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Pancake Recipe – The Best South African ‘Pannekoek

When it rains in the Cape, it is time for pancakes.  That is the tradition surrounded by the South African version of pancakes.  Autumn is usually the start of pancake season:

Pancakes – known in South Africa as “Pannekoek” (Afrikaans), is a little bit different to the pancakes you’ll find in America for instance.  The South African “Pannekoek” is not ‘cake-like’.  It is thin and can be filled with almost any filling you can think of (savory or sweet). 

This is a favorite in South Africa at all cake sales, markets and especially any fundraising event.  Therefore this fool-proof recipe is a must-have



  • 2 Eggs
  • 625 ml Milk
  • 500 ml Cake Flour
  • 2.5 ml Baking Powder
  • 2.5 ml salt
  • 15 ml Brandy (optional)
  • 30 ml Sunflower oil


The sugar and cinnamon mix is really up to you.  You can take 6 desert spoons of sugar and mix it with 1 desert spoon of cinnamon to start with.  Now taste and if you love more cinnamon, add some more.  Keep this mix ready in a container, to sprinkle on top of each pancake as you finish them.

It is great fun trying to flip the pancakes in the air.  Something the whole family can join in and have a bit of laugh.  See our TikTok video below…

Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert, Light Meal



You only need a few pantry basics to make this delicious treat.  Serve it as a starter, main or dessert.  Serve it plain or with a fabulous topping or filling.  There are many ways to zhoosh it up … and it’s fun making them.


  • Mix all the ingredients well
  • Let it rest for about 30 minutes (you can use it immediately if needed)
  • Using very little oil, just cover the base of a frying pan
  • Now add just enough of the pancake mix to cover the base but just a thin layer (as in photos)
  • Let it bake and turn once. Then it is ready.
  • Let it rest on a plate and cover each pancake as you put them on top of one another, with a thin layer of mixed sugar and cinnamon (to taste).
Chef at Home

Tips from Chef JC

If you want to add fillings to your pancakes – do not sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mix over it as you bake it.

Traditionally pancakes are baked with the first winter or fall rain and thereafter you have reason to eat them the whole winter, but in summer time it is turned into sweet treats with amazing fillings:

20 Fabulous Pancake Filling Ideas

Sweet fillings for pancakes

  1. Caramel and banana topped with whipped fresh cream.
  2. Golden syrup / Maple syrup and cream – topped with berries.
  3. Peanut butter or a hazelnut cocoa spread with ice-cream. (Banana optional)
  4. Baked apple or pear filling with cream.
  5. Strawberries and cream.
  6. Cinnamon & Sugar
  7. Home-made thick custard and peaches.
  8. Pecan nuts, honey and ice-cream.
  9. Blueberries, berry syrup and cream.
  10. Ice-cream, banana and chocolate syrup.

Savory fillings for pancakes

  1. Chicken mayo (cold) or Chicken à la King (warm)
  2. Bolognese thick saucy mince
  3. Tuna mayo with finely chopped gurkins and banana (cold)
  4. Seafood mix with sauce of your choice
  5. Bacon, banana and maple syrup
  6. Creamy spinach and feta
  7. Bacon, avo and feta
  8. Beef mince and caramelized onions
  9. Mushroom and Béchamel or Cheese sauce 
  10. Broccoli, Béchamel or Cheese sauce and Gruyere cheese
Chef JC’s menu ideas:

Why not host a pancake evening for your family.  It is fun (everyone can help flip the pancakes) and they will all love it.  You can have different fillings available – depending on how much time you have to prepare.

Starters – Pancakes with a savory tuna filling

Mains – Pancakes filled with a winter chicken curry or beef mince.

Dessert – Pancakes filled with one of the above sweet fillings.

Chef at Home
Pannekoek vulsel idees

Healthy topping ideas for pancakes

  1. Fresh fruit or fruit salad. 
  2. Yogurt (with or without fruit)
  3. Mushroom & spinach
  4. Dark chocolate and nuts
  5. Honey and berries
  6. Banana, nuts and honey
  7. Maple syrup & bananas
  8. Strawberries and low fat or Greek yoghurt

For more recipes from around the world (which we love), go to our World@Home page.  This is a relatively new page, but we add to it regularly.  Sharing with you all the recipes we love from our travels around the world.

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