South African Style Pancakes

I love the rain. When it rains in South Africa we eat pancakes. I love pancakes. I was elated when I moved to England and it rains at least once a week. That could only mean one thing: pancakes will be a regular feature in my kitchen, unlike its infrequent visits in South Africa. Sadly it turned out to be only a fantasy as I soon learnt that my rainy day tradition is not replicated here. I did learn though that the British people do love pancakes. But only once a year. With sugar. And lemon. Weird!

Even more weird was the fact that they eat it with Nutella and lemon curd and fruit… What is that about?! Where is the cinnamon sugar that makes it so tasty?   The cinnamon sugar that makes a pancake, well, a pancake!

Whenever pancake night approaches I start planning it carefully about a week in advance. I want to make pancakes the star of the show and not as an afterthought to dessert. There will be savoury and sweet fillings and loads and loads of pancakes.

This year I’ve incorporated traditions from both sides of the equator.  During our pancake feast we’ve celebrated with not only cinnamon sugar and lemon curd, but also curried beef mince and avocado.

Lately I’ve been having this insane craving for melktert and I thought this would be a great opportunity to make a nice big batch as a little present to myself to celebrate the fact that I made it through another half term. Melktert is a milky custardy tart with a cinnamon sprinkle. Like cheesecake, it can be baked or chilled as a filling over a baked piecrust. I don’t like pastry so I love just having the filling on its own!


Here is my mother’s pancake recipe:


This makes about 20 pancakes.


2 cups plain flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 ml salt

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1 cup water

1 tablespoon brandy

2 tablespoons oil


  1. Sift the dry ingredients into a large glass bowl.
  2. Whisk the eggs until they are light and fluffy and pale in colour. Stir in the oil and other liquids.
  3. Combine the dry and wet ingredients in the glass bowl and mix until all is well combined and lump-free.
  4. Heat a bit of oil in a flat pan and spoon a little of the batter in to thinly coat the base.
  5. As soon as the pancake is ready it should release from the pan. Turn it over and bake on the other side until golden.




Serve these delicious sheets of goodness on one (or all) of the following:


Savoury mince


500g beef mince

1 onion, diced

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 tablespoon turmeric

2 tablespoons tomato paste


  1. Saute the onions in a tiny bit of oil before adding the mince and leaving it to brown.
  2. Add the curry powder and turmeric to the mince mixture and add 100 ml cold water.
  3. Cook with the lid on for 10 minutes until the beef is soft and the spices are cooked through and fragrant. Add the tomato paste and stir until well combined.
  4. Season to taste and serve with the pancakes.
Curried savoury mince

Melktert filling


1 tin of condensed milk

3 cups milk

¼ cup corn flour

2 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons butter

1 cinnamon stick

Salt to taste


  1. Pour the condensed milk and two cups of milk in a saucepan.
  2. Mix the other cup of milk with the corn flour and add to the saucepan.
  3. Add the cinnamon stick.
  4. Heat the milk mixture very slowly over gentle heat (it burns easily).
  5. Keep stirring.
  6. Once the milk mixture is warm and starts to thicken, stir in the beaten eggs.
  7. Keep beating to avoid scrambled eggs.
  8. After the mixture is well combined stir in the salt and vanilla extract.
  9. Leave aside to thicken a bit more and cool to room temperature.


Serve on pancakes topped with cinnamon sugar.

Other fillings on the table:


Lemon curd



Cinnamon sugar

Mini marshmallows

Fudge pieces



Cheddar cheese

The Table



To freak out our guest (he thinks my taste in food is completely unconventional) I convinced him to eat his pancakes with the following combination:


Lemon curd

Beef mince




He loved it so much he had three more!


14 Comments on “South African Style Pancakes

  1. I love learning new things! I’ve never heard of that tradition- or of eating ‘savory’ pancakes! In Canada- our staple with Pancakes is fresh maple syrup. Sometimes paired with fried apples with cinnamon and whipped cream… Anything else seems crazy! LOL Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: