9th July 2019


One of the first recipes I learnt to prepare by myself was pancakes. It’s a simple recipe I am now teaching my children to make. Although they are a little way off cooking them by themselves, for now at least I have navigated an extra quarter-hour in bed on Sunday mornings while they prepare the mixture.

I am using the last of the stored apples from autumn up in many ways at present. I store them (in the way my Dutch grandma did), individually wrapped in a small square of newspaper, then packed snugly into a cardboard box and kept in a cool room, where they last for several months.

This storage method works best for cooking apples such as Granny Smith, Cox’s Orange, Sturmer, and Golden Delicious. Interestingly, cooking apples often fall under heritage varieties now as these days it seems the eating apple is more favoured. Call me old-fashioned, but I beg to differ for home storage and flavour. Heritage apples are my first choice.

I don’t currently have a cooking apple in the garden. A Sturmer (Pippin) apple is on the wish list when space permits but, for now, I rely on roadside stalls I pass when we are Sunday driving.

Sunday Morning Apple Pancakes

Ever wondered why that first pancake often fails? There are a few things in play here, first, the heat of the pan is important to seal the batter as soon as it hits the hot pan. Too cold and it will stick.Secondly, often the pan needs to "season" with a thin film of fat. Again, if the pan is not hot enough, the fat won't spread evenly and the first pancake will stick. Personally, I find that first pancake a good excuse to taste test the batch to come.
Servings 8 pancakes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes


  • 1 ½ cups standard white flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • ½ cup yoghurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cooking apple, grated (see suggestions above)
  • Ghee or butter for cooking

Cinnamon honey caramel sauce

  • 50 g butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  • Place the flour and baking powder into a bowl, and use a whisk to combine and aerate. Pour in the milk and yoghurt and whisk into a smooth batter.
  • Add the eggs and beat until creamy, all the time incorporating air into the mix for lighter pancakes. Fold through the grated apple.
  • Heat a heavy-bottomed frying pan over a moderate to high heat. Make sure the pan is hot before continuing. Once hot, add a small knob of butter (or gheto the pan and swirl to evenly coat the base.
  • Use a half-cup scoop to pour the batter into the pan and quickly tilt the pan to spread the batter to the edge. The pancake should be on the thin side. Once bubbles appear on the surface, flip and cook until golden on both sides. Repeat with the remaining mixture.
  • To make the cinnamon honey caramel sauce, combine the butter, honey, cinnamon, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Remove from the heat, add the lemon juice and pour into a serving bowl.


This recipe also makes delicious Afternoon Apple Pikelets, simply reduce the milk to ½ cup to make a thicker batter. Dollop spoonfuls into a hot frying pan and cook as above. Makes about 12 pikelets.

Join the Conversation

  1. Margaret Taylor says:

    I think the yoghurt helps make a lighter mixture. I added a tablespoonful to my Pikelet mixture today. I always add to my scone mixture.

    1. Hi Margaret, I agree, I add it to most baking recipes just for that reason. A bit like buttermilk in US recipes.
      Lovely to hear from you 🙂

  2. Thank you these sound delicious. I also love reading about your method for storing apples as done by your Dutch grandmother – it seems to me such treasure to share the wisdom of our elders, and such a shame if these things are forgotten. Beautiful writing thank you .

    1. Thanks, Anne, I hope you enjoy the recipe. I do hope the traditions of times gone past are preserved in some way. I do my best to share what I have picked up but there is so much more, and I sometimes wonder in this busy world if people will still be cooking in 100 years. There are so many pre-made options these days. Let’s keep the love of cooking alive!

  3. Lou Vicente says:

    This looks divine. Do you think it would be OK to sub the milk and yoghurt for a plant milk and coconut yoghurt?

    1. Thanks Lou, I haven’t tried with this recipe but I can’t see why not. I have made pancakes with almond milk before and it worked just fine. Coconut yoghurt can be quite rich so I would only use 2 tablespoons and top up with extra milk. Enjoy!

  4. Megan Adams says:

    Hello. A great school holiday recipe. I made them yesterday and my 11 year old son made them himself today as he said they were the best pancakes in the world! He is taking the recipe on holiday with him to make for the whanau in Wellington.

    1. Hi Megan
      The best pancakes in the world! Wow, that just makes my day 🙂 It is amazing how the simple addition of the grated apple can make so much difference to the humble pancake. I hope you made the caramel too, it goes so well with the slight tartness of the apple.
      I do hope the whānau in Wellington agree.
      Happiest cooking.

      1. Megan Adams says:

        Sadly the Wellington pancakes didn’t go as well my son would have liked! Whanau only had buck wheat flour and soy milk so batter didn’t have same consistancy. Any thoughts?

        We did make the caramel. It was delicious.

        Going to try your soup this weekend.


        1. Hi Megan, thanks for letting me know.
          Ah, yes, buckwheat flour can overpower if it is used alone. It is OK used in thin crepes with flavoursome fillings but these pancakes are thicker so can dominate the flavour.
          I make a gluten-free flour mix of approx. 3 parts rice flour, 2 parts buckwheat and 1 part tapioca, which would be more mellow and complement the apple addition. The soy milk should have been OK but it can still be quite strong flavoured when heated.
          I hope you enjoyed the soup this weekend 🙂

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