[VIDEO] Ham, cheese and spinach pancakes

A very hungry little boy desperate for his lunch – and hence a slightly frenetic daddy – means that this may not be our smoothest video and you will quite possibly be left with two key questions when watching it. Firstly, exactly how many times does Archie say “more ham” in the video? And quite what was going on with the string pull in my zip-up top?!

As for the pancakes themselves, I lived in France for many years and to this day still use the exact same recipe that I was randomly given by a charming old lady when I was 20 years old and thumbing through cookbooks in a large book store in Lille. I wanted to make proper French pancakes for my French girlfriend at the time (I know, snow to the Eskimos and all that!), and had two books open on crèpe recipes. She tapped me on my shoulder and told me to keep it simple. “Cinq,trois, trois”, she said. 500ml milk, 300g flour and 3 eggs. Sixteen years on and the urban myth in my head says she disappeared in a puff of smoke. Even allowing for exaggeration, the reality is that her simple recipe has stood me in very good stead ever since.

Pancakes are surprisingly quick and easy to make and offer a very interesting alternative to simple sandwiches. They can, of course, be filled pretty well however you want to fill them and are also extremely easy to chew, making them ideal even for younger babies. This batter makes six pancakes. The intention is always to freeze one or two plain ones(they do freeze very well) but somehow the lure of using them in a sweet dessert usually means that their attempted journey from pan to freezer is a futile one.

Ham, cheese and spinach pancakes
Preparation time around 10 minutes. Allow 3 or 4 minutes to cook each pancake.
The batter mix here is for 6 large (25cm) pancakes. I am being slightly vague about the quantities of ham, cheese and spinach as this is a little bit down to personal taste.

340ml milk (I have made these with Alpro soya milk when Archie was dairy allergic and they worked extremely well).
200g plain flour
2 large eggs
Cooked spinach (I also use fresh if I have it. It wilts quickly in the heat of the pancake).
Good quality cooked ham.
Grated mature or extra-mature cheese.
Vegetable oil
A little butter for cooking

You will need a large (22-25cm/ 8-9 inch) non-stick frying pan

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, flour and egg until you get a very smooth batter with no lumps in it. Add a drop of vegetable oil. This helps prevent the pancakes from sticking in the pan.
  2. Heat your pan on a high heat. When it is very hot, add a drop of oil and a small cube of butter. As soon as the butter has melted, swirl the oil round the pan. Do not let the butter burn.
  3. Immediately pour in some batter into the middle of the pan, using a ladel, a small glass or a measuring jug (approximately 135ml).
  4. Swirl the batter around the pan until it covers the entire base of the pan.
  5. Put the pan on the heat and cook until the pancake starts to go golden brown underneath (probably around 45 seconds).
  6. Turn the pancake over and cook for a further 30 – 45 seconds.
  7. Turn the pancake back over (this means that the “prettier” side will be on the outside of the pancake.
  8. Sprinkle on a good amount of grated cheese and add the spinach and ham.
  9. Fold the pancake into a square “envelope” by folding four straight edges around the pancake filling (this is easier to understand on the video!!).
  10. Leave the pancake cook for a further 30 seconds while the cheese melts then turn it over for a further 30 seconds.
  11. Your pancake is now cooked. Serve immediately.


  1. Izzy says "I want to have it! I want to cook it in a frying pan!!" thumbs up from us again honey xx

  2. Made them for Izzy at lunchtime with deseeded chopped tomatoes lightly fried with pesto and she scoffed the lot and loved them!! Thanks Nick xx

  3. Looks amazing! I shall certainly be trying this one :)

  4. Yum! Bother, I was going to make muffins but think I might make these today instead. We use rice milk and I think I may replace the ham with bacon (Husbot is fussy, he likes bacon but not ham) and of course no cheese, but I'm sure they'll still be very very tasty!
    Muffins will have to wait til I have located a muffin pan, unfortunately!

  5. Love the Mmm mmm mmm noises at the end and I agree – it looked scrummy!

  6. She most definitely is a fan of both of you 😉 xx

  7. Hi Nick, it's been a long time since I tried making pancakes. Happily – thanks to your recipe and video – today was my first ever success with them! And Jake who hasn't eaten properly for a few days wolfed them down too. He's not into meat so I mixed the spinach with a bit of pesto and added a dollop of Philadelphia. Yum yum!!!!

    • That story warmed my heart Tammy, for obvious reasons… great to hear that they helped get Jake back on track. As I said in the text, this is a fail-safe recipe which has stood me in good sted for a very long time…

  8. Archie's best performance yet. I'm glad he's not the only toddler out there who is obsessed with "wiping". And look at him stirring the mixture! Right, off to make some batter before R wakes up so we can have pancakes for snack time.

    • Sounds like Archie and R would get along brilliantly!! Lucky her having them for snacks! Let me know if they go down well…

  9. Pancakes aren't just for Pancake day are they?! I am so going to do this with my Lil' H this week. Loving the blog! Cx

  10. Tried these for lunch today and they were delicious, my hubby and daughter loved them too (well except for the spinach which got left behind!!) Never tried savoury pancakes before but definitely converted to trying something other than lemon and maple syrup!

    • Great, even better that they were a success for the whole family!!

  11. Hi Nick, I had great fun making pancakes with my 1 year old this evening. Unfortunately my wife had misinterpretated the ratios flour 500g, milk 300g, but after a little adjustment we had enough mix to make about 12 pancakes, which we all enjoyed, including the dogs which are also enjoying "baby led weaning". Looking forward to trying another of the under 15 minute recipes. This time I will actually read the instructions and quanties myself to avoid expanding the waistline any further.

    • That really made me smile, Mark! The great thing about the recipes on this blog is that they usually forgive miscalculations with the ingredients… I must say though that 12 pancakes is a lot!! Lucky dogs though… I don’t doubt that they are loving BLW too! Thanks for commenting and I hope you all (including the dogs) enjoy other recipes from here…

  12. That's a great video! That made my day a lot easier! thank you

  13. Thanks Anneliese, lovely to see you here!

  14. I really like the sound of that filling! <makes note to copy!!!> xx

  15. Izzy is turning into my number one fan… or is she Archie’s number one fan??!


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