Nordic countries have an affinity for licorice, both the common sweet type and the sweet and salty. Licorice powder, derived from licorice root, can be tricky to find but it’s an interesting product for adding that distinctive aniseed flavour to sweet or savoury dishes.






Skill level

Average: 4.8 (3 votes)


  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 375 ml (13 fl oz/1½ cups) milk (or oat, rice or nut milk)
  • 230 g (8 oz/1¾ cups) spelt flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 75 g (2¾ oz) halved and pitted fresh or thawed cherries, plus a handful of extra fresh cherries to serve
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil or butter
  • 200 g (7 oz) mascarpone

Licorice sugar

  • 1 tsp licorice powder (adjust this amount to your liking depending on how much you like licorice!)
  • 1 tbsp light or dark brown sugar

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Preheat the oven to 120°C (250° F/Gas ½) to keep the pancakes warm until you’re ready to serve.

To make the batter, mix together the beaten egg and milk in a bowl. Gradually add the spelt flour, whisking as you go, then whisk in the baking powder and salt to form a dense, thick batter. Stir through the cherries and set aside.

For the liquorice sugar, mix together the ingredients in a small bowl.

Heat a little oil or butter in a small frying pan or crêpe pan over a medium–high heat. Add 4 tablespoons or so of batter to the pan to form a cake about 2 cm (¾ in) thick and cook for 1–2 minutes, until bubbles start to appear on the surface and the edges are crispy and easy to lift up with a spatula. Flip over and continue cooking for a further 1–2 minutes. Stack the cooked pancakes on a plate and transfer to the oven to keep warm while you cook the rest.

To serve, sprinkle the sugar over the pancakes, dollop over the mascarpone and top with some fresh cherry halves.


Recipes and images from Nordic Light by Simon Bajada (Hardie Grant Books, $49.99, hbk).

View our Readable feasts review and more recipes from the book here.