Sleepy Hollow Slapjacks

“…and anon he passed the fragrant buckwheat fields, breathing the odor of the beehive, and as he beheld them, soft anticipations stole over his mind of dainty slapjacks, well buttered and garnished with honey or treacle, by the delicate little dimpled hand of Katrina Van Tassel.”

-The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Washington Irving

What are slapjacks?

Slapjacks are an old-fashioned name for pancakes.


Creating Halloween traditions

Ask me to choose a story that makes me think of Halloween, and Sleepy Hollow will top my list.

I grew up watching the Disney version, a tradition I’m adamant about sticking with each year. Later, I fell in love with the story. Call it nostalgia, or maybe there’s something more, but there’s always been a link between The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and October.

Speaking of traditions, one of the things I love about the lead-up to Halloween is the little ‘rituals’ we add to our every day during October. It’s a reminder to appreciate those small moments during the month. Not surprisingly, food tends to play a central role in ours. While dinnertime brings pumpkin pies, a mug of apple cider and a hearty side of colcannon, breakfast also sees a fair share of traditions. Ghost-shaped pancakes appeared on our table growing up, but for those who love Sleepy Hollow, these slapjacks are the perfect start to an October day.


Sleepy Hollow Slapjacks

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  • Author: Bryton Taylor @ Food in Literature


Units Scale
  • 4 cups buckwheat flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups whole cream milk
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • butter for frying
  • honey or treacle (optional)


  1. In a mixer, whip the eggs until pale, then add in the whole cream milk.
  2. Pour in the sugar, then gently stir in the flour until mixed together.
  3. In a frying pan (we used a cast iron pan), over medium heat, add a pat of butter.
  4. Once melted, spoon in 2 heaped tablespoons of batter.
  5. Cook until you are able to flip.
  6. Cook for another minute or two on the other side.
  7. Repeat with remaining batter, adding butter each time.
  8. Serve with honey or treacle to keep it authentic.


Since buckwheat isn’t actually a wheat, it’s related to rhubarb, this fruit seed is gluten free, meaning those with allergies can also keep this breakfast authentic.


  • Sinclair, C. G. International Dictionary of Food and Cooking. Fitzroy Dearborn, 1998.
  • Rose, P. G. The Sensible Cook: Dutch Foodways in the Old and New World. Syracuse University Press, 1989.

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