How to Make Pancakes From Scratch

Homemade pancakes topped with maple syrup and fresh blueberries
Jeff Kauck / Getty Images
  • 30 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings (2 pancakes each)
Ratings (78)

Oh boy, do I make a lot of pancakes. This recipe, which makes enough pancakes to feed four people, is one that I've honed over the years to where I think it's pretty perfect — and by perfect I mean light, fluffy, and utterly delightful.

[Also see: First Time Making Pancakes?]

Plus, once you make up the batter, you can hold it in the fridge for several hours. As a matter of fact, it'll hold up pretty well even overnight.

(If you scan the ingredients, you'll notice that you can easily halve the recipe if you only want to make pancakes for two people instead of four. I'm pretty proud of that. Too often with half-recipes, you find yourself scratching your head thinking "OK, what's half an egg?")

One problem people often have with their pancakes is that their baking powder has gone stale. If it's been more than six months since you bought your baking powder, toss it and buy a fresh container. When baking powder gets too old, it won't rise as much as it should, and your pancakes will be heavy and dense rather than the aforementioned light and fluffy.

Another caveat: Do make sure you weigh your flour, not just scoop it out of the bag. If you scoop, chances are your pancakes will be thick and dense rather than light and fluffy.

Finally, I'm a tireless advocate for not overmixing pancake batter, as it can cause your pancakes to turn out rubbery. Just mix until the dry ingredients are mostly incorporated into the wet, with some lumps still visible. Then let the batter rest for 20 minutes. This gives those lumps a chance to dissolve and the glutens in the flour to relax.

TIP: Substitute plain yogurt for half the milk. Your batter will be thicker, so lower your griddle temperature a little. But the pancakes still turn out fluffy, and the extra tangy flavor is heavenly.

What You'll Need

  • 260 grams all-purpose flour (around 2 cups)
  • 2 Tbsp baking powder (make sure it's fresh!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

How to Make It

  1. Sift together the flour and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Beat the eggs thoroughly, then stir in the milk, sugar, and salt, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the vanilla.
  3. Now add the wet ingredients to the dry and use a fork to gently but thoroughly combine until most of the dry ingredients aren't dry anymore. But don't overmix! You'll still see some lumps. You can gently break up some of the bigger lumps with your fork, but don't mix for much longer than 20 seconds.
  1. Let the batter rest for about 20 minutes. Toward the end of that time, pre-heat your griddle to 375F or heat a nonstick sauté pan or skillet over medium heat. Also pre-heat oven to 170F or whatever its lowest setting is.
  2. When your cooking surface is hot, lightly spray it with cooking spray.
  3. Now, for each pancake, ladle ¼ cup of batter onto the griddle or pan. Cook until the tops of the pancakes are full of bubbles and the bottoms are golden brown. Flip the pancakes and cook until the tops are golden brown, then either serve right away or transfer to the oven to keep warm.