Recipe: Say goodbye to January with these fluffy Swedish pancakes

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Recipe: Say goodbye to January with these fluffy Swedish pancakes
Swedish pancakes with ice cream and berries. Photo: Swedish Food

Swedish food writer John Duxbury shares his recipe for soft and fluffy rye pancakes, which can be served as a sweet dessert, or with grilled bacon for bunch. Is there a better way to see out January?


These rye pancakes are always popular! Indeed many people prefer them to ordinary pancakes because they are wonderfully soft and fluffy, thanks to the addition of whisked egg whites.

Please don’t make the mistake of thinking that rye pancakes might taste a bit like rye bread! The flavour is completely different: rye bread is normally flavoured with anise, caraway or fennel seeds, whereas these pancakes are subtly flavoured with syrup.

Rye pancakes are very adaptable too. Simply change the topping to transform them, so that they are perfect for a lazy brunch, a light lunch or an indulgent dessert.



– Wholemeal rye flour, sometimes called dark rye flour, is widely available, but white rye flour is normally only sold in health food stores, specialist shops and online. If you can't find white rye flour you can just use dark rye flour.

– For a lactose free version, use almond milk instead of skimmed milk.

– You can use any syrup, such as maple syrup, instead of Swedish ljus sirap.

– The recipe should make 10 pancakes, enough for two spares in case you overcook a couple!

– The pancakes can be frozen, preferably with a layer of grease proof paper in between each one. Although not quite as nice as freshly made pancakes it is a good way of using up any surplus pancakes. To reheat: put the defrosted pancakes in an oven-proof dish, cover with foil and place in a warm oven for 15-20 minutes until hot.


75 g (¾ cup) dark rye flour

75 g (¾ cup) white rye flour

1½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

180 ml (¾ cup) milk, skimmed or semi-skimmed

2 tbsp ljus sirap

4 medium eggs, separated

Oil for spraying


1. Pre-heat an oven to 160ºC (325ºF, gas 3, fan 150ºC) and put in an ovenproof dish suitable for keeping pancakes warm.

2. Add the flours, baking powder and salt to a large bowl. Using a fork, gradually whisk in the milk, sirap and egg yolks.

3. In another large bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the flour mixture a little at a time.

4. Meanwhile, warm a non-stick frying pan (griddle) over a medium heat.

5. When hot, spray the pan with oil and fry a large spoonful of batter, spreading the batter out to a circle about 10 cm (4”) diameter. Cook for about 45 seconds until bubbles begin to form on the top.

Carefully flip the pancake over and continue to cook on the other side for about 30 seconds, until golden brown. Keep warm whilst cooking the rest.

6. Repeat step 5 until you have used up all the batter. (Adjust the heat if necessary, so that each side of a pancake takes about 45 seconds to turn to a lovely golden brown colour.)

Suggestions for sweet toppings

1. My favourite: cooked bilberries (wild blueberries) and blåbärsglass (bilberry ice cream). To cook the bilberries: weigh the bilberries and add an equal weight of caster (superfine) sugar. Heat gently, stirring constantly, until the sugar melts, then increase the heat, bring to a boil and simmer for a minute. Leave the bilberries to cool whilst you make the pancakes.

2. Cooked cherries and whipped cream.

3. Diced apple fried in butter and dusted with cinnamon.

Suggestions for savoury toppings

1. Grilled bacon and rårörda lingon (sweetened lingonberries).

2. My favourite, even though it is not Swedish (!): grilled bacon and warmed maple syrup.

3. Fried wild mushrooms, onion and a little cream.

Recipe courtesy of John Duxbury, founder and editor of Swedish Food.


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