I am a couple of days late for Shrove Tuesday, the annual day when Twitter and Facebook come alive with pancakes – as well as being a day to celebrate before the austerity of your Lenten sacrifices, if you’re into that sort of thing. Like a good Church of England girl, I dutifully made pancakes on Tuesday night – and it is this blueberry, lemon and coconut extravaganza that I’ll be sharing here. We had them for dinner, even though is probably best served as a dessert. But we’re both 44 years old, we both moved out of our parents’ homes quite some time ago, and if we want to have sweet pancakes for dinner, we damn well will. Hell, you don’t even have to reserve pancake consumption for Shrove Tuesday. What a miserable existence that would be. Pancakes are one of the rare dishes that works equally well for breakfast, lunch and dinner so nobody should feel restricted by archaic religious instruction.

With this recipe, the batter can be used for sweet or savoury pancakes. You can make up the batter, let it rest and then make the blueberry and lemon accompaniments – and then cook the pancakes and assemble it all to serve. Or make the batter and use it as a base for whatever pancakes take your fancy.

Pancakes with blueberries, lemon and coconut


For the batter

1 cup plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

25g melted butter

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoon coconut yoghurt (optional – this probably won’t work with savoury pancakes!)

1 tablespoon lemon juice (again, optional, depending on what you’re planning to put on your pancakes)

1 cup milk

For the blueberry topping

100g fresh blueberries

2 tablespoons caster sugar

Dash of vanilla essence or extract

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Desiccated coconut to serve

For the lemon syrup

4 tablespoons lemon syrup or 4 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons caster sugar (or a little more if you’re making the syrup with lemon juice)

Dash of vanilla essence or extract


  1. For the pancakes, put the flour and baking powder into a bowl or mixing jug and make a well in the middle.
  2. Add the melted butter and beaten egg to the well in the flour and mix it until it has been absorbed into the flour. You should have a thick, goopy, yellow paste with some of the flour still unincorporated.
  3. Add the yoghurt (if you’re adding a hint of coconut to the mix) and milk until you have a thick, creamy, velvety batter. Set aside.
  4. If you’re going down the coconut route, toast a few tablespoons of desiccated coconut in a dry pot until golden brown. This is a very quick process so don’t get distracted. Set aside.
  5. For the blueberry topping, put them in a pot with the sugar, vanilla and lemon juice. Over a medium hit, toss the blueberries around the pot until the sugar, vanilla and lemon juice have mixed into a syrup and the colour is starting to leech out of the berries and the liquid is pink. Remove from the heat immediately and set aside.
  6. For the lemon syrup, put all ingredients into a pot and mix well over a medium heat. If you’re not cheating with a store-bought lemon syrup as a base, you may need a little more sugar to get your preferred consistency. When you’re happy with the syrup, set aside.
  7. To cook the pancakes, melt butter over a high heat and pour in batter to your preferred size. It will be ready to turn when it’s starting to look cooked around the edges and it’s starting to bubble.
  8. Flip over and it really only needs about 30 seconds and it should be ready to serve.
  9. Drizzle lemon syrup over a pancake and top with the cooked blueberries. Garnish with toasted coconut and a little lemon zest if you’re feeling frisky.

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