Basic Pancake Recipe – An Easy Pantry Staple

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Th easy pancakes are perfect to prepare and perfect for feeding a crowd. There are several ways to make this basic pancake recipe freezer-friendly as well.

Chocolate Chip pancakes on a plate
From tortillas to lefse to crêpes, flatbreads are popular in every culture. And for good reason. Not only are they quick to prepare and simple to eat, they are also very satisfying. This makes them winners for a family menu. Economical and easily made from scratch, they can also feed a crowd with very little work. Plus, they taste great!

In the United States, pancakes or flapjacks are the name of the game. For our family, they are a regular feature on our weekly menu. The kids refer to it as Pancake Saturday. They like to see how many they can devour in one sitting.

One thing that I love about this dimple pancake recipe is that although they are so simple, I can vary the batter recipe as well as the toppings to suit my mood or whatever’s in the pantry.

Basic pancake recipe ingredients

  • milk – Any milk will work in this recipe: low-fat, skim, whole, or even almond milk would work as well!
  • eggs – Two eggs help to give this recipe structure and bind your ingredients together. 
  • oil – The oil provides fat and richness to the recipe. 
  • flour – I used all purpose flour, but you can substitute whole wheat flour if you want to make them more nutritious. 
  • sugar – You can use granulated white sugar or sucanat (natural cane sugar), but try substituting brown sugar (they will be a little moister).
  • baking powder – this helps to leaven your pancakes and make them fluffy. 
  • baking soda – again responsible for making those pancakes light and fluffy!
  • salt – I used 1 teaspoon fine sea salt. A little salt helps to balance the sugar in this recipe. 
  • butter (for frying) – Frying these in melted butter adds some great flavor!

How to make these easy pancakes

  • Combine all ingredients, except butter, in a large mixing bowl, whisking until smooth. There may be a few lumps, but that is fine.
  • Heat large skillet or griddle until droplets of water sizzle when sprinkled onto cooking surface. Brush griddle with melted butter.
  • Pour batter, about 1/3 cup at a time onto griddle. This should spread itself into a medium circle. Cook until bubbles form in batter and start to pop. Flip with a pancake turner. Brush the cooked tops of cakes with more melted butter. Cook a minute or two more. Stack on a plate until all are cooked. This should make about 24 pancakes.
  • If preparing this as a mix to use later, place the dry ingredients in an airtight container such as a quart-sized mason jar or a ziplock bag. Mark the container with the wet ingredients to add later and cooking instructions. Store in pantry or freezer until ready to use.
  • For freezing: Either prepare the recipe as a mix (dry ingredients only) and store in the freezer for longest shelf life OR bake and cool the pancakes. Bundle them in stacks of three to four, wrap with plastic wrap and store in a ziptop freezer bag in the freezer.

syrup poured over a stack of pancakes

Tips for making pancakes:

  • While it lends itself toward a heavy carbo load, a pancake dinner doesn’t have to be junky. Try buckwheat or whole wheat if you’d like to use a whole grain. Use yogurt or ricotta cheese to beef up the protein content. Top it with fresh fruit instead of syrups.
  • Baking powder typically present in pancakes reacts twice – once when liquid is added and once when baked. For the lightest pancakes, don’t mix the batter too far in advance of cooking.
  • You can make a baking mix for pancakes in advance, though. Simply assemble the dry ingredients in a bowl, jar, or bag. Keep it dry until you’re ready to mix it up.
  • Of course, if you don’t want your pancakes laden with butter and eggs, that’s okay too! You can use flax-seed meal instead of eggs. You can also try swapping some applesauce for oil or melted butter.
  • One of the great things about pancakes is that they’re pretty versatile. Experiment with adding different flavors with fresh fruit (diced or pureed), spices (think cinnamon or nutmeg), or even flavored extracts. The possibilities are endless. Get creative and see what winning combinations you can create.

How to make pancakes ahead of time

For over twenty years, pancakes have been a regular on our family menu. However, here’s a little secret, after awhile this mama got a little tired of measuring after being up all night with a baby and up early with hungry toddlers. I needed a way to make pancakes and keep my sanity, too.

Enter: the homemade pancake mix.

Yep, you read that right. I no longer mix up pancakes on the spot. I prep a bulk batch of pancake mixes to stash in the cupboard. I mark on the bag the wet ingredients that need to be added, so that I don’t even have to look up the recipe again.

Why are my pancakes not fluffy? 

We all want fluffy pancakes am I right? The secret to getting fluffy pancakes is to make sure to not overmix your batter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and then stir together just until combined. The batter should be lumpy. Don’t worry they will cook out and you will end up with the best fluffiest pancakes. 

And, I’ve been known to prepare them for a quick pickup dinner when my other plans don’t pan out. Talk about the perfect item to add to your Pantry Challenge menu!

Can I freeze pancakes?

Absolutely you can! Pancakes are one of the baked goods that I love to freeze. You can have them on hand for a last minute dinner, or a busy morning. To freeze them, alow them to cool completely and then transfer them to a freezer plastic bag and freeze.  

To reheat pancakes, thaw completely, reheat in a skillet on low heat.

Pancake variations

Don’t forget to read my Tips for Making Pancake Night a Success. And check out these other pancake recipes. 

:: Multi-Grain Blueberry Pancakes
:: 5-Grain Pancakes with Flax
:: Pancakes with Apples and Whipped Maple Butter

Tools I use to make this recipe:

0 from 0 votes
Basic Pancakes
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 
This simple pancake recipe is easily to prepare and perfect for feeding a crowd. There are several ways to make it freezer-friendly as well.
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pancakes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 466 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
Ingredients
  • 3 1/3 cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar or sucanat
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • melted butter for frying
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients, except butter, in a large mixing bowl, whisking until smooth. There may be a few lumps, but that is fine.
  2. Heat large skillet or griddle until droplets of water sizzle when sprinkled onto cooking surface. Brush griddle with melted butter. Pour batter, about 1/3 cup at a time onto griddle. This should spread itself into a medium circle. Cook until bubbles form in batter and start to pop. Flip with a pancake turner. Brush the cooked tops of cakes with more melted butter. Cook a minute or two more. Stack on a plate until all are cooked. This should make about 24 pancakes.
  3. If preparing this as a mix to use later, place the dry ingredients in an airtight container such as a quart-sized mason jar or a ziplock bag. Mark the container with the wet ingredients to add later and cooking instructions. Store in pantry or freezer until ready to use.
  4. For freezing: Either prepare the recipe as a mix (dry ingredients onland store in the freezer for longest shelf life OR bake and cool the pancakes. Bundle them in stacks of three to four, wrap with plastic wrap and store in a ziptop freezer bag in the freezer.
Nutrition Facts
Basic Pancakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 466 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Fat 19g29%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 68mg23%
Sodium 652mg28%
Potassium 468mg13%
Carbohydrates 61g20%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 299IU6%
Calcium 257mg26%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

 

 

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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Comments

  1. sabrina says

    Do you store this mix in the pantry or freezer?

  2. FishMama says

    I store it in the freezer for longer shelf life and to avoid bugs or rodents. Not that we have had them, but I don't wanna! 😉

  3. Bridgette says

    Can you mix the wet and dry and then seal in a ziplock and freeze? Or do you suggest just freezing the dry and adding the wet when you make the pancakes?

    • Jessica says

      I have never done that, so I don’t recommend it. I would just premeasure the dry. Add the wet when you bake them.

  4. Amy says

    Made these this morning and they were a huge hit!!

  5. Sarah G says

    Made some this morning…yummy! So easy! I don’t mind serving these since I know exactly what went in them, unlike the pre-mixes. Added some frozen b blueberries to the mix as well…delish!

  6. Just made these for brunch to rave reviews. Most of my pancake recipes require buttermilk, but these were just as good, if not better, with regular milk. Thanks!

  7. Dina says

    since I am vegan, do you suggest any substitute for egg? I have tried flaxseed and water thingy (for other pancake recipe) but my pancake does not puffed (not even bubble) up as much. Thanks.

    • Jessica says

      That’s all I got. You could try Egg Replacer. It’s a powder in the baking aisle.

      • Dina says

        @Jessica, Thanks….but which store carry that? Target, walmart or sprouts? that are the only store I visit. It is hard to shop with two under 2!

        • Jessica says

          @Dina, don’t I know it. I have seen it at Henry’s, now called Sprouts.

  8. STL says

    You can also find egg-free pancake recipes online.

  9. STL says

    Jessica, I’m really enjoying your blog–thanks for the good tips. I think similarly, but you have done this a lot longer and more thoroughly, so I’m getting lots of good ideas. Anyway, my favorite pancake recipe is found at the Hillbilly Housewife site, below. I use it almost exclusively, unless I have no bananas, which is hardly ever since I freeze them when they’re going soft. Thanks, Stacy

    http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/bananapancakes.htm

    • Jessica says

      Thanks for the tip! I read HHW back in the get-out-of-debt days. Great ideas there.

  10. Michelle says

    Jessica – Do you have a reccomendation for using whole wheat flour for pancakes? We use white whole wheat. Thanks!

    • Jessica says

      I usually use whole wheat pastry flour as it’s got a more delicate texture for pancakes. I know that I’ve used white whole wheat, but that was quite some time ago. I would start with half and half and see how you like it.

  11. Jennifer says

    Have you ever tried to mix powdered milk into your mix so you only need to add water? Pancakes are sometimes a breakfast for the days when we run out of milk. 🙂

    • Jessica says

      @Jennifer, you could totally do that. Different powdered milks have different measurements, so I don’t think I could add that to the recipe, but that should work, provided that you have instant dry milk. The kind I have isn’t instant, so I think it might need to be mixed with water first.

  12. Going to mix up this recipe this weekend.

  13. Cristy says

    I must have messed something up on this because we found these pancakes to be extremely dry. St strange because they sure look fluffy in the pictures! :-/

    • That’s disappointing. 🙁 we’ve never had too dry. Sometimes too moist for some of my kids.

  14. I love this recipe. I have used it since I saw this post. In my last blog post I wrote about a variation of your recipe…
    http://whatwedidtodayblog.blogspot.com/2014/02/sunday-morning-apple-pie-pancakes.html

  15. Katie says

    I made these as part of your “Make Ahead Breakfasts” menu (thank you!), but found the batter to be really thin, like a Swedish pancake, not thick like the ones in your picture. I went over the ingredients to make sure I was accurate and everything seems to be correct. I checked my Betty Crocker pancake recipe and it uses 3/4 c milk for 1 cup flour. I’m thinking instead of 3 1/3 cups milk, I will try 2 1/4 cups next time and I think it will turn out more like your picture. They were still good today–just thin.

    • They do make a thinner pancake from time to time. I think it has something to do with the baking powder and soda. I often make it with buttermilk instead. That’s how I changed the recipe for the Not Your Mother’s book. I prefer it that way. But these photos taken a million years ago were made with milk, so I don’t know what to say. I hope it worked out okay for you!

  16. Traci Cundall says

    How long can you store your mixes in the freezer?

  17. Ellisa says

    I just made these pancakes for our family this morning. Everyone LOVED them and said they had way more flavor than Bisquick mix. I’ll be adding these into the rotation now. Thank you 🙂

  18. TSandy says

    Have you tried Alton Brown’s pancake recipe? I’ve used it as my go to recipe for a couple years now. His pancakes are every bit as light and fluffy as the box mixes without all the nasty ingredients. What I love is he has a bulk mix recipe that can be stored on the pantry shelf and then you can pull out the pre-made mix whenever you want to make pancakes. It cuts the time down from start to finish. I rarely have fresh buttermilk so I use the milk/lemon juice trick to sour milk.

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/instant-pancake-mix-recipe.html

  19. Cassy says

    These came out dense and thin. It is a recipe I was very unhappy. I followed the recipe and had to order more baking powder and they were still dense.

  20. Jess says

    I enjoyed the flavour and texture of the pancakes, however I found the batter was so sticky that no matter how much butter or oil was used they wouldn’t budge from the bottom of the pan! I ended up putting 1/3c scoops onto a baking tray and cooking them in the oven on non stick paper. They didn’t get that lovely golden colour, but they tasted good!

    • Huh. How hot was the pan? That could be the issue. It needs to be sizzling hot.

      • Jess says

        It wasn’t my first time making pancakes… I made some 2 days ago with a different recipe and has no issues whatsoever

        • Were both recipes American recipes or was the other New Zealand? I’m kinda curious if the ingredients are different between countries? Regardless, I’m sorry you had trouble. These are a go-to at our house.

  21. Isabella says

    These werent my favourite pancakes, i wouldnt usually put backing soda or powder in it. And i’d usually put vanilla

    • In the states, I’ve never seen a pancake recipe without baking soda or baking powder. Are yours more like crepes?

  22. Jolene says

    Very good recipe! It was the 1st of 3 of your pancake recipes I’ve tried. Although the other 2 were good, they didn’t disappear as fast as these did. I recently bought a griddle to save me some time instead of making one at a time…very time consuming lol. My kids are loving homemade pancakes verses the frozen from the store, and I feel better serving them. I think I’ll make some mixes of these today. Your scope reminded me I wanted to get some mixes on the shelf, thank you!

  23. In your Not Your Mama’s book you have a recipe for oat pancakes that calls for oat flour. Where do you buy yours? I’ve checked in 3 different stores with not luck.

    • I buy it at Sprouts usually or Amazon. Bob’s Red Mill Brand. If you can’t find it, you can grind rolled oats very fine in a food processor or just use an equal amount of unbleached flour.

  24. Marian says

    Can this recipe be halved, at least? I only have two kids and 24 pieces would be a LOT of pancakes. Thanks. 🙂

    • Yes, or freeze them in short stacks to reheat on busy mornings. I only got two when I made them this morning. lol!

  25. Baylee says

    We have followed the instructions step by step but the mixture is very watery. Any suggestions on how we can fix it?

    • I am sorry to hear that it’s not working out. I’d whisk in about 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup more flour and see if it thickens up.

  26. Helen says

    I just made these this afternoon and I have never had American pancakes but these were absolutely delicious and fluffy, thank you. I will definitely make these again. : D

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