Skip to Content

National Pancake Day (February 13)

National Pancake Day is best known for its promotional association with the International House Of Pancakes (IHOP). The observance changes annually, with some years falling in September, and others falling in February.

For 2024, National Pancake Day will observed on Tuesday, February 13th. Stay tuned for the 2025 date, it varies!

National Pancake Day

On IHOPs National Pancake Day, hungry pancake lovers can visit participating IHOP locations and get a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes. The tradition has been going since at least 2006, but some reports state that it may go back even farther. This observance is the date that usually occurs in February, although the first International House Of Pancakes opened its doors in July of 1958 in Burbank, California.

While celebrating pancakes at IHOP is one date that you can look forward to, other sources refer to another day as National Pancake Day. September 26th is another day to pay homage to your favorite breakfast food.

Believe it or not, there is even a third day that is often unofficially referred to as “Pancake Day”. Shrove Tuesday, or more commonly known as Fat Tuesday, is also deemed Pancake Day, thanks to an old Christian tradition where stacks of fresh pancakes were consumed prior to Lent as a way to use up their eggs, butter, and milk. If you want to celebrate Shrove Tuesday as Pancake Day, you can do that every year on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.

A Brief History Of The Pancake

Pancakes, or some variation of them, date back to 600 BC, when an ancient Greek poet wrote about them. But many cultures had some form of the pancake using similar ingredients. It was quite common in the early days for humans to prepare some form of flat cake made from a starchy, flour-like batter. Excavations have discovered ancient millet pancakes, and 15th century cook books describe how to make English panecakes or ponkakes in a pan over a fire.

Pancakes likely continued to be a common food around the world in part due to the fact that they are both easy to make, with accessible ingredients, and even today, they are still an affordable meal compared to some. They are also particularly filling, can be used in a variety of ways, and are easy to transport. While pancakes are generally considered an inexpensive food associated with the working class, many countries and cultures use them to celebrate special occasions, such as weddings in Ethiopia and North India.

How To Make Pancakes

Pancakes are simple to make from scratch and require just a few ingredients.

  • Flour: Flour is the base of the pancake batter and can be made from any type of flour you prefer – all purpose, buckwheat, oat, almond, even coconut flour.
  • Baking powder: This leavens the batter, allowing the pancakes to become fluffy.
  • Eggs: The egg moistens and binds the batter.
  • Milk and Butter: Two of the three original ingredients, these add moisture to the batter, and make them rich in flavor.
  • Sugar: A spoonful of sugar adds just the right amount of sweetness to your pancake batter.
  • Salt: Always add a pinch to enhance the flavor of your flapjacks.

Here are a few of our favorite pancake recipes for you to try!

And as a bonus, here are over 50 Pancake Toppings for the Best Breakfast Ever!

How To Celebrate National Pancake Day

  • Make a fresh batch of homemade pancakes for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Or all three!
  • See if you can come up with your own favorite pancake topping combination.
  • Order pancakes at your favorite restaurant.
  • If its on IHOPs national pancake day, go get a free stack of buttermilk pancakes!
  • Look for freebies and deals for pancakes at your local restaurants.
  • Look for a recipe for a pancake from a different culture and make it.
  • Make an instagrammable stack of pancakes and share a picture on social media with the hashtag #NationalPancakeDay.

See our Big List Of National Food Holidays & Observances

Read These Next!

Heidi Deal
Latest posts by Heidi Deal (see all)