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The Fine Art of Pancake Making, How to Make Perfect Pancakes.

Updated on October 10, 2012

Pancakes are delicious, versatile and easy... wait, no they're not easy. They can be surprisingly finicky. Even people who know their way around a kitchen find they want to pull their own hair out over a bad batch of pancakes. It seems every country has their own variety of pancake that all look equally delectable. In this hub I'll be covering the North American variety. The pancake you find in most chain restaurants such as Ihop and Denny's. Here are my tips for perfect pancakes every time...

  1. Make sure your baking powder is still good. Bad baking powder will result in flat, dense pancakes. You can do this by adding 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder to 1/2 cup very hot water. The mixture should bubble heavily. If not you need to buy new baking powder.
  2. Measure carefully. Following the recipe's measurements will ensure you don't end up with a batter that's too thin or thick.
  3. Don't over mix! Only stir the ingredients enough to combine, the batter should be slightly lumpy. Over-mixing will activate too much gluten and the baking powder and you'll end up with dense pancakes.
  4. Very lightly grease your pan or griddle. Use a vegetable oil spray or let a little butter melt in the pan and use a paper towel to rub out the excess.
  5. Make sure your pan is hot enough before starting. If you flick a tiny bit of water into the pan it should make noise and dance around... my favorite part ^_^
  6. Don't touch or do anything to the pancake until it's time to flip. You know to flip when the edges seem dry and little bubbles are coming up all through the uncooked part of the pancake. I've provided a picture of this below.
  7. Use a measuring cup to get uniform pancakes. Dump the batter all at once in the same place. It should spread into a perfect circle.
  8. Serve hot! Nothing beats a fresh from the pan pancake!
5 stars from 4 ratings of pancakes!!

Basic Pancakes

  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil

In a large bowl mix together dry ingredients. In a small to medium bowl combine wet ingredients.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Batter will be slightly lumpy.

Batter is still a little lumpy = GOOD!

Heat a non-stick pan or skillet to medium. Very lightly grease with cooking spray or butter.

Wait until your pan is fully heated. Pour the batter using a 1/3 cup measuring cup (use a bigger or smaller measuring cup if you want bigger or smaller pancakes). Let cook until the edges are dry and the center is bubbly as shown in the picture below.

Ready to flip!

Carefully slip a spatula under the pancake and quickly flip over. Don't try to readjust after you flip. Let cook 1-2 minutes then serve.

Continue doing this until your batter is gone.

The many wonderful flavors of pancakes!

Make it Fruity,

Stir into the batter 1/2 cup chopped fresh fruit such as apple, peach, nectarine, apricot, mango, papaya, banana, pear or canned pineapple tidbits.

Stir into the batter 1/2 cup fresh or frozen berries, such as blueberry, strawberry, raspberry...

Stir into the batter 3/4 cup mashed ripe banana and reduce milk by 1/4 cup.

Stir into the batter 1 tablespoon zest from a lemon or orange

Make it Wholegrain

Whole wheat pancakes- Substitute the all purpose flour with whole wheat flour and use packed brown sugar instead of the granulated sugar.

Bran pancakes- Substitute 1/4 cup of the flour with oat bran, wheat bran or toasted wheat germ.

Cornmeal pancakes- Substitute 1/2 cup of the flour with cornmeal.

Make it Tasty. I'm not saying the above options aren't tasty...

Buttermilk pancakes- Substitute the milk with buttermilk. Reduce the baking powder to 2 teaspoons and add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda.

Cinnamon pancakes- Add 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon to the flour mixture. This is especially good when chopped apples are stirred in as well.

Pumpkin pancakes- Increase the flour to 2 cups. Add 1 cup canned pumpkin puree, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon each of nutmeg, ginger, allspice and cloves.

Chocolate chip pancakes- Stir into the batter 1/2 cup (or more) chocolate chips.

Let's top it off!

Enjoy your pancakes topped with fruit, butter, jam, powdered sugar or various syrups. Just to name a few. Let me know in the comments your favorite pancake toppings ^_^

Some fun syrup recipes to try...

Fruit syrup- In a saucepan cook together 1 cup of fruit, 3/4 cup sugar and 1/3 cup water or juice. Mash fruit while cooking, Cook until the mixture becomes syrupy.

Coconut syrup- In a saucepan cook together 1 (14oz) can coconut milk with 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Serve chunky or process in a blender before serving. This is especially good served with chocolate chip pancakes or any tropical fruit and banana.

Chocolate syrup- In a saucepan combine 3/4 cup water, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa powder and a pinch of salt. Cook over over low heat whisking constantly until it thickens and just starts to simmer. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Give me a fork! I'm hungry ^_^

Basic pancakes topped with blueberry syrup, yum ^_^
Basic pancakes topped with blueberry syrup, yum ^_^

How do you like your pancakes?

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    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 2 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Hi, Sasha! I love pancakes! They're my favorite breakfast fare! I even have them for dessert. I like them with just molten butter and maple syrup!

      Thanks for sharing!

    • hubsy profile image

      hubsy 2 years ago

      Oh my goodness gracious, these look amazing!M! I'm getting so hungry! Trying pumpkin ones come fall!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Beingwell, I hope you've tried making pancakes again and they came out perfect ^_^ thank you so much for your nice comment!

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 5 years ago

      You are most welcome!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Thank you Mecheshier ^_^ hope you have some yummy pancakes soon!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Thank you very much CZ ^_^ I hope you enjoy making them yourself.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Thank you Rajan ^_^ You are always so kind! Thank you for all the wonderful support ^_^

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Thank you Diane! ^_^

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Thank you so much Vespa!! I just love your recipes I couldn't help linking to it ^_^

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Thank you so much Shelley!! Love when you stop by ^_^

    • beingwell profile image

      beingwell 5 years ago from Bangkok

      This looks very yumm!! I'd like to try your recipe. I suck big time when it comes to making pancakes...huhuhu, :/

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 5 years ago

      Wow This looks very yummy!!! Thanks for the share!

    • CZCZCZ profile image

      CZCZCZ 5 years ago from Oregon

      Some tasty looking pancakes. Liked reading through your recipe and tips on making the perfect pancake. Great pic on the top!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      A very easy recipe though making it seems to be a bit more tough Sasha. Glad you gave all those tips that will make a perfect pancake. Awesome and delicious looking pictures.

      Voting up, useful and shared.

    • dianetrotter profile image

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 5 years ago from Fontana

      Mama Kim, YUM!!!!!!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

      Mama Kim, how did I miss this recipe? Some of your hubs aren't showing up in the profile, but I'm glad I found it and thanks for linking to mine! It's so true...pancakes are finicky and you have to do them just right for perfect results. I love all the variations you mention. Your pancakes are picture perfect! Thanks so much!

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      This is another one of your beautiful recipes which I'll bookmark. Thank you for sharing. 5 Star and sharing!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Thank you for stopping by Christine, and for your nice comment ^_^

      Breakfast for dinner is one of my favorite things!

    • europewalker profile image

      europewalker 5 years ago

      I could eat pancakes any time of the day, they are my favorite go to food. Great recipe and tips.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      What a nice comment you've left me tillsontitan! Thank you ^_^ I also didn't know about the baking powder... I bake so much I always use it up before it goes bad. I found that out when trying to figure out why my friends pancakes kept coming out flat and dense ^_^

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      I think pancakes are everyone's favorite breakfast...nicely done. As with everyone who has a favorite part of your hub I would have to say I love your hint about the baking powder. No matter how old we are we can still learn something new!

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Thank you very much Michelle! Everyone deserves great pancakes ^_^

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 5 years ago from Singapore

      My husband loves pancakes and we always need a recipe to make great ones...this is it. Thanks for a great recipe, Kim, which I am sharing.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Teaches, Thank you very much for stopping by and for your wonderful fan mail/follow. I think we'll both be having pancakes tomorrow! Buon appetito!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I am ready for a batch of blueberry pancakes in the morning! I love pancakes of any kind, but your recipe and hub make it so enticing. Love your tips on how to make perfect pancakes.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Why thank you Cashmere! You are very generous ^_^

    • profile image

      Olde Cashmere 5 years ago

      This is outstanding Mama Kim. I love pancakes and intend on using this recipe myself. Voted up, interesting, useful, and awesome :)

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Mhatter, Thank you for the comment ^_^ Funny that you should ask... Yes I actually have a Mickey Mouse shaped cookie cutter/egg frame/pancake frame. It makes adorable 4-5 inch mickey mouse head pancakes... kids love them! I use that thing so much! I even like to make mickey mouse biscuits. I've never made them without the frame though, I bet a big fill up the plate one would be awesome!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      I love pancakes. thanks for the idea. ever made Mickey Mouse pancakes?

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Thanks for the comment Alicia! That is the number 1 question people ask me... when to flip ^_^ I'm so happy this helps.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I love pancakes. Thanks for the main recipe and for all the alternatives, which sound delicious. I also appreciate the photo showing when to flip the pancakes - I always have trouble with this part!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Dexter, I'm so happy you like my hub! Thank you for the comment and happy pancake making!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Oh Josh, you're so funny! I can't imagine the huge stack of pancakes you boys could eat! Careful not to get carpel tunnel flippin all those ^_^

      Thank you for the wonderful comment!

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States

      I love pancakes and this hub is awesome! Thanks for the tips!

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania


      This is awesome! Definitely sharing this with my twin brother and our roommate! We love pancakes and we also love perfect pancakes! :)

      I have to let you know that this part cracked me up..."If you flick a tiny bit of water into the pan it should make noise and dance around... my favorite part "^_^

      We do enjoy doing that to our pans! LOl Thanks for this awesome hub on pancakes Mama!


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