The Ultimate Pancake Recipe from the Brand New Mountain Café Cookbook: A Kiwi in the Cairngorms

The ultimate pancakes recipe is available from brand new cook book, The Mountain Café Cookbook: A Kiwi in the Cairngorms, published this month by Kitchen Press.

The recipe is adapted by Kirsten Gilmour, chef and owner of the iconic Mountain Café in Aviemore, from one passed down to her from her grandmother.

Kirsten said:

“This was originally my nana's pikelet recipe, which I think she adapted from a copy of her mother's Edmonds Cookery Book. I loved making these with her. She would stand and supervise while I stood on a chair flipping away. My granddad and I would then sit at the kitchen table stuffing in hot pikelets with lashings of whipped cream and raspberry jam.”

The Mountain Café Cookbook: A Kiwi in the Cairngorms is the debut cookery book from chef and café owner, Kirsten Gilmour. Gilmour draws on her Kiwi roots to turn out contemporary dishes with an antipodean love for fresh and bold flavours.

With more than 130 recipes and luminescent photography by Paul Masson, readers will discover why Gilmour's breakfasts are legendary for fuelling up for a day in the mountains; what makes her salads so inventive and flavour-packed; and the secrets behind her indulgent, luxurious cakes and slices.

The book also tells the story of Gilmour's roundabout travels to Scotland – from rural New Zealand, to working as a chef in London to hiring out skis in the Cairngorms – and all the flavours picked up in between. As well as favourites from the cafe, The Mountain Café Cookbook contains recipes drawn from her grandparents and influenced by her travels, including everything from Sloe Gin & Bramble Salmon Salad; Butternut Chilli & Coconut Fritters; Smoked Fish Chowder; and Cider Sage Barbecue Chicken; to Chocolate & Coconut Brioche; Vegan Carrot, Fruit & Nut Cake; Cardamom Oranges; Badass Brownies; and Passionfruit Melting Moments.

All recipes are specially marked for special dietary requirements with additional tips for converting more dishes into gluten-free and vegan equivalents. With Gilmour's warm but straight-talking voice leading them through, readers will confidently be able to recreate dishes that taste just as good as the famous Mountain Café originals. 

The Mountain Café Cookbook: A Kiwi in the Cairngorms by Kirsten Gilmour is published in hardback by Kitchen Press Publishing on 14 February 2017 and will be available nationwide, priced at £20.

The Mountain Café is one of Scotland's best-loved cafes, having earned its stripes as the place for locals, tourists, climbers, bikers and skiers to eat in Aviemore, and now The Mountain Café is sharing the secrets of its favourite dishes in the new cookery book.

All usage of the recipes and images should be strictly credited with details of The Mountain Café Cookbook: A Kiwi in the Cairngorms by Kirsten Gilmour, which is published on 14 February.


Serves 4

Place a damp cloth under the mixing bowl while you are whisking – the bowl won't run away on you so you won't have to hold it so tight.
The batter can be made the night before and kept in the fridge.
When you add the butter to the pan it should not burn or go brown; if it does, the pan is too hot.
Never ever, ever make these in advance and try to reheat them. Nana will frown down upon you – it is a criminal offence not to eat them straight from the pan.
3 large eggs

145g caster sugar

300ml full fat milk

400g plain flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

10g salted butter

Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl and add the sugar.

Using a whisk, beat the absolute hell out of them (Nana's words would be, 'give them billio Kj!'). You want to beat until the mix is pale, light and fluffy – you could use an electric mixer if you have one. Now add the milk, flour and baking powder and whisk vigorously until you have a smooth batter.

Heat a heavy-bottomed non-stick frying pan till hot over a medium heat. Carefully drop half the butter into the pan and rub it around using a little kitchen paper, being careful not to burn yourself. Now the pan is greased and at temperature, drop in a small spoon of batter to make a test pancake. The first pancake is usually not great, but as the pan gets to an even heat they will cook to a lovely golden brown.

If the pan is hot enough, pour large spoonfuls of batter into the pan and cook until the underside is golden and you start to see bubbles forming on the top of the pancake. Then it's time to flip them and cook for another minute or so on the other side.

If the pancakes start to stick, re-grease the pan with the remaining butter using the method above.

Serve hot straight from the pan and maybe give them a try with our cardamom oranges.

Find out more about The Mountain Café at

Kitchen Press titles are distributed by BookSource. 

“This is a great big hug of a book, full of exciting flavours and reliable recipes.”

Sue Lawrence

“Kirsten has been serving her Kiwi inspired food for many years and here she shares her secrets for those delicious breakfasts, meals, cakes and drinks.  As a fellow New Zealander, I'm proud of her achievements!”

Peter Gordon

'I love a story of courage and determination, of good food and a room with a view - Kirsten and the Mountain Cafe have it all. A one-way ticket from New Zealand led the young Kiwi to the Cairngorms where her family recipes for mammoth cakes and hearty ranch-style soups put Aviemore on the culinary map. This is a living-talking book of food inspired by childhood memories, personal discovery and love of the outdoors. I recommend starting with Kirsten's breakfast ...'

Ghillie Basan, author and broadcaster


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