Shrove Tuesday Pancakes

What fun it is to talk today with Matt Swaim on the Sonrise Morning Show/Sacred Heart Radio about Shrove Tuesday and the beginning of Lent, which starts next week!

Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, is the traditional feast day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. 

Lent – the weeks leading up to Easter – was traditionally a time of fasting and the tradition on Shrove Tuesday in England was that Christians went to confession and were “shriven” (absolved from their sins). Thus the name Shrove Tuesday. “Shrove” is the past tense of the word “Shrive”, which means to obtain absolution through confession and penance.

A bell would be rung to call people to confession. This came to be called the “Pancake Bell” and is still rung today. 

Now some celebrate Shrove Tuesday as a Mardi Gras celebration. Mardi Gras means “Fat Tuesday” in French. There’s lots of partying and food to go with it. 

Getting back to Shrove Tuesday, though. Shrove Tuesday was the last opportunity to use up eggs and fats before embarking on the Lenten fast and pancakes are the perfect way of using up these ingredients.

Yes, as I understand it, the ingredients in the pancakes were prohibited to eat during the 40 days of Lent. 

The ingredients for pancakes are symbolic:

Eggs ~ Creation

Flour ~ The staff of life 

Salt ~ Wholesomeness

Milk ~ Purity



2 cups milk

2 eggs

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons oil

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all purpose flour

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt


Mix wet ingredients well together. Mix dry ingredients well together. 

Then combine the 2! Don’t overmix.

Pour about 1/4 cup or so of batter onto greased or buttered, hot 

griddle for each pancake. 

Spread the batter out a bit.

Cook until bubbles form and just start to pop on the top surface and 

the edges appear 

dry. Turn the pancake with a wide spatula to lightly brown the other 

side. Turn pancakes only once.

Serve with maple pecan butter 

Whip together 2 sticks softened butter with 1 cup chopped toasted pecans and 1/2 cup maple syrup.


Add a good cup of blueberries to dry ingredients.



1 1/2 cups flour, all-purpose

1 1/2 teaspoons double acting baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 egg

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


Mix dry, then wet ingredients, then combine the 2!

Do not overmix. 

Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto greased or buttered hot griddle for each pancake, spreading the batter out a bit. 

Cook until bubbles form and just start to pop on the top surface and the edges appear dry. Turn the pancake with a wide spatula to lightly brown the other side. Turn pancakes only once.

Makes about 10 to 12 pancakes.

Variation: Regular pancakes can be made by substituting 1 to 1 1/4 cups of sweet milk for the buttermilk, increasing the baking powder to 3 teaspoons and omitting the baking soda.

This recipe is from Sunset Easy Basics for Good Cooking, by the editors of Sunset Books and Sunset Magazine

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.