When is a cookie a biscuit?

When is frosting called icing? Is a flapjack the same as a pancake? Here are some differences between Canadian terms and other English language countries.

  • cookies (US, CA) are biscuits (UK, AU, NZ)
  • biscuits (UK, AU) also refers to digestive biscuits, which are cookie shaped but more similar to a sweet cracker like the graham cracker (US, CA)
  • biscuits (US, CA) are similar to a scone (UK, AU), and usually neither sweet nor savoury
  • bisquit (Germany, no plural) is sponge cake (US)
  • muffin (US, AU) is a quick bread (typically using the ‘muffin method’) baked in forms used for cupcakes. It increasingly has this meaning the UK too, with the prevalence of American-style coffee-shop chains.
  • muffin (UK) is english muffin (US, AU), a yeast leavened flat-ish bread, cooked on a griddle with a ring form.
  • scone (US, CA) tends to be sweeter than a scone (UK)
  • pancake (US, CA) generally refers to puffy item made from a thick leavened batter
  • pancake (US) can also be called hotcakes, griddlecakes, or flapjacks
  • pancake (UK) are made from a thinner unleavened batter, with a result a little thicker than a french crêpe.
  • drop scone (UK) is similar to a (US, CA) pancake
  • flapjack (US) is the same thing as a pancake
  • flapjack (UK) is a baked square usually consisting of sugar/honey, butter, and oats
  • frosting (US) is icing (UK, CA, AU)
  • frosting (US) typically has air whipped into it, while icing (US) doesn’t and dries harder.