The same ingredients are used to make crêpes, pancakes, pikelets and blinis. Blinis are just small pancakes, sometimes made with yeast, but not always. For blinis, just make the size smaller. The variable is the liquid. As each of these batters requires a different consistency, adjusting the liquid enables this to happen. Pikelets also require the addition of bicarb soda which gives added rising to the mixture. You can make all these batters with milk or buttermilk. If the batter is to be used for a savoury meal, such as blinis with a savoury topping or crêpes with a savoury filling, omit the sugar.

Quantity: Makes between 1-1½ cups batter (enough for 2 people)

Preparation Time:
1 hour 5 minutes

Cooking Time:
15 minutes

1 cup self raising flour
½ cup sugar (omit for savoury version)
1 egg

– ¾ cup milk or buttermilk, to which ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda has been added

– 1 cup milk or buttermilk

– 1½ cups milk or buttermilk


  1. Place flour, sugar, and egg in a bowl.
  2. Stir to combine.
  3. Add the milk gradually to form a smooth lump-less batter, beating constantly.
  4. Pour the batter into a jug then let stand for 1 hour.
  5. Heat a non-stick frypan till hot, and then reduce to medium heat.
  6. Spray the pan with a cooking spray.
  7. Pour a measured amount of the batter into the pan, allowing mixture to spread. If you're making more than one at a time in the pan, allow enough room for each to spread but not touch each other.
  8. Cook till small bubbles on the surface begin to burst and the mixture is set. Flip and brown the other side.
  9. Serve pikelets with butter and jam, pancakes with any savoury or sweet topping or just drizzled with maple syrup and a little cream or icecream, and crêpes according to the recipe you're creating.

NB: Pancakes and Blinis can also have other ingredients added before they are cooked, such as mixed, chopped, fresh herbs or corn kernels.

This is just one of the recipes in First Principles The Basics Cooking Handbook.