Traditional Norwegian Pancake Recipe

Traditional Norwegian Pancake Recipe

My family’s traditional Norwegian pancake recipe is one of my favorites. Slightly thicker than crepes, learn how to make Norwegian pancakes now.

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Make family memories with this Norwegian pancake recipe

While we’d occasionally have them throughout the year, Norwegian pancakes are on of my favorite family Christmas traditions. 

December 23rd is Lille Julaften (little Christmas eve) in Norway. 

And at least in my family, it was the day that we typically baked Christmas cookies, including traditional Norwegian krumkake, and enjoyed passed-down family recipes like my grandma Swensen’s brown sugar meatballs and these Norwegian pancakes. 

Different from your traditional stack of fluffy American-style flapjacks, this Norwegian pancake recipe is a great way to make your holidays — or any weekend morning — just a little more special! 

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Simple, pantry ingredients
  • Can be filled with sweet or savory ingredients
  • Passed down family recipe
  • Kid-friendly 
Plate of Scandinavian pancakes with powdered sugar and blueberries

What are Norwegian pancakes?

Also called pannekaker, Norwegian pancakes are thin, crepe-like pancakes that are traditionally rolled up and served with butter, sugar, and jam. 

However, unlike crepes which are traditionally paper-thin and slightly chewy, Norwegian pancakes use more flour and result in a slightly thicker, fluffier texture. This also means that they’re easier to make and flip! 

What do you put in or on top of Scandinavian pancakes? 

It’s totally up to you!

Here are some ways that my family traditionally serves these: 

  • Butter inside. Maple syrup and powdered sugar on top.
  • Cream cheese and jam or fruit inside. Nothing on top. 
  • Butter inside. Lingonberry jam and powdered sugar on top. 
  • Fresh berries inside. Greek yogurt and maple syrup on top. 

I’ve also made these for my in-laws who prefer to make them savory by filling them with scrambled eggs and adding hot sauce, salsa, or avocado on top. 

Plate of norwegian pancakes with powdered sugar

Ingredients used to make traditional Norwegian pancakes

At least when it comes to my family’s recipes, most Norwegian baked goods and breakfast treats involve the same ingredients just in different ratios. And this recipe is no exception.

What’s particularly great about this recipe, and probably why my grandpa made it so often for my dad when he was a kid, it that the ingredients are ones that are almost always on hand: 

  • Eggs: you’ll need 3 large eggs. I don’t recommend using cartoned egg replacements or vegan alternatives. 
  • Flour: all-purpose flour is what my family always used, but I usually use white whole wheat flour for a little boost in nutrition. To make them gluten-free, I’ve had good success with King Arthur’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
  • Milk: any milk will work! Growing up my family usually used 2% milk, but as I’m lactose-intolerant I typically use original oat milk. I don’t recommend soy or coconut just because they will alter the flavor. 
  • Sugar: we usually use granulated white sugar, but I’ve also had success using raw cane sugar. I’ve never tried honey or maple syrup in this recipe. 
  • Salt: just a pinch. 
  • Almond extract: this was my grandpa’s “secret” ingredient and what made his pancakes stand out from the ones my parents would make growing up. My mom usually used vanilla extract instead, but I strongly recommend using almond extract for a more authentic flavor. You can buy it online here

I know some families also add a pinch of cardamom to their batter as well. My family never did this, but now sometimes I’ll make a whipped cardamom Greek yogurt to use as a topping for this recipe. 

How to make Norwegian pancakes

I’ll be honest: the first time making Norwegian pancakes can be frustrating as it takes a little bit to figure out just the right pan size and amount of batter to use. 

And even once you have that down, the first couple pancakes are usually a bit of a mess. In fact growing up I’d always stay close to my mom or dad while making them as I knew I’d likely get to eat one of these early “rejects.” 

There are a few keys to making these thin pancakes, which I list below. But briefly here are the steps: 

1. Mix your batter. Traditionally, this was done by hand in a mixing bowl with a whisk. But I almost always use a blender to make mine. 

2. Heat and grease your skillet. 

3. Pour the batter into the pan and swirl to cover the bottom of the skillet. 

Pouring batter into skillet

4. Cook until the edges are dry and the top starts to look cooked.

5. Quickly flip (I use my fingers rather than a skillet), cook for another few seconds, and then place the cooked pancake on a plate. 

Making Norwegian pancakes

6. Repeat with the remaining batter. 

Add your fillings, roll the pancakes, and then top with toppings of choice. Enjoy!

Rolled scandinavian pancakes on a plate

Tips for making this recipe 

  • Use a blender to make the batter. I can’t tell you how many times I’d get frustrated trying to whisk the batter to get it perfectly smooth, yet still end up with lumps in my pancakes. By making the batter in the blender, I’ve found that you end up with a smoother batter and therefore smoother Norwegian pancakes.
  • Opt for a smaller skillet. If you make your pancakes too thin, they’ll be nearly impossible to flip. Instead, opt for a smaller skillet so that you get pancakes that will flip and still have that slightly spongy texture. 
  • Don’t over-grease the pan. Using too much butter or cooking spray will make these greasy and difficult to flip. 
  • Lift the pan with one hand and swirl as you pour in the batter. The minute the batter hits the pan it will start cooking. And when it starts cooking, it stops wanting to spread. So, to give yourself a little extra time, lift the skillet with one hand and tilt it as you pour the batter with your other hand. 
  • Run a heat-safe rubber spatula under the sides of the pancake to help lift it up so that you can more easily flip it with your fingers.

How long do leftovers last? 

Leftover Norwegian pancakes are actually my favorite! 

Simply wrap them in foil or store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. I recommend storing them flat, rather than rolled. 

When ready to eat, make sure to microwave them for a few seconds before trying to roll them otherwise they may crack. 

More traditional Norwegian recipes to try 

Here are some additional Norwegian recipes that are traditionally enjoyed in my family: 

If you tried this Norwegian Pancake Recipe, or any other recipe on the blog, let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment/rating below!

Norwegian Pancakes

Slightly thicker than a crepe, Norwegian pancakes are filled with butter and/or jam, rolled up, then covered with a drizzle of maple syrup and dusting of powdered sugar.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Norwegian
Keyword: Healthy, Pancakes
Servings: 3
Author: The Healthy Toast

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp almond extract

Topping/Filling Ideas

  • Greek yogurt
  • Cream cheese
  • Fresh fruit
  • Fruit jam
  • Butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • Pure maple syrup

Instructions

  • Place ingredients in a blender and blend on high until well combined.
  • Heat skillet over medium heat and coat with cooking spray or, for a more traditional flavor, butter.
  • Pour 1/4 cup batter into skillet and tilt pan to evenly coat the bottom. Cook 30 sec – 1 min or until the sides begin to curl up. Flip and cook another 10-20 seconds, or until slightly browned.
  • Remove and place in a warmer or a plate covered with foil. Repeat with remaining batter.
  • Serve with fillings and toppings of choice. Enjoy!

Notes

These go great with a side of scrambled eggs or organic chicken sausage.
Adapted from Grandma Swensen’s recipe

Pin for later!

Norwegian Pancake Recipe Pinterest Image

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10 Comments

  • Andrea Metlika AvatarAndrea Metlikaa month ago

    These sound so delicious! I can’t wait to make them for my family.

    • The Healthy Toast AvatarThe Healthy Toasta month ago

      Thank you! I hope you give them a try soon 🙂

  • rebecca Avatarrebeccaa month ago

    these look delicious! and thicker than the Swedish ones my aunt makes. I’m now craving gingerbread and apples on these pancakes for Christmas!

    • The Healthy Toast AvatarThe Healthy Toasta month ago

      That’s so interesting that they’re slightly thicker than Swedish pancakes. I always love learning the slight differences in Scandinavian cuisine. Apples would be amazing on these!

  • Charla AvatarCharlaa month ago

    I have never tried food from Norway before so I’m excited to try this.

    • The Healthy Toast AvatarThe Healthy Toasta month ago

      Definitely give it a try! Most of the recipes I make from my Norwegian side of the family are sweets and they’re all delicious 🙂

  • Jen AvatarJena month ago

    I love these because they are easier to work with than crepes and lighter than a pancake. Perfect!

    • The Healthy Toast AvatarThe Healthy Toasta month ago

      Exactly!

  • Katie AvatarKatiea month ago

    Looks so delicious. I’m sure my family will love this one!

    • The Healthy Toast AvatarThe Healthy Toasta month ago

      Thanks Katie! Let me know what you all think when you make them 🙂

  • About Kelli McGrane Headshot

    I’m Kelli MS, RD, and my mission is to prove that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. Follow along to learn more about food and cooking, with an emphasis on breakfast and sweet treats!

    About Kelli McGrane Headshot

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    Whether you’re a busy professional or new mom, the goal of The Healthy Toast is to provide you with the recipes and nutrition info you need to live your healthiest life, even when life gets crazy. As I’m a firm believer in a whole-foods, non-diet approach, I hope my website shows that good nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. 

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