Pancakes are a quick and simple meal idea that you can eat at any time of the day. Find out how to make pancakes in this helpful guide.
How much do you love pancakes? Do you love them enough to eat an entire plateful? Do you love them enough to eat 113 of them in eight minutes?
That’s the current world record for eating pancakes, and we’re not suggesting you try to break it — unless you really want to, of course. Since you’re reading this article, we can safely assume that you’re here to learn how to make pancakes that are soft, fluffy, and oh-so-delicious.
In this guide, we’ll teach you the secrets to making pancakes so good you won’t mind waking up early to cook them. So gather your pancake ingredients and favorite pancake toppings and let’s get started!
What's in a Pancake Anyway?
Despite their complex flavors, pancakes are quite simple to make. In fact, some recipes contain as few as three ingredients.
For this article, we’ll focus on traditional American-style pancakes. But don’t worry — later on, we’ll give you plenty of ideas for fun variations you can try!
Here’s everything you’ll need to gather to start making pancakes:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk or buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons sugar (or sugar substitute)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 mixing bowls
- Frying pan, skillet, or griddle (nonstick or cast-iron)
- Ladle or measuring cup
- Large spoon
You’ll also want to gather your favorite toppings and mix-ins, but we’ll get to those in a bit!
How Do You Make Pancakes?
Step 1: Start the Batter
Start with one of your small mixing bowls. Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Whisk until blended, set aside.
Bonus tip: If you’re preparing a lot of pancakes for a large family or gathering, preheat your oven to 200F. Have a baking sheet or another platter nearby to hold the cooked pancakes and keep them warm until you’re ready to eat.
Step 2: Complete the Batter
In your other mixing bowl, combine the butter, milk, and egg. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the mixture and continue whisking. The batter should be lightly moistened, but don’t overmix it. If there are a few tiny lumps or bumps, that’s just fine.
Step 3: Prepare the Pan
Next, preheat your pan, skillet, or griddle over medium heat. Then you need to add a bit of oil for frying your pancakes.
Our favorite way to oil it is by folding a paper towel in half, moistening it with oil, and then dabbing the pan with the paper towel. This spreads a tiny bit of oil to fry your pancakes to a golden brown — without making them greasy!
Step 4: Spoon in Your Pancakes
Now comes the fun part — frying your pancakes! For each pancake, spoon two or three tablespoons of batter into the frying pan. Use the back of the spoon to spread the batter evenly into a round shape. If you’re using a large pan, you should be able to fit two or three pancakes at the same time.
If you prefer smaller “silver dollar” pancakes, stick with one or two tablespoons of batter. We don’t recommend trying to make one huge pancake in the pan — chances are it won’t cook evenly.
Step 5: Fry & Flip
Cook your pancakes until a few bubbles appear and burst on the surface. This usually takes one to two minutes. Using your spatula, carefully flip each pancake and repeat on the other side, cooking an additional one or two minutes.
Once your pancakes are fluffy and browned, transfer them to your baking sheet and repeat the process with the next batch. The recipe listed above will yield 12-15 pancakes, but you can easily double or triple the amounts if you’re cooking for a large group.
What Are the Best Pancake Toppings & Mix-Ins?
The ancient Greeks and Romans ate their pancakes sweetened with honey. Americans drizzle maple syrup over theirs, while Europeans prefer Nutella and whipped cream.
What about you? Would you like to add a fun twist to your next batch of pancakes? Here are some tasty ideas to try as toppings or mix-ins.
- Cinnamon sugar
- Maple syrup
- Honey butter
- Chocolate syrup
- Caramel sauce
- Toasted coconut
- Whipping cream
- Pumpkin spice
- Cream cheese
- Homemade marshmallows
- Peanut butter
- Almond butter
- Chocolate chips
- Ricotta cheese
- Baked apples
- Pomegranate seeds
- Powdered sugar
- Graham cracker crumbs
- Ice cream
- Jam or jelly
Fun fact: Pancakes aren’t just sweet treats! There are plenty of ways you can combine pancakes with toppings that are salty or savory (or both).
For a well-rounded breakfast, try these savory toppings:
- Fried or scrambled eggs
- Crumbled bacon or sausage
- Cottage cheese
- Goat cheese
- Hashbrown potatoes
- Sliced avocado
- Sauteed spinach or kale
- Melted cheese sauce
As you can see, the sky is the limit! Unleash your imagination in the kitchen and let your creativity run wild. There’s no right or wrong way to making
How to Make Pancakes: Mix, Fry, and Enjoy
Whether you like them tiny and thin or fat and fluffy, pancakes are a satisfying treat at any time of the day or night.
As we discussed above, there’s more than one way to make a pancake. Your best bet is to gather the ingredients you need and experiment until you find the size, shape, and texture that you prefer. And don’t forget to get creative with your mix-ins and pancake toppings, because those are often the best part!
Now that you know know how to make pancakes, do you have the munchies? Need another sweet, satisfying treat after your big plate of pancakes? Browse our other baking and dessert posts to find more amazing recipes to try!