Pancakes for profit | Woman in Real Life:The Art of the Everyday

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pancakes for profit

As you know, yesterday was Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Tuesday as it is generally known in our house.

As kids, my siblings and I were always excited about Pancake Tuesday, not just because of the pancakes we had for dinner, but because those pancakes had money in them!

I’m not sure where this tradition came from to be honest, and I can’t find a whole lot about it on the Internet.

But, I did find this interesting account from a woman in Newfoundland. And, seeing as my parents are from nearby Nova Scotia, I imagine the tradition is much the same.

Maybe my mom and some of my Newfoundland and Nova Scotia friends can weigh in on this one.

It seems that there is a whole list of items you can put in the pancakes in Newfoundland. I’m not big on the nail, which apparently indicates impending death. Yikes!

Anyway, my kids are just as excited about Pancake Tuesday nowadays. Only difference is, we now have one and two dollar coins in Canada, so the pancake cash can add up. I had to gently remind them yesterday that it is more about fun than about accumulating lots of money.

As I am preparing the pancakes, I only put money in the first four to six. And, I keep track of where the money is so that both kids end up with the same amount ($3.20 this year).

Oh, and in case you are wondering, I scrub the coins thoroughly first. I remember when I got old enough to ask my mom that question!

Here is the (vegan) pancake recipe that my husband and I have developed over the years.

When I was a kid, I ate my pancakes with corn syrup, and then I got all shaky afterwards. This recipe is a little healthier and I serve it with Earth Balance margarine and a little bit of real maple syrup.

Vegan "Buttermilk" Pancakes

by Joann MacDonald
Keywords: breakfast snack vegan vegetarian nut-free blueberries

  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • 2 1/2 cups non-dairy milk
  • 2 1/2 cups light spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed combined with 3 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries


Mix the vinegar into the milk. Set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, brown sugar and salt.

Stir in the flax/water mix, the milk/vinegar mix and the oil.

Gently fold in the blueberries.

Heat a griddle or fry pan. If you are using a griddle, set it at 375°F.

Spray the griddle or pan with cooking spray.

Spoon batter onto the griddle or pan using 1/4 cup measure.

Turn once when bubbles come to surface and edges are slightly dry. Be patient (unlike me)!

Serve with margarine and maple syrup.

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  1. This is so much fun! I have never heard of money in pancakes,, but I always enjoy learning about new traditions. I am pinning this for next year. Let me know if you learn anymore about the origin.

    1. Yes, give it a try. It is fun. I talked to my mom about it yesterday, and she doesn't remember the purpose. Her background is Irish, so I imagine that's where it comes from. I will let you know if I hear more!

  2. Oh, this is great, and now I want to make pancakes just to bury treasures inside them! It's like getting the baby in the king cake, but much more valuable. :)

    1. I didn't know about the baby in the king cake. Interesting!

  3. Heh, I have also never heard of this tradition! Just as well the pancakes are light and the coins are dark, otherwise someone would surely end up with some broken teeth!
    Also, YIKES to the nail! Definitely high on my list of things I could not be pleased to find inside my food! :O

    1. That's why I restrict the coins to only a few pancakes, and tell the kids to take really small bites! My daughter is so paranoid, she picks the pancakes apart with her hands. :)