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Magic Pancakes


This recipe uses basic science to fascinating effect – colourchanging pancakes, packed with goodness, all thanks to grated beetroot and a few common ingredients. It’s the perfect treat for budding chemists everywhere. Watch how the lusciously pink batter darkens or lightens, then see more magic happen in the pan. If only all cookery was so dramatic!

150g (5oz) plain flour
50g (2oz) wholemeal plain flour
1 egg
125ml (4fl oz) milk
2 tablespoons sunflower oil, plus
extra for frying
75g (3oz) finely grated fresh
4 tablespoons soured cream, plus
extra (optional) to serve
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
225g (7 ½ oz) fresh blueberries
cooked bacon, to serve (optional)

Place both flours in a bowl. Stir in the egg, milk and oil until you have a smooth batter. Add the grated beetroot to create a lovely pink colour.  Now transfer half the batter to a different bowl. To the first bowl add the soured cream and baking powder. The batter will become marginally more pinky red.

To the second bowl add the bicarbonate of soda. After a few minutes, you’ll notice the colour darken to a purply pink.

Divide the blueberries evenly between the 2 batters and stir them in.  Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and smear with a little sunflower oil. Use a tablespoon to add dollops of batter to the pan – depending on the size of your pan, you might fi t 3 or 4 dollops on at a time. You’ll see bubbles popping on the surface. After 1–2 minutes, when the bubbles ease off and the pancakes lose their gloss, flip them over and fry for a further minute or so until browned.

The bicarbonate pancakes will change from purple to yellow, while the baking powder pancakes will still be a violent pink. Enjoy them warm, with extra soured cream and bacon if you like.

You could make this recipe dairyfree by using soya milk and soya yogurt in place of the cows’ milk and soured cream.

Sensationally Sugar Free: Delicious sugar-free recipes for healthier eating every day by Susanna Booth is out now.