How to make pancakes from scratch

February 8, 2012

I don’t know about you but when I think of pancakes, I think of Bisquick or some other premade, premixed batter situation. I’m not here to judge such concoctions, they were quite good growing up in my parent’s kitchen. But on this day I wanted something homemade, something to stick to my sides. Something I could say I made from scratch.

Lo and behold: when you make your own batter, you have the opportunity not to overmix – which lends to a fluffier pancake. Thanks Martha Stewart, for that tip and for this recipe. And in the words of the lovely Saipua, “thanks for always reminding us to wipe our window sills.” Martha may be an ex-criminal but she’s been here for us, people.

Eating pancakes makes me lazy. In a good way. In a way that makes me ditch my errand list and pet my dogs and put on my off season Christmas socks. In short, pancakes make me really happy.

Do I smell breakfast?” Dustin says under his covers. “Yes, but you’ll have to wait, Mr.” I say. And then the pictures commence.

How to make pancakes from scratch

Recipe from Everyday Food, September 2006
Serves 4


1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk (Note: I used another half cup in the end for a smoother consistency)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, or vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vegetable oil


Preheat oven to 200 degrees; have a baking sheet or heatproof platter ready to keep cooked pancakes warm in the oven. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, butter (or oil), and egg. Add dry ingredients to milk mixture; whisk until just moistened (do not overmix; a few small lumps are fine).

Heat a large skillet (nonstick or cast-iron) or griddle over medium. Fold a sheet of paper towel in half, and moisten with oil; carefully rub skillet with oiled paper towel.

For each pancake, spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter onto skillet, using the back of the spoon to spread batter into a round (you should be able to fit 2 to 3 in a large skillet).

Cook until surface of pancakes have some bubbles and a few have burst, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip carefully with a thin spatula, and cook until browned on the underside, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a baking sheet or platter; cover loosely with aluminum foil, and keep warm in oven. Continue with more oil and remaining batter. (You’ll have 12 to 15 pancakes.) Serve warm, with desired toppings.

[ nervelessly Courtney note: this was a really thick batter. Thicker than I expected. I thinned it out with milk, as noted in the ingredients above partly because I'm used to that thin bottled batter. It turned out really well. Also, I made these pancakes pretty thick (about 2 or 3 heaping spoonfuls for each cake), and as such, my version only made about 9 pancakes, not 12 as the original recipe stated. I liked them this way and they remained fluffy – I just had to be careful to cook them longer than the recipe indicated so that they were done in the center.]

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Jill February 8, 2012 at 6:50 am

I started making homemade pancakes a few yrs back when I didn’t have any Bisquick (also of youth) but a major pancake hankering. Crazy how we usually always have these ingredients and have never gone back to the big yellow box.


Courtney February 8, 2012 at 7:28 am

That’s true… I had everything already in the pantry. How often does that happen?


Stephanie Meinberg via Facebook February 8, 2012 at 7:35 am

making these this weekend!!!!!!!!


Stephanie Meinberg via Facebook February 8, 2012 at 7:35 am

making these this weekend!!!!!!!!


Jeff February 8, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Great Minds. My recipe is exactly the same as yours, save that my recipe calls for melted butter. Cupcake hipsters insist that oil incorporates better, but I think the flavor is worth it.

I do, however, like your idea of spreading the batter around with the spoon – as my problem is usually burning the outsides before the interior is cooked.

So on my next sunday morning when I am insanely hungry yet still have control of my faculties by 8am, I’ll try it this way.


Amin February 23, 2012 at 12:08 am

YUM! I love Pancake Day! My frviuaote topping would have to be chocolate spread and sliced banana The fruit makes me feel that teensy bit less guilty!


Courtney February 8, 2012 at 2:46 pm

I did actually use melted butter – and couldn’t agree more with the sentiment! So this is kind of a butter + butter situation, though I can’t claim I invented the idea. It comes from the lovely Martha Stewart … a very basic but totally nice to have on hand recipe.


James May 13, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Can you freeze some and microwave tomorrow?


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