan so it covers it all, then cook for 1-2 minutes before flipping and cooking on the other side for another minute. I find it easiest to use a spatula or fish slice to do this – I’m not very good at flipping pancakes in the air!

pancakes with sugar and lemon - Cook Simply

Then add your toppings…

Pancakes with sugar and lemon will always be my first choice. The more lemon juice and sugar, the better. I love the simplicity of fresh and zingy flavours cutting through the sweetness. My boys always choose Nutella and sliced bananas. While my husband enjoys pancakes with golden syrup. Whether it’s slices of fruit, a dollop of ice cream, nuts and whipped cream or maple syrup – the choice is yours. The fun part is trying out all the different combinations.

If you’d like savoury pancakes, then omit the sugar in the batter, and then add your toppings – such as ham and cheese, smoked salmon, bacon, eggs, chicken, spinach, garlic and mushrooms… whatever you fancy. 

Other sweet treat ideas

American pancakes
Lemon posset
Chocolate brownies
Lemon drizzle cake
Chocolate fridge cake
lemon and sugar pancakes - Cook Simple

Pancakes with lemon and sugar

4.88 from 8 votes
This is a basic English pancake recipe that is so easy to make. Sprinkle lots of sugar on top and squeeze lemon juice - just perfect for Shrove Tuesday or any time you fancy
Servings 10
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 100g g plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar more for serving
  • 300 ml milk
  • 1-2 knobs of butter for frying
  • Lemon juice for serving


  • Sift the flour into a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
  • Using another bowl, add the eggs, sugar and milk and whisk together until combined.
  • Then slowly pour into the well of the flour. Using a whisk, mix together until you have a smooth batter - this can take a few minutes as you continue to slowly add the liquid.
  • To make the pancakes, heat a non stick pan on medium with around a teaspoon of butter until it's melted. Add the batter to the hot pan, I use a good tablespoon, and then swirl the batter around the pan so it covers all of it.
    making English pancakes - Cook Simply
  • Cook each pancake for around 1-2 minutes then flip over to cook the other side for around another minute.
  • Lay some foil or baking paper in between each pancake and cover with a tea towel to keep warm, as you're making the whole batch. You should get around 10.
  • When you're ready to serve, you can fold the pancakes in half, then half again, sprinkle with caster sugar and squeeze the juice of half a lemon [or more] over the top.


Calories: 140kcalFat: 6g
Author: cooksimply
Calories: 140kcal
Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: British

Did you make these sugar and lemon pancakes?

Please let me know if you made these English pancakes. Leave a comment below and tag @cooksimplyathome on Instagram. You can find other delicious recipe ideas here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

Copyright © 2024 COOK SIMPLY.
Made with by Ting Dalton. All rights reserved.