Pönnukökur (Icelandic Pancakes)


Traditions for the holidays are a must with me and boy do we have a lot of traditions. Sometimes too may to count! I find myself trying hard to incorporate not only one culture but about 6. Yep I am planning for carrying on traditions that are Icelandic, Scottish, Russian, Ukrainian, German and Irish. The best way I can do this is through the mixture of foods and beverages we serve during our celebrations.

Yule is a time for family and fun and doing things together. As a child I remember being at my Amma’s house and making all of the Icelandic foods. I remember the piles of Pönnukökur, Rosettes, and the many layered cake; Vínarterta.

Although I do still make Rosettes and Vínarterta one of mine and my children’s favorites is making Pönnukökur. These thin, crepe-like Icelandic pancakes are traditionally served at Yule and are sprinkled with sugar (I like to add cinnamon), or you can add freshly whipped cream along with some fresh preserves or freshly cut up fruit. The recipe below is one that my Amma has shared with us, if you are not a fan of the almond extract it can just be eliminated from the recipe, however to me it wouldn’t be the same without it!

(Icelandic Pancakes)

1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cups flour
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 to 3 drops of almond extract
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups milk
½ half of a stick (1/8 lb.) of melted butter.

Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. In another mixing bowl beat the eggs,
milk, butter, sour cream, vanilla and almond extract.

Gradually add the ingredients together to make a smooth thin batter.

Let the batter stand for 30 minutes, to let everything settle.

To cook, there is a special pan that you can purchase from Iceland, along with a spatula. However you are more than capable in making them in a typical frying pan, as long as you keep the amount of batter thin at the bottom of the pan.


Here is the pan (very low sides).

It is key that when you pour the batter into the pan, you need to rotate the pan, (the rotation helps the batter spread thinly and quickly over the surface).

A trick to keeping these thin pancakes from sticking around the edge is to use a spatula to skim around the outer thin edge of the pancake from the pan (right after rotating).

Once the bubbles start forming in the middle and out, or until light golden brown (one the reverse side), flip the pancake over. The first side usually is about 10-20 seconds, and the other side is about half of that. DO NOT LEAVE the pan, these cook quickly.

Once cooked, flip it on a plate to sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and roll up tightly or stack on a plate for folding in whipped cream and preserves or fruit.

Some people get even more creative and put on other items like Nutella or ice cream.

I found this cute video of someone making Pönnukökur, just in case there are those visual learners. Plus the lady is too cute! Video can be found at: http://vimeo.com/18118408

Here is a Link to a cool website about Iceland: icelandwantstobeyourfriend.com



The recipe book of Jodi Webb (AOR)  from her Amma: Ingaborg Burgess (Hallson)




1 reply
  1. Donna Crozier says:

    Thank you for this excellent recipe. I have not made Icelandic Pancakes (Pönnukökur) for a long time. These are very much like the ones my Amma made and my mother made. I am making them for an Icelandic Christmas children’s party this weekend. I easily doubled the recipe and enjoyed the process. Bless, Bless. Donna

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