Pikelets

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.

stack of pikelets on metal tray with small dish of jam

Pikelets

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.

batch of pikelets on metal tray with child's hand with a spoon of jam

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.

Pikelet Recipe

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.


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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.

pikelets on a metal tray with a spoonful of jam

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.

pikelet batter in grey mixing bowl with metal whisk

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.

pikelets cooking on a non-stick pan

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.

golden pikelets on a non-stick pan

Variations

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.

pikelets with blueberries in green pancake warmer
{Pikelets with fresh blueberries added}

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?

Apricot Jam

Peach & Raspberry Jam

Strawberry Jam

pikelets on tray with metal dish of jam
Print

Pikelets

pikelets with jam

4.7 from 3 reviews

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. 

  • Author: eatlittlebird.com
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Makes about 20 pikelets 1x
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Australian

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Measure the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and sugar into a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  2. Whisk the egg and milk together in a measuring jug.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until the mixture is thick and smooth.
  4. Heat a non-stick frying pan or crêpe pan over medium heat.
  5. 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.
  6. Using a 1 tablespoon measuring spoon (15-20 ml) or large spoon, pour small drops of batter into the pan.
  7. 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.
  8. Remove the pikelets to a silicon tortilla or pancake warmer.
  9. Repeat until all of the batter has been used.
  10. Serve each pikelet with a dollop of jam.

Kitchen Notes

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.

STORAGE
Any leftover pikelets can be covered with plastic wrap and kept in a cool place for 1 day.

RECIPE CREDIT
This recipe is adapted from The Cook’s Companion by Stephanie Alexander.

CONVERSIONS
To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.

Nutrition

  • 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

Update

This recipe was first published on 6 September 2011. It has been updated with new photos and more comprehensive recipe notes.

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22 comments

  1. At Anna's Kitchen Table 6 September 2011

    Those pikelets look so good. You’ve reminded me I’ve not made pancakes for the longest time!

    Reply
  2. Monisia 7 September 2011

    Oh! great breakfast;)

    Reply
  3. Maureen 7 September 2011

    The pikelets are my favourite food for breakfast. But I’m always lazy to make it myself that I always buy the ready made ones and heat it.

    This recipe looks pretty straightforward! Time to try it 🙂

    Reply
    • eat little bird 7 September 2011

      Oh once you’ve made these pikelets from scratch, I’m sure you won’t be buying them anymore 😉

      Reply
  4. nicola 9 September 2011

    I love these pickelets! We make pancakes most weekends for breakfast, my boys never get tired of them 🙂

    Reply
    • eat little bird 9 September 2011

      Your lucky boys! We also often make pikelets or pancakes on the weekend when we have more time to linger, though if my hubby decided to make pancakes for breakfast during the week, I’m sure that would help me to get out of bed a bit earlier 😉

      Reply
  5. manu 12 September 2011

    Never heard pikelets before, I can give it a go!! have a nice day!
    Manu

    Reply
  6. Julia Levy 14 September 2011

    Oh my, how did i miss and ELB posting. Fabulous. They remind me of pancakes too.

    Lovely.

    Reply
  7. Anita Menon 16 September 2011

    Never heard of these before. Sound and look a lot like tiny cute pancakes. the pictures are lovely

    Reply
  8. Caroline 21 January 2012

    I have made these again this morning and the recipe has not lost any of its charm. I do not call them pancakes anymore but I am having a time re-educating the children!

    Be that as it way, out of several recipes I have tried, these are, by far, the best I have produced. Fluffy, with structure, holds up to plenty of syrup slathering; it’s perfectly delicious. My go to pancake…errrrr…pikelet recipe from now on.. 😀

    Reply
    • eat, little bird 21 January 2012

      Oh how wonderful to hear!! I’m so glad that you and your family like these pikelets. They’re a classic in Australia and Stephanie Alexander’s recipe produces pikelets which taste exactly as I remember from my childhood. I think what’s really great about this recipe is that the pikelets still taste great when cold, which is not something you can say for most other pancakes. So for me, there is less stress when making these pikelets because you don’t have to worry about making sure they are all hot when served.

      I guess I should start calling your fish cakes fish “cutlets”? 😉

      Reply
      • Caroline 23 January 2012

        Haha! Well, if ever amongst Indian’s it would earn you brownie points! :-). I love the fact that its still fluffy even when cold, which is always the worry isn’t it, with pancakes. I warmed the extras ( I managed to make a huge amount!) the next day and it was still pretty darn good to eat!

        Reply
  9. amy 17 October 2012

    I love pikelets and use a Bill Granger recipe from a book my brother sent me from Australia. I haven’t heard of Stephanie Alexander before (maybe I should ask my brother!) but that book sounds good.

    Reply
    • eat, little bird 18 October 2012

      Oh I wonder which Bill Granger book it is? I make pikelets so frequently now that I have the recipe memorised, just like I had when I was younger 🙂 I find these pikelets to be so much lighter and easier to eat than pancakes, plus they taste great cold and can be kept for the next day, which is not always the case for pancakes.

      Stephanie Alexander is the authority on Australian cooking. Her book, The Cook’s Companion, is a cooking bible found in most Australian homes. It’s a very big and heavy book but I would definitely put it on your Christmas wish list 🙂

      Reply
  10. Amanda 5 March 2013

    I gave this recipe a try today… i love the fluffy siftvtexture of these oancakes.. Never made pancakes before..but this recipe seems straightforward and easy… A definite keeper. Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work 🙂

    Reply
    • eat, little bird 6 March 2013

      Thanks, Amanda! I’m glad you enjoyed this recipe. I make these pikelets all the time and love them hot or cold – definitely a keeper!

      Reply
  11. Shez 8 March 2018

    Love love this recipe! It’s so easy to make and the kids just love it. Definitely a keeper!

    Reply
  12. Julia 12 April 2018

    WOW…how deliciously does this look!!! Beautiful presentation. You make it sound so easy! Can’t wait to try this one!

    Reply
  13. Leslee Case 11 July 2018

    is caster sugar the same a granulated or powdered sugar in USA?

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 11 July 2018

      Hi Leslee,
      I believe caster sugar is called “superfine sugar” in the US? I would describe it as being in between normal granulated sugar and powdered sugar. Caster sugar is often used in baking because it dissolves very quickly, but if you can’t find caster sugar, normal granulated sugar works fine too, especially in this pikelets recipe 🙂 Hope this helps!

      Reply
  14. Darien Feary 30 January 2019

    Great recipe. Not sure what I did but I had to double the recipe to make 20 pikelets!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 6 February 2019

      Glad you enjoyed the recipe! Perhaps you made your pikelets a bit bigger than mine? But a double batch is never a bad idea anyway 😉

      Reply