Top pastry chef explains why you've probably been making pancakes wrong all this time

Lumpy, misshapen, or undercooked pancakes? Pastry chef Chris Bernard explains where you're going wrong...

(Image credit: Getty Images)

With Pancake Day right around the corner, families everywhere are planning on serving up the tasty treats to celebrate.

But many of us are making the same mistakes when making a pancake, whether they end up lumpy, misshapen, or undercooked. But pastry chef Chris Bernard has shared his top tips for nailing Pancake Day, and he has over 20 years of experience in Michelin-starred kitchens so he knows what he’s talking about..

1. Don't flip your pancake with a spatula

These include not flipping your pancake with a spatula, which is probably the most common mistake in households. Chris has revealed that using a spatula to flip a pancake can cause it to break up and look messy at the edges, which is no good if you’re planning on sharing your food snaps on social media…

Instead, he recommends taking hold of the pan like a wok and flipping the entire pancake, which will help it to keep its shape.

2. Wait for the bubble before flipping 

Patience is a virtue when it comes to flipping too, as Chris said you should be waiting for your mixture to bubble before you flip it over. Too many people flip as soon as it’s cooked through, which can also lead to it breaking apart.

3. Double-sieve your mixture  

To ensure a smooth consistency with your pancake batter, Chris recommends double-sieving the mixture before pouring it into a non-stick pan.

The wet ingredients (milk, egg, melted butter) should be mixed in a separate jug with a touch of salt. In a large bowl, sieve the flour then pour the wet mixture in before beating with a whisk.

This removes lumps, but if you want it to be extra smooth, you can sieve the mixture again to remove any of the smaller lumps you may have missed.

4. Opt for olive oil 

Your pan should also be very hot before the batter is added, and Chris recommends using olive oil as it helps to create stickiness.

5. Allow the mixture to rest 

This tip might be a little harder to follow, as no one wants to wait for their pancakes. But, for the best results, Chris suggests leaving the mixture for at least 30 minutes. This should make the batter less 'chewy'. 


Credit: Getty Images

6. Don't add berries to the mix 

Finally, he advises against putting fresh berries into the pan whilst cooking your pancakes. Given the heat of the pan, this causes the berries to become warm and mushy which isn’t very appetising!

Toppings should wait until the food is plated, whether you’re going for berries, syrup or creamy Nutella.

Lucy Buglass
Digital Writer

Lucy Buglass is a Digital Writer for What's on TV,, and Woman&Home. After finishing her degree in Film Studies at Oxford Brookes University she moved to London to begin her career. She's passionate about entertainment and spends most of her free time watching Netflix series, BBC dramas, or going to the cinema to catch the latest film releases.