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Icelandic Pancakes Pönnukökur

Icelandic Pancakes Pönnukökur

These thin crepe-like pancakes make an excellent addition to afternoon tea, or spread with jam and folded up with whipped cream, they are a delicacy fit for festive occasions.
By Mansi Desai

Shutterstock: margouillat photo

Icelanders like to start their morning with a traditional Pancake called Pönnukökur. Hmm, not very different from Americans, right? In fact, these pancakes look very familiar. They are just like French Crepes, thin, light, and served with jam or whipped cream. I guess all kinds of cuisines are tied to each other, or inspired from each other. These are traditionally cooked in an Icelandic Pancake pan, which is basically a round skillet with a thick bottom, which helps to cook the pancakes quickly at a relatively high temperature. The pancakes are really thin, and are dusted with powdered sugar before stacking on top of each other, to prevent them from sticking. You can easily eat 3-4 of these. Light and a bit crispy on the edges, they are a perfect way to start your day!

While this recipe looks really simple, it is the technique which needs to be mastered. You will not get your perfect Pönnukökur at the first try. The pancake pan used is an important element in making perfect pancakes. A good Pönnukökur pan is passed down from one generation to another, and is already well “seasoned”. If you are starting out with a new one, you may have to use some oil to grease the pan periodically after making 4-5 pancakes. And remember, the thinner the pancakes, the more compliments you will get!

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To keep the Icelandic tradition alive, serve these with either regular granulated sugar in the middle, or with jam and whipped cream topping, then folded into triangles.

Be sure to check out NORTH Festival hosted by Honest Cooking for a taste of Iceland right here in the USA! Head over to the website to learn about the Icelandic bites, including tons of fresh fish, that will be served up throughout the delicious week.

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Icelandic Pancakes (Pönnukökur)

  • Author: Mansi Desai, adapted from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book, by Beatrice Ojakangas
  • Yield: 24 1x


These thin crepe-like pancakes make an excellent addition to afternoon tea, or spread with jam and folded up with whipped cream, they are a delicacy fit for festive occasions.


  • 2 c flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 12 tsp cardamom (or vanilla)
  • ¾ c margarine or butter (melted)
  • milk, as required


  1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. In another mixing bowl beat the eggs,
  2. melted butter, and vanilla extract.
  3. Gradually add the ingredients together to make a smooth thin batter.Then add milk slowly as needed,and whisk together to make a batter of runny consistency.
  4. Let the batter stand for 30 minutes, to let everything settle.
  5. Butter a skillet, and heat over medium heat until the butter is fragrant; pour in enough batter to coat the skillet in a thin layer (pancakes should be very thin). Allow to cook until the bottom is lightly browned, then turn the thin pancake over to brown the other side.
  6. It is key that when you pour the batter into the pan, you need to rotate the pan. This helps the batter spread thinly and quickly over the surface.
  7. Once cooked, flip it on a plate to sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and roll up tightly or stack on a plate for folding in whipped cream and preserves or fruit.
  • Category: Breakfast
View Comments (20)
  • Icelanders do not eat the traditional pancakes for breakfast, they are for afternoon tea like scones, clotted cream and jam in England. :-)

  • Hi there,

    sorry about the typo. It should be 1/8th teaspoon baking soda. I will update the recipe with the change. thanks for pointing it out!


  • Also, on another web site their recipe requires. 2/ 1/2
    Cups milk… Quite a bit different?? This is for a
    Class project and we want to make the pancakes
    That are most native to Iceland.. Why such a

  • I am Icelandic and agree with Ida. Never do Icelanders eat pancakes for breakfast. They are for afternoon or evening time.

  • These are great,but like others have said,eaten at lunch or later in the day.Plus,if you are lucky enough to have the special Icelandic pancake pan like me,you are very happy :)

  • Please have your facts straight. Icelanders DO NOT eat pancakes for breakfast. Pancakes are eaten as an afternoon snack much like the English have tea and scones.

  • This is a truly disappointing recipe. The ingredients are right, but the amounts needed are all wrong. I tried it once, thinking there was far too much flour and butter and not enough milk. I was left with a thick ball of dough. I tried it again to see if it was an error on my part, and I had myself another thick ball of dough. I wish I could upload a picture of what this recipe really makes. has a recipe that actually makes Pönnukökur.

  • I grew up with these delicacies delights! Nothing says “Mom” more then this!? Easy to make but make tons because they dissappear as fast as you can make them? Rick from Abbotsford B.C.

  • These are NOT served for breakfast in Iceland. We serve these at “Kaffi” or what some would like to call tea-time. Icelanders are not fond of sweets for breakfast as we normally go for toast or oatmeal. Correction should be made.

    This is the perfect dessert for a family gathering, tea, or just plain dessert.

    Leaving this at a 3 due to the incorrect introduction of this delicious afternoon dessert as breakfast.

  • I just made these and they are delicious! I don’t know how much milk I used, just kept adding until I got a consistency I thought looked right. After the first one I ended up adding more milk, the batter was not thin enough. Once I had the correct consistency the batter spread beautifully around the pan. I used a Lodge cast iron pancake pan and applied butter between each pancake and they cooked/flipped perfectly every time.

    • Thank you so much for the Pönnuköku recipe. This is ,UCB
      Ike the way I make them. One difference is the amount of butter. When using 2 cups of flour, I use 3/4 stick of butter and not 3/4 cups of butter. This recipe made 26 Pönnukökur. If you are not getting that many, then you are making them too thick. These are better, the thinner they are. It helps very much to use a pönnuköku pan and you should navel have to butter the pan in between. I melt the butter in the pan and put that in the batter last and stir it in well. I will not mention the traditional time to eat these, but skip the sugar and roll these up with any meat or vegetable mixture and have for lunch or dinner if you like. They are delicious and versatile.

  • Hello. I am Icelandic but live in the US. I did not follow your recipe since I have my own. However, please correct your mistakes and refrain from Americanizing this Icelandic delicacy. And, as my fellow Icelanders say in the comments, we do not eat pancakes for breakfast. These pancakes are most often eaten during special occasions (birthdays, guests arriving) or if people want to treat themselves. Ask any Icelander and their answers will match ours. Thank you.

  • To be called honest cooking, you need to verify your statements. Pönnukökur are NOT eaten for breakfast in Iceland – EVER. Pönnukökur were/are served at kaffiími (tea time) and most likely on a Sunday. Please correct this.

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