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Updated: Apr 5, 2020

There isn't a pancake like a pancake!

You know you would find countless kinds of cakes all around the world. The same goes for the Czech Republic. For some people, it can be confusing, indeed, how to translate certain sweet Czech dishes such as ‘palačinky’or ‘lívance’. Let’s have a look what differences there are between these Czech and English ‘cakes’, and what is typical Czech and English.


1 PALAČINKY = crepes /kreɪp/

These are light thin pancakes. You can serve them rolled or folded. The word itself originates from French > crêpe "a curled/wrinkled pancake".

In the Czech Republic, they are usually spread with jam and sour cream but can be served with fresh fruit, cream, chocolate, nutella or nuts. It is always a matter of personal preference.

2 LÍVANCE = pancakes /ˈpænˌkeɪks/

Pancakes are usually thicker and are neither folded nor rolled. In the UK they are called Scotch pancakes.

3 BRAMBORÁKY = potato cakes

They are made from grated potatoes, diced salami/ham, eggs, flour, milk, garlic and marjoram. It is very often eaten on its own but can be served as a side. They are fried in a lot of fat but they are delicious and crispy.

4 BRAMBOROVÉ PLACKY = mashed potato flatbread

This is an old Czech recipe. It is so simple to make. The only ingredients you need are: potatoes, flour, eggs and salt.


1 SCONES /skəʊns/ or /skɒns/

You can get them with you tea almost everywhere in Great Britain. It forms part of the cream tea which is afternoon tea, light meal, consisting of tea scones, clotted cream (hustá smetana), and jam.

2 CRUMPETS /ˈkrʌmpɪts/

These may resemble our ‘lívance’ but they are a bit different. They have wholes inside so that if you spread butter on top of them, it leaks through.

You can make them from unsweetened batter of water/milk, flour and yeast.


In addition, there are a few food items I’d like to highlight. All of them are connected with a word ‘pudding‘ /ˈpʊdɪŋ/. The image the Czech people get is a bit different from the British ones.

This would be then more similar to British custard. >>>


This is served as a side dish. It is made of eggs, flour, milk or water. It can be filled with mashed potatoes, beef, gravy and vegetables. As mentioned earlier, it can be part of a traditional Sunday roast.


Do you love 'jelítka' or 'kroupáky' and are afraid of not having them for a long time when you move to the UK? Haha…I've got the good news for you - they have them too.

If you are interested in differences between American and British English, have a look at this link where you can read more about language and cultural variations:

  • If there is something missing, you are unsure of or would like to know more about, please, let me know.

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