5 Difference between Flapjacks and Pancakes

Where you live determines the difference between a pancake and a flapjack. There is a big difference in the UK, but there is no difference at all in the US and Canada.

In the U.K., flapjacks are a type of oat bar made with brown sugar, butter, and golden syrup. They’re like chewy granola bars, and just like granola bars, they can have things like fruits and nuts added to them.

But in the United States and Canada, “flapjack” and “pancake” are often used interchangeably to talk about flat cakes made of thin batter that have been cooked on both sides. In different parts of the U.S., they are more often called one name or the other. There is no discernible difference between them other than the name, and regardless of what you call them, they are sure to be tasty! For instance, the South prefers the term “flapjacks,” while the North and Northeast prefer “pancakes.”

What Are Flapjacks?

Cranberry Almond Flapjacks
Cranberry Almond Flapjacks

In the US and UK, the word “flapjack” can mean two different things. In the UK, flapjacks are dense, sweet, oat-based cakes.

These cakes are also called oats bars, granola bars, cereal bars, and muesli bars. Brown sugar, oats, golden syrup, and butter are the main things that go into flapjacks.

You can have these sweet treats for breakfast or for dessert. You can have them with coffee or tea. The good thing is that they are easy to make and don’t take long.

Our friend in the US and Canada says that flapjacks are called pancakes there. So, the two words are used in the same way.

Flapjack Ingredients

The kind of flapjacks that come from the UK are baked oat bars. The oats would be the most common thing in this. Flapjacks are made with oats, butter, sugar, and golden syrup.

Most people use brown sugar or demerara sugar because it makes the flapjacks taste better. You could add some of the following to the flapjacks to make them taste better or make them healthier to eat for breakfast:

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Strawberries
  • Grated apples
  • Chocolate chips
  • Dried fruit such as cranberries or raisins
  • Nuts such as almonds or walnuts
  • Goji berries
  • Desiccated coconut
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Peanut butter
  • Chia seeds

What Are Pancakes?

British Pancakes x
British-Style Pancakes

Pancakes are flat, thin cakes that are fried on both sides in a pan. They are also called hotcakes or griddlecakes.

Flour, eggs, milk, butter, and baking powder are the main things you need to make pancakes. While the cakes are being fried and cooked, the batter is spread on them.

Jam, maple syrup, honey, sugar, and fruit are some of the most common things that people put on pancakes. They can be eaten for breakfast or as a snack.

Most of the time, the ingredients used to make pancakes vary by culture and region. Some popular pancakes are the Indonesian serabi, the Indian dosa, the French crepe, and the German palatschinke (eastern and central Europe).

According to history, these are some of the oldest and most common desserts that people all over the world still eat today.

Pancake Ingredients

Pancakes are made with flour, eggs, milk, butter, and sometimes something that makes them increase. Ingredients can always be switched out or left out.

Some sugar can be added to make the pancakes taste sweeter, and a little salt can also be added to make the sweetness stand out a little more.

Some people also add vanilla extract, which is more common when making pancakes for sweet toppings and less common when making pancakes for savory toppings.

You could also use oil instead of butter. You can also use buttermilk instead of milk. This makes them lighter and gives them a tangier taste.

If you want to try something new, you could also add chocolate chips or fruit to the pancake mix for a sweeter taste. You could pick milk, dark, or white chocolate, or you could mix a few of them.

Comparison Chart (Flapjacks vs Pancakes)

DefinitionThey are flat and thin, and they may be made fromĀ oats.Are flat cakes with a thin batter and fried on both sides.
In the UKSweet tray baked bars made from oats.Fried flat cakes with a thin batter and cooked on both sides.
IngredientsBrown sugar, oats, golden syrup and butterFlour, eggs, milk, butter and baking powder
ToppingsNot used.Common fillings used are jam, maple syrup, sugar, fruits, and honey.
Alternative NamesPancakes in the US.Griddlecakes or hotcakes
Types NumberOnly oneThree types such as Serabi (Indonesian), dosa (India) and crepe, palatschinke (eastern and central Europe)
PopularityNot commonQuite popular
PreparationBakingFried on the pan and cooked both sides.
  • Flapjacks are sweet bars made from oats that are baked on a tray, while pancakes are thin, flat cakes that are cooked on both sides.
  • Flapjacks are made from oats, while pancakes are made from a thin batter.
  • Flour, milk, eggs, butter, baking powder, and brown sugar are used to make pancakes. Brown sugar, butter, and golden syrup are used to make flapjacks.
  • British flapjacks don’t need any toppings or fillings, but pancakes do. Honey, maple syrup, and many other things can be used as pancake toppings.
  • Pancakes are fried and cooked on both sides, while flapjacks are baked.
  • Flapjacks, on the other hand, are not as popular as pancakes.
  • In the US, pancakes are called flapjacks. In the UK, hotcakes are another name for pancakes.


Flapjacks and pancakes are both very common, and both kids and adults love them. But we shouldn’t take it every day because it’s not good for our health. Even though it tastes good, kids shouldn’t eat it very often. Kids should eat foods that are high in fiber and have vitamins and nutrients.

If you’re too tempted and want to eat them, try making them at home instead of going out to a restaurant or buying a ready-made mix. Even better, food made at home will taste better.