The key ingredient to the perfect breakfast, this February 28, get yourself a mouth-watering stack toward heaven because it’s National Pancake Day! Celebrated annually in Spring, and since beginning its first celebration in 2006, IHOP restaurants have raised over $24 million to support charities in the communities in which they operate.
When is National Pancake Day 2024?
National Pancake Day is celebrated on February 28 this year. A thin flat cake prepared with a batter made from milk, eggs, flour, and oil or butter, the pancake and its variations are found in almost every culture.
History of National Pancake Day
Also known as Johnnycakes, griddle cakes or hotcakes, this batter-made breakfast item dates back more than 30,000 years. In fact, it may be the oldest breakfast food in history, spanning as far back as the Stone Age and even found in the stomach of Otzi the Iceman, whose human remains are estimated to be 5,300 years old.
The Middle English word ‘pancake’ first appeared in English in the 15th century however, Ancient Greeks and Romans made what were called Alita Dolcia or “another sweet” with wheat flour, olive oil, honey, and curdled milk. Greek Poets, Cratinus and Magnes wrote about them in their poetry and Shakespeare mentions them in his famous plays. During the English Renaissance, pancakes were flavored with spices, rosewater, sherry, and apples. This practice of pouring batter on a pan and frying it is common in nearly every culture around the world.
In the UK, they’ve celebrated Shrove Tuesday since 1100 A.D. It is the day before Ash Wednesday, also referred to in other places as Fat Tuesday. This very popular Feast Day is observed through participating in confession, finalizing a lenten sacrifice, as well as consuming pancakes and other sweets.
This year guests from around the country will once again celebrate National Pancake Day at IHOP and enjoy a free short stack of Buttermilk pancakes. In return for the free pancakes, guests will be asked to consider leaving a donation to designated local charities. This is your opportunity to contribute to your community and enjoy a delicious meal. Don’t miss out!
National Pancake Day timeline
The first recorded mention of pancakes dates back to ancient Greece and comes from a poet who described warm pancakes in one of his writings.
Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day) becomes a traditional way to use up dairy products before lent – the pancake breakfast is born.
Bisquick is first introduced and cooks across the United States start using it to make extra fluffy pancakes.
Bisquick became the official sponsor of National Pancake Week, creating a weeklong celebration of all things pancake.
The largest pancake to ever be flipped was in Rochdale, United Kingdom. It, measured 16.4 yards across and weighed 3 tons
National Pancake Day - Survey Results
FULL RANKING OF THE MOST POPULAR TYPES OF PANCAKES
#1: Buttermilk (33%)
#2: Blueberry (19%)
#3: Chocolate chip (18%)
#4: Original/plain (15%)
#5: Banana (8%)
#6: Cinnamon (5%)
#7: Wheat (2%)
#8: Whole oat (1%)
FULL RANKING OF THE MOST POPULAR PANCAKE TOPPINGS
#1: Maple syrup (62%)
#2: Butter (10%)
#3: Fresh fruit (8%)
#4: Fruit sauce (4%)
#5: Peanut butter (4%)
#6: Nutella (4%)
#7: Chocolate syrup (3%)
#8: Honey (2%)
#9: Jelly/jam (2%)
#10: Apple butter (2%)
PANCAKES ARE IN AMERICA’S TOP 3 FAVORITE BREAKFAST FOODS
Pancakes rank America’s #3 favorite breakfast food after bacon (#1) and eggs (#2).
Pancake Day Traditions
Get your eggs, butter, and milk ready, as National Pancake Day is here! Let’s focus on the most important part of this day, which is to stuff ourselves silly with stacks of fluffy pancakes. Top them off with your favorite toppings, or try something different like chocolate syrup or an unusual fruit pairing. Pancakes also have different variations like crepes and even waffles, so you can always tweak it a bit.
‘Pancake racing’ is also a popular tradition on this day, involving racing while flipping pancakes successfully on a pan. A ‘mob football’ is also a popular celebration in the UK on this holiday.
Pancake Day Statistics
49 feet – the measurement in diameter of the world’s biggest pancake.
6,614 pounds – the weight of the world’s biggest pancake.
32.5% – the percentage of pancakes consumed by U.S Southerners.
$200 – the price of the world’s most expensive pancake at Opus in the Printworks in England.
520 – the number of calories in two servings of pancakes with butter and syrup.
3.17 million – the number of gallons of maple syrup produced in the United States in 2014.
31 feet – the highest pancake toss in the world done by Dominic Cuzzacrea.
11% – the percentage by which sales of the McDonald’s McGriddles sandwich increased after using pancakes instead of a biscuit.
1445 – the year the first annual pancake race was hosted in the town of Olney in England.
52 million – the number of eggs used by the British on Pancake Day.
National Pancake Day FAQs
How Many Pancakes are eaten every year?
An average of 700,000 pancakes are consumed every year.
Is IHOP Giving Away Free Pancakes?
This year guests from around the country will once again celebrate National Pancake Day at IHOP and enjoy a free short stack of Buttermilk pancakes. In return for the free pancakes, guests will be asked to consider leaving a donation to designated local charities.
Is a Pancake a Pastry?
Pancakes are the very old beginnings of bread and pastry. Generally a pancake is any kind of batter, fried or baked in a skillet, on a griddle, or on any hot surface.
National Pancake Day Activities
Create your own pancake
Pick one of the many pancake recipes online, go to your grocery store to buy the ingredients, and handle business. Most importantly, make those pancakes with love!
Head over to your local IHOP
You’ll be amazed at the various locations you’ll find nearby. Go on, enjoy a finely crafted pancake at your leisure.
Give the gift of pancakes
Yes, we said it. Treat your loved-one, friend, to a nice pancake meal. Together we’ll make the world a better place, one flapjack at a time.
5 Pancake Facts
Southerners eat the most pancakes in the United States, accounting for 32.5% of our pancake consumption.
Maple syrup was originally a sweet drink which was discovered by the Algonquin Indians.
The record for the world’s highest pancake toss belongs to Dominic Cuzzacrea, who flipped a pancake 31 feet (and 1 inch) into the air in November 2010.
Joy to the World
Since 1961, Mrs. Butterworth has been the iconic godmother of American syrup.
The Good Mix
The first ready-mix food which was sold commercially was Aunt Jemima pancake flour, invented in 1889 in St. Joseph, Missouri.
Why We Love National Pancake Day
Pancakes increase your happiness
A meal of pancakes for breakfast will instantly brighten your mood and make your tummy happy. You can share, hog them, or surprise someone with pancakes in bed. You can’t go wrong with pancakes, which is why they are just so right!
Sweet or savory
Do you like your pancakes made with a dash of cinnamon and topped with strawberries, cooked plain and topped with caviar or bacon, or corn meal pancakes? No matter your preference, there’s a pancake that appeals to your taste buds.
Sometimes, when we go out to eat, we don’t want to be challenged. We crave the taste of the familiar and nothing's more familiar than the taste of a good ol’ pancake with maple syrup on top.
National Pancake Day dates