National Pancake Day

National Pancake Day - Thursday, September 26, 2024

Food & Beverage Breakfast Food

A day so nice they made it twice — September 26 is the year’s second National Pancake Day! Get those hotcakes on the griddle, it’s time to prepare some pancakes! Pancakes are an old staple, dating back to Ancient Greece. Since then, many varieties have been created across the globe. In Britain, France, and other parts of Europe, their pancakes (or crepes) are thin and often served with a sweet or savory filling. In Indonesia they consume pancakes known as “serabi”, which are made with rice flour and coconut milk. In Uganda pancakes are made with bananas. These are just a few of the many different variations across the globe. All are delicious and worth celebrating on National Pancake Day! Whichever style of pancake you prefer, get ready to enjoy a stack of them on September 26!


National Pancake Day occurs twice a year, and the National Pancake Day on September 26th is actually the second iteration of the holiday.

Of course, IHOP’s National Pancake Day is more than just an excuse to fill up on the floury treats—IHOP also partners with a number of charities that help children battling critical illness, with donations on the day going straight to the charity of your choice.

History of National Pancake Day

Also known as Johnnycakes, griddle cakes or hotcakes, this batter-made breakfast item dates back more than 30,000 years. In fact, it may be the oldest breakfast food in history, spanning as far back as the Stone Age and even found in the stomach of Otzi the Iceman, who’s human remains are estimated to be 5,300 years old.

The Middle English word ‘pancake’ first appeared in English in the 15th century however, Ancient Greeks and Romans made what were called Alita Dolcia or “another sweet” with wheat flour, olive oil, honey, and curdled milk. Greek Poets, Cratinus and Magnes wrote about them in their poetry and Shakespeare mentions them in his famous plays. During the English Renaissance, pancakes were flavored with spices, rosewater, sherry, and apples. This practice of pouring batter on a pan and frying it is common in nearly every culture around the world.

In the UK, they’ve celebrated Shrove Tuesday since 1100 A.D. It is the day before Ash Wednesday, also referred to in other places as Fat Tuesday. This very popular Feast Day is observed through participating in confession, finalizing a lenten sacrifice, as well as consuming pancakes and other sweets.

This year guests from around the country will once again celebrate National Pancake Day at IHOP and enjoy a free short stack of Buttermilk pancakes. In return for the free pancakes, guests will be asked to consider leaving a donation to designated local charities. This is your opportunity to contribute to your community and enjoy a delicious meal. Don’t miss out!

National Pancake Day timeline


The Big Flip

The largest pancake to ever be flipped was in Rochdale, United Kingdom. It, measured 16.4 yards across and weighed 3 tons


Pancake Week

Bisquick became the official sponsor of National Pancake Week, creating a weeklong celebration of all things pancake.


The Fluffy Stuff

Bisquick is first introduced and cooks across the United States start using it to make extra fluffy pancakes.

1100 AD

The First Breakfast

Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day) becomes a traditional way to use up dairy products before lent – the pancake breakfast is born.

600 BC

Greek Pancakes

The first recorded mention of pancakes dates back to ancient Greece and comes from a poet who described warm pancakes in one of his writings.

National Pancake Day FAQs

How Many Pancakes are eaten every year?

An average of 700,000 pancakes are consumed every year.

Is IHOP Giving Away Free Pancakes?

This year guests from around the country will once again celebrate National Pancake Day at IHOP and enjoy a free short stack of Buttermilk pancakes. In return for the free pancakes, guests will be asked to consider leaving a donation to designated local charities.

Is a Pancake a Pastry?

Pancakes are the very old beginnings of bread and pastry. Generally a pancake is any kind of batter, fried or baked in a skillet, on a griddle, or on any hot surface.

5 Pancake Facts

  1. Southern Comfort

    Southerners eat the most pancakes in the United States, accounting for 32.5% of our pancake consumption.

  2. Sweet Nectar

    Maple syrup was originally a sweet drink which was discovered by the Algonquin Indians.

  3. High Cakes

    The record for the world’s highest pancake toss belongs to Dominic Cuzzacrea, who flipped a pancake 31 feet (and 1 inch) into the air in November 2010.

  4. Joy to the World

    Since 1961, Mrs. Butterworth has been the iconic godmother of American syrup.

  5. The Good Mix

    The first ready-mix food which was sold commercially was Aunt Jemima pancake flour, invented in 1889 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

National Pancake Day Activities

  1. Create your own pancake

    Pick one of the many pancake recipes online, go to your grocery store to buy the ingredients, and handle business. Most importantly, make those pancakes with love!

  2. Head over to your local IHOP

    You’ll be amazed at the various locations you’ll find nearby. Go on, enjoy a finely crafted pancake at your leisure.

  3. Give the gift of pancakes

    Yes, we said it. Treat your loved-one, friend, to a nice pancake meal. Together we’ll make the world a better place, one flapjack at a time.

Why We Love National Pancake Day

  1. Pancakes increase your happiness

    A meal of pancakes for breakfast will instantly brighten your mood and make your tummy happy. You can share, hog them, or surprise someone with pancakes in bed. You can’t go wrong with pancakes, which is why they are just so right!

  2. Sweet or savory

    Whether you like your pancakes made with a dash of cinnamon and topped with strawberries or cooked plain and topped with caviar or bacon, there’s a pancake that appeals to your taste buds.

  3. Familiarity

    Sometimes, when we go out to eat, we don’t want to be challenged. We crave the taste of the familiar and nothing's more familiar than the taste of a good ol’ pancake with maple syrup on top.

National Pancake Day Activities

  1. Get cookin’!

    It may seem obvious but there's no better way to celebrate National Pancake Day than to whip up some pancakes (and lots of 'em). You can make fluffy pancakes, crepes, sweet or savory flapjacks, or try a new recipe. You can make them with your friends or your kids. No matter what pancakes you choose to make, have fun and enjoy a large stack of them!

  2. Pancakes for dinner!

    If you’ve never had breakfast for dinner, specifically pancakes, you are missing out! Celebrate National Pancake day by whipping some up for your evening meal. Typical sweet pancakes are great for dinner when paired with bacon, sausage, and eggs, but savory pancakes are great for an evening meal too! Get creative and make the perfect pancake dinner!

  3. Make pancake art

    Pancake art has become a trendy lately with creative minds like Nathan Shields posting their fun flapjacks on YouTube. It may take a few tries, but you can make cool pancake art too! There are tutorials online on how to get it just right, but it involves adding batter to the pan at different places and at different times (thus the color difference throughout). You can divide up your batter and add food coloring to each to make your pancake art colorful if you like! Oh, and don’t forget to make your pancake art in mirror image so when you flip it over it’s facing the correct way. It may sound a little tricky but it’s so much fun!

Why We Love National Pancake Day

  1. There are many different types of pancakes

    With so much variety in the pancake world, there are endless ways to enjoy these flavorful flapjacks. Some are thin and some are fluffy. Some are made with fruit and some are made with vegetables. Some are sweet and some are savory. Every country or region seems to have their own take on pancakes and they are loved in every culture. With so many varieties, there are endless options to keep breakfast (or any meal) new, delicious, and exciting!

  2. Pancakes are versatile

    While pancakes are generally seen as a breakfast food, they don’t have to be! Pancakes are great for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert! Breakfast for dinner is always a delicious idea, but you can have them any time of day! Indulge with pancakes for dessert with fruit, chocolate, whipped cream, and more! There’s no limit to when and how you can enjoy your pancakes and that’s one thing we love about them!

  3. They make us happy

    There’s no denying that pancakes are a comforting food that make us feel good. We enjoy them as children and adults and they are a beloved staple in many culture. The smell of them alone can make us feel content, reminding us of lazy Saturday mornings waking up to a pancake breakfast and a hug from mom. It’s a happy food, and happy food makes for happy tummies!

Also on Thu Sep 26, 2024...

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