A pancake or hotcake, griddlecake, or flapjack is a flat cake, often thin and round, prepared from a starch-based batter that may contain eggs, milk and butter and cooked on a hot surface such as a griddle or frying pan, often frying with oil or butter. In Britain, pancakes are often unleavened and resemble a crêpe. In North America, a leavening agent is used typically baking powder. American pancakes are similar to Scotch pancakes or drop scones. Archaeological evidence suggests that pancakes were probably the earliest and most widespread cereal food eaten in prehistoric societies.