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.
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
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
- 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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