This recipe is extra special for Wesley (The Loon), and with one bite, it will be special for you, too.
In Norway, these scrumptious crepe-like pancakes are often used as a side dish to the main savory dish for the evening meal. Of course, they’re wonderful as a main course for breakfast, too. They are similar to crepes, but even a little thinner. And addictively delicious. A true Loon tradition and an all-time favorite.
How To Make Norwegian Pancakes (Pannekaker)
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The Ingredients You Will Need
There are truly just a handful of ingredients for traditional pannekaker, and there are some additions (or omissions) you can make, depending on your tastes. These are the ingredients will love to use:
Eggs – As fresh as possible.
Milk – Whole.
Flour – All-purpose.
Sugar – Granulated.
Salt – Kosher is what we use.
Cardamom – Adds just a little depth of flavor, but is optional.
Unsalted butter – Melted.
Vanilla extract – Almond extract is often used, and it’s delicious, just don’t overdo it.
Toppings – Blueberry jam, powdered sugar, butter, plain granulated sugar.
EXPERT TIP: If possible, use an electric hand mixer to bring the batter together. You will see little lumps from the flour. Try to work as many of the lumps out as possible, but don’t worry if there are still some that are visible. Pour the batter in the center of the hot buttered pan and then immediately swirl around the bottom of the pan.
Tips for Making Perfect Norwegian Pancakes
Use the Right Pan – A non-stick pan is great, but a 9 to 10-inch cast-iron skillet works great, too. Add just enough butter (or oil) to coat the bottom of the pan and then when ready, flipping is easy.
Keep Them Thin – Resist the temptation to add too much batter to the pan. One-third of a cup in a 9-inch pan will produce a thin pannekaker, which is what you want.
Use a Rubber (or Silicone) Spatula – Once you can easily maneuver a rubber spatula (not too big) under the side of the cooking pancake, lift it up enough to make sure it is fairly sturdy and lightly browned underneath. Quickly, carefully, and confidently flip over.
Serve with Traditional Toppings – Such as jam, sour cream, or berries for an authentic Norwegian experience.
How To Serve
We love to serve these pancakes for breakfast or brunch, and the Loon family loves to make them nice and sweet (lots of butter and cheese).
It’s fun to make a large stack of them and then let the family members garnish however they prefer.
In Norway, it’s not unusual to have pannekaker at dinnertime, with soup, or some bacon. Since the pancakes themselves aren’t overly sweet, it would be easy to fill them with savory filling, such as cooked sausage and peppers. Be creative!
Of course, a simple dusting of powdered sugar is always a nice touch. NOTE: The stack of pancakes will keep warm for about 30 minutes if covered with a kitchen towel, as you continue to make them in the skillet. You can also keep them warm in a low-temperature oven.
Other Recipes for Crepes or Pancakes
Crepes and pancakes are wonderful any time of the day and any time of the year. Here are some recipes that utilize crepes, and then some other wonderful pancakes to make at home.
These dishes are all amazing in their own right. But, for right now, aren’t these catching your attention?
How To Store
We recommend serving these pancakes soon after you prepare them. They will stay light, fluffy, and warm for at least 30 minutes
However, they are delicious even hours after you’ve prepared them. You can serve them warm or at room temperature.
If making in advance, keep them covered (preferably refrigerated) for up to overnight. Reheat in a warm skillet, or wrapped in foil in a 250°F oven, or simply wrap in damp paper towels, and microwave on HIGH for about 30 seconds.
Wesley is 50% Norwegian, and his dad (who was 100%) would make these regularly while he grew up in South Dakota with brothers, sisters, and many, many relatives, all of Norwegian descent.
He remembers frigid Winter days when he, his sisters, and his mother would gather in the kitchen, while Papa Loon made them by scratch, eye-balling it all the way.
Wesley said there was never a stack of the pannekaker, because as soon as his dad would flip one onto the serving platter, it was immediately snatched up, smeared with butter, rolled tightly, covered in sugar, and then inhaled.
Make these gems, and create beautiful memories with your family. You don’t even have to be Norwegian. Have fun!
Ready to make the best pancakes this side of Oslo? Go for it!
And when you do, be sure to take a photo of them, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowToFeedaLoon!
Norwegian Pancakes (Pannekaker)
- 9 to 10-inch pan cast-iron or non-stick
- 3 eggs
- 1½ cups whole milk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp cardamom ground, optional
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter melted, plus more for the pan
- Blueberry jam optional, for serving
- Powdered sugar optional, for serving
- Use an electric hand mixer to blend the eggs and milk in a medium bowl, for about 1 to 2 minutes.3 eggs, 1½ cups whole milk
- Add the flour, salt, sugar, cardamom (if using), vanilla extract, and melted butter, and continue mixing until most of the lumps are gone.1 cup all-purpose flour, ¼ tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, ¼ tsp cardamom, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- Heat a 9 to 10-inch skillet over medium heat and coat with a small amount of butter (about 1 tsp). Swirl the pan until the pan is fully coated.
- Scoop about ⅓ cup of the batter and then pour into the center of the skillet, immediately swirling the pan until most of the batter has been distributed along the bottom of the pan.
- Cook until the edges begin to curl up slightly and some bubbles begin to appear, usually about 2 minutes. Carefully slip a rubber (or silicone) spatula under the side of the pancake. If it feels sturdy, lift enough of the pancake up to see if the underside is lightly browning. If so, carefully, but swiftly, use the spatula to flip the pancake over, if not, wait until you see the underside browning, and then flip.
- Cook for another minute and then transfer the pancake to a serving plate. Cover with a kitchen towel as you repeat this process until all batter has been used.
- If desired, roll the pancakes, or serve flat with toppings on the side.Blueberry jam, Powdered sugar
POST UPDATE: This post was originally published in November 2014, but was updated with improved tweaks to the recipe with new tips and photography and a fabulous new video in January 2024!