It’s hard to beat the ‘classic’ Shrove Tuesday pancake that we’ve all been merrily sugaring and lemoning since childhood. The ones that are a bit like crepes. But if you fancy stretching your pancake wings this year, you could do a lot worse that have a go at crempog – the Welsh traditional version of pancakes.

Their main difference is that they are smaller and taller than the standard pancake. The height is from the bicarbonate of soda reacting with buttermilk. Traditionally they are piled up on top of each other in a stack that’s held together with lots of butter and jam or syrup, and then sliced through.  Sounding good?

Welsh children would go through the streets singing clempog songs, collecting the pancakes from houses and piling them up with treacle. I haven’t – yet – been able to find out about anywhere in Wales where that still happens.

25g butter

225g plain flour

300ml buttermilk

1 egg

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/4 tsp lemon juice

Filling: butter, jam, syrup, whatever you fancy.

1. Sieve the flour and rub the butter in. Whisk in the buttermilk – just enough until you have a smooth batter. You might not need all the buttermilk.

2. Beat the egg and add to the batter. Leave it to stand for an hour.

3. When you are ready to start coking, mix in thoroughly the bicarbonate of soda and the lemon juice. 

4. Grease a frying pan and spoon in a tablespoon of batter for each crempog.  Probably three at a time. Cook for about a minute each side until light brown.

Take them out, pile them up with butter and jam/syrup in the middle, and do some more.  Keep them warm in the oven as you go and when your stack is done, cut it into quarters and serve.


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  1. Would normal milk do if I can’t get buttermilk? Proving more difficult than I thought! K x

    • It’s the acid in the buttermilk that reacts with the bicarb to give the quick rise and bubbles. (I don’t suppose you really wanted a chemistry lesson though!)

      Adding more lemon will increase the milk’s acidity. Try a tbsp of lemon juice and a few drops of white wine vinegar.

      Or, substitute some of the milk with plain yoghurt: 250ml yoghurt/50ml milk.

      Good luck – and let me know how it goes!

  2. I found buttermilk Ad they were lovely!!! Thank you x

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