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What could be more fun than whipping up a pancake mix, seeing who can toss the pancake most proficiently and then piling up the results with lots of delicious toppings?

Whether you’re a lemon and sugar traditionalist or you favour something a little more adventurous (bacon with maple syrup, perhaps, or maybe good old chocolate spread), one thing you’ll want to avoid is letting any of your delicious creations go to waste. 

Things to use up? Put them on your pancakes!

One of the reasons why pancakes are such a fantastic mid-February treat is that they’re so versatile. Sweet or savoury, you can put all kinds of things on them, and that makes them great for helping you tuck into stuff in the fridge that needs using up.

If you’re new to the idea of savoury pancakes, take inspiration from French crêpes (galettes) and all their delicious toppings. Tomatoes starting to go soft? A chunk of cheese to use? Time for a delicious cheese and finely chopped tomato pancake! Ham, cream cheese, spinach and diced cooked veg are some of the other popular options that will help make the most of what you’ve got in the fridge, and all while making your Pancake Day tastier!

As for sweet pancakes, these are the perfect way to use up bananas starting to go a little too brown – just mash them up and add chocolate chips for a flavourful topping. And ditto just about any other fruit you have in the fridge that may need using up. Why not make a fruit salad and feel good about getting your five-a-day in such a fun way?


Using up leftover pancakes

Made too many? If you’ve made a whole stack of pancakes and run out of room to eat them all, don’t worry. They’ll be just as good another day!

You can freeze cooked pancakes by layering them up between sheets of baking paper and popping them in a freezer-proof container or sealing them in a reusable freezer bag. When you’re ready to eat them, you can take them out either one at a time or the whole batch and defrost them in the microwave. Perfect for a quick and easy breakfast!

Another way to enjoy your remaining pancakes is to cut them down into mini snack pancakes topped with your favourite sweet or savoury toppings. The latter make great canapés if you have a party coming up – smoked salmon and cream cheese, anyone?

If you have leftover savoury pancake batter, it’s more or less the same recipe as Yorkshire pudding, so how about some Yorkshire puds to go with a roast, or a toad-in-the-hole to use up some sausages next day? You can also freeze pancake mix, again either in a container or a bag. When you’re ready to use it, defrost it in the fridge overnight ready to cook the following morning.


What to do with leftover toppings

It’s always tempting to buy lots of extra goodies for Pancake Day toppings, and that can often mean you end up with things you only really use once a year (that may not necessarily keep fresh until next year comes round!). Chocolate spread, for instance, or honey, or lemon juice.

If that’s the case, planning a bit of baking is a great way to get through them. Think chocolate spread brownies, honey cake or lemon drizzle cake (it’s fine to use bottled lemon juice for mixing the icing for this). There are also lots of recipes that use bottled lemon juice if you’re in need of some inspiration.

If you have fresh toppings that you didn’t manage to use, these too can be added to your baking. Alternatively, leftover blueberries, strawberries or other fruit – which should all be stored in the fridge (except banana and whole pineapple) – all go wonderfully with your morning porridge, cereal or Greek yogurt – and why not add a drizzle of that honey for a sweet finishing touch? 

Finally, if none of this appeals, there’s always the trusty freezer to fall back on – lemon freezes really well in slices, and dairy products can be frozen for another day too! Read more about foods you never knew you could freeze.


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