NZ Woman's Weekly

Perfect pikelets

I was hesitant to write about pikelets this week as I thought surely everyone knows how to make them. But then I realised I hadn’t made them since I was a child and on that occasion they turned out to be rather dismal little things, not worthy of another go.

Recently, reader Evelyn Peryman and I have been corresponding by mail. She had missed the Cornish pasty recipe in the magazine and wondered if I could send it to her. I posted it off and received three wonderful recipes in return, including this one for pikelets.

Evelyn writes, “A farmer’s wife gave me this recipe when I lived way up North, where John (my husband) ran a country school. She was on the school committee and the meetings were held in the schoolhouse, with supper afterwards. She put jam and cream on them.

“I made them almost every day, as by this time we had three small boys and the farmer across the road had three boys. As he had milking to do, I had six little boys to look after. They liked the pikelets without anything, fresh. My grandchildren and I made them also.”

I was down at my caravan when I received Evelyn’s letter and so out came the electric frying pan and away I went. I was rewarded with the most divine, puffy, golden pikelets I had ever tasted (the seagulls got the first few as my mixture was too thick and they were a bit hard to cook in the middle without burning).

Like Evelyn, I’m now making these for the kitchen full of hungry teenagers who appear regularly after school, and they are now on my list as a must-have plate for grandchildren’s birthday parties. Thank you very much to Evelyn.


  • 50g butter
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup milk, plus more if needed

1. Warm the butter and golden syrup together until butter melts.

2. Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda into a large bowl. Add the sugar. Make a well in the centre and mix in the beaten egg. Then, add the golden syrup and butter mixture, followed by the milk. Mix well and you should have a mixture which will easily drop off a spoon. If not, add more milk. I added about 2 tbsp more.

3. Use an electric frying pan if you have one, or a frying pan/griddle pan, and heat it to a medium temperature. Grease with a little butter then drop 1 tbsp of the mixture onto the pan, leaving room for it to spread. When little bubbles begin to appear on the surface, flip pikelet and cook until golden.

4. Serve immediately as they are best eaten hot. If you are taking the pikelets somewhere to enjoy later, smear each one with a little jam and top with a dab of whipped cream.

Do you have a Nana recipe you’d like to share with me? I’d love to hear about it. Email me at: or write to Nana’s Pantry, NZWW, PO Box 90119, Victoria St West, Auckland 1142.

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