What’s the link between Maths and Pancakes?

February 13, 2018 11:55 am

When it comes to interesting facts and fantastic blog posts, our Maths department is on fire! They even have a way to use maths in your pancakes today…

 

What’s so special about Pancake Day?

 

In the Christian calendar, this Tuesday is officially known as Shrove Tuesday, and is the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.

 

Shrove Tuesday is also known in parts of the world as Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, giving reference to the last day of gorging before the fasting period of Lent.

 

But what do pancakes have to do with Lent, hear you ask? Well, it was tradition that foods such as eggs, butter and fats were encouraged to be used up before Lent began – all common ingredients that are used in pancakes. That’s why lots of people eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday.

 

And here comes the Maths-y part to the blog…how do you make the perfect pancake?

 

Well luckily for us, the University of Sheffield’s Maths Society has cooked up a formula for the exact measurements required:

 

Mixture per pancake: 

Total mixture required:

Where:

 

Frying pan diameter:                      D cm

Desired thickness of pancake:     T cm

Number of pancakes wanted:     P

 

To go one step further, the maths society has even created an excel document to show how much of each ingredient is needed, depending of course on the desired quantity of pancakes, and size of the frying pan. The quantities are given based on a recipe by Delia Smith.

To view the excel spreadsheet, you can view it on the University of Sheffield website

How does the formula compare to your usual pancakes? Please let us know in the comments section below!