Pancake Day: Cardamom Buttermilk Pancakes with Morello Cherry Sauce

Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day is a Christian tradition that marks the last day before Lent. The word Shrove comes from the old English word “Shrive”, meaning to confess all sins. Lent is a time of penance, where some Christians abstain from meat and dairy products for the 40 day period before Easter. The tradition of eating pancakes came about from wanting to use up forbidden ingredients such as milk, eggs and butter, before the period of abstinence commenced.

Today, Pancake Day is celebrated in many households, with families spending time together tucking into pancakes and people carrying out fun activities across the UK, such as pancake races. Pancake Day is also celebrated in other parts of the world, such as Brazil where it is celebrated with the Mardi Gras festival.

Pancakes are incredibly diverse. You can make sweet or savoury toppings, anything to suit your palette. Some of my favourite toppings include, lemon and sugar; a drizzle of silky maple syrup sauce with unsalted butter; melted nutella with mashed bananas; salted caramel sauce with crunchy pecan nuts; and blueberries with a dollop of velvety vanilla crème fraiche. What are your favourite toppings?

This year, Pancake Day will fall on Tuesday 4 March 2014. To celebrate the tradition, I wanted to share with you my recipe for American buttermilk pancakes. The addition of cardamom powder in this batter, paired with a drizzle of sour cherry sauce, makes these thick, fluffy pancakes a delicious breakfast treat.

Cardamom Pancakes with Morello Cherry Sauce-4

Pancake Day: Cardamom Buttermilk Pancakes with Morello Cherry Sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Serving Size: 8 panckaes

Pancake Day: Cardamom Buttermilk Pancakes with Morello Cherry Sauce


    For the pancakes
  • 250 grams plain flour
  • 300 millilitres buttermilk
  • 50 grams butter, melted, plus extra for frying
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 heaped teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    For the cherry sauce
  • 125 grams morello cherries in syrup
  • 125 millilitres water
  • Generous pinch of ginger powder
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • ½ lime juice (optional)


    For the pancakes
  1. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder and ground cardamom powder in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Add the eggs, milk and melted butter to the bowl and whisk until you have a smooth batter.  Try not to overmix the batter, a few smallish size lumps are ok but try and remove any big lumps with the whisk.
  3. Place a small or medium sized non-stick frying pan over high heat. Once the pan is really hot, turn the heat down to medium and brush some melted butter all over the pan. Pour a small amount of the batter on to the hot pan – I use a ladle to ensure my pancakes always end up the same size. Let the pancake batter cook on one side. When the batter begins to bubble, flip the pancake and cook the other side.
  4. Repeat until you have used up the batter.
    For the cherry sauce
  1. Add all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and place on high heat. Mix well. Let the mixture bubble until it turns into a sauce consistency.
  2. Pour over the pancakes and serve immediately.


1. Buttermilk is available in most supermarkets. Alternatively, you can make it at home by adding a tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to 300 millilitres of milk. Leave the mixture to stand for 5 minutes before using in your recipe. 2. Most Asian supermarkets sell ground cardamom powder. However, if you cannot get hold this, you can use 5-6 green cardamom pods. Remove the black seeds and discard the green pods. You can pound these cardamom seeds in a pestle and mortar until they form a fine powder, or grind them in a coffee grinder. 3. I like my cherry sauce to be quite sour, hence the addition of the lime juice. If you prefer a slightly sweeter sauce, omit the lime.

Cardamom Pancakes with Morello Cherry Sauce-12

Cardamom Pancakes with Morello Cherry Sauce-16


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  • Posted February 28, 2014

    London Unattached Food

    What a great looking stack of pancakes! yum!!

  • Posted February 28, 2014


    Perfect stack of pancakes Tina! What I would do to get some of them now!

  • Posted February 28, 2014


    Beautiful pics Tina, and that cherry sauce sounds amazing!

  • Posted February 28, 2014


    Tina those look so scrumptious !

  • Posted March 1, 2014

    Karen Burns Booth

    A STUNNING recipe with GORGEOUS images Tina and such an indulgent idea for pancake day too! Karen

  • Posted March 1, 2014

    glamorous glutton

    I bet the cardamom is delicious in this. Great pics too. GG

  • Posted March 2, 2014

    Jac -Tinned Tomatoes (@tinnedtoms)

    They look heavenly! Slurp!

  • Posted March 3, 2014

    Nayna Kanabar

    Beautiful clicks and so drool worthy.I love morello cherry , these must taste awesome.

  • Posted March 3, 2014


    Oh my! They look divine Tina, off to pin them…
    Janie x

  • Posted March 3, 2014


    Love your addition of cardamom to the batter, very sophisticated. The sour cherry sauce sounds rather good too and your photo is lovely. I shall be posting my next pancake recipe tomorrow – assuming they turn out OK 😉

  • Posted March 4, 2014


    They’re absolutely fab Tina! Buttermilk sounds like perfect addition 😉

  • Posted March 4, 2014


    Good to see North American style pancakes with buttermilk. I miss these in the UK and I will definitely be making this recipe. I need this in my life! 🙂

  • Posted March 4, 2014

    Morgan @ Peaches, Please

    The pancakes look just beautiful. Also, I approve of the use of buttermilk. I use buttermilk for pretty much everything in which I can find a way to sneak it.

  • Posted March 6, 2014

    Deena Kakaya

    love this Tina. I love cardomon with sweet things, I have a weakness for cherries and both of them combined is a winner for me! I used this combination in porridge recently, but pancakes…mmm…xx

  • Posted March 6, 2014

    Eat Your Veg

    Delightful flavours going on here Tina, the cardomon is really something special but with the cherries too these have got to be nothing less than heavenly.

  • Posted March 10, 2014

    Sony’s kitchen

    Pancake looks gr8……. Love the cardoon flavor !

  • Posted March 11, 2014

    Fuss Free Helen

    Lovely Tina. I barely ever cook with cardamom, but can image it is lovely with the cherries.

  • Posted March 20, 2014


    ooh I love the scent of cardamom, these must taste divine

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