The appearance of pancakes depends on how water escapes the batter mix during the cooking process and this varies with the thickness of the batter.

The team compared recipes for 14 different types of pancakes from across the world including the Canadian ploye and Malaysian lempeng kelapa.

The scientists found that think batters with a baker's percentage of 100-120 form pancakes with irregular craters on the bottom surface.

The thinnest batters with a baker's percentage of 200-225 form pancakes with an even coloured bottom surface which is dotted with dark spots.

The team found that the physics of pancake cooking is complex but generally follows one of two trends.

If the batter spreads easily in the pan, the pancake ends up with a smooth surface pattern and less burning as the vapour flow buffers the heat of the pan.

The study was published in the journal Mathematics TODAY.

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