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Pancakes for Shrove Tuesday

The Tradition Explained!

Eating pancakes is an old Catholic tradition that came from the simple fact that in the Middle Ages during Lent, eggs, sugar, and butter were not allowed. What else is one to do than make pancakes? In addition to this, most people were already clearing out their pantry of perishable dairy foods and meats so it just makes sense to cook a big ol' breakfast for dinner, keeps things interesting. I have two pancake recipes, one I use during the holidays that has pumpkin in it, and the other is a recipe that I use for pancakes & waffles! These are seriously the best, and not just because they are mine, but because they make deliciously fluffy pancakes.

Did You Know?

Around 604AD, Pope St. Gregory wrote to St. Augustine of Canterbury saying, "we must abstain from flesh, meat, and from all things that come from flesh, as milk, cheese, and eggs." These fasting rules governed the Church for many years and thus became the creative way of emptying the refrigerator with pancakes for Shrove Tuesday.

Shrove Tuesday Prayer

Lord, give us grace to inaugurate with holy fasting the defenses of Christian warfare, so that we who are to fight against spiritual wickedness, may be helped and strengthened by self-denial.

This is an Aquila recipe that was handed down to us from my husband's family. Every Saturday morning they would wake up early and make these together along with bacon and eggs. The smell of a big breakfast and family time in the kitchen are fond memories that he has not only shared with me in story telling, but in cooking our own Saturday morning breakfasts together.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Bake Time: 10 minutes

Yields: 6 servings


  • 2 eggs, yolk and whites separated whip egg whites put aside

  • 2 cups buttermilk

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • 2 tsps vanilla

  • 1 3/4 cups unbleached flour

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 2 tsps baking powder

Collect all of your ingredients and let's get started!

Take the eggs and separate the yolks into a mixing bowl then set aside.

Grab the egg whites and beat them in another bowl with your hand beater until nice and fluffy.

Stage One: Bubbly but not ready yet!

Stage Two: Getting there but not foamy enough to hold a shape yet.

Stage Three: When your egg whites looks like Mount Crumpet, then you have attained thick and foamy perfection.

Set that aside and pour 1/4 cup vegetable oil into a measuring cup.

Add the vegetable oil into the bowl with the two egg yolks.

Pour in 2 cups of that creamy buttermilk.

Then add 2 tsps vanilla to the wet ingredients.

Since your beaters are already out just give that a good mixing.

Measure out 1 3/4 cups unbleached flour. For a healthier version of this, we sometimes do half whole wheat flour and half regular.

Sprinkle 1/2 tsp baking soda into the flour.

And then 2 tsps baking powder.

Whisk all of the dry ingredients together until they are thoroughly combined and slowly pour that into the wet ingredients while you mix it with the hand beater.

Have to get a good action shot in there while the flour is flying!

Mix the ingredients until it is smooth, but we aren't finished yet! We still have one more step which is always designated to me.

The egg whites! Put them in the bowl with your batter and you are going to fold them in.

Folding is very important, we don't want to beat, whip, or stir them because we want to keep the airiness of the egg whites. By gently folding we keep the right consistency so that we get those light and fluffy pancakes that we all like.

It is important to note that with pancakes, we don't want big chunks of egg whites so continue to fold until it is well incorporated.

Now you are ready to pour them into a skillet. This pairs well with cajun food, zydeco music, and Mardi Gras masks!

This is the best part, add your own flair to those delicious pancakes.

My favorite toppings:

  • Butter

  • Mixed Berries

  • Syrup

You could also do:

  • Chocolate chips

  • Whipped cream

  • Peanut butter

  • Nutella

  • Powdered sugar

  • Bananas

Did you make this recipe? If so I would love to see it, drop a picture in the comment or send it to me on social media Facebook @HisGirlSunday or Instagram @steffani_hisgirlsunday.

For more resources on building Catholic tradition, check out the blog section of my website or follow me on Facebook to see what Catholic things I am doing to make our day to day life more joyful.

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