Last Updated on April 9, 2022
Today, we’ll answer the question “What is a griddle cake?” as well as look at the main differences between griddle cakes, pancakes, and crepes.
We will also give a brief rundown on how to make griddle cakes the easy way! Ready to dive in? Let’s go!
So, What Is A Griddle Cake?
It’s a little tricky to answer the question “What is a griddle cake?” This is because these cakes have been around for incredibly long. Griddle cakes are one of the oldest cereal-based foods. While we have no recorded history of exactly how old they are, many historians estimate that they are at least 30 000 years old! That’s mind-blowing, right? So, naturally, the exact process of making them and their entire definition will vary.
But, today we would describe a griddle cake as being a flat disc-shaped cake that is roughly about half an inch thick. And yes, if this sounds familiar to you, they are also known as classic American pancakes. They can be bigger or smaller in size depending on where you are in the world. The exact size can even vary depending on personal preference! But, classic griddle cakes usually measure around 4 to 10-inches in diameter.
Furthermore, they are cooked in a little bit of fat to give them extra flavor on the outside. And, because their recipe contains a leavening agent, once cooked, they have quite a light and fluffy texture.
Ingredients used to make a griddle cake
The ingredients used to make a griddle cake are fairly basic – you most likely already have all of these in your pantry and fridge! A typical recipe contains flour, a leavening agent, eggs, milk, and butter or oil.
Flour is arguably one of the most important ingredients for these cakes. The flour you use has to have a medium protein content. You want there to be enough gluten so that the batter can form an airy texture, but not so little as to make a dense pancake. So, something like an all-purpose flour will be best. You can also use other types of flours, but keep in mind that each ingredient you use will affect the final flavor and texture of the griddle cakes. You can use whole wheat flour, gluten-free flour, almond flour, crushed rolled oats, or buckwheat flour.
In terms of the leavening agent used, griddle cakes often use baking powder. This ingredient contains a mixture of acidic and alkaline ingredients (often cream of tartar and bicarbonate of soda) to create a chemical reaction that causes the lift.
Eggs in this dish are also essential as it acts as the binding agent and helps enrich the product. The fat component (usually oil or melted butter) helps tenderize the item and gives it texture.
And finally, when you add liquid ingredients like milk or cream, they help adjust the consistency of your batter and activate ingredients.
How to make griddle cakes
Griddle cakes are one of the oldest food items that are still around today. Therefore, you can assume that they are easy to make and don’t require much preparation time. The most basic recipe for griddle cakes contains flour, a leavening agent, eggs, milk (or cream), and sometimes a flavoring ingredient like vanilla. Once you have made the batter, you often need to allow it to rest. This resting period will help dissolve any lumps, help develop gluten for a good texture, and will create a fluffy batter because the leavening agent is allowed time to activate.
Once your batter has rested, you can place some oil or butter into a pan. You can also use non-stick cooking spray, but they tend to burn quickly. Side note: We don’t recommend using olive oil. It has quite a distinctive taste (which you might not like) and its smoke point is quite low as compared to other cooking oils.
Next, preheat your pan over medium-high heat. Then, add one big dollop (usually about 1/2 cup) of batter to the pan and make sure it’s disc-shaped. Allow the griddle cake to cook on each side for roughly 3-5 minutes, depending on the thickness.
Once cooked, remove it from the heat and serve immediately with some of your favorite accompaniments.
Griddle Cakes Vs Pancakes
Griddle cakes and American-style pancakes are exactly the same things. A griddle cake is simply a different name for an American-style pancake.
Where it gets interesting is when you start looking at the word pancake on a global scale. The word “pancake” has a different meaning in different parts of the world.
One very unique and confusing example of this is if you are in South Africa. Their version of a pancake is a very thin crepe-like disc that is almost the size of a dinner plate! To them, American-styled pancakes are called flapjacks.
Griddle Cakes Vs Crepes
So, now that we’ve covered “what is a griddle cake”, let’s have a look at some similar and often confusing products. Griddle cakes and crepes are very similar when it comes to ingredients. But, they are worlds apart when it comes to their looks and their texture.
Griddle cakes (or pancakes as we now know) are light and fluffy in texture. They are also about half an inch thick and between 4 to 10-inches in diameter. Also, the flat surface on a griddle cake is usually smooth with little to no bubbles showing on it.
Crepes on the other hand are extremely thin and the batter does not contain a leavening agent. This is what allows them to stay this thin when they’re being cooked in the pan.
Because they are so thin, the heat from the pan creates steam that bubbles through the thin layer of batter in the pan. These bubbles then “set” in the crepe as it cooks and gives the crepe a lacey-looking texture.
So having answered the question “What is a griddle cake?” we now know that it is exactly the same thing as an American-style pancake. We hope you found this article extremely informative! Let us know what you think in the comments below!
What is the difference between a griddle cake and a pancake?
There is no difference between a griddle cake and a pancake. A griddle cake is simply another name for an American-style pancake.
What are griddle cakes made of?
Griddle cakes are starch-based batter cakes. The batter is typically made of flour, eggs, milk, and butter. Salt is usually also added to the batter for added flavor. The batter is then allowed to rest before being cooked in a flat pan.
How to make a griddle cake?
First, the batter is made using a combination of flour, eggs, milk, butter, and salt. Then, the batter is poured into a hot pan using about 1/2 cup per portion. Each griddle cake is cooked for roughly 3-5 minutes per side or until they are golden brown.
Lindy Van Schalkwyk is a culinary specialist with a background in Advanced Cooking, Advanced Pâtisserie, Media Communications and Nutrition. She has gained invaluable experience in the culinary industry having worked in some of the top restaurants in Africa in 2016 and 2017. Her expertise in nutrition has enabled her to develop recipes for special dietary needs. In 2018, Lindy began working in the Food Media industry, focusing on recipe development, recipe writing, food writing and food styling.