We always used to have a pikelet when I was a child, it seems though from the Wikipedia entry that pikelet is a term specific to the West Midlands.  Well, this makes me very proud.

A pikelet is a flatter crumpet, or a crumpet made without a crumpet ring. Those of us from the West Midlands know not to mess about when messing about is not needed.

The important thing is not to let your pan get too hot.  You want it just on a medium heat and keep it that way, turning down the heat when necessary. That way the bottom won’t get burned whilst the middle gets cooked.  Don’t turn it until is pretty much cooked and that way you get the maximum burst air bubbles which means maximum butter absorption. I helped the bubble bursting with the tines of a fork, gently probing the top of the bubbles.

This mixture makes about 26 pikelets.  You can eat some straight from the pan, the rest can be frozen for a speedy breakfast later in the week.  Just place back on a hot pan or in the toaster until warmed through.

500g strong bread flour
5g dried fast action yeast (aka easy bake or instant)
2 tsp salt
350ml warm milk
350ml warm water


Put the flour, yeast and salt into a bowl and mix well.  Add the warm water and milk and whisk until well combined.  Cover the bowl with cling film and set aside for about an hour until bubbling (it may take longer if the kitchen is cool).

Spoon ladlefuls onto a pan that is medium-hot.  Leave until the mixture is cooked all the way through.  You will see when this happens that the tops become a little drier than before.  Whilst they are cooking you can help burst the bubbles gently with a fork for maximum holes.  Turn the pikelet over and cook for a minute or so more.

Spread generously with butter and eat warm from the pan.

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63 thoughts on “Pikelets”

  1. Interesting! I gre up on pikelets too, but the Aussie version is more like a drop scone I guess. I’ll need to give these bad boys a whirl (purely for research purposes you understand lol)

  2. I’m with completecookbook – jam/marmalade would be a good addition. I’m originally from Sheffield and I’m sure we had pikelets when I was younger; maybe they stretched up to South Yorkshire or my mind is playing tricks. I’ve not had one for years, but they’re looking very nice.

    I’m not sure if this is just me/my browser – but from para 3 the text looks like it’s double-struck through.

  3. Ooh, a less fiddly form of crumpets sounds good to me. That plate piled high with them looks wonderful – they almost make me feel warmer imagining holding a hot one with dripping butter in my hands – yum.

  4. Hi
    Iam so glad to see all the comments about Pikelets.
    I have been having an on going argument with a friend from Manchester about them. He insists they are crumpets and I have the oposite view. As a child ( I am 70 now ) they were always pikelets. I do not know when they changed to muffins, but to me they will always be Piklets

    1. They are definitely pikelets, but they are not exclusive to the West Midlands – I grew up in Derby (East Midlands and they were always “pikelets.”

  5. I’m from East Yorkshire and I was brought up with pikelets. They are most certainly not muffins. I will grudgingly admit they might just possibly be crumpets, but not where I come from!

  6. North Derbyshire Here (as opposed to the southern Softies in Derby)
    Pikelets were and are a staple of my childhood (pre prepped ones) under the grill until crispy then Cheese on top and back under the grill then a crispy rasher broken over the top

    OMG going to have to go make some NOW!!!!!!

  7. Thank you so much for this recipe.I grew up in north yorkshire but pikelets are a fond childhood memory for me too and now living abroad I thought I’d lost them forever..I’ve got the mixture sitting by my stove right now and can’t wait for it to bubble to try some!!

  8. Blackcounty dave

    Pikelets originated from the welsh “pyglyd” ‘pitchy (bread) which passed inti the west midlands during the 17th and 18th centuary as welsh miners and families came into the “Blackcountry” to mine the vast coal fields there. Apart from minor recipe differences these spread into derbyshire and yorkshire carrying the same name. The crumpet has a similar yeast recipe but is cooked in a ring on the hot plate. This may have come about from mass production in the south where the ring makes casting the right quantity of batter on the hot plate and keeping seperation easier. Pikelets are round but uneven. The name and recipe has transfered to Australia and Americas recipies have become changed to where strong flour and yeast are not always used.

  9. Hi there, thanks for the recipe. I too am a Sheffield who had pikelets as a kid. These days I love em with butter n Marmite. I’m living in NZ now and looking forward to my breakie; another 30 of rising to wait

  10. I am going to try these tomorrow. I first had them at Betty’s in York before Christmas. When I went in search of a recipe I found silly Scottish pancakes/drop scones. (I’m Scottish I can say that) I have loads f recipes for them and that wasn’t what I had. Flat crumpets. Yip fits the bill. Scottish crumpets are a cross between a Pikelet and a large drop scone. Sheesh. I might start a Pinterest thing on ‘pan fried’ cakes

  11. I’m surprised there are no comments from Potteries folk on this subject. The pikelet is widely made and sold by the same shops that make North Staffordshire oatcakes. These are pancake like items made with a yeasty oat batter and cooked on large, gas heated griddles. The pikelet is normally considered a sweet item and is always available plain or with currants. They are eaten toasted with butter and maybe golden syrup or jam. Oatcakes are normally eaten with cheese, bacon and other breakfast items.

  12. Thank you for this recipe. Most of the recipes I found for pikelets were more like a batter for drop scones or scotch pancakes as they are sometimes called, Pikelets dripping with butter were a winter favourite especially in winter sat round the fire where they were often toasted

  13. I live in Ontario, Canada now, but grew up in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, and we ate pikelets like these. Never even heard of a crumpet until we came to N. America. Going to have try these!

  14. You are our saviour! This is the only actual pikelet recipe I could find online (the Aussie version sounds just like a pancake to me). I am going to try making these tomorrow, but was wondering: do you fry them in oil or butter?

    1. I am glad you have found the recipe. I use either oil or butter. I use butter for a good buttery flavour, but sometimes I prefer to use a light flavoured oil. It’s up to you. The key is to heat the pan on a low-medium heat with no fat for a while until it heats up. Then turn down to low once you put the spikelet batter in the pan. They need to cook slowly to get a good bake all the way through. Let me know how you get on. Kath

  15. Thank you! I used butter and cooked them on medium-low heat. It’s a bit tricky to control the heat on electric hob, but I think they turned out great. My yeast was maybe a tad too old or I didn’t have enough of it, but it eventually started bubbling after keeping it in a warm place. It was worth the wait! Here’s a couple of pictures: https://imgur.com/a/lBYbanR

  16. I’ve made this recipe quite a few times over the last couple of years, thank you for posting it!
    I’ve started doing them 50/50 brown flour and it gives a really nice depth of flavour.

    1. Ah yes, I did, there are so many names for that type of yeast. I have changed the recipe now to make sure no one else has the same trouble. You can use dried active but you do have to dissolve that one in a bit of water first as the pearls are too big to easily dissolve in the mix. If you are still attempting to make them at the moment you can dissolve 5g of the dried active yeast in a bit of water and add to the mixture and leave to ferment again. You can pop the mix in the fridge overnight and it will be ready to use in the morning. I hope this helps.

  17. I have tried so many recipes for homemade crumpets and pikelets, and every time I’m like “ugh I guess they’re fine” but these are amazing! Theyre light and thick and fluffy and rose well and didn’t burn before they were done and 👌😊
    I’m living where you can’t get crumpets and my appetite is properly satiated with a load more in the freezer! Thank you!

  18. I’m just waiting on my third batch of these to bubble this month. Amazing fresh from the pan and brilliant from the freezer. Love this recipe, thank you.

  19. I especially like that you don’t add sugar to the recipe. All the other recipes are sweet one. Thank you.

  20. Yes!.. I used to queue for these along with our oatcakes when I was a lad. Was a real front window job down the view in our village in the Potteries.

  21. Pikelets are much thinner versions of crumpets. They are certainly not crumpets. I wish we could purchase them in the US somewhere??? There one of my favorite things to eat when I visit my family in England and I just wish that Marks & Spencer‘s would sell them in the United States.

  22. I made these today, thank you for this quick and delicious recipe – my daughter said they were the best thing she’d ever tasted.

    BTW I’m from the North East and we’ve always called these pikelets. I thought they were a Yorkshire thing as we started getting them from Betty’s in York, but I’m glad to know they are from (and exist in this form) further than I realised.

      1. Based on what I know of slow fermenting bread in the fridge, they’ll probably be even tastier with a longer slower fermentation!

  23. Help please. I’ve tried turning heat up and down but always doughy in the middle and not many holes. Am I still cooking too high or have I got too wet batter? It looks the same as the pictures before I ladle it in.

    1. Hi Sarah, They can be a challenge to get right. I cook them on a low – medium heat. Cook on one side until the top is dry and then flip and cook a little longer. But I also find that if I make them ahead and then toast them that works even better to make sure there is no doughy centre.

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