13 flipping fun facts you didn't know about Pancake Day

Pancake Day 2023 falls on Tuesday, February 21, we've delved into the history books to bring you the ultimate pancake case file

pancake with gold leaf black berry fruit and wobbly jelly
(Image credit: Tefal)

Pancake Day - or Shrove Tuesday - this year falls on February 21st. While you've been dreaming of gooey syrup and nutty chocolate pancakes, we've been digging up some delicious facts about the day.

As it turns out, there is a lot more to Pancake Day than just about sugary delights from breakfast to supper. So, before you whip out your best non-stick frying pan and stuff yourself with copious quantities of egg, flour and milk mixture, here are a few flipping fun facts about the fantastic day that is Shrovetide...

pancake with gold leaf black berry fruit and wobbly jelly

(Image credit: TBC)
  1. The first pancake recipe appeared in an English cookbook in the 15th century. Long live the pancake!
  2. The largest pancake ever made and flipped measured 15m wide, 2.5cm deep, weighed 3 tonnes and contained a staggering 2 million calories! We dare not think about how many we are going to eat...
  3. Mardi Gras carnivals are celebrated on Shrove Tuesday all over the world - and the event is sometimes referred to as 'Fat Tuesday'.
  4. It is estimated that us Brits use a staggering 52 million eggs on Pancake Day - 22 million more than on a regular day.
  5. Pancakes were originally invented as a way of using up all the leftover fatty and rich foods before Lent began on Ash Wednesday.
  6. It is customary in France to touch the handle of the frying pan and make a wish while the pancake is turned, while holding a coin in one hand.
  7. On average we consume two pancakes per person on Pancake Day. As a nation, it means we get through 117 million pancakes in one day!
  8. The record for the highest pancake toss is 9.47m (31ft 1in). It was made in New York back in 2010.
  9. Pancake races derive from a 15th century housewife in Olney who was so busy making pancakes that she forgot the time. When she heard the church bells ringing for mass she ran out of her house, still carrying her pan and pancake.
  10. The largest number of recorded pancake flips was 140 flips in 60 seconds during an event in Sydney in 2012
  11. The world's most expensive pancake was made at Opus in Manchester costing a whopping £144! For that you got a taste of edible gold leaf, finest champagne and dosing of wobbly jelly.
  12. The largest number of people tossing pancakes recorded is 890 and was achieved at an event organised by the University of Sheffield in 2012. 930 people participated, but 40 people were disqualified for not managing to flip their pancake or dropping it.
  13. In Sweden you can order Blodplättar, which are pancakes made of pork blood.
Thea Babington-Stitt
Managing Editor

Thea Babington-Stitt is the Managing Editor for Ideal Home. Thea has been working across some of the UK’s leading interiors titles for around 10 years.

She started working on these magazines and websites after graduating from City University London with a Masters in Magazine Journalism. Before moving to Ideal Home, Thea was News and Features Editor at Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc and Country Homes & Interiors.