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Vancakes – Quick, easy, delicious road trip recipes

Vancakes – Quick, easy, delicious road trip recipes

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It’s Pancake Day, or rather Vancake Day!  And what a perfect meal they make while you’re on the road.  Tasty, simple and utterly delicious, our road trip recipes are inspired by flavours and ingredients we came across on our European tour.

First up is our Italian inspired duo.  A tasty savoury followed by a mouthwatering sweet!  Here are the ingredients for our Parma Ham and Parmesan Vancake inspired by our tastings of cured ham in Parma, Parmesan cheese in the Italian markets and beautiful fresh basil.  We finished off with a delicious drizzle of Balsamic vinegar which we discovered in a visit to Modena. The result is our cover star in the image above.

Italian Pancakes with Parma Ham and Parmesan

Italian Pancakes with Parma Ham and Parmesan

For pud it just had to feature Limoncello.  We are quite partial to this luscious lemon liqueur which just fills your mouth with zingy flavour.  A scattering of vibrant green pistachios, a dollop of mascarpone and you’re good to go.  We made a sticky syrup with 4tbsp Limoncello and 3tbsp icing sugar which creates a truly tasty topping.

Ricotta vancakes with Limoncello and Pistacios

Ricotta pancakes with Limoncello syrup, mascarpone and pistachios

Next up it’s a visit to Spain.  Memories of spicy chorizo sausages suspended from shop ceilings, giant red peppers in the fresh food markets, tangy slices of Manchego cheese with a slathering of tomato salsa … all adds up to one satisfying, pleasurable plateful.

Spanish pancakes with spicy chorizo, red peppers, tomato salsa, manchego cheese and a sprinkle of parsley.

Spanish pancakes with spicy chorizo, red peppers, tomato salsa, manchego cheese and a sprinkle of parsley.

When travelling around the Seville area, especially Cordoba, we were constantly surrounded by oranges. Bright and fragrant, clustered on small trees, their sweet smell wafting in the air.  And then there were the pretty pink almond trees in Antequera …  We’ve used a buttermilk pancake batter here with the addition of orange zest, chopped almonds and a spoonful of almond essence for a real flavour hit.  Oh, and we did add a bit of Cointreau to the caramel too. Yes it’s French but we’ll call it a hybrid!

Spanish orange marmalade, almond and caramel buttermilk pancakes.

Spanish orange marmalade, almond and caramel buttermilk pancakes.

In Avignon, France we ate our first ever Buckwheat pancakes with an egg on top.  We’ve made our own version of them here with Brie, porcini mushrooms and shallots.  If you can get fresh cep mushrooms, all the better.  Cooked in the pan and then popped under the grill to melt the cheese, they’re a lunchtime winner.

Soft and sweet, buckwheat pancakes with brie, porcini mushrooms, shallots and an egg.

For Germany we just had to go to the Black Forest for our inspiration!  We can’t resist the incredible combination of dark chocolate and cherries. So, so flavoursome.  We cooked our cherries in Cassis (actually French) which really highlights their flavour  but you could use Kirsch and then sweeten it a bit.  A dollop of whipped cream, yogurt or creme fraiche with another cheeky spoonful of cassis stirred in takes it to flavour heaven!

Deliciousness on a plate - Black Forest Gateau inspired vancakes.

Deliciousness on a plate – Black Forest Gateau inspired vancakes.

We didn’t quite make it to Portugal with our pancakes.  There are only so many even we can eat!  Watch this space though.  They won’t be in time for pancake day but who says you can only eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. They’re so good and so easy we should be having them all year round!


150g plain flour

300ml semi-skimmed milk

2 medium eggs


Put the flour in a bowl

Make a well in the middle and mix in eggs

Add milk gradually to make a smooth batter.

Cook over medium heat in a thin layer 2-3 mins each side.


250g ricotta cheese

5 tbsp caster sugar

3 eggs, separated

Zest of 1 lemon

2 tbsp melted butter

55g plain flour


Mix together the cheese, sugar and egg yolks, zest and butter.

Fold in the flour.

Whisk up eggs white to soft peaks and fold into mix.

Heat butter in pan on medium heat.

Spoon batter into pan in small heaps and cook til set and golden.


50g buckwheat flour

50g plain flour

1/2 tsp salt

3g fast action yeast

1 medium egg

110ml warm water

160ml whole milk

150g porcini mushrooms, pre-soaked in hot water for 30 mins

75g chopped shallots

100g Brie or Cantal cheese

2 eggs


Add flours, salt and yeast to bowl

Mix up egg, milk and water and add to bowl gradually.

Leave to stand for 1 hour

Fry mushrooms and shallots in olive oil

Cook pancakes over medium heat 2-3 minutes on first side

Flip over and break egg onto centre of pancake, cooking until white goes opaque

Fold over sides to create a square and sprinkle with mushrooms, shallots and cheese

Put under grill to finish off cooking egg white


150 self raising flour

2 eggs

2 tbsp honey or caster sugar

150ml buttermilk

1 tbsp oil


Whisk egg, honey, buttermilk and oil together.

Mix into flour.

Dollop into pan on medium heat cooking 2-3 minutes each side.


Add grated orange zest, almond extract and chopped almonds (as per our Spanish orange vancake)

Or add any of the following –  grated lime or lemon zest, vanilla extract, cocoa powder



All stories by: Marcella

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