Norwegian Pancakes, Recipe With Picture Guide

 

Norwegian pancake recipe; Authentic Norwegian recipe w picture guide, how to make them large, soft, and very thin.

 

Traditional Norwegian Pancakes

We kids always rejoiced when we came home from school to discover we were having pancakes for dinner! Growing up in Norway, pancakes were always large and super thin, fried up one at a time in a buttery skillet. They were soft with a crispy edge around them; just melt-in-your-mouth goodness! Cooking alongside my mother from a very young age, I learned how to make them as a child, and then I carried the authentic Norwegian pancake tradition along to the United States as a grown-up. In the following pictures and with the help of my son who is now learning (and doing a fantastic job, may I add!), I will show you how to make and fry them. The recipe is added on the bottom of this post, first using standard American measurements, then a second recipe using metric measurements (ml, grams, etc.).

If you do try this recipe, I would really appreciate a quick comment with a star rating (option found immediately under each recipe). It helps me out tremendously! Thanks in advance!

One thing I want to point out is that there are different, very strong opinions out there (by Norwegians!) on whether or not Norwegian pancakes should contain sugar. The bottom line is that some make them sweet and some don’t. And it seems people believe that whatever they are used to is the correct way. Well, there really is no right or wrong here, just what each person is used to and prefers. Growing up my family never added sugar to our pancake batters, but later on I came to like them somewhat sweet. There is sugar in my recipe now, but feel free to make them without. They’re authentic either way!

Making the Batter

My son was on kitchen duty this evening and decided to make Norwegian pancakes for us. The following pictures shows how it’s done.

When making the pancake batter, it is best (but not essential) to wait with the eggs until most other ingredients are whisked together to avoid breaking up the egg whites too much. The egg whites will help hold the pancakes together when you flip them in the frying pan, so you want the egg whites to keep their elastic properties as much as possible.

First, mix together milk and flour. An electric beater can be used if you prefer, although I want my kids to learn how to use a manual whisk properly. Our absolute favorite type of whisk, and commonly used in Scandinavia, is the style seen in the picture below and in  this link from Amazon. (Not the same one, but very close.) They are fantastic at getting lumps out!

Making Norwegian pancake batter, mixing

To beat the flour and milk together, it’s best to use a vertical circular motion rather than horizontal.

Norwegian pancake batter, mixing together flour and milk
Beat until flour is fully incorporated and few or no lumps remain. A little one here and there is fine, just do your best.

Making Norwegian pancake batter, mixing flour and milk

Then whisk in sugar, salt, and vanilla, or you can skip sugar and vanilla if you prefer. There’s no right or wrong here when making Norwegian pancakes; this is really about your own preference. (Although I’m bound to get comments from Norwegians who disagree! But that’s OK.)

Making Norwegian pancake batter, measuring vailla extractMaking Norwegian pancake batter, mixing well
Add the eggs and beat them only until fully mixed into the batter, no more.

Making Norwegian pancake batter, adding the eggsMaking Norwegian pancake batter, mixing in eggs

Let the batter sit for 20 minutes or so to allow the flour to fully soak into the liquid.

After sitting, and right before frying, melt two tablespoons of butter and add to the batter. Keep more butter on hand to use for frying. The butter will help the pancakes not to stick to the skillet and it adds flavor, too. I always use real butter now, but “back in the day” we used margarine. I think butter tastes much better though, and I also believe it’s better for you than the heavily processed margarine. Do your research and follow your own conviction, of course.

Making Norwegian pancake batter, let sit for a while

While waiting, my son decided to snap a winter-themed picture. Brrr… It’s cold out! And a perfect day for traditional, Norwegian pancakes!

Nature, winter

How to Fry Norwegian Pancakes

To fry the pancakes, first make sure the frying pan is properly heated up. It should be a medium temperature, a bit on the hot side. A good test is to see whether a dab of butter sizzles and melts quickly. Swirl a small amount of butter around in the pan between every pancake. The entire pan does not need to be covered, just spread it around a bit by tilting the pan.

Norwegian pancakes, adding dab of butter to hot skilletNorwegian pancakes, adding butter to hot skillet

Add a small amount of batter to the pan as seen below. Immediately tilt the pan in every direction until the batter is thinly spread out and covering the entire bottom. If it stops spreading before it covers the bottom, either add a little bit more batter right away, or let that pancake stay small and just use a little bit more batter for the next one. You’ll get a feel for how much is needed as you work. The important part is to spread it out quickly and as thin as possible.

Norwegian pancakes, pouring batter onto skillet

Start tilting immediately, don’t wait even a second! It dries very quickly!

Norwegian pancakes, spreading batter in skillet
Norwegian pancakes, tilting skillet to spread the batterNorwegian pancakes, tilting skillet to spread batter

There you go, now let it fry for a little bit.

Most of the top part should be dry before flipping it. This one still has a little bit to go. Frying should only take a half minute or so per side. The heat will determine how long it takes; if the heat is too high, smoke will develop in your kitchen and you could also end up with a warped frying pan. But if frying takes a couple of minutes per side, the heat is too low and your pancakes will probably be stiff and dry. Turn up the heat a little bit and adjust as needed.

Norwegian pancake frying in skillet

In the picture below, it’s dry on top and probably done. Run a spatula under the rim to loosen it a bit, then check underneath.

Norwegian pancakes, almost ready to flip

Just lift up an edge a little bit and check that it is browning nicely. Time to flip.

Making Norwegian pancakes, checking before flipping

Sneak the spatula underneath, making sure the pancake isn’t sticking anywhere, then lift up.

Norwegian pancakes, loosening from skillet

Lift and flip! My son is a pro, it was hard to snap photos as he was flipping them so fast!

Making thin, authentic Norwegian pancakes, ready to flipMaking thin, authentic Norwegian pancakes, flipping in panMaking thin, authentic Norwegian pancakes, flipping over

   Let it fry a little bit on the other side as well.

Norwegian pancakes, pancake frying in skillet

 Check underneath to see that it has browned.

Making Norwegian pancakes, finished frying

Time to remove it to make another one. Put the pancakes on a plate in a stack as you fry them up, and cover with a kitchen towel to keep them warm.

Traditional, authentic Norwegian pancakes, fried thin

The pancake in the next picture doesn’t look quite right. My son noticed and asked me why. Up until now he kept forgetting to add butter to the skillet before pouring batter onto it, so this time I decided not to remind him and let him see the result for himself. The pancake is still OK, but it looks a little funny, and the consistency isn’t quite as nice, either. If you keep frying without butter, the pancakes will often eventually start sticking to the pan, so it’s best to add a little dab every time. After this pancake my son didn’t forget as much.

Norwegian pancake fried without butter

To speed things along, I sometimes use two frying pans, which keeps me really busy, working non-stop! As you fry, keep stacking them up and cover with a kitchen towel to keep them warm.

Recipe, authentic Norwegian pancakes, traditional recipe

Some of the most common toppings for Norwegian pancakes are bacon (and even bacon grease!) or blueberry jam. Wild blueberries are easy to find in the woods in Norway, and the law protects your right to pick wild berries pretty much wherever you please regardless of property lines. Easy to find for free and very tasty, it’s no wonder blueberries are a favorite on pancakes!

Personally I enjoy Norwegian pancakes the most when I simply spread real butter on them and roll them up like in the picture below. Growing up, however, my father had a thing about potatoes; he hadn’t had dinner if he hadn’t had potatoes! So, pancakes with potatoes it was. Even though I grew up eating my pancakes with potatoes (and boiled carrots! Yikes!), it never seemed quite right. Some things just don’t go together, and this was a pair that clashed every time! Just like spaghetti and potatoes… That didn’t work for me, either!

Traditional, authentic Norwegian pancake recipe, pictures show how to make them large and thin

 

Recipe for Authentic Norwegian pancakes, traditional recipe

Yum! Soft and thin with buttery, crisp edges! Norwegian pancakes will always be a favorite in our household! Teaching Norwegian culture and traditions while enjoying delicious food from authentic recipes, can it get any better?! I don’t think there can be a more enjoyable way to learn the history of your heritage! Please comment and rate this recipe if you try it; option is found immediately under the recipe. Thank you!!

Recipe, authentic, traditional Norwegian thin pancakes

 

Pancake recipe, authentic Norwegian from traditional recipe

 

Norwegian pancake recipe; Authentic Norwegian recipe w picture guide. How to make them large, soft, and very thin.

 

 

4.9 from 9 reviews
Traditional Norwegian Pancake Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Traditional and authentic Norwegian pancakes, thin and soft with buttery, crisp edges. Roll them up with butter and blueberry jam, or serve with bacon.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Norwegian
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • Extra butter for frying
Instructions
  1. Whisk together milk and flour with a wire whisk until smooth and no lumps remain.
  2. Add sugar, salt, and vanilla, and whisk into the batter.
  3. Add the eggs, and whisk only until blended together.
  4. Let sit for 20 minutes.
  5. Mix in melted butter.
  6. To fry, heat skillet over medium heat until hot enough for a pat of butter to sizzle. Swirl the butter around in the skillet.
  7. Pour a small amount of batter in the center of the skillet, then quickly tilt it to all sides until it covers as much of the bottom as possible. Keep tilting until it won't spread out anymore.
  8. Let the pancake fry over medium heat until browned underneath, flip, then brown on the other side as well. It should take less than a minute to fry each side.
  9. Remove from skillet and keep warm on a plate covered with a towel.
  10. Repeat with remaining batter, adding pancakes to the plate to form a stack.
  11. Adjust the amount of batter as needed as you fry more pancakes. The pancakes should be very thin.

4.9 from 9 reviews
Traditional Norwegian Pancake Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Traditional and authentic Norwegian pancakes, thin and soft with buttery, crisp edges. Roll them up with butter and blueberry jam, or bacon. Metric Measurements.
Author:
Cuisine: Norwegian
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • 800 ml. milk
  • 300 grams flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • Extra butter for frying
Instructions
  1. Whisk together milk and flour with a wire whisk until smooth and no lumps remain.
  2. Add sugar, salt, and vanilla, and whisk into the batter.
  3. Add the eggs, and whisk only until blended together.
  4. Let sit for 20 minutes.
  5. Mix in melted butter.
  6. To fry, heat skillet over medium heat until hot enough for a pat of butter to sizzle. Swirl the butter around in the skillet.
  7. Pour a small amount of batter in the center of the skillet, then quickly tilt it to all sides until it covers as much of the bottom as possible. Keep tilting until it won't spread out anymore.
  8. Let the pancake fry over medium heat until browned underneath, flip, then brown on the other side as well. It should take less than a minute to fry each side.
  9. Remove from skillet and keep warm on a plate covered with a towel.
  10. Repeat with remaining batter, adding pancakes to the plate to form a stack.
  11. Adjust the amount of batter as needed as you fry more pancakes. The pancakes should be very thin.

 

 

About Terese

20 Responses to “Norwegian Pancakes, Recipe With Picture Guide”

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  1. Wendy says:

    Hi Terese,
    This is the exact type of pancake my mother made and I now make. We are from Derbyshire in England, and traditionally do not put sugar in the mix but sprinkle the pancake with sugar and fresh lemon juice or orange juice squeezed from the fruit before rolling it up and eating it.

    • Terese says:

      Interesting! You could serve them with just about anything, but I’m sure that what you grew up with is more special to you than anything else. 🙂

  2. Lars Olsen says:

    Thank you, Terece for your pannekaken recipe. It is the best that I have found. It is important to not put the eggs in early, as you stated, to hold their elasticity. Swirling immediately is also very important as is the pat of butter for each pancake. Also letting the batter rest for 20 to 30 minutes is important. I enjoy my pancakes sweet and remember as a young man that I would sprinkle sugar as well as maple syrup before I rolled them up. I visited my brother, Arne, this past week on his island retreat, Cuttyhunk. His pancakes came out stiff and hard to roll. Can you give me any reason as to why that happened? Thanks again for your recipe and tutorial. – Lars Ivar Brandt Olsen

    • Terese says:

      Thank you for commenting and for your support, I’m glad you liked my recipe! Regarding your brother’s pancakes, it’s been my experience that if the heat is too low, it takes too long to fry them. While waiting for them to turn brown, they simply dry out and turn stiff. If low heat is the problem, the same batter will produce nice, soft pancakes if the heat is turned up so they can fry quickly. A second reason for stiff pancakes might be too much flour, or possibly even an overload of eggs. But I’m guessing too low heat and drying was the problem. Hope that helps! 🙂 Thanks again for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it very much!

  3. Marcia says:

    Hi Terese!
    Mike discovered your blog and makes these pancakes all the time! We had them Christmas morning at Mike and Amy’s house and they were delicious! We had them served with blueberry jam. Yum!!!!

    • Terese says:

      That is so much fun to hear! Thank you for letting me know! My kids will sometimes request this for dinner on their birthdays, it’s always a treat whenever I make them. And of course, now they are old enough to do it by themselves too. 🙂 Thank you also for the star rating, that’s very nice and helpful!

  4. Tosten says:

    My grandmother came from Norway in the early 1900’s and in the 1960’s would make pancakes like these on her cookstove. I haven’t had them since I was about 9 and always wondered if it was the stove or just her that made them come out that way. I remember them having a lot more flavor than the puffy ones I’ve had since then. I’m going to try this. Thanks for posting.

    • Terese says:

      Maybe these will be more like how you remember them; I hope you’ll enjoy them! Although I’m sure no recipe can measure up to your grandmother’s pancakes! 🙂

      • Terese,
        So true, I know that no recipe can match MY Norwegian Great Grandmothers cooking in general, especially her Norwegian pancakes…but these were very good. Thank you.

        • Terese says:

          Haha! Yes, that’s how it goes. I’m glad you liked my recipe though. Thank you for your comment and star rating!

          • Carol says:

            I am SO glad for this recipe, I haven’t had this in almost 40 years…(when my Grandmother was alive). I tried asking many Norwegian places and got a strange look of Huh? My Grandmother made these for the Holidays and now I will. So simple and to think I could have made these 40 + years. never to late. Also I remember them nicely sweet and will try them with Jam. Thanks

          • Terese says:

            That’s wonderful!! I am so glad you found me here on the net! I do have other Norwegian recipes as well, and more to come, so I hope to see you back! 🙂 I hope these pancakes meet your expectations and bring back wonderful memories for you!

  5. Elaine Sylvester says:

    I have a cast iron pan with 7 round indented forms for the pannekaken batter. I haven’t used it for years but since reading your recipe and notes I will. My mother was born in Norway but came here as a baby so it was my grandmother who made them. She didn’t use a recipe for my breakfast treat but they were memorable. When I go to visit my daughter in Seattle I always order them at the local diner. (with lingenberry preserves).

    • Terese says:

      Sweet memories, sounds like! We never used recipes either, we just winged it. But I created this recipe to help others know how to make them as well. Hope you’ll love them!

  6. Mike says:

    Never had them but am curious of all Scandinavian home cooking. One question – I’ve seen other ‘Norwegian’ pancake recipes that includes grated/shaved gjetost cheese.
    What do you think?

    • Terese says:

      I’ve never seen it put into the batter, but it is commonly served on top of Norwegian waffles, so I would not be surprised to see some put it on their pancakes as well. But I’ve never seen it added to the batter itself. I’ll have to go and do a search and see what I find recipe wise, I’m curious now! 🙂

  7. Karen I Ford says:

    My favorite Norwegian recipe. We always had these with what ever fruit jam was available, for me it was always strawberry because I am allergic to blueberries. These are so light and airy. My Mother would often put some cardamom in the batter — makes them even better!!

    • Terese says:

      It sure was one of my favorite foods growing up, and my own kids love them! It isn’t often that I see recipes in the US using cardamom, but in Norway it is commonly added to sweet, baked goods such as cinnamon rolls, as I am sure you are well aware of! I’ve never added it to pancake batter, but have heard of it used in waffles. Anyone wanting to give it a try, just add a quarter to a half teaspoon to the batter. It is flavorful and not hot; I would want to put it in the same category as nutmeg, allspice, cloves etc., but it definitely has its own flavor. Thank you for your comment and star rating, Karen! I really appreciate it!

  8. Jeff says:

    My Norwegian great grandpa used to make these when I was a kid. We always ate them rolled up with honey. I can’t wait to try to make them for myself!

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