The key difference between flapjacks and pancakes is that, in the UK, flapjacks refer to sweet tray-baked bars made from oats while pancakes are thin, flat cakes of batter, fried on both sides in a pan.

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But in the US and Canada, the two words flapjack and pancake are interchangeable.

The two words flapjacks and pancakes tend to confuse many people since they have different meanings in the US and the UK. In the US, flapjacks and pancakes refer to the same food while in the UK, these are two types of food.

CONTENTS

1. Overview and Key Difference2. What are Flapjacks3. What are Pancakes4. Side by Side Comparison – Flapjacks vs Pancakes in Tabular Form5. Summary

What are Flapjacks?

The word ‘flapjacks’ basically have two meanings. In the UK, flapjacks are sweet, dense cakes made from oats. These are also known as oats bars, muesli bars, cereal bars, or granola bars. The basic ingredients for flapjacks include oats, brown sugar, butter and golden syrup. You can serve these as a sweet treat with tea or coffee or simply as a delicious snack. They are very easy to make and take only a little time.


Figure 01: Flapjacks/Oat Bars


However, Americans and Canadians use the word flapjack to refer to pancakes. Therefore, in the US, the two words flapjacks and pancakes are interchangeable. The use of the term flapjack is only in some regions of the US.

What are Pancakes?

Pancakes are thin, flat cakes of batter, fried on both sides in a pan. The other names for pancakes are griddlecakes or hotcakes. The basic ingredients of a pancake batter include flour, eggs, milk, butter and a leavening agent such as baking powder. This batter is then spread on a hot surface like a frying pan and cooked. Many people use sweet ingredients such as jam, sugar, maple syrup, honey, and fruits as toppings or fillings for pancakes. But some people also use savory fillings or toppings. You can eat pancakes for breakfast or as a dessert.


Figure 02: Pancakes


However, ingredients used for pancakes as well as their preparation might vary according to different regions and cultures. There are many different types of pancakes, with different ingredients. Crêpe, palatschinke (Central and Eastern Europe), dosa (Indian), and serabi (Indonesian) are some examples of these. In fact, historians believe that pancakes are one of the earliest and most widespread cereal-derived food.


What is the Difference Between Flapjacks and Pancakes?

Flapjacks refer to either sweet tray-baked bar made from oats or pancakes. Pancakes are flat cakes made of thin batter and cooked on both sides. In the US, flapjacks and pancakes are the same. But, in the UK, flapjacks and pancakes refer to two different food types. This is the key difference between flapjacks and pancakes. Moreover, ingredients for British flapjacks include oats, brown sugar, butter and golden syrup while ingredients for pancakes include flour, eggs, milk, butter and a leavening agent. Moreover, many people use various sweet fillings and toppings for pancakes. However, since British flapjack is a sweet itself, it doesn’t need any toppings or fillings.

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Summary – Flapjacks vs Pancakes

The difference between flapjacks and pancakes is mainly regional. In the UK, flapjacks and pancakes refer to two different food types; Flapjacks are sweet tray-baked bar made from oats while pancakes are flat cakes made of thin batter and cooked on both sides. But in the US, flapjacks are another name for pancakes.

Image Courtesy:

1.”Flapjacks” by Nick Youngson (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Alpha Stock Images2.”Honey being drizzled onto buttered pancakes”By Michael Stern – Wall_Food_10060, (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia


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