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Pancakes vs. Crumpets: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 29, 2024
Pancakes are thin, flat cakes made from batter and cooked on a griddle or pan, while crumpets are thicker, spongy cakes made with yeast, cooked on one side, and known for their holes on top.

Key Differences

Pancakes are a popular breakfast food made from a batter of flour, eggs, milk, and baking powder. They are typically thin and cooked on both sides until golden brown. Crumpets, on the other hand, are made with a batter that includes yeast and often baking soda, giving them a more risen, spongy texture. They are cooked primarily on one side, leading to a characteristic appearance with holes on the top surface.
The texture of pancakes is generally smooth and flat, with a consistency that allows them to be easily stacked. They are often served with toppings like syrup, butter, or fruit. Crumpets are thicker with a porous structure, making them ideal for absorbing butter, honey, or jam. The holes in crumpets are formed during cooking as the yeast and baking soda create air bubbles.
In terms of ingredients, pancakes usually do not contain yeast, leading to a quicker preparation time as they do not require time to rise. Crumpets, containing yeast, need time to rise before cooking, which contributes to their distinctive texture. The inclusion of yeast in crumpets also imparts a slightly different flavor compared to the more neutral taste of pancakes.
Pancakes are a versatile dish, with variations seen across different cultures, such as American pancakes, French crêpes, and Russian blinis. Crumpets, traditionally associated with British cuisine, are less varied in their preparation and presentation, typically served as a teatime treat or for breakfast.
Cooking methods also differ: pancakes are cooked on a griddle or frying pan and flipped to cook on both sides. Crumpets are cooked in a special crumpet ring on a griddle or frying pan, but only on one side, allowing the top to develop its characteristic holes. This difference in cooking technique is key to the textural differences between the two.

Comparison Chart


Flour, eggs, milk, baking powder.
Flour, milk, yeast, often baking soda.


Thin, smooth, and flat.
Thick, spongy, and porous with holes on the top surface.

Cooking Method

Cooked on both sides on a griddle or frying pan.
Cooked on one side, usually using a crumpet ring.


Generally neutral, versatile for various toppings.
Slightly yeasty, excellent for absorbing butter or jam.

Cultural Association

Global varieties like crêpes, blinis.
Traditionally British, less variation in style.

Pancakes and Crumpets Definitions


Pancakes are a popular morning dish, known for their smooth, flat texture.
He skillfully flipped the pancakes on the griddle.


Crumpets have a distinctive porous texture, making them different from pancakes.
The porous texture of crumpets makes them perfect for soaking up melted butter.


Pancakes are a versatile breakfast item, often served with a variety of toppings.
For brunch, she served blueberry pancakes topped with whipped cream.


Crumpets are less sweet than pancakes and often eaten with savory toppings.
She served crumpets with eggs and bacon for a savory breakfast option.


Pancakes are thin, flat cakes made from a batter and cooked on a hot surface.
We enjoyed homemade pancakes with maple syrup for breakfast.


Crumpets are thick, spongy cakes made with yeast and characterized by their holes on top.
We had warm crumpets with butter and tea this afternoon.


Pancakes are quick to prepare, made from a simple batter without yeast.
Making pancakes is easy and fast, perfect for a busy morning.


Crumpets are traditionally a British tea-time snack, known for absorbing toppings well.
For a classic British experience, try crumpets with clotted cream and jam.


Pancakes are a staple in many cuisines, with variations like crêpes and blinis.
On our trip to Paris, we tried delicious, thin crêpes, a type of French pancake.


Crumpets require yeast in their batter and are cooked mainly on one side.
Cooking crumpets requires patience, as the yeast needs time to rise.


A thin cake made of batter that is poured onto a hot greased surface and cooked on both sides until brown. Also called flannel cake, flapjack, griddle cake, hotcake; also called regionally battercake.


A small flat round of bread, baked on a griddle and usually served toasted.


To cause (an aircraft) to make a pancake landing.


Plural of crumpet


To make a pancake landing.


To fall flat to the ground with great force, especially to collapse in such a way that higher floors or structures fall directly on the ones beneath.


Plural of pancake


What are crumpets?

Crumpets are thicker, spongy cakes made with yeast and known for their holes on top.

Can pancakes be sweet or savory?

Yes, pancakes can be both sweet or savory depending on the toppings.

What toppings are commonly used with pancakes?

Common toppings include syrup, fruit, chocolate chips, and whipped cream.

What are pancakes?

Pancakes are thin, flat cakes made from batter and cooked on a griddle or pan.

How are pancakes and crumpets cooked differently?

Pancakes are cooked on both sides, while crumpets are cooked on one side in a ring.

Are pancakes and crumpets served at the same meal?

They can be, but they are generally served as separate dishes.

Are crumpets suitable for a gluten-free diet?

Not typically, but gluten-free versions can be made with appropriate flour.

Which is healthier, pancakes or crumpets?

It depends on the ingredients used and the toppings.

Is yeast a necessary ingredient for crumpets?

Yes, yeast is essential for crumpets to create their spongy texture.

What do you serve with crumpets?

Crumpets are often served with butter, jam, honey, or cheese.

Are crumpets typically sweet or savory?

Crumpets are usually less sweet and can be paired with both sweet and savory toppings.

Can pancakes be frozen for later use?

Yes, pancakes freeze well for later consumption.

How are American pancakes different from other varieties?

American pancakes are usually fluffier and thicker compared to other varieties like French crêpes.

What is the origin of crumpets?

Crumpets originated in the United Kingdom.

Can pancakes be vegan?

Yes, by substituting eggs and dairy with plant-based alternatives.

Do pancakes contain yeast?

Typically, pancakes do not contain yeast.

Can pancakes be made gluten-free?

Yes, by using gluten-free flour.

What is the best way to cook pancakes and crumpets?

Pancakes are best cooked on a hot griddle or pan, while crumpets require a crumpet ring and a slower cooking process.

Is it possible to freeze crumpets?

Yes, crumpets can also be frozen and toasted when ready to eat.

Are there vegan options for crumpets?

Yes, vegan crumpets can be made with alternative ingredients.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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