Traditionally in Iceland, whenever there is a birthday party, a funeral, a graduation or any other social gathering, Icelandic women (and nowadays men as well) make pancakes and they make a lot as usually there is a huge stack which vanishes at lightning speed.

Usually pancakes are served with a drizzle of sugar and nothing else, however when there is a special celebration, they are filled with whipped cream and jam and they are renamed as "Cream Pancakes" (Rjómapönnukökur in Icelandic). We never use lemon juice with sugar as they do in England and other places (although it is not a bad idea). When I started making pancakes, several years ago I found it really difficult and they always, always turned out bad. I have since found out that you need a very good pan (heavy pancake pan) and spelt is not the best flour for making pancakes (the gluten combination is different to gluten in wheat) but I still use it with slightly better results than when I first started making them. Also as someone said to me...."Our grandmothers had 60 years experience making pancakes, no wonder they always turned out perfect". I still remember when I was a little girl and I used to go with my grandparents gathering sheep in the Western part of Iceland. Sheep gathering takes place in the autumn when the sheep are gathered from the mountains and wilderness of Iceland. Afterwards there was always lots of pancakes, hot cocoa and other goodies. That was the part I looked most forward too because I loved pancakes with cream and I still do. As I have told you before I never eat real cream and I never use full fat cream in any of my recipes, the only exception is cream pancakes although I sometimes used whipped, organic soy cream. My version of pancakes is slightly healthier than you would find in the usual Icelandic household since I don't use butter and I use spelt flour instead of wheat.

Often filled with whipped cream and jam and served as "Cream Pancakes" in Icelan

This recipe is:

  • Lactose (dairy) free
  • Nut free


Makes 20-25 pancakes


  • 300 grams (11 oz) spelt flour
  • 1 tablespoon gluten free and aluminium free baking powder
  • 2 eggs (please use free range eggs)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil + ½ teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (from a health food store)
  • 550-600 millilitres (18¾ - 20 fluid oz soy milk


  1. Sift the 300 grams spelt flour and 1 tablespoon baking powder into a medium bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, beat together the 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon coconut oil.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients slowly, in batches into the dry ingredients and whisk very well. The batter should be absolutely free of lumps.
  4. Add the 550-600 millilitres milk. Start with 500 millilitres and add more if needed.
  5. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula and whisk a little more. The batter should resemble a thin soup. Add more milk if needed.
  6. Melt ½ teaspoon coconut oil in the pan.
  7. Turn the heat up to highest setting and then turn it down to medium.
  8. Use a ladle to pour the batter onto the pan in one go.
  9. As soon as the batter hits the pan, tip it from side to side so that the base of the pan is coated evenly with batter. This should take about 30 seconds or so. Lift the edge of the pancake with a palette knife. If it is fairly loose from the pan, it should be ready. Flip the pancake over with a palette knife and heat the other side for a few seconds (normally 10 seconds will do).
  10. Transfer to a plate.
  11. Serve with whipped soy cream (or regular cream), raspberry, blueberry or strawberry jam, raw cane sugar and maple syrup or agave nectar. You can also make cashew cream.


  • You can use regular baking powder instead of the aluminium and gluten free one.
  • You can use whole wheat flour instead of the spelt flour.         
  • If the coconut oil is cold (in which case it becomes solid), place the jar in a bowl filled with hot water for a couple of minutes. 
  • You can use this recipe for making savoury pancakes as well. The pancakes freeze well so if you have any left overs (or very ugly ones), you can freeze them and use them later for making crêpes (savoury pancakes).
  • You can use almond milk, rice milk, oat milk or semi-skimmed milk instead of the soy milk.