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Pancake vs. Pikelet — What's the Difference?

By Maham Liaqat & Fiza Rafique — Updated on April 15, 2024
Pancakes are typically thin, wide breakfast treats often served with syrup, while pikelets are smaller, thicker, and commonly enjoyed with jam or cream.
Pancake vs. Pikelet — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Pancake and Pikelet


Key Differences

Pancakes are a popular breakfast item in many cultures, known for their wide, thin, and often fluffy texture, made from a batter of flour, eggs, milk, and baking powder. On the other hand, pikelets, which are common in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand, are smaller, thicker versions of pancakes, usually made from a similar batter but cooked to a smaller diameter and are more compact.
Pancakes are traditionally served stacked and topped with syrup, butter, or fruit, making them a versatile base for a variety of toppings. Whereas pikelets are often served cold, spread with jam or cream, and are a common fixture at tea times or as a snack rather than a breakfast staple.
In terms of preparation, pancakes can vary in thickness and size, but they are generally larger than pikelets and may be cooked on a griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Conversely, pikelets are typically cooked on a lower heat to allow the inside to cook thoroughly without burning the outside, given their thicker consistency.
Pancakes can include variants like buttermilk pancakes, which have a rich flavor and tender texture, or blueberry pancakes, which include fresh or frozen berries. Pikelets, on the other hand, rarely stray from the basic recipe, though they might include raisins or sultanas mixed into the batter.
In many places, pancakes are a staple during breakfast and can be part of festive traditions, such as Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day, where they are made to use up store cupboard ingredients. Pikelets do not have a specific holiday association but are a common feature in afternoon tea and are often seen at gatherings or family events.

Comparison Chart


Global, with variations
UK, Australia, New Zealand


Larger, thin
Smaller, thicker

Serving Temperature

Usually warm
Often cold

Common Toppings

Syrup, butter, fruit
Jam, cream

Typical Use

Snack or tea time

Compare with Definitions


A thin, flat cake made from batter and cooked on a hot griddle or frying pan.
We enjoyed homemade pancakes with maple syrup for breakfast.


A small, thick pancake popular in Britain and Australasia.
She served pikelets with cream and jam at the afternoon tea.


Often part of traditional breakfasts in various cultures.
In America, pancakes are a favorite weekend breakfast choice.


Usually enjoyed as a snack or during tea time.
Pikelets are a perfect complement to a cup of tea in the afternoon.


Versatile in serving with a variety of toppings.
She topped her pancakes with fresh berries and whipped cream.


Less variable in terms of recipe adaptations.
Traditional pikelets are simple, often enhanced with just a sprinkle of sugar.


Can be adapted into different recipes and styles.
We tried making vegan pancakes using almond milk and banana.


Commonly cooked to be thicker and eaten cold.
Pikelets made in the morning were served cold at the family picnic.


Associated with specific cultural and religious practices.
Pancakes are traditionally eaten on Shrove Tuesday to use up rich foods before Lent.


Typically smaller and served individually.
Each child was given a pikelet to decorate with their favorite toppings.


A pancake (or hotcake, griddlecake, or flapjack, not to be confused with oat bar flapjacks) is a flat cake, often thin and round, prepared from a starch-based batter that may contain eggs, milk and butter and cooked on a hot surface such as a griddle or frying pan, often frying with oil or butter. Archaeological evidence suggests that pancakes were probably the earliest and most widespread cereal food eaten in prehistoric societies.The pancake's shape and structure varies worldwide.


A thin kind of crumpet.


A thin, flat cake of batter, fried on both sides in a pan and typically rolled up with a sweet or savoury filling
Crispy pancakes filled with cheese
Pancake batter


A thick type of sweet pancake.


Make-up consisting of a flat solid layer of compressed powder, used especially in the theatre.


(UK) A thin crumpet.


(with reference to an aircraft) make or cause to make a pancake landing
The plane landed, pancaking down on the runway


Any crumpet, regardless of thickness


Flatten or become flattened
Hurley's car was pancaked


A light, thin cake or muffin.


A thin cake made of batter that is poured onto a hot greased surface and cooked on both sides until brown. Also called flannel cake, flapjack, griddle cake, hotcake; also called regionally battercake.


To cause (an aircraft) to make a pancake landing.


To make a pancake landing.


To fall flat to the ground with great force, especially to collapse in such a way that higher floors or structures fall directly on the ones beneath.


A thin batter cake fried in a pan or on a griddle in oil or butter; in particular:


In England, an often unleavened cake similar to a crepe.


In the US (and e.g. Scotland), a leavened, thicker, fluffier cake.


(theater) A kind of makeup, consisting of a thick layer of a compressed powder.


(juggling) A type of throw, usually with a ring where the prop is thrown in such a way that it rotates round an axis of the diameter of the prop.


Anything very thin and flat.
Pancake lens


Composite leather made of scraps, glue and board, by extension of (4), material originally used for insoles, but later used also for heels and even soles.


A box on which an actor stands to make them appear taller.


(volleyball) A defensive play in which the ball bounces off the top of a hand that has been pressed flat against the floor.


(intransitive) To make a pancake landing.


To collapse one floor after another.


(transitive) To flatten violently.


A thin cake of batter fried in a pan or on a griddle; a griddlecake; a flapjack.


A flat cake of thin batter fried on both sides on a griddle

Common Curiosities

Are pikelets sweet or savory?

Pikelets are generally sweet, especially when served with jam or cream.

What is the main difference between a pancake and a pikelet?

Pancakes are larger and thinner, typically eaten warm for breakfast, while pikelets are smaller, thicker, and often served cold as a snack or for tea.

What are common toppings for pancakes?

Common toppings include syrup, fruits, chocolate chips, and whipped cream.

Are pikelets a common dish outside of the UK and Australasia?

While they are most popular in these regions, pikelets can be found in other parts of the world, often in specialty or international eateries.

Can you use pancake batter to make pikelets?

Yes, though pikelets are typically thicker and may require less spreading in the pan.

How do you properly cook a pikelet?

Cook pikelets on a lower heat than pancakes to allow the thicker batter to cook through without burning the exterior.

What kind of flour is best for making pancakes?

All-purpose flour is typically used for pancakes, but some recipes may call for whole wheat or buckwheat flour for a different flavor and texture.

Can pancakes or pikelets be made vegan?

Yes, both can be made vegan by substituting plant-based milk for dairy milk and using egg replacements or banana in the batter.

What is the typical diameter of a pancake compared to a pikelet?

Pancakes typically range from 4 to 8 inches in diameter, while pikelets are usually about 2 to 4 inches.

What makes a pancake fluffy?

The fluffiness of pancakes often comes from the inclusion of a leavening agent like baking powder or baking soda, and sometimes beaten egg whites.

Can pikelets be frozen for later use?

Yes, pikelets freeze well. They can be reheated in a toaster or microwave, making them a convenient snack.

Is there a traditional time to eat pancakes in the United States?

While pancakes can be eaten at any meal, they are most commonly associated with breakfast and brunch.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Maham Liaqat
Co-written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.

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