How to Make the Best Pancakes from Scratch

Skip the mix. Learning how to make pancakes is so simple. Follow our best tips for a stack your family will flip for.

Learning how to make pancakes from scratch isn’t as difficult as you may think. The process involves just a handful of steps, and the recipe relies on simple staples you likely already have. Ready to get started?

Before You Begin: Expert Tips from the Test Kitchen

  • Don’t overmix the batter. The more you stir, the more protein develops and the tougher and chewier your pancakes will be.
  • Let the batter rest. After you mix the pancake batter, let it sit for a while. It allows the proteins to relax, making for pillowy-soft flapjacks.
  • Use shortening to grease the griddle. Butter isn’t your best option—its high water content can cause sticking.
  • Let them breathe. When you pour the batter, leave enough space between your pancakes so they have room to expand without running into each other. They’ll stay nice and round.
  • Plan for the week. Make a double batch and refrigerate or freeze extra homemade pancakes to reheat in the toaster throughout the week.

Here are 10 more mistakes to avoid when making pancakes.

The Best Pancakes

Makes 8 pancakes


  • 1-1/2 cups (6.75 oz/190g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Buttermilk Substitutions

Don’t have any buttermilk in the fridge? Here are a few easy alternatives that impart a similar flavor. For each cup of buttermilk, you can use:

    • 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice plus enough milk to measure 1 cup
    • 1 cup of plain yogurt or 1-3/4 teaspoons cream of tartar plus 1 cup milk


  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Whisk
  • Skillet or griddle. Purchase a griddle here.

Step 1: Mix Dry Ingredients.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Step 2: Mix Wet Ingredients

In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs, butter and vanilla extract.

Step 3: Combine Wet + Dry

Mix wet ingredients into the batter just until there is no visible dry flour. Be careful not to overmix the batter.

Step 4: Let the Batter Rest

Ever notice that your last griddle of homemade pancakes is your best? That’s because it’s best to let the batter rest for at least 5 minutes (and up to 30 minutes).

Step 5: Grease the Griddle

Heat your griddle over medium heat. Add a small amount of solid shortening and swirl to coat. Before adding your pancake batter, wipe excess grease away; more is not better here. If you don’t have a griddle, no worries—you can use a skillet. Grease it with shortening the same way you’d grease a griddle.

Step 6: Pour the Batter

Pour your homemade pancake batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto the greased hot griddle. Make sure to leave enough room between pancakes for expansion.

Step 7: Wait…and Flip

See those bubbles forming on top of the pancakes? Wait about 30 seconds, or after bubbles start to break, before flipping. Bonus: before you flip them, learn how to flip a pancake the correct way.

Pro tip: Don’t fiddle with the pancakes! You’ll knock the air out that keeps them fluffy.

Step 8: Finish ’em Off

Cook until the second side is golden brown.

The next time you need to know how to make homemade pancakes—like when you’ve got a craving and the wait time at your favorite brunch place is just way too long—you’ve got it in the bag. Not the box.

Also check out how to make a pancake charcuterie board for a picture-perfect brunch.

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James Schend
Formerly Taste of Home’s Deputy Editor, Culinary, James oversaw the Food Editor team, recipe contests and Bakeable, and managed all food content for Trusted Media Brands. He has also worked in the kitchen of Williams-Sonoma and at Southern Living. An honor graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, James has traveled the world searching for great food in all corners of life.