???? Hotcake vs. Pancake vs. Flapjack: What is the difference between Hotcake and Pancake and Flapjack?

Discover the major difference between Hotcake and Pancake and Flapjack as well as Dutch Pancakes and Regular Pancakes. Their Similarities, Pros & Cons and FAQs
???? Hotcake vs Pancake vs Flapjack: 4 Key Differences To Know

The use of terms hotcake vs. pancake vs. flapjack varies with the region. In the US, all these three terms are used to denote the same food item i.e. a sweet dish made in a pan. While in the UK, pancake vs. hotcake bears no difference while flapjack is a completely different food item. The former is a sweet or savory dish made in a pan while the latter is a baked sweet bar.

Let’s take a closer look at flapjacks vs. pancakes vs. hotcakes:

Fried or bakedFlapjacks can be baked while pancakes and hotcakes are always cooked on a griddle or pan.
IngredientsFlapjacks might be made from rolled oats while pancakes and hotcakes are always prepared from flour.
Sweet or savoryFlapjacks are always sweet while pancakes and hotcakes might also be savory.
ToppingsFlapjacks might or might not feature a topping while pancakes and hotcakes usually bear a topping.

What is a Hotcake?

Hotcake is another name for pancakes both in the US and in the UK.

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What is a Pancake?

A pancake is a thin (in the UK) or thick (in the US) cake made on a griddle or frying pan. 

What is a Flapjack?

It is another name for pancakes in the US. In the UK, flapjack refers to a baked bar prepared from rolled oats and brown sugar.

Hotcake vs. Flapjack vs. Pancake Pros and Cons

Hotcake and Pancake Pros and Cons

Pros of Hotcakes and Pancakes 

  • They can be prepared either sweet or savory.
  • You only need four or five ingredients to make this dish.

Cons of Hotcakes and Pancakes

  • They need constant attention since you prepare them in a pan.
  • The US version of hotcakes is too sweet for the British taste buds.
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Flapjack Pros and Cons

Pros of Flapjacks

  • The British version of flapjacks is baked and hence healthier.
  • Only four ingredients are used to prepare them.
  • The baked version does not demand your constant attention since you don’t need to flip them.

Cons of Flapjacks

  • The US version of flapjacks is too sweet for the British taste buds.
  • You do not have the flexibility to prepare them sweet or savory. They can only be prepared sweet.

Listing Flapjacks vs. Hotcakes vs. Pancakes Similarities

  • Hotcakes, pancakes, and flapjacks are the names of the same sweet dish in the US.
  • The terms hotcakes and pancakes are used interchangeably in the UK.
  • Both flapjacks vs. pancakes can be prepared as a sweet dish in the UK.
  • Butter is a common ingredient in both pancakes and flapjacks.

4 Key Differences Between Hotcakes, Pancakes, and Flapjacks You Need To Know

There are some key differences between hotcakes, pancakes, and flapjacks that are listed here:

Basis Hotcakes Pancakes Flapjacks
TasteThey can be sweet or savory.They can be sweet or savory.They are always sweet.
PreparedThey are always cooked in a pan.They are always cooked in a pan.They can either be cooked in a pan or baked.
Main ingredientTheir main ingredient is flour.Their main ingredient is flour.Their main ingredient can either be flour or oats.
ToppingsThey always have a topping.They always have a topping.They might or might not have a topping.

Comparison Chart

Discover the major difference between Hotcake and Pancake and Flapjack as well as Dutch Pancakes and Regular Pancakes. Their Similarities, Pros & Cons and FAQs

Comparison Video

7 Pancakes From Around The World

Hotcake, Pancake, and Flapjack FAQ

What is the Difference Between Pancakes and Flapjacks?

The terms pancake and flapjack mean the same thing in the US i.e. a sweet dish made in a griddle or pan. In the UK, a pancake is made in a pan while a flapjack is baked. The ingredients of these also differ in the UK version.

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Why are Pancakes called Flapjacks?

Pancakes are called flapjacks in America and the terms are used interchangeably unlike in the UK. The reason is that they both have a common method of preparation and are usually flipped on the hot pan the same way. 

What do they call Pancakes in England?

Being made on a hot frying pan, pancakes seemed to be the obvious term for England, and the term, thus, stuck by for centuries now. 

What are 3 Other Names for a Pancake?

The 3 most common other names for pancakes are hotcakes, flapjacks, and griddle cakes. 

Is Flapjack a Cake or a Biscuit?

Flapjack can both be a cake or a biscuit depending on the region you are in. When in the US, flapjacks are the same as pancakes which means ‘cake’ made on a flat frying pan. But in the UK, a Flapjack means a biscuit or a bar made from rolled oats and baked in a tray just like a biscuit. Incidentally, the UK version is also thought to be a true Flapjack. 

What are Pancakes called in the South?

Down South, pancakes are called pancakes only. (Ref.1)

Are Pancakes British or American?

Pancakes were introduced in America during the colonial period and stayed in America. But over the course, they evolved from a thick crepe to a sugary sponge. The fluffy and disc-like pancakes the world knows today are purely American. 

Do the British eat Pancakes?

Britishers eat pancakes and unlike Americans, pancakes aren’t exclusive to the breakfast menu. They like to have them any time of the day they want. So much so that they have a day dedicated to pancakes called ‘Shrove Tuesday’.

What is the Difference between Dutch Pancakes and Regular Pancakes?

Basis Dutch Pancakes Regular Pancakes
IngredientsDutch pancakes are made from flour, milk, eggs, and a little salt.Regular pancakes require flour, milk, eggs, salt, sugar, and baking powder. 
ThicknessDutch pancakes are much thinner than regular pancakes and can be called thick crepes.Regular pancakes are thick and fluffy due to baking powder used as a leavening agent.
SizeThey are the size of a pan, say, around 12-13 inches in diameter.They are much smaller in size just like discs.
Taste and toppingsThey are eaten as savory.They are eaten as a dessert.

What Is Another Name for Pancake Day?

In America and France, it is known as Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras. In the Uk and Ireland, it is known as Shrove Tuesday.

What is the Largest Pancake Ever Made?

Made in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, England, the largest pancake ever was made by the Co-operative Union Ltd. in 1994. It measured 49 feet 3 inches in diameter and 1 inch in depth. (Ref. 2)

The Final Words

The terms hotcake, pancake, and flapjack are used interchangeably in the US. However, in the UK, only the terms hotcakes and pancakes refer to the same dish. The US version is fluffier while the UK version is flatter. Considering pancake vs. flapjack, flapjacks refer to a tray-baked sweet bar in the UK.


  1. https://www.thedailymeal.com/eat/pop-or-soda-hero-or-sub-13-regional-food-names-around-america-0/slide-13
  2. https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/68403-largest-pancake
Alex Stantor
Alex Stantor

Alex Stantor is a Sorbonne University (Paris, France) graduate in Philosophy and Data Analysis. Currently, he is an Author and Researcher at Difference 101, he writes articles/blog posts on topics such as "thinking differently" and "the importance of difference". Alex is a passionate advocate of diversity in the workplace and in companies, and diversity and inclusion in corporate communications. He currently lives in Brooklyn.

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