The Real Difference Between Dutch Pancakes And American Pancakes

In the United States, when you hear the work pancake, your mind is flooded with these images of airy, fluffy golden stacks of doughy disks piled high with oozey syrup. Prior to settling on the word pancake, Americans referred to those fluffy disks as Indian cakes, hoe cakes, johnnycakes, griddle cakes, and flapjacks, according to Kate's Kitchen.

If you're in the Netherlands, Dutch pancakes, known as pannenkoeken, take on a different form, according to Pancakes Amsterdam. While Americans dream of pancakes for breakfast, the Dutch dream of pannenkoeken for dinner (although who doesn't love having flapjacks for dinner?). Unless you are aware of the differences in how each country approaches this food, you might find yourself a little confused and disappointed when your order arrives at your table, much like the folks at Food Crumbles. Are the differences between them distinct? Yes. But, are either iteration of the pancake considered less delicious? Not at all. It just depends on what you're craving in the moment.

How do Dutch pancakes and American pancakes differ?

Americans normally go for their pancakes in the morning — they see pancakes as a classic and quintessential breakfast and brunch food (via Kate's Kitchen). Food Crumbles explains that the Dutch version is normally enjoyed at night. Another difference is how each is made. Curious Cuisiniere explains that pannenkoek (pannenkoeken when speaking in plurals) is much bigger than its American cousin. They are said to be pan-sized, about 32 centimeters (a little over 12 inches) in diameter, and a little thicker than the French crepe. But like the crepe, they are somethings stuffed.

The Dutch pancake is made using a batter that consists of eggs, milk, flour, and some salt, according to the Curious Cuisiniere. The BBC reports that American pancakes, when made from scratch, require flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, milk, an egg, and some butter. Food Crumbles reports that the leavening ingredients are what make the American version nice and fluffy.

Dutch pancakes and American pancakes also slightly differ when it comes to toppings. Americans' choice topping for their fluffy pancakes is normally on the sugary side, whereas the Dutch version sometimes goes for more savory toppings, according to Food Crumbles.