Pancake Day – or Shrove Tuesday – is always celebrated on the day that precedes the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday.
Owing to being linked to Easter, which changes every year depending on the moon, this year Pancake Day falls on 16 February 2021. And it has well and truly creped up on us.
Shrove Tuesday is traditionally a feasting day, but the convention of eating pancakes comes from the Christian ritual of using up indulgent foods, such as eggs and milk ahead of Lent, the fasting season.
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While it’s a religious day for many, it’s chiefly celebrated across the globe by enjoying pancakes, sweet and savoury. And if you're unsure of your ability to flip up some good ones, you’ll be pleased to know that there are some excellent pancake mixes out there.
When deciding on your style of choice, there are two distinct options: American-style and traditional crepes. The former are thick and fluffy with a light texture and traditionally served as a stack with maple syrup.
While the latter are more thin consistency, often eaten rolled up with the fillings inside – think traditional lemon and sugar or Nutella.
Both feature within this round-up, and we also tested those that are vegan, gluten-free and protein-heavy, to really give you the cream of the crop. While of course a matter of personal preference, we tested for taste, texture and ease of use. Get your frying pans at the ready, you batter believe we’ve found some good ones.
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McDougall’s classic pancake mix
As promised, this made 12 classic thin pancakes, making this mix ideal for those who are after crepes. While a little more labour intensive, in that you need to use a separate bowl, these were less sweet than the shaker mixes we tested, meaning we could go a little more generous with our toppings (lemon and sugar).
Where the Pancakes Are pancake day meal kit
If you want to splash the cash for a bougie Pancake Day treat, this is it. Arriving with everything you need to make fancy buttermilk pancakes, with a choice of toppings (lemon and sugar, salted caramel and banana or American). We opted for the latter, which included maple syrup, bacon and blueberries.
With detailed instructions on how to create your perfect pancakes for Shrove Tuesday, these are every inch of luxurious as you’d expect. Fluffy and soufflé-like, if you can’t go out for brunch, you might as well bring it to you. An ultimate treat that will serve six.
Creative Nature pancake bundle
Calling all vegans, we’ve found the kit for you. These thick pancakes were light and fluffy, and as good as their dairy counterpart. If you’re looking to go all out, this bundle really gives you that option, with toppings of cacao nibs (which we opted to put inside our mixture) and the brand’s crunchy bites.
If you’re looking to spend a little less, you can buy the pancake mix on its own for just £3.99. The mixture is easy to mix, if you are vegan, you’ll want to add 170ml of your favourite plant-based milk and two tablespoons of cider vinegar to the dry ingredients, but for classic pancakes it’s two large eggs and 80ml milk. Completely free of soya, dairy, gluten and nuts, this is one for everyone.
Myprotein protein pancake mix
Easy to make, simply mix two large scoops to 125ml milk or water togehter. The brand suggests adding anywhere between 100ml and 150ml liquid, but we found 125ml to be a perfect thickness, adding a little powder at a time. When cooking, we kept the pan on a reasonably low heat and opted to use coconut oil to make sure they didn’t stick. Flipping only when bubbles were starting to form on the top. As for the flavour, these are sweet and we served with a little honey, almond butter and berries.
Owing to the quantities, this mix will see you way beyond Pancake Day and is a delicious, filling breakfast; perfect for weekdays and weekends alike. Plus, if the chocolate flavour isn’t quite to your taste, you can opt for everything from blueberry, cinnamon and sugar, and cookies and cream to golden syrup, matcha or nut nougat cream. Alternatively, if you’d rather there’s an unflavoured option too.
Asda pink pancake mix
One of the easiest mixes within this round-up, it’s perfect if you run out of milk since it requires just cold water. Fill the liquid to the line and shake the bottle – you’ll want to make sure you screw the lid on nice and tight. Making six small pancakes, the vanilla flavouring makes them taste and smell particularly sweet. A firm favourite of our 15-year-old tester, who doused them in syrup, but the adults were more partial to the unflavoured options.
Freee by Doves Farm pancake mix
We were impressed by the taste of these gluten-free pancakes. The mix itself is extremely versatile thanks to the option of mixing up both American style or crepes. All you need to do is add milk and oil and mix together to form the perfect consistency.
Tesco pancake shaker traditional mix
Another super easy mix – simply add water to the fill line and shake. The balance of sweet and salty added a great flavour and the pancakes were the perfect thin texture. With six servings on offer, for £1 you really can’t go wrong if you want a quick and easy fix for Shrove Tuesday.
Aunt Bessie’s pancake mix
Costing a mere £1.50 for 16 full-sized crepes, you really can’t go wrong. Unlike some other mixes we tried, there is no synthetic taste here, just genuine homemade pancake. All you’ll need is eggs and water on hand to flip up these delights.
The verdict: Pancake mix
A hard call to make since pancakes are entirely down to personal preference and you batter believe that all those included are worthy of making it into your Shrove Tuesday celebrations. But, if you’re looking for crepes, you simply cannot go wrong with McDougall’s classic pancake mix.
Costing just £1, you’ll have extra money to spend on the best bit: the toppings. If money is no object and you’re looking to really mark the occasion, we don’t think there’s a better way to do it than with the Where the Pancakes Are pancake day meal kit, no expenses have been spared.
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