Basic Low-Fat Pancakes

Basic Low-Fat Pancakes

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 8 mins
Cook: 3 mins
Total: 11 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
168 Calories
3g Fat
31g Carbs
5g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 168
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 3%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 1mg 0%
Sodium 193mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 115mg 9%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 114mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

In many households, pancakes are a weekend breakfast standby, but for those watching their fat intake, they can be a forbidden food—especially when made from a mix or pulled from the freezer. This recipe uses nonfat milk, lowering the amount of fat in the pancakes while keeping them flavorful. Calling for pantry staples like flour, sugar, baking powder, egg, oil, milk, and vanilla, you can whip up a batch of pancakes in no time.

Enjoy with a drizzle of good-quality maple syrup. Top with fresh berries, sliced bananas, or sautéed apples for added color, texture, and nutrition.


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

  • 1 1/3 cups nonfat milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Basic Low-Fat Pancakes ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

    flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. In a separate small bowl, whisk the egg, oil, milk, and vanilla extract.

    whisk the egg, oil, milk, and vanilla extract in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir well.

    Add the wet pancake ingredients to the dry ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Heat an electric nonstick griddle to 375 F, or use a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.


    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Pour in 1/4 cup batter for each pancake.

    pancake batter in a skillet

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Cook until bubbles form and the edges appear dry.

    pancake cooking in a skillet

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  8. Flip the pancakes and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.

    pancake in a skillet, flipped

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  9. Serve warm and enjoy.

    Basic Low-Fat Pancakes, stack of pancakes on a plate

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Tips for Making Perfect Pancakes

  • It is important to mix the dry and wet ingredients separately so don't skip this step. It helps to evenly distribute ingredients, especially those that leaven.
  • An electric griddle is the ideal pancake-cooking tool because it maintains a constant temperature, but if you don't have one you can use a cast-iron skillet or nonstick pan. Just be mindful to raise or lower the heat as needed to keep the pancakes cooking evenly.
  • Letting the pancake batter sit for at least 10 minutes before cooking will result in fluffier pancakes. This resting time allows the milk to hydrate the flour and lets the leavening ingredients distribute throughout the batter.


  • If you prefer buttermilk pancakes, you can swap in low-fat or nonfat buttermilk for the nonfat milk. If you do, add a 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to the recipe.
  • You can also add some chopped fruit to the batter. In the fall, pears or apples make a nice addition along with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon added to the dry ingredients. Try strawberries in the spring or blueberries in the summer.
  • For an even healthier version, switch out the all-purpose flour for whole wheat.
  • If making these in the fall or winter, add a pinch of pumpkin spice or drizzle of maple syrup to the batter. For some added zing, a little bit of ground ginger or lemon zest is a nice touch.