Icelandic Pancakes (Pönnukökur)


posted by on cooking, Iceland, Phoenix, travel


For the past few years I’ve been watching the boyfriend’s mom and sister make Icelandic pancakes – usually during the holidays or special family gatherings. A couple years ago I got my very own Icelandic pancake pan as a gift. I’ll admit, watching them cook these thin crepe-like wonders was intimidating and I kept the pan in the bottom drawer of my very out dated oven until we moved to Phoenix.

On our last night in Boston we were all hanging out and the boyfriend’s mother offered to make Icelandic pancakes (no one has ever turned this offer down that I know of).

stack of Icelandic pancakes

So, we drank wine, talked and made Icelandic pancakes. Here’s the recipe I use:

What you’ll need:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • dash of salt
  • 2-3 eggs (I use 3)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (as always, 1 tsp. vanilla usually means 2 or 3 for me – perhaps an acronym is in order for this?)
  • 3 tbsp. butter (+ extra to use on the pan if needed)
  • milk (and lots of it! you need enough to make the batter really runny)


1. Mix dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.

2. Place the 3 tbsp. butter on the pancake pan and turn the heat to medium high to melt the butter.

3. Add the eggs, melted butter and milk to the dry ingredients. (You will use quite a bit of milk – the batter should be really runny)

adding the melted butter to the batter

 4. Once the pan is heated on medium-high heat use a ladle to pour a good amount on the pan. You will tip the pan back towards the bowl to make sure you only have a thin layer of batter on the pan before you return it to the heat.

5. Return the pan to the heat and let it sit until the batter bubbles. Run your spatula around the edges and flip over using a thin spatula (I find using an old, rounded cake server works best for me). You pancake should be golden brown one one side.

golden brown after a flip!

6. The second side should only be on the heat for a minute or two before you remove it and flip it onto a plate. This whole process seems like a lot at first, but once you get the hang of it you have a whole plate-full!

We like to sprinkle sugar or spread jelly on them and roll them up but I imagine there are endless possibilities.

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  1. Kathleen Kajioka
    • mrh
  2. Anna Vincens

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