What to do with leftover pancakes

How to freeze pancake batter, readymade pancakes, and other ways to use up leftovers this Pancake Day...

What to do with leftover pancakes
(Image credit: Getty Images/Tetra images RF)

From lunchtime wraps to pancake bread and butter pudding, we've got plenty of ways to use up leftover pancakes and pancake batter.

Pancakes are perfect at any time of year, not just Pancake Day. You might be used to eating them sweet, with a classic topping of lemon and sugar, ice cream, or melted chocolate - but with a bit of creativity, leftover pancakes can be used in a range of other dishes as a lighter alternative to bread, pasta, or other bases.

Swap your usual pancake toppings (opens in new tab) with bacon and eggs for breakfast, use them as an alternative for tortilla wraps, or layer them with ricotta, spinach, and tomato sauce to make a ‘pancake lasagne’ for dinner. 

"Pancakes can actually be frozen - both the batter and the cooked pancakes," says Food Editor, Jessica Dady (opens in new tab). "This is so handy if you've got lots of batter leftover from Pancake Day or you've made a glut of pancakes at the weekend which won't be eaten. The batter and readymade pancakes are best eaten within one month of freezing."

What to make with leftover pancakes

1. Serve with a fry-up instead of toast

Breakfast pancakes

If you're a fan of a hearty fry-up you'll be glad to know that pancakes are the perfect swap for a slice or two of toast. Opt for smaller, thicker pancakes and serve alongside the poached egg, bacon medallions, chestnut mushrooms, and fresh cherry tomatoes with our delicious breakfast pancakes (opens in new tab) recipe.

Pancake French toast Turn your leftover pancakes into a classic breakfast treat - French toast (opens in new tab). It’s simple really; just make them as you would French toast. Dip your cooked pancakes into the egg, sugar, and cinnamon mix and pop on a pan, and cook until golden and delicious. Serve with fresh berries.

2. Roll to make wraps for lunch

ham and cheese pancake rolls

Pancakes make a great alternative to tortilla wraps. Grab a crepe-style pancake and load up with your favourite sandwich fillings – bacon, lettuce, and tomato, burrito-style with beans, or how about our ham and cheese pancake rolls (opens in new tab) (pictured above) the choice is yours. Wrap in tin foil or cling film and pop into the fridge ready for your packed lunch the next day.

3. Make enchiladas with pancakes instead

Italian crespelle pancakes 

Pancakes are so versatile they can be used in both sweet and savoury recipes. Italian crespelle pancakes (opens in new tab) are packed with garlic, onion, spinach, and ricotta and topped with a rich tomato sauce. Sprinkled with cheese and baked in the oven, this has to be one of the best ways to serve pancakes for dinner.

Panchiladas Quesadillas or enchiladas are really easy to make with pancakes. You might always associate pancakes as a sweet dish rather than savoury but a sprinkling of cheese, a scoop of tomato sauce and plenty of veggies make one delicious dinner. Turn your pancakes into panchiladas (opens in new tab) in just a few simple steps.

4. Add to your favourite desserts

Baked pear and caramel pancake

Transform your pancakes into different desserts. Our favourites have to be pancake bread pudding, pear pancake pudding, and a classic trifle with a pancake layer at the bottom to create the 'sponge'.

If you're looking for an indulgent way to transform your leftover pancake batter try whipping up our baked pear and caramel pancake pudding (opens in new tab). The soft, sweetness of the pear and the richness of the caramel work wonders together. All wrapped in a pancake and you've got one mouth-watering dessert.

Pancake bread and butter pudding For the bread and butter pudding (opens in new tab), tear or cut up the pancakes into small pieces. We’d recommend using thicker pancakes for this dessert. Pour over your custard mix and top with raisins or chocolate chips. Bake in the oven on low heat (160-180C) for about 30 mins.

Trifle with a pancake 'sponge' For the pancake trifle, all you have to do is replace the sponge fingers or Swiss roll in the base of your favourite trifle recipe (opens in new tab) with pancakes instead. Leave smaller pancakes as they are but tear the bigger pancakes up to fill the base of the trifle. Delicious!

5. Bake a pancake cake

Crepe cake

If you’re up for a baking challenge this week, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get creative with pancakes. This crepe cake is a great way to make the most out of your homemade pancakes. Our cake expert Victoria Threader guides you through making your own in our simple step-by-step recipe.

Pancake S'mores Pancake S’mores (opens in new tab) are made pretty much like you would make classic S’mores except you’re replacing the biscuits part with pancakes instead. Sandwich with gooey marshmallows and your favourite chocolate bar and serve.

6. Make Yorkshire puddings with pancake batter

How to make Yorkshire puddings

There’s really no need to bin your leftover pancake batter especially as you can make so much with it. How about whipping up a batch of Yorkshire puddings using your pancake mix? They’re pretty much the same recipe – you just need a little oil for cooking.

How to freeze pancakes

For cooked pancakes, leave them to cool before freezing. Once cooled, pop a few into a sandwich bag – depending on how many you’d want in one sitting or how many members of your family would want some when it comes to reheating. Store in an airtight container or Tupperware for up to 1 month.

How to defrost and reheat pancakes To reheat, take the pancakes out of the sandwich bag - they might be stuck together so leave them to sit on the kitchen side for a while before carefully peeling them apart with a knife. Reheat in the toaster or in the microwave on low heat.

How to freeze pancake batter

When it comes to storing your leftover pancake batter, we’d recommend portioning your batter out. If you don’t think you’re going to use all the leftover mix in one go, separate it into a few sandwich bags.

Tie and store these in an airtight container or Tupperware. Make sure you label them up so you know what they are. You could also store your leftover pancake batter in an ice cream tray – one ice cube will make a mini pancake.

How to defrost and reheat pancake batter To defrost, your pancake batter, leave it in the fridge overnight or in a bowl of warm water on the kitchen side. Once the mixture has defrosted, cut off the corner of your sandwich bag and carefully pipe your pancake batter into a preheated frying pan and cook.

Jessica Dady
Senior Content Editor

Jessica Dady is Senior Content Editor at Goodto.com and has over 10 years of experience as a digital journalist, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the best food hampers to cookbooks, from the best cake stands to baking sets, Jessica has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to must-have food products. A passionate baker, she spends much of her time creating celebration cakes for friends and family - particularly for her two lucky children.