Hotcakes Vs Pancakes: Are They Different From Each Other?

Some people call their flatcakes pancakes and some call theirs hotcakes. What do you call yours? Hotcakes vs pancakes is one of the many baking arguments you will see on the net or hear among your friends from different regions.

Both breakfast items look the same, tend to taste the same, and are served almost the same way. Some people argue that they are the same thing with different names by different people, while others argue that they are different.

Mind you, there is also the argument of whether they are the same as griddlecakes and flapjacks. Well, that is for another day. In this article, I’ll discuss a comparison of pancakes vs hotcakes. Then, you can be the judge.

What are hotcakes?

hotcakes - millenora

Hotcakes are thick, dense pancakes served as breakfast items. Hotcake is a regional term for these flat, round cakes in the US and the UK.

They are only made with extra ingredients and cooked quite differently. In the US, hotcakes may also refer to pancakes, regardless of the recipe.

In the UK, hotcakes may also refer to pancakes or griddlecakes, a thicker pancake (pancakes among the British are usually thin and very flat)

What are pancakes?

pancakes - millenora

Pancakes are flat, round cakes made with batter and served as breakfast. They are served in the US and UK and may be thin or thick, depending on the recipe and choice of the cook.

Pancakes refer to almost every flat, round cake eaten in most English-speaking countries.

Before now, pancakes were called griddlecakes because they were cooked in griddles over an open fire. As civilization unfolded, pans were made and used for cooking pancakes. However, some Americans still call pancakes griddlecakes.

Pancakes are called different names in different regions of the world. They are called crêpes in France and some parts of Europe, drop scones in Scotland, Serabi in Indonesia, Dosa in India, Blinis in Russia, Palačinke in Croatia and some parts of Europe, and Poffertjes among the Dutch.

Hotcakes vs pancakes: Similarities

  • Both are breakfast items
  • Pancakes and hotcakes are made with flour, milk, and eggs
  • You can cook both of them in a griddle or skillet
  • They are both fried, turned, and flipped during the cooking process
  • Pancakes and hotcakes may be sweet or savory, depending on your recipe and the ingredients you use

Hotcakes vs pancakes: Differences


Pancakes are very simple. Traditional US pancakes are made with flour, eggs, milk, and baking powder. On the other hand, hotcakes are made with flour, eggs, milk, baking powder, and either cornmeal, whole wheat flour, or oatmeal.

Cornmeal, whole wheat flour, and oatmeal are added to hotcakes for more texture. You can make modifications to suit dietary restrictions. For instance, if you have wheat or gluten allergies, it’d be better to use cornmeal or any other vegan flour.

Similarly, you can make pancakes without milk or replace dairy milk with vegan or non-dairy milk if you have dairy allergies.

You can also replace eggs with egg substitutes, such as soaked chia seeds, soaked flax seeds, applesauce, mashed bananas, or whipped tofu if you are vegan.


Another difference between hotcakes and pancakes is seen in their different method of preparation. Pancakes are easy and quick to prepare. The batter is usually light and is cooked in a griddle or skillet.

Hotcakes are also cooked on a griddle or skillet, but they are cooked for longer because of the dense and thicker batter. Also, they are more likely to brown than pancakes because of the longer cooking time.

Flavor and texture

Pancakes are sweet, light, and fluffy. On the other hand, hotcakes are denser, more filling, and sweeter.

But the taste of your pancakes and hotcakes also depends on the ingredients you use. Hotcakes are usually made with more sugar and milk, and that’s why they are sweeter.


Both flat cakes can be served with similar toppings, but pancakes will be served with lighter toppings because it is not as thick as hotcakes. Common pancake toppings are syrup, sugar, butter, fruits, chocolate chips, and whipped cream.

Common hotcakes toppings are bacon, eggs, cheese, butter, syrup, whipped cream, and fruits.

Are pancakes healthier than hotcakes?

None is healthier than the other. Pancakes and hotcakes contain similar ingredients and will provide a similar amount of carbs and calories. They are made with refined flour, which is low in fiber and other essential nutrients.

In addition, they are cooked in oil and butter, which makes them high-calorie foods. They are also high in sugar because they contain milk and are served with sweet toppings like syrup and sugar.

Overconsumption of pancakes or hotcakes is generally unhealthy for anyone.

You can make your pancakes or hotcakes healthy by using less sugar and cooking them in a non-stick griddle or skillet to reduce the amount of oil or butter you need to cook them.

Can you make pancakes with wheat flour?

Yes, you can. You can substitute all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour if you do not have a wheat or gluten allergy.

However, the batter may be runnier and spread more than the batter made with all-purpose flour. You can control this by allowing the batter to sit for 20 to 30 minutes. The flour will absorb the liquid and become thicker.

Can you make hotcakes without oatmeal and cornmeal?

If you must have the signature texture of hotcakes, your recipe must include oatmeal or cornmeal.

However, some hotcake recipes do not include oatmeal or cornmeal. You can use less liquid to get the dense texture of hotcakes.


What do the British call pancakes?

Pancakes are American classics, but the British also eat them and call them pancakes. But each region has its traditional recipes.

Pancakes in America are thick and fluffy and use more ingredients than British pancakes. British pancakes are traditionally made with flour, eggs, and milk.

They are flatter and usually served rolled up or folded in triangles with caster sugar and lemon slices as toppings.

What does McDonald’s call its pancakes?

McDonald’s calls their pancakes hotcakes. This is not because of a certain recipe followed. It is just a marketing and branding strategy. The hotcakes are simply pancakes served hot with butter and sweet maple-flavored hotcake syrup.

Are there hotcakes mix?

Yes, there are. Different brands make hotcakes mix like pancake mixes. The difference between the two is more sugar and milk in hotcake mixes.

Can you make pancakes with hotcakes mix?

Hotcake mix contains some ingredients that make it different from pancake mix so it may not give you the signature pancake texture and taste. Hotcakes contain more milk and sugar than pancakes mix.


So, whether you are eating or ordering pancakes or hotcakes, you are in for a treat. The differences between both breakfast items are slim and negligible.

They are both made of flour; hotcakes use more flour than pancakes and are denser and more filling.

Both are tasty. How delicious your pancakes or hotcakes come out depends on how generous you are with the ingredients.

None is better than the other, it’s all about your preference and what is served in restaurants you visit. You can alternate your breakfast with hotcakes and pancakes too.

You should also check out this comparison of kebab vs gyro to see how you have been mixing them up.

Thanks for reading.