There are many ways to ruin a pancake.

From dealing with lumpy batter to getting your creation to stick to the pan, making the perfect pancake can seem like an arduous process. And that was before the inversion began.

But if you want to make sure your pancakes end up on people's plates and not on the floor, here are five simple tips to make your Shrove Tuesday go smoothly.

Tip one: actually follow a recipe

It may seem simple, but many people will be tempted to make their dough by filling a bowl with as much flour, eggs and milk as they have left in the kitchen.

Making pancakes can be quite a task.

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Don't do that. For a simple, basic pasta recipe, there's no better place to go than Delia herself. Ms. Smith recommends:

110g/4oz plain flour, sifted

Pinch of salt

2 eggs

200ml/7fl oz of milk mixed with 75ml/3fl oz of water

50g/2oz butter (for pan)

Tip Two: Use the Right Pan

A good frying pan will do most of the work for you, preventing the pancakes from sticking while maintaining a consistent level of heat.

If you're tempted to buy a cheap, thin non-stick frying pan for this purpose, be prepared for it to be just that – they tend not to last (usefully) from one year to the next.

A good solid pan with a rounded joint between the rim and base is probably best!

Tip three: don't use too much butter

Unsalted butter is the best thing to use to grease your pan for the best pancakes!

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Basic unsalted butter is the best thing to use for greasing the pan—but remember that it will brown quickly in the heat if you use too much. Try quickly brushing on a thin layer with kitchen paper – you can use a bristle brush, but it will take a while to blend (pun intended – don't actually tap the brush).

Tip Four: Accept Flipping Failure

You will drop a pancake. At least one, probably more. But once you get into the swing of things, flipping things is infinitely faster, more likely to produce good pancakes and make you look fantastic.

If necessary, try to arrange for any guests or family members to be somewhere else when you do the first chores, and clean the floor thoroughly beforehand.

Tip Five: Put Your Faith in Science

If you're one of those people who would rather have everything meticulously planned out than rely on trial and error, let science do the work for you.

University College London mathematics professor Frank Smith has developed a formula that works out the perfect mechanics for a perfect flip, based on how high you plan to flip the pancakes and how big they are. That's it:

L = 4×H /π– D / 2

(L = distance from the hand to the inner edge of the pancake / H = height of the turn / D = diameter of the pancake)

In practice, this should tell you how far the handle should hold the pan to get the perfect turn. Professor Smith told the Telegraph: “We found that the wrong direction or speed, for example, means the average flipper can ruin two or even more pancakes trying to perfect his technique.

“We aim to reduce this waste by advising Brits on how to achieve the perfect flip.”

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