A classic and easy pikelet recipe, which are mini pancakes and an Australian tea-time treat. They are light and fluffy, and delicious served warm or cold.
Growing up in Australia, I loved eating pikelets for afternoon tea. My earliest memory of pikelets was when I was in primary school, perhaps about 8 years old, when our teacher made pikelets one afternoon and cooked them on an electric frying pan, with eager little bodies “helping” her with various tasks like measuring, stirring, flipping.
Being young children, we were often always quite hungry and cooking classes like these were always met with much enthusiasm. As soon as the pikelets were cooked, we would spread them with butter and jam and eat them more quickly than they could be made.
What Are Pikelets?
Pikelets are mini pancakes which are popular served as a snack in Australia.
In some other parts of the world, they are known as drop scones.
When I recently wanted to recreate this tea-time treat from my childhood, I turned to the only person who I thought could be an authority on this point – Stephanie Alexander.
The Cook’s Companion by Stephanie Alexander is a wealth of information on not just traditional and modern Australian recipes, but it is a comprehensive compilation of information on ingredients and basic recipes which any home-cook would find an invaluable resource.
And Stephanie Alexander’s pikelet recipe is my go-to recipe whenever I want to treat the children (and myself!) to something warm for afternoon tea.
How to Make Pikelets
Prepare the batter in a medium-sized mixing bowl. I do this by whisking together the dry ingredients (I don’t like sifting and the whisk does a perfect job of aerating the flour!).
Next, measure the milk into a small measuring jug, add the egg, and whisk together.
Then slowly add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, whisking as you do so to remove any lumps.
The pikelet batter should be thick and smooth.
Making pikelets is much like making pancakes, except pikelets are meant to be much smaller – think canapé size. I use a tablespoon measure for making pikelets and to ensure that they are all similar in size.
I also use a non-stick crêpe pan for making pikelets and pancakes, but any non-stick pan will do.
Start by melting about 1/2 teaspoon of butter in the pan. Then use a paper towel to spread the butter all over the pan, but to also wipe off all of the butter. This ensures that the pan is only very lightly greased with butter. I do this process only once, and only before the first batch of pikelets. After you have cooked the first batch of pikelets, the pan is well greased for the subsequent batches.
As soon as bubbles start to appear on the surface, immediately flip the pikelets over.
Cook the pikelets for about 1 to 2 minutes on each side until they are lightly golden in colour.
Stephanie Alexander’s pikelet recipe is quite straightforward and she also offers some variations to the recipe, such as adding sour cherries or raisins to the mixture before frying.
My son LOVES blueberries, so I sometimes add a few handfuls of fresh blueberries to the batter, just for something a bit different.
What to Serve with Pikelets
These pikelets are wonderful served warm but they also taste great cold.
I like to make enough for leftovers for my childrens’ lunch boxes the next day. There is very low sugar content in these pikelets, plus they happen to love eating them plain!
If you like to make your own jam, may I suggest one of the following as a delicious accompaniment to these pikelets?Print
A classic and easy recipe for pikelets, which are mini pancakes and an Australian tea-time treat. They are light and fluffy, and delicious served warm or cold.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: Makes about 20 pikelets
- Category: Cakes
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: Australian
- Measure the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and sugar into a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Whisk the egg and milk together in a measuring jug.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until the mixture is thick and smooth.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan or crêpe pan over medium heat.
- Drop about 1/2 teaspoon of butter into the pan and wipe it around the pan with a paper towel. The surface of the pan should be only very lightly greased. I only do this once, and only before the first batch of pikelets. After you cook the first batch of pikelets, the pan is well greased for the subsequent batches. But this might vary depending on the pan that you use.
- Using a 1 tablespoon measuring spoon (15-20 ml) or large spoon, pour small drops of batter into the pan.
- As soon as small bubbles start to appear on the surface, flip the pikelets over and cook for a further minute or so. The pikelets should be evenly coloured on both sides.
- Remove the pikelets to a silicon tortilla or pancake warmer.
- Repeat until all of the batter has been used.
- Serve each pikelet with a dollop of jam.
You can use 1 teaspoon of baking powder in place of the ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda and ½ teaspoon cream of tartar in this recipe.
Any leftover pikelets can be covered with plastic wrap and kept in a cool place for 1 day.
This recipe is adapted from The Cook’s Companion by Stephanie Alexander.
To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.
- Serving Size: Makes about 20 pikelets
- Calories: 25
- Sugar: 0.5g
- Sodium: 14mg
- Fat: 0.3g
- Carbohydrates: 4.4g
- Fiber: 0.1g
- Protein: 1g
- Cholesterol: 9.4mg
This recipe was first published on 6 September 2011. It has been updated with new photos and more comprehensive recipe notes.