‘Atypical’ pancake topping that’s more popular than lemon and syrup

Jamie Oliver makes mini pancakes

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Pancake day is when most people dig out their favourite recipes to enjoy a range of sweet and savoury treats, but it doesn’t mean you can’t eat them all year round. Whether you like thin crepes, scotch-style, or fluffy American pancakes, lemon, chocolate, sugar, and maple syrup are the most popular toppings found on the table. But according to new research, spinach is another key contender if you’re stuck for inspiration. 

Culinary experts at HelloFresh revealed that a handful of classic pancake toppings have been “overtaken” by a more “atypical” choice – spinach.

The data showed that while banana is the UK’s favourite pancake flavour, closely followed by chocolate, the leafy green vegetable ranked higher than lemon and maple syrup.

Strawberry toppings and even cinnamon also fell below spinach, according to the data which was based on average UK monthly searches.

A spokesperson at HelloFresh said: “Through analysis of the average number of searches per month for each type of pancake topping, data revealed banana pancakes are the most a-peeling as they slip into first place as the UK’s favourite choice of topping with over 33,000 searches. Second to blueberry, with a 26,500 search gap.

“In the UK, on average 880 Brits search for spinach pancake recipes every month, whilst just 320 searches for lemon pancakes and 390 for maple syrup pancakes.”

With more Britons taking a liking to healthier flavours, it seemed that spinach was the only vegetable to feature in the UK’s top 10 toppings

HelloFresh found that the nation’s most sought-after pancake flavours are:

  1. Banana pancakes – 33,100 searches
  2. Blueberry pancakes – 6,600 searches
  3. Chocolate pancakes – 1,900 searches
  4. Bacon pancakes – 1,300 searches
  5. Apple pancakes – 880 searches
  6. Spinach pancakes – 880 searches
  7. Strawberry pancakes – 720 searches
  8. Cinnamon pancakes – 590 searches
  9. Maple syrup pancakes – 390 searches
  10. Lemon pancakes – 320 searches

If you do want to give green pancakes a go, there are several ways to incorporate spinach into classic recipes.

One of the easiest is to simply use it as a topping for crepes. For Greek, spanakopita-inspired pancakes, simply whip up a batch of thin crepes and top them with a mix of spinach, cheese and nuts.


For the pancakes:

  • 300ml whole milk
  • Two medium eggs
  • 100g plain flour

For the toppings:

  • 200g ricotta
  • 240g bag of baby spinach
  • 100g feta, crumbled
  • 50g pine nuts
  • One onion finely chopped
  • Two garlic cloves
  • One spring of thyme leaves, chopped

For green pancakes cooked with spinach in the batter, you can blend up the leafy vegetable before whisking it into your batter.

A blogger at Sneaky Veg explained that the result is a “mild taste”, perfect for topping with savoury ingredients like cheese, roasted tomatoes, avocado, beans, scrambled tofu and eggs.


  • 100g spinach
  • 125g wholemeal flour (or spelt flour)
  • One teaspoon of baking powder
  • One egg
  • 200ml milk (dairy or oat)
  • One tablespoon of sunflower oil
  • Pinch of nutmeg

To make eight pancakes, start by washing the spinach leaves, draining, and placing them in a hot pan until wilted.  Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Next, put the wilted leaves into a blender and pulse until broken down. Add the remaining ingredients – this includes flour, baking powder, eggs, oil, and nutmeg.

Blend on a high speed until combined and heat some oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Measure small cups of batter out to make small pancakes and cook for three to four minutes on each side.

Flip with a spatula halfway through. The Sneaky Veg blogger said: “Cooking them slowly is key here so they don’t burn on the outside before they’re cooked in the middle. Keep warm in a low oven until you’re ready to serve them.”

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