Fluffy Pancakes Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep/Total Time: 15 min.
With tall, fluffy, golden stacks like these, our pancake recipe might as well be listed under the word “pancake” in the dictionary.

Updated: Apr. 16, 2024

This pancake recipe is our go-to when we want classic, old-fashioned pancakes. They’re fluffy and tender, the perfect base for almost any topping. Since this is a basic pancake recipe, it’s easily customizable to try with different fruits, nuts or chocolate chip mix-ins. And, of course, the tried-and-true combination of butter and syrup is celebrated here too.

When should you flip pancakes?

Pancakes are ready to flip when the bottoms are golden brown and the tops have popped bubbles. Before you slide a spatula underneath a pancake to flip it, make sure you’re familiar with the proper technique that goes into flipping a pancake.

In order to flip a pancake and avoid splatters, it all comes down to a simple finger technique. Using two fingers and your thumb, you’ll flip the spatula without using the force of your whole wrist, which can cause the pancakes to splatter on the pan and get everywhere.

To do this, simply pinch the bottom of the spatula with your index finger and middle finger, then place your thumb on top. Once you scoop the pancake onto the spatula, twist your three fingers to flip the spatula, making it easy for the pancake to flip and slide off without splatters.

If you clench the spatula and use your wrist to flip the pancake, the motion will be too powerful and cause those ugly splatters everywhere. No splatters or folded pancakes here!

Pancake Ingredients

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  • All-purpose flour:We love using all-purpose flour for our pancake recipes. We find that it adds the perfect amount of structure without sacrificing the tenderness you’d expect from a pancake.
  • Baking powder: Baking powder fluffs up the pancakes for a tender texture.
  • Milk: Milk adds moisture, flavor and even browning power thanks to milk’s natural sugars.
  • Shortening or butter: Shortening or butter adds a rich flavor to the pancakes.


Step 1: Make the pancake batter

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In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, milk and shortening. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened.

Editor’s Tip: Allow the batter to rest for five minutes or so after mixing. This lets the batter hydrate evenly and relaxes the gluten for a more tender pancake. This also gives the baking powder more time to activate, resulting in a fluffier pancake.

Step 2: Cook the pancakes

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Pour the batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a greased hot griddle. Flip the pancakes when the bottoms are golden brown and the tops have bubbles that form and pop. Cook until the second side is golden brown.

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Editor’s Tip: To keep the pancakes warm until serving, preheat your oven to 250°F, and place a baking sheet inside. Continuously add your cooked pancakes to the baking sheet in the oven to keep them warm until serving. You could also use a pancake warmer to maintain their temperature.

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Pancake Variations

  • Add your favorite toppings: Instead of maple syrup, finish your pancakes with sweetened whipped cream, jam, curd or confectioners’ sugar. Don’t be afraid to try something new—creative ideas tend to make the best pancake toppings, like peanut butter, fried chicken, smoked salmon, pear and blue cheese, caviar and even guacamole.
  • Go nuts with mix-ins: Once your pancake batter is cooking on the griddle, dot in nuts, fruits, chocolate chips or sprinkles to make the pancakes even more delicious and fun.
  • Sprinkle in spices: Autumn-ize this pancake recipe by sprinkling fall spices into the dry ingredients. Sweet cinnamon, aromatic cloves and woody nutmeg are great choices. You could even use homemade pumpkin pie spice mix (or store-bought!) for a more complex flavor.

How to Store Pancakes

To store, allow the pancakes to cool to room temperature. Transfer them to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Can you freeze pancakes?

Yes, you can freeze pancakes. Allow pancakes to cool to room temperature, then layer the pancakes between sheets of parchment or waxed paper in an airtight container or a freezer-safe resealable plastic bag. Store in the freezer for up to three months.

How to Reheat Pancakes

To reheat pancakes, set an oven or conventional toaster to 350°, and arrange the pancakes on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Reheat the pancakes until warmed through, five minutes if from the fridge and 10 minutes if from the freezer.

Pancake Tips

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What is the secret to making the best pancakes?

The secret to making the best pancakes is to not overmix the batter. Once you add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stir until just combined—you want a few small lumps in the batter.

Another secret to making the best pancakes? It has nothing to do with the technique, but rather an ingredient. Ahem—mayonnaise. Now, stay with us. This secret ingredient for fluffy pancakes comes down to science. The vinegar in mayo reacts with baking soda to produce carbon dioxide in the batter, which lifts the pancakes into a fluffy, tender crumb. The acid also unravels flour’s protein, making the pancake more tender. Mayo isn’t just a secret ingredient for pancakes, it’s a secret ingredient found in a lot of baking recipes, like our three-layer chocolate ganache cake.

What is the best pancake mix?

The best pancake mix is King Arthur Baking Company Diner-Style Pancake and Waffle Mix. Our Test Kitchen cooks performed a blind taste test to see which mix made the best pancake in terms of appearance, texture and flavor. Out of the 10 tested pancake mix brands, King Arthur’s was deemed the best.

Does it matter if you use milk or water for pancakes?

It does matter whether you use milk or water for pancakes. Milk adds flavor and moisture, and its natural sugar content helps with browning for a more attractive (and delicious) pancake crust.

That being said, you technically can use milk or water as direct substitutes for each other in a pancake recipe. In fact, there are a lot of ingredient substitutes for pancakes since pancakes are so forgiving.

Should you let the pancake batter rest?

Yes, you should let the pancake batter rest. Resting the batter for about five minutes before spooning onto the griddle allows it to hydrate evenly and helps relax any gluten that may develop, resulting in tender and fluffy pancakes. It also gives the baking powder more time to activate!

Can you make pancakes from scratch without baking powder?

Yes, you can make pancakes from scratch without baking powder. For every teaspoon of baking powder in the recipe, combine 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar, lemon juice or distilled vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch. Incorporate this quick baking substitution into the batter at the last minute, and use the batter right away (don’t let it rest as you normally would!).

Why is the first pancake on the griddle always bad?

The first pancake on the griddle can be bad if you don’t allow the griddle to heat up enough. To avoid a bad first pancake, season your skillet or griddle by heating it over medium heat. Carefully grease the cooking surface with oil or butter, then wipe off any excess with a paper towel. You can make a test pancake with a small spoonful of batter to gauge whether your pan is the right temperature.

Watch how to Make Fluffy Pancakes

Fluffy Pancakes

Prep Time 15 min
Yield 8 pancakes.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup shortening or butter, melted


  1. In a small bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Combine egg, milk and shortening; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
  2. Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a greased hot griddle. Turn when bubbles form on top of pancakes; cook until the second side is golden brown.

Nutrition Facts

2 pancakes: 269 calories, 14g fat (8g saturated fat), 81mg cholesterol, 666mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 1g fiber), 6g protein.

I found this fluffy and easy pancake recipe among our old family favorites and adapted it to make a small amount. It's quick and easy to prepare, but we still consider it a special treat. —Eugene Presley, Council, Virginia