Is there really anything better than a big stack of fluffy homemade pancakes?? This easy, go-to homemade pancake recipe is the perfect base recipe to start your weekend pancake-making tradition. They’re fluffy, golden, and oh-so cozy! Making pancakes is pretty easy, but I’ve got a few tips and tricks for you to make sure your pancakes are the fluffiest and tastiest stack around!
Love pancakes? You might also enjoy Homemade Crepes!
Ingredients for Pancakes
Pancakes are really simple to make and don’t require any special ingredients, which makes them easy to whip up on any given Saturday morning. Here are the ingredients needed to make this homemade pancake recipe:
- All-Purpose Flour: This is the backbone of the pancake. Flour is the structure of the pancake and gives them that classic “cakey” texture. You can substitute up to half of the flour with whole wheat flour without it making the pancakes too dense.
- Baking Powder: Baking powder is what makes the pancakes light and fluffy instead of dense and gummy.
- Salt: A little bit of salt gives the pancakes flavor without tasting “salty.”
- Milk: Milk combines with the flour to create a batter and provides the moisture needed to activate the leavening power of the baking powder. You can use a non-dairy milk, if preferred.
- Melted Butter: Butter gives the pancakes richness and keeps them tender. Melting the butter before adding it to the batter helps it mix in evenly with the other ingredients.
- Egg: The egg helps hold the pancakes together, it gives them a nice springy texture, and also helps leaven the pancakes.
- Sugar: A little sweetness goes a long way in the pancake batter, balancing the salt and bitterness from the baking powder.
- Vanilla Extract: Vanilla gives the flavor of the pancakes a little creamy depth and makes them feel a little more indulgent!
- Cooking Oil: Using oil to fry the pancakes gives them nice crispy edges and prevents the pancakes from sticking to the pan. Butter is also nice, but can tend to burn at the temperatures needed to cook the pancakes.
Tips for Making Fluffy Pancakes
Baking powder is the main leavening agent in pancakes, but other ingredients and techniques will affect how well the baking powder works. Here are a few tips to make sure your pancakes are extra soft and fluffy:
- Make sure your baking powder is fresh. Check the expiration date or do a quick test to make sure it is still active. Mix a couple of teaspoons of baking powder into a cup of hot water. If it fizzes, the baking powder is still active.
- Don’t over-stir the batter. Stir just until the flour is moistened and a few lumps remain. Over stirring the batter will develop the gluten in the flour and make the pancakes rubbery rather than soft and fluffy.
- Let the batter rest for 15 minutes after mixing. This allows the flour to fully hydrate, the remaining lumps to soften without the need for more stirring, and the baking powder to start activating, creating a light, aerated batter.
- The batter should be thick, but still pourable. If the batter is too runny, your pancakes will be thin. If the batter is too thick, the pancakes can turn out slightly dry. So you may need to adjust the amount of milk in the batter to get just the right consistency.
“The best pancakes ever! I followed the instructions almost exactly, except I did add chopped apple to the batter. Perfect for Sunday brunch. Everyone loved them!”Kathy
Pancake Topping Ideas
My favorite part about making homemade pancakes is having fun with the toppings. There are so many more options for pancakes than just butter and maple syrup! Here are some ideas:
What is your favorite thing to put on pancakes?
How to Freeze Pancakes
Pancakes are great for batch cooking and freezing! If you want to make a lot of pancakes at once and freeze some for quick breakfasts later, it’s easy. Simply let the cooked pancakes cool completely, then place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet in single layers, with parchment paper between layers to prevent sticking. Once frozen solid, transfer to a freezer bag and store for up to three months. Reheat frozen pancakes in the microwave until hot.
Fluffy Homemade Pancakes
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, melted butter, sugar, and vanilla extract.
- Pour the bowl of wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir just until combined. DO NOT overmix. The mixture should be thick, but still pourable, and a little bit lumpy. If it's not pourable, add an additional tablespoon or two of milk until it is thick, but pourable. Let the batter rest for 15 minutes.
- Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium. Once hot add enough cooking oil to coat the surface (I use about ½ tsp per pancake). Add the pancake batter to the hot griddle, ¼ cup at a time. Use the back of the measuring cup to spread the batter into a 4.5-inch diameter circle.
- Cook the pancakes until bubbles form over the surface and begin to pop, the edges of the pancakes look dry, and the bottom is golden brown (about 60 seconds). Flip the pancakes and cook on the second side until golden brown (about 30 seconds).
- Repeat with the remaining batter, adding more oil to the skillet between batches or as needed, until all of the pancakes have been cooked. Keep the pancakes warm on a plate under a towel or in a warm oven until all of the pancakes have been cooked. Serve warm with your favorite toppings!
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How to Make Homemade Pancakes
Whisk together 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1.5 tsp baking powder, and ½ tsp salt in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together ¾ cup warm milk, 2 Tbsp melted butter, 1 large egg, 2 Tbsp sugar, and ½ tsp vanilla extract. Whisk the ingredients together until smooth.
Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients.
Stir just until there is no dry flour left on the bottom of the bowl. It’s okay if there are a few lumps left in the batter, just make sure to not over-stir.
Thicker batter will make thicker pancakes and thinner batter will make thinner flat pancakes. But if the batter is too thick the pancakes can be a bit dry. So if the batter is too thick, add a touch more milk, if needed, to make the batter thick but pourable. Let the batter rest for 15 minutes.
Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Once hot, brush some cooking oil over the surface.
Scoop ¼ cup of the batter onto the skillet and use the measuring cup to spread it out into a circle (about 4-inches in diameter). Cook the pancakes until the surfaces are covered in bubbles and some of them have burst open. You can cook multiple pancakes at once. I just did one at a time for demonstration purposes.
Flip the pancake and cook until golden brown on the second side. You may need to adjust the heat up or down as you cook the pancakes to maintain even cooking.
Repeat with the remaining batter, adding more oil to the skillet in batches, until all of the pancakes are cooked. Place the pancakes on a plate and cover with a clean dish towel to keep warm as you cook the rest of the batch.
Enjoy the pancakes with your favorite toppings!