Our family has embarked on virtual travels to various countries and regions. To explore these countries and their cultures, we have followed along with the festivals, cooked and eaten traditional foods, learned of traditional handicrafts with hands on exploration, along with many activities to immerse ourselves. Chronicled here are some of these activities.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Around the World with Pancakes: Ponnukokur | Icelandic Cream Pancakes

We're trying out pancakes from around the world, looking beyond fluffy pancakes and beyond breakfast food

In Iceland, ponnukokur are thin, crepe like pancakes that are enjoyed rolled with a sprinkling of sugar for breakfast or with tea. They are also enjoyed decadently with jam and whipped cream during festive occasions, such as Christmas. 

Our stack of not so thin or evenly sized ponnukokur

Another festive occasion for enjoying ponnukokur in Iceland is when welcoming the sun. Solarkaffi - Sun Coffee - is celebrated in various towns throughout Iceland when the sun makes it's first brief appearance after months of darkness. Whether at home or in community gathering halls, ponnukokur and coffee are served during this much anticipated glimpse of sunlight.

Jam, whipped cream and fresh fruit to be served with our ponnukokur

A special pan is used in Iceland to make these pancakes: it is round with a thick bottom to cook the batter quickly at fairly high temperatures. Good pans are often passed down from generation to generation, and new ones can be bought with a recipe for ponnukokur printed on the bottom.

Ponnukokur are meant to be very thin crepes. Legend has it that one can read the newspaper through the best, perfectly thin pancakes. (Ours did not meet that criteria) The key is a thin layer of batter, and rotating your pan immediately upon pouring the batter.

Ponnukokur pan (Source)
As a celebration of spring, last weekend we had festive ponnukokur, with whipped cream and jam. In Iceland, you are more likely to have blueberry jam on hand, but we used the girls' favorite raspberry jam. As a breakfast, they were rather decadent, especially when we used lots of whipped cream :)

Icelandic Cream Pancakes

Recipe adapted from Icelandic Review

  • 2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cardamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
1. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cardamon in a large bow.

2. Whisk together the milk, eggs and vanilla. Stir the milk into the flour, stirring until you have no lumps (ok, we still had a few lumps, and all was fine). Then add the melted butter. Let the batter sit for 30 minutes.

3. While the batter is resting, whip the cream.

While the batter rested, Elle whipped the cream and Pea cut up some fresh fruit.
The girls put it all together on a nice tray to be enjoyed with breakfast. 
4. Oil your pan then heat it on medium high. We poured 1/4 cup of batter on the hot pan - we tried with less hoping for thinner pancakes, but we just couldn't pull it off. Don't be surprised if your first pancake is a dud - it will still taste good :) When the pancake has little bubbles across and seems nearly cooked, flip and cook for about another 30 seconds. These cook fast, so keep an eye on them, and stack up them up until you've finished the batter.

We used our cast iron crepe pan (right) and a regular frying pan (left) to see if it made a difference. The crepe pan did cook them more evenly with better edges, but they all tasted good.
5. To assemble the cream pancakes, spread jam and then whipping cream over the crepes. Be careful not to add too much whipped cream or it could get messy! Then fold the crepe in half, and then in half again. 


Find more multicultural recipes with Around the World in 12 Dishes, a group of bloggers that explore a set of countries, one per month, through food and activities. 
Find their roundup of Icelandic dishes and activities here. 

Find more pancake recipes on our page:


  1. Oh this sounds so yummy. I love crepes, but we don't have a crepe pan to make them, maybe I'll break down and get one....

    1. You don't need a crepe pan! As long as you don't mind less than perfect edges :)

  2. Look, could you not invite me along to these pancake fests you and your gorgeous family have. I'd be very good and I am table trained (just). I adore pancakes, although they probably wouldn't be too good for me on account of THE DIET. Urrgk!

    1. Lol! You and your gorgeous family are welcomed anytime for a pancake fest! Skip the whipped cream and I think a crepe or two won't hurt :) Just don't slather them with butter and brown sugar, which is how we usually devour them.


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