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Sri Lankan Coconut Pancakes

Sri Lankan coconut pancakes are basically pancakes stuffed with sweet coconut also known as pol pani pancakes as the Sri Lankans would call it or also known as ‘wellawahum’ by the ancient Sri Lankans. They are truly exceptional and definitely the easiest tea time snack to eat. This is not similar to normal pancakes, these are rolled therefore some call it the Sri Lankan pancake roll as well.

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What does pol pani mean in english

‘Pol pani’ directly translates to honey coconut which is the featured flavour of these stuffed coconut pancakes.

As a child growing up in Sri Lanka we used to eat Sri Lankan pancakes as a tea time snack. The Breadman also know as “Chun pan” is a mobile bread & snack delivery service that used to operate even before uber eats made its name in the society hahaha.

Every evening around tea time the bread van or trishaw with all Sri Lankan sweets, snacks and bread would make their way into the little streets in Sri Lanka during tea time. This mobile bakery van would play the famous Mozart’s symphony. I kid you not! this was how good their marketing tactic was to attract all the children in the village and guess what my favourite snack used to be duh!!! the Sri Lankan sweet coconut pancake.

There are two types of Sri Lankan pancakes in Sri Lanka, both have the same filling but different outer part. Sri Lankan pancake would have a soft and thin crepe on the outside while the other also called ‘laveriya’ would have a string hopper shell outside. It’s not very easy to make the string hoppers, I would definitely give the recipe for laveriya later on, but for now, this Sri Lankan pancake is a super simple recipe that can be made in less than 20 minutes.

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Coconut pancake steps

Is Sri Lankan coconut pancakes similar to normal pancakes?

Nope!!!! hahahhah well, it’s more like a French crepe but a bit thick than a french crepe but way thinner than a pancake but in Sri Lanka, we call it the pancake 🙂

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Sri Lankan pancake

How do you eat sri lankan pancakes?

We eat this at room temperature, you can definitely warm this up in the microwave. This is a tea time snack, we would have this during tea time with a nice cup of Ceylon ginger tea. It’s like how people would have cookies with their cuppa, we eat pancakes with our cuppa 🙂

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Sri Lankan Pancake with milk tea

Can you make these ahead of time

Yes, that’s how we do it normally. we would make this ahead of time and keep it for us to snack whenever we want to but, believe me, it wouldn’t last a long time, because they are ultra-delicious.

What type of sweetners are used for Sri Lankan pancakes?

Now the traditional method will include either pol pani made using jaggery ( A block of hard sugar which is derived from a palm tree) or kithul pani (This is the liquid version of the jaggery). But since living abroad, we don’t have access to all these products unless we go to a special Sri Lankan grocery store, so I have substituted the ingredients with muscovado sugar to bring the same taste.

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Pani pol

How to make pani pol with sugar

For people who can access jaggery, pol pani or kithul pani, you can use them or muscovado sugar that is found in any major supermarkets can be used as a substitute. Brown sugar also can be used but that should be the last resort if you cannot find muscovado sugar.

You can also check my Sri Lankan recipes and desserts.

Watch how to make Sri Lankan coconut pancakes

Step by Step recipe how to make Sri Lankan coconut pancakes

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Sri Lankan Coconut Pancakes

Savoury crepes filled with sweet coconut filling
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Servings: 4 people


  • Non-stick flat Pan
  • Small saucepan
  • Medium size bowl
  • Whisk
  • Brush
  • Mortar pestle or a rolling pin to crush cardamoms


Sri Lankan pancake

  • 100 g All-purpose flour
  • 200 g Milk Fresh
  • 1/2 tsp Salt Table salt
  • 1 tbsp Sugar White
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
  • 1/2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

Pani pol

  • 65 g Coconut milk
  • 60 g Desiccated coconut or fresh coconut
  • 70 g Muscovado sugar or jaggery, kithul pani, pol pani
  • 55 g Water (Only if using sugar)
  • 5 Cardamom pods crushed
  • 1 Cinnamon stick


Sri Lankan pancakes

  • In a medium bowl add flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and turmeric. milk, eggs, vanilla and whisk well. breaking up all the lumps in the batter. (You can also place all ingredients in a blender and blitz until well mixed)
  • Heat a non- stick pan on low heat, spread butter on the pan using a brush
  • Add 1/4 cup of batter and thin it out using the bottom of a spoon ( This is to make sure the crepe is thin) Once one side is cooked, flip the other side and cook. Repeat with the rest of the batter

Coconut Filling (Pani pol)

  • Using a mortar pestle or a rolling pin crush the cardamoms pods first then the cinnamon slightly
    (This is so that the cardamom and cinnamon release its essence quickly)
  • In a small saucepan bring the coconut milk to a boil, once it is boiling add the desiccated coconut and let the coconut absorb all the moisture into it. (This will resemble like fresh coconut now)
  • In a separate small saucepan add sugar, water, cardamom pods and cinnamon stick, place it on medium heat and bring it to the boil, let it reduce slightly until it resembles like a syrup ( if you are using jaggery or pani pol or kithul pani, omit the water)
  • Once the sugar has dissolved and it has come to the boil add the desiccated coconut mixture into the sugar mixture. if it is too liquid keep it on the fire until it is dried out a little ( You want the mixture to be semi-liquid, not too dry or too moist)
    Take it off the heat once the desired consistency is achieved
    Take off the cardamoms and cinnamon stick out and discard as this will not be rolled inside the pancakes


  • Place the pancake on a flat surface, scoop 1 Tbsp of the mixture in the middle, fold both sides, then roll to seal. Repeat process for the rest of the mixture and pancakes
  • Enjoy with a cup of tea


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