Skonsa – The Icelandic Version of American Pancakes?

The history of the skonsa is a mystery and is hard to look for. Even the word’s etymology is a mystery – it could be derived from the English word scone. Still, the Icelandic skonsa is nothing like the scone. Adding to the confusion, skonsa also means a closet or a dark room.

What is the skonsa? Well, it is a bit like the American pancake, sometimes made from leftover porridge. Skonsa is, however, nothing like the Icelandic pancake.

It is often eaten during afternoon tea (or coffee break, whatever you want to call it).

It is delicious with butter and cheese, especially when still warm, but you can eat it with whatever you want. It is, however, not a custom in Iceland to eat it with sugar or syrup.

Photo: Veitingageirinn


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar (some only put a few tablespoons)
  • 2 cups oats (some leave out the oats)
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-3 cups milk (or as much as needed; begin with adding one cup and then add more. The batter is better if it is thicker)
  • 1/2-1 tsp salt
Photo: Hafnarfréttir


Add butter to a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add a ladle of batter. Wait until the top of the skonsa bubbles, then turn it over and cook until both sides are golden brown. The skonsa will rice about ½”.

It is also possible for those unable to bake them to buy skonsur in the store.

Photo: Gæðabakstur

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