Secret to the perfect pancake is discovered

Maths students from the University of Sheffield have swapped calculus for the kitchen by developing a formula to prepare the perfect pancake.

A pancake topped with berries and ice creamIn a collaboration with Meadowhall Shopping Centre, students from the University's Maths Society (SUMS) developed, trialled and tested a formula which enables pancake-lovers across the world to rustle-up pancakes to their own personal preference, taking into account the number of pancakes required, thickness and pan size.

Whether you're feeding a hungry family of six or simply wishing to treat yourself on Shrove Tuesday, the formula which has been turned into a calculator below will help you prepare the perfect pancake feast.

Tested by chefs at Meadowhall's Frankie and Benny's restaurant, the formula translates to:

Perfect pancake formula

Gaby Thompson, President of the University of Sheffield’s Maths Society (SUMS), and one of the formula's creators, said: "Cooking is full of scientific and mathematical formulas, so when Meadowhall approached us to see if we’d like to join in the fun, we jumped at the chance.

"Cooking is a fun and innovative way to demonstrate how maths can be used and explored in everyday life and we hope by developing this formula it will encourage more people to engage with the subject and help to combat maths phobia."

Perfect pancake calculator

Tell us how many pancakes you want to make, your preferred pancake thickness and the size of your pan and we'll tell you exactly what you need.

The quantities above are based on this Delia Smith recipe and are meant only as a guide.

Additional information

The University of Sheffield
With almost 25,000 of the brightest students from around 120 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.
A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.
Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.
In 2011 it was named University of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards and in the last decade has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.
Sheffield has five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.
Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline and Siemens, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.


For more information please contact:

Sean Barton
Media Relations Assistant
University of Sheffield
0114 222 9852