Pancakes are a pretty easy dish to make, but getting consistently great results does require a little extra know-how. Just follow our easy tips for proper mixing, cooking and flipping and you’ll perfect your pancake-making skills in no time.
Expert Tips for Perfect Pancakes
Once you’ve read through our tips and tried our Basic Pancake Recipe, be sure to explore our other pancake recipes linked below.
Mixing the Batter
Always combine your dry ingredients in one bowl, wet ingredients in another. Make sure each set of ingredients is very well-blended before combining them.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix gently with a rubber spatula. Don’t overbeat the mixture – a few small lumps here and there won’t be a problem.
Choosing the Right Pan
A heavy, flat griddle is the best choice when making conventional pancakes, but if that’s not an option, any large heavy skillet (including nonstick) will do.
Preheat your pan over medium-high heat. To test the temperature, flick a few drops of water onto the pan. If they spatter and evaporate immediately, the pan is ready.
If you’re using an electric griddle set it to 375°F. Once your pan is preheated, use a paper towel dipped in vegetable oil to lightly oil the surface.
Start by making a single test pancake. Pour about 1/3 cup of batter onto the preheated pan and wait until the edges look dry and bubbles appear and burst on the top surface of the pancake. Use a thin spatula or pancake turner to quickly flip it over.
Judge the temperature of your pan by the color of the pancake. If it’s too brown, lower the heat a bit. Once you achieve a nice golden color and perfectly cooked interior, you can cook the remaining pancakes a few at a time.
Adjusting the Batter
Your test pancake should be 4 to 4-1/2-inches in diameter. If it spreads too much, your batter may be too thin. To remedy this, whisk 1 or 2 tablespoons flour with just enough water to make a paste, then stir it into the batter.
If your batter is too thick, simply add a small amount of water or milk to thin it out.
Keeping Pancakes Warm
Preheat the oven to 200°F. Place cooked pancakes in a single layer on wire racks set on a baking sheet to stay warm while you cook additional batches.
If you have leftover pancakes or would like to make them in advance, simply place a piece of parchment or wax paper between each pancake and store them in freezer bags for up to 2 weeks.
They can be reheated without defrosting first. Just place them on a wire rack set on a baking sheet in a preheated 325°F oven for 8 to 10 minutes.
Special Pancake Recipes
- Crêpes Suzette
- Fluffy Ricotta Pancakes with Strawberry-Orange Sauce
- Cornmeal Pancakes
- Chocolate Chip and Candied Bacon Pancakes
Basic Pancake Recipe
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1-1/2 cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a mixing bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, and melted butter together until well blended.
Tip: Always combine your dry and wet ingredients in two separate bowls.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry and mix gently.
Tip: Don’t overmix the batter, a few small lumps here and there are better.
- Preheat your griddle or pan over medium-high heat (375°F).
Tip: To test the temperature, flick a few drops of water onto the pan. If they spatter and evaporate immediately, the pan is ready.
- Use a paper towel dipped in cooking oil to oil the surface of the preheated pan.
- Pour the batter onto the pan or griddle in 1/3 cup increments.
Tip: You may want to make a single test pancake to start to test your griddle temperature and batter consistency (see notes). If your pancake is too brown, reduce the temperature on your griddle or pan.
- Cook the pancakes until the edges look dry and some bubbles form and burst on the top surface of the pancake.
- Use a thin spatula to flip the pancakes and continue cooking until they are golden on the second side.
Tip: To keep cooked pancakes warm while you cook additional batches, place them in a single layer on a wire rack set over a baking sheet and transfer to a preheated 200°F oven.