What is the difference between a hotcake and a pancake?

Here in the Mid-Atlantic Region of the U.S.A.; and especially on the Outer Banks of NC, one will sometimes find on the breakfast menu, "hotcakes" in lieu of "pancakes". Traditionally the cake served as a "hotcake" will be significantly thinner, and often much larger in diameter than a traditional "pancake". It is so thin that it can be compared to a crepe instead of a thicker pancake. These hotcakes are so thin they can be rolled up like a crepe. The "hotcake" in this region is no more than about 3/16 of an inch thick, possibly only 1/8", and often served as a much larger diameter, (possibly 10 inches or more) than a traditional pancake. Often large platters are used for serving to accommodate the larger cake; (there should be room on the platter for scrambled eggs and shredded potatoes). Often only 2 cakes are served since being so large in diameter, it makes up for the thinner cake, and therefore 2 cakes make a substantial portion. They typically taste more buttery due to the larger liquid portion in the batter to make it thinner. The batter ingredients possibly use butter in some cases.

There was a restaurant in Point Harbor, NC, 30+ years ago, (1960s and 70s), right at the West end of the Wright Memorial Bridge that was famous for their hotcake served as a side with every meal whether ordered or not. Their hotcake was a smaller diameter than the one described above, about 5" to 6" inches, yet still very thin and buttery.

These hotcakes are often eaten just as traditional pancakes are, with syrup, honey, jam, jelly or preserves; or those that are truly fans of these delights will use nothing, or maybe a bit of butter.